Jump to content

Recommended Posts

JF-17 Thunder

26 Squadron Pakistan Air Force – Peshawar Air Base 2014

I don’t often think about Pakistani stuff when it comes to modelling. However, having seen the two 26 Sqn JF-17s at Farnborough in 2010 I was moved to invest in a Trumpeter 1/72 kit. And a really nice modern kit it is too. It feels like a 1/48 kit reduced to 1/72 size – or at least that’s the impression when you see the level of detail included in things like the undercarriage wells, cockpit interior, etc.


The original looks like a cross between an F-16 and a Grippen and is a genuine ‘4th generation’ jet from a joint Chinese / Pakistani project, with advanced aerodynamics, fly-by-wire and digital avionics. It is supposedly called a ‘JF-17’ to show that it’s one-up on the F-16!


Be careful if you build one though. The kit is very ‘Chinese’ rather than ‘Pakistani’. I found that the Pakistani version has a Martin Baker Mk.16 seat rather than the Chinese seat in the kit. A pity, because most of the usable PE in the kit goes on the seat! I say ‘usable’ because much of the PE provided is supposed to make up the engine exhaust nozzle, but mine was in the bin in no time and I opted for the easier (and actually better looking) plastic nozzle. The JF-17 uses the same engine as the Mig 29 so there may be some resin stuff out there somewhere also. There is also some very fine PE for the HUD, which I did use. The instructions give the undercarriage legs and wells colour as ‘dark blue-grey’ which I found is OK for the Chinese version, but white seems the predominant colour for Pakistani machines. The stores are all Chinese also. I didn’t find this out until I had completed mine, but Pakistani drop tanks are Mirage III/V – like, with different fins from those in the kit.


I used the Caracal decal sheet – and very nice it is too. It provides the only source of the 26 Sqn ‘Black spider’ fin markings displayed at Farnborough.


Overall a very enjoyable project.


  • Like 22
Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes,a very pleasing looking product from China and every angle of it reminds us of the F16 (The Lockheed Martin guys should be happy..i think!) and to just imagine,just across the strait,there's the Taiwanese IDF which looks like the slimmer next of kin to the JF17!Anyway the Thunder is bound to be a popular export(Friendship price anyone?) since combat jets nowadays are really really expensive.The price tag of just a single F16 can build a lot of schools in most third world countries!To CT Modeller,that is n awful nice Thunder!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...