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Julien

Fouga CM.170 Magister - 1:48 AMK AvantGarde Model Kits

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Fouga CM.170 Magister
1:48 AMK AvantGarde Model Kits


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The Magister is probably Fouga's most well know design even though they had been producing aircraft since 1936. Post war the company was working on sailplanes and the heritage from this can be seen in the Magister design. In 1948 the French Air Force were looking for a jet powered aircraft to replace the then piston engine trainers. Fouga's original design the CM130 was underpowered with two Turbomeca Palas engines. Fouga then re-designed their aircraft to incorporate the more powerful Marbore engines, et voilà the CM170 Magister. The distinctive V tail, and slender wings bear testament to Fouga's sailplane designs. The prototype Magister flew in 1952 with an order for the first 10 being placed in 1953. The Magister was the worlds purpose designed/built jet powered trainer. It is also worthy to note the Magister made it into carrier aviation. With a few changes to the structure and undercarriage, the addition of an arrestor hook, and sliding canopies the CM175 Zephyr was born. Interestingly carrier trials took place on HMS Bulwark and HMS Eagle.

The French aircraft industry in parallel with the UK went through many mergers with the aircraft being known as the Fouga Magister, Potez Magister, Sud Aviation Magister; and finally The Aerospatile Magister; though always actually being called The "Fouga" Magister. Development of the aircraft continued right up until the French selected its replacement, the Alpha Jet. Overseas sales proved popular were made to primarily to Germany, Belgium, Finland, and Israel; with Germany, Finland & Israel building them under licence. Of a total of 929 aircraft built, 286 were built under license.

The basic jet was very affordable to operate for smaller Air Forces. Other users would include, Algeria, Austria, Bangladesh, Biafra, Brazil, Cambodia, Cameroon, El Salvador, Gabon, Katanga, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Nicaragua, Rwanda, Senegal, and Uganda. Many counties including Austria, Belgium, Brazil, France, Germany, Ireland, Finland; and Israel would use the aircraft for their National Aerobatic display teams. Even though primarily a trainer many of these smaller nations would use the aircraft for its light strike capacity as well. Israel would use them in combat during the 6 day war, El Salvador saw them used during its civil war, and aircraft used by The Katangese Air Force were used against the UN during the Congo crisis in 1961.

The Kit
Many of us have been waiting for this kit since AMK announced they would be making it. On opening the box you are not disappointed. You are presented with 6 sprues of dark grey plastic, two clear plastic sprues, a small sheet of photo-etched parts; and plastic case containing die cast metal parts. Be careful how you open the case as the metal parts have a tendency to ping out! As well as the box of metal parts, the other item to stand out from the box is that you get the complete fuselage sprue in clear plastic. This will enable the modeller to build this kit with the insides on show. The idea of a "visible" kit has been done by a few companies over the years and AMK seem to wish to carry this on. As you get this clear option you also get two complete engines, main wing spar (in metal), the centre line fuel tank, the secondary oil tank, electronics bay, pressure bay, and the nose electronics/gun bay. This kit will be a super detailers dream with all these parts to show off.

sp1.JPG


There is no surprise though that construction starts with the cockpit. Each seat is made up from five plastic parts. These are installed into the one part cockpit tub. There are then a total of 16 small parts for the cockpit which will give it a really busy look. Two oxygen bottles are installed behind the front seat , followed by instrument panels and control columns. Two metal weights are supplied to attach under the cockpit to stop the model from being a tail sitter. The secondary fuel tank then needs to be assembled. Even if you are not doing the visible model this item needs to be constructed as it forms the rear cockpit bulkhead.

sp2.JPG


The next stages build the internal parts which need to be built for the visible model, and can be skipped if the modeller is not doing this. The main/primary fuel tank is built. The forward face of this can be either the plastic part, or the main white metal part which looks to be the main wing spar. The main tank is made from two sides, the rear bulkhead and the front main spar part. Three additional stiffening ribs are added to each side. Next step is the rear electronics bay which sits behind the main fuel tank. This is very detailed comprising of a total of 22 parts. Even though the instructions call this an electronics bay in reality an hydraulic pump and generator. Two separate equipment racks are constructed and joined. The final internal section for the main fuselage is what the instructions call the Pressure Bay, this is in the location indicated as an equipment bay. Correctly painted and detailed all of the parts should look very good when installed in the clear fuselage.


sp4.JPG


Next construction moves onto the fuselage and is the same if you are making the visible or solid version. A support is installed in each side at the rear of the V tail-planes. A plastic part can be used, or replaced by a white metal part. The cockpit is installed with the secondary fuel tank behind it. If using the visible fuselage then the main fuel tank, equipment bay, and pressure bay are installed. If the modeller is using the solid fuselage then only the wing spar part need to be installed behind the secondary fuel tank. The next stage is to close up the main fuselage. Once this is closed up the main fuselage panel is installed on the underside. Construction then moves to the top of the fuselage. The radio equipment which is mounted under the rearmost canopy section is assembled.

sp5.JPG


Once the main fuselage is finished construction moves to the outside of it. The intakes and engines need to be assembled as these are not internal to the main fuselage. A full length intake is provided for each engine. This is a two part intake with an outer cover. These parts can be constructed in clear or solid plastic. Once the intakes are complete attention moves to the engines and exhausts. Two full engines are included. Each is made up from eleven parts. Once installed the exhausts are installed. Again these are supplied as plastic parts and white metal parts. Rear engine covers are then installed. These are supplied as clear and solid plastic so the full engines can be visible. Once the main fuselage is complete the canopies are added (I suspect most modellers will leave this until the end though). Some of the decal options have a solid read canopy and this is supplied as a separate solid plastic part. The distinctive periscope for the rear seater which is on the centre canopy section between the two cockpits is added.

sp3.JPG


Construction then switches to the wings. The wings are of a conventional upper & lower configuration. The internal bulkheads of the wheel wells will need to be added before closing up the wings. If installing wing pylons the holes for these will need to be drilled out. Separate flaps are supplied, and there are options for these to be in the deployed position. Photo-etched parts are supplied for the wing mounted air/dive brakes. These can be modelled in either the in, or out positions. Separate automatic balance tabs are added to the wings along with linkages which are supplied as photo-etched parts. Both types of wing tip tanks fitted to The Magister are supplied. The modeller will need to research which were fitted to the aircraft which is being modelled.

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Three part wheel are made up and attached to the legs. Even though strangely missing from the instructions the legs are supplied as both metal and plastic parts. Landing gear doors are attached with photo-etched hinges. The gear retraction arms are again supplied in both metal and plastic (though again missed of the instructions). The V tail-planes are assembled with the distinctive control linkages available again in metal or plastic.

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The last major construction step is the nose landing gear and its compartment. In The Magister the front gear is attached by a frame to the main forward bulkhead. This is accurately modelled in the kit. The main frames are available as metal or plastic mats, as is the nose wheel leg. Machine guns (if fitted) are supplied for the compartment over the nose gear. The distinctive hoop VOR antenna on the nose are supplied as metal parts.

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Finally it is up to the modeller to fit all the sub-assemblies together. The wings and tail-planes are added, followed by the nose section. Covers are then fitted to the nose section. Again these are in clear plastic if wanted to show off all the detail on the nose. Fuselage access hatches and antenna will be added at this point. These did change and the instructions show which need to be added for the decal options. If modelling another aircraft the modeller will need to research the aircraft antenna configuration used. For those countries which used their Magisters in the light strike role a small selection of armament is included in the kit. There are small bombs, double stacked rockets, flat faced rocket pods, and what appear to be Matra F2 rocket pods.

Metal and Photo-etched Parts
A small fret of photo-etched parts is supplied. The main parts on here are for the wing mounted air/dive brakes which can be modelled in either the open or closed positions. Control linkages are also supplied along with a five point harness for each cockpit. The brass will need to be annealed for these as its thicker than other photo-etch I have seen.

pe001.jpg


The white metal zinc cast parts are supplied in their own plastic box. As mentioned be careful when opening this as they tend to ping out and you don't want them lost to the dreaded carpet monster. The metal parts supplied are for The Main Wing Spar, tail-plane mounting spars, exhausts, nose weights, front landing gear frame & leg, main landing gear legs, machine guns; and some control linkages. The casting on these parts is very good and minimal clean up will be needed.

metal.JPG



Decals
Decals are provided for five aircraft. There is no manufacture listed on the decal sheet. The decals do look glossy, well printed and have minimal carrier film. The colours are bright and the density looks good. Its a little disappointing that the options do not include some of the smaller countries that used the Magister. The markings supplied are;
  • Luftwaffe camouflaged aircraft.
  • Belgian Air Force trainer.
  • Belgian Air Force trainer - Marked "The Last Of Many".
  • Belgian Air Force "Red Devils" Aerobatic Team.
  • French Air Force "Patrouille de France" Aerobatic Team.

decals001.jpg



Conclusion
This kit is certainly a step up from other kits I have seen, and is certainly not for the novice modeller. Even though its only AMK's forth model, if they continue in this vein we should be seeing more from them. Overall highly recommended.


Review sample courtesy of
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When? Where? How Much? I want one, two, NOW!!! ;)

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That does look rather nice.

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I want one, two, NOW!!! ;)

I know! I want a second one to do a visible one. Not normally a fan but there is so much detail there, it would be shame to cover it up.

One thing I would recommend to anyone wanting to a detailed job, is to get Max Decals book on the Magister in Irish Service by Joe Maxwell & Radu Brinzan. There are a lot of pictures of the maintenance side of the Magister in there, as well as an aircraft history and some details of its use in the Congo. http://www.maxdecals.com/fougabooksample.html

Also helps that its on sale :D

Julien

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just ordered one from hobbyeasy :)

looking forward to it!

lets do an Austrian trainer, maybe in silverbird livery!

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Saw this for sale at southern expo and looked good.

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Three Belgian options, AdA and Luft´??

They've missed something there.

I can only agree.

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got my kit form hobbyeasy today!

looks absolutely gorgeous!

don't know what to do with the fabulously cast transparent fuselage parts though.... and all the interior! a bit of a waste I fear.....

looking forward to building it, if it is similar to their Kfir it will be easy with hardly any filler :) :)

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It's a superb kit, isn't it? I was well impressed when I saw it. The little catapult box of metal parts was quite impressive too... once I'd got them all back in the box! :blush:

If this is the standard of their products, I cannot wait for the Mig-31 :yahoo:

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It's a superb kit, isn't it? I was well impressed when I saw it. The little catapult box of metal parts was quite impressive too... once I'd got them all back in the box! :blush:

If this is the standard of their products, I cannot wait for the Mig-31 :yahoo:

Haha. You will have it once we got it done!

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Haha. You will have it once we got it done!

A MiG-31 is good news, I saw one at Farnborough many years ago, impressive looking aircraft.

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