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Panavia MRCA, the early years! P-01/04/08.

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Hello everyone.

First I would like to say I did not know Merv personally but I have read vast amounts of knowledge he pointed out to many of us here on these forums regarding the Tornado to which has helped me greatly on my previous Tornado builds. So in the spirit of things with this GB, this is dedicated to him :).

Ok to the build. A few years ago I built a prototype model of P.03 Tornado, in the grey/green/light aircraft grey camo. I got bored of this as it looked too much like my other in service GR.1's so I decided to change things. It was not in the best state having been long forgotten in my garage but I hope to make a decent model from it again.

I plan on making Tornado prototype P.04, later designated 98+05.


These early Tornados differed in quite a lot of details compared to the final marks and in my original effort I think I accounted for most of them. The original build was made from the excellent Revell GR.1 kit with various improvements. The kit was ok'd by the boss so I'm ready to get cracking with it.

First up here it is presently,


I have removed the decals and started to sand the paint, still need to strip etc..Thinking of a way of rescuing the Tri-national insignia on the fin, any thoughts? I may try just mask over it and hope it survives.

Onto the details, the major mods I did to the Revell kit were;

1. Made a new rear fuselage fin fillet.

2. New, early profile intakes that were a lot of work.

3. Tail fin camera housing as this jet was used for system development as well as weapon trials.

4. Under fuselage cable ducts.

5. Early profile tailerons.

I think that concludes the main mods to build P.04, as far as I can tell anyhow.

New intakes,


Cable ducts, (with mounting holes for a stand, will be inflight)




I also bought a Dr.pepper resin nose, however it was awful, poor fit and shape. So I used the resin lump and sanded to more a profile I think represents the complex Tornado nose, as Revell's oob version doesn't do it for me.


I plan to load 4 Kormorans on this which I will have to scratch build (The price of 4 aftermarket missiles is the same as 2 new kits!), like this pic;


As you can see it needs a good deal of tlc but I hope I can make decent job of it in the end.

I might as well enter this one too, the original old school Tornado, to make it P.01/3. I think this kit is the only kit in existence with the correct upper fuselage contours for P.01 in that the wing glove box is slightly below (almost level really) with the top of the fuselage and there is no gap between the intakes and the fuselage top surface. Additionally the vertical fin is a slightly different shape to production aircraft which this kit manages to capture amazingly. Will be totally oob as a fun build bar maybe some Revell kit Mk.10's.


Many thanks for looking,


Edited by mirageiv
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4 Kormorans made.

I could not find any reliable dimensions so I used a picture I had and scaled them from reference points on the tornado to the Revell kit itself with the knowledge of the overall missile length. Maybe not Aires standard but they look enough like Kormorans to me :). I added some cable ducts on the sides, scribed some lines and the 3 rocket motor holes for the rear, as these were drill missiles however I did not go overboard on detailing them.

Found it hard to take a decent photo though being all white, sorry.


They still need a little clean up, currently I'm working the missile rails.



Edited by mirageiv
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A little more progress.

I finished the cockpit and installed some test pilots. I modded the rear IP to resemble a photo I have of one of the early prototypes. Throughout the first few years parts were consistently updated and modified, including cockpit configurations as different items were tested through the program.


Now anyone who has built one of these Revell kits may share my experience that the wing pivot pylons are very fragile if you want to keep them moving, which I certainly do being an in flight jet. One slight knock I have found breaks the pylons off resulting in you having to glue them on with a fixed sweep.

So after some thought and reading what other people have done in the past I did the following, bit of trial and error at first.

First a small piece of aluminium tubing was inserted into the wing pivot hole, this is glued and fixed in place.


Next is the tricky part. I drill a hole into the pylon itself that is the same diameter of a small steel pin. Then a small collar of aluminium tubing, which has an external diameter slightly less of the internal diameter of the collar glued inside the wing. Then I thread the steel pin through the collar and place little super glue inside the pylon, tapping it in place with a small hammer. Most importantly here, the small collar should be free to rotate around the pin going into the pylon.


Now after everything is painted and I want to attach the pylon, I place a small amount of glue on the outside of the pylon collar, then place it into the wing pivot collar, importantly keeping the pylon rotating so it does not stick at a particular sweep. This then gives a rotating pylon which is secured in place quite sturdily, and if I manage to break that, well I don't deserve moving pylons :D. I did it on my last Revell Tornado where the stores may break off if you knock it, the pylons seem to be bullet proof.

So wings forward,


And swept back,


I also tinted the front glass, though its appearing quite a lot stronger in the photo than real life! I don't see many people doing this but to me its is quite stark in some conditions.

I have decided not to fully strip the paint as I always make a huge mess and end up having to fill, correct loads of things. Instead I just polished up the paint with micro mesh, up to 6000 which should be a fine primer to paint directly onto, maybe even the top surface will give some interesting pre-shading :D.

Next up is attaching the canopies and focusing on all the little details before priming and a little rescribe of one or two areas.

Thanks for looking,


edit, I just realised the wings back photo does not show the pylon position, but it swings, honest! :)

Edited by mirageiv
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Thanks Al, however trying to get hung up less on the details now so I can actually finish some kits! :D

Here is the wing swept back, with the respective pylon position.


I entered another kit :evil_laugh: .


From left to right the current idea is:

Left-P.03,XX947, (http://www.abpic.co.uk/popup.php?q=1035728), loaded with 8x1000lb bombs as seen in circa 1976 onwards for weapon trials. The black/orange Mk.83's as seen on a lot of p.03's photos seemed to be used mostly for airshow/promotional purposes. I have some references showing the jet with 8 RAF 1000lb drill bombs in the blue/olive colours so I'll go with that given what is in my spares. Tanks and Ajax pods are from the spares and will get a little attention, not much though because I just want to get these builds done quickly.

Middle-P.04, 98+05, used in Kormoran trials. Not sure if I'll add two outer Boz pods as it seems these were only tested later in the development circa 79-80.

Right-Maybe P.07 with the huge MW-1 cluster weapon during trials (kinda like this http://www.airliners.net/photo/Germany---Air/Panavia-Tornado-IDS/2084347/L/) or P-01 as originally planned. I will see nearer the time which paint goes in the airbrush first :). The problem with the paint scheme on P.01 is the red walkways on top which I really do not fancy individually masking, I have old modeldecals for the other jets.

These old Italeri/Revell MRCA kits really are commendable for their age. Fit is ok, shape is pretty good and the scribed panels are fine and the nose profile looks pretty decent compared to the majority of other kit manufacturers screwing it up, imho Airfix has the best nose shape of all 1/72 kits. The only bug to me is the plastic texture is quite grainy and will need a good polishing before paint. I have added some cockpits from the spares and will also add some good Revell tornado nozzles,


I have roughly started cutting out the area needed.

Thanks for looking :)


Edited by mirageiv
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I managed to get hold of the old Airfix Nato weapons set with 4 Kormorans and might still use those, I think the etch fins may look better, undecided :).

Still motoring on these when I can, mainly have just been filling/sanding and reshaping all the noses for the jets.

This is P.03 with the original tanks and slightly modded AJAX pods, with fins replaced as they resembled the vertical stabiliser off the X-15 :D. I have scratched some twin store carriers for the 8x1000lbs but seem to have misplaced them for the time being! Having built a few of these horizontally split Tornados I have found the only filler that completely eliminated the seam and prevented it from re-appearing was cyano so it was a pretty long job for all the clean up.


Here is the work done on the nose. Originally the kit seemed to be a good few millimetres short in length so various sources from spares were used to build up a more, to my eye, accurate profile. Sorry for the paint splat!


Here is P.01 (or P.07 not sure yet) with much the same treatment as P.03. I scribed an incorrect nose line and it will have to filled.


Here is P.04. I had a little disaster in that I left it in a silly place outside, on a windy day, and something fell and crushed it :(. So I had to rebuild and fill a lot of things again, lesson learnt I guess :). Still not sure on the armament, either the load shown with the MW-1 or the 4 Kormorans, both were seen in tests. Old style tanks were built and the dummy BOZ pods that have a flat rear, some other detail to add to those however.


I also gave it a nose job, I think I reshaped an old Airfix nose joined just ahead of the windscreen as Revell's whole forward fuselage tappers too early making not just the simple aftermarket nose cone fix, really a true fix. I think this nose is better than the other two.


I added a little detail to the Esci MW-1 container. To me it looks a little underscale but I cannot find any accurate data to truly see what is what.


Pilots and sets in progress, various sources with a little scratched bits added to the oob Revell versions. For the two old Revell/Italeri kits I am going for more of an impression of a Tornado cockpit as the canopies are closed and I want to get these done! The Revell new tool has a pair of Aires bang seats and the oob cockpit is fine for canopy closed job.


I also modded another Revell Tornado kit being built as Gulf jet with JP233's, cannot enter it in the GB though as all it really needs is a re-paint. Times like these I wish I could cast my own resin because imho this the most accurate nose job I did,


Anyways that is it for a few days, paint should be soon, RIAT time! :)

Cheers for looking,


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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi folks, little update show you what I have been doing.

After 2000000000000000hrs of masking I have managed to get the main colours on most jets/bits. Still plenty more obscure panels to spray varying colours yet as it seems to be the case on these prototypes. The more I looks at photos the more different colours I pic out :D.

I decided to make P.08 (XX950) with the laser bump under the nose as it looked circa 1978, much like at Farnborough.


I scratched the twin store carriers from the few photos available, which was not many. Still few more test panels etc to be sprayed but nearly ready for gloss coats.



LAG undersides, I used xtracolour which seems a little too grey to me, but cba changing it :D.


Here is P.04, 98+05. I changed my mind with the load and will build it as it looked at Frankfurt 1978,


Black stores with the big MW-1 dispenser.



Finally here is P.01. Had a little trouble getting a decent white colour down but got there in the end, then the masking began :weep:. Not too many colours left to add but getting there. Also predictably I dropped it on its nose so will require some repair work.


Probably have them painted up by the end of the weekend and then its decal time from all sorts of sources.

I have not weathered the paint at all as the refs I have show basically no wear. They all look pretty darn pristine and thats how I want to model them.

Many thanks for looking :)


Edited by mirageiv
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Finished the main painting and ready for some shine. Small bits such as anti glare panel and metallic areas left but will leave till after final clear coats.



The Basaltgrau seems washed out in the photo, in real life it is darker and more grey but you get the idea :)



I appreciate these prototypes are not everyones cup of tea it seems but does anyone have a decent shot of P-01's top side?

I am in two minds about the walkway lines on the aircraft. Having built some early Tornado's before using modeldecal walkways, I did not like the result. They just seemed way over scale and too thick and kinda ruined the final result. Atm I have walkways for the 3 aircraft but I am leaning towards leaving them off as on the two camo jets they are barely noticeable in pictures, against P-01's white however it may be too obvious a feature to neglect.

Many thanks for looking or sharing any info :)


Edited by mirageiv
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I got the bulk of the decals for P-01 on. Still not sure on the walkway issue. Below is a pic that shows how fine they are, the ones I have are noticeably more agricultural but will break up the plain white top.



I think I might go for it, I guess I can remove them pretty sharpish if the result isn't great.



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Hello folks.

The trio after most of the decals bar the radome white lines which I'll add after some repairs to the noses, I managed to drop them again :(. Dam glossy surfaces :D.


Here is P-08. I eventually added walkways to the jet after finding this picture showing them quite prominent. Maybe not the exact pattern as on the real jet as I did not fancy cutting up and re-arranging all those walkways! For me the impression is there however. Probs will need to tone them down though with a thin grey/green coat. Decals are cobbled together from probably 5+ sources and referenced from photos.




Here is P-04. I did not add the always to this jet as the only picture I had of the topside showed them to be very very thin and discrete, hence anything decal wise would have ruined the overall impression imho. Most of the decals from the Hasegawa IDS Marineflieger boxing, they were very nice though the white ones needed a white backing decal for opacity. No idea why the Basaultgrau is coming out like this in the photos, it is a lot darker in real life.




Finally P-01. I went for walkways in the end, cut up from the Revell 'Black Thunder' IDS kit. They look red/red-orange on the real jet from what I can see from photos but that is the problem, most photos are very hard to get any concrete info on their colour. P-01 and -08 had no walkway markings on the tailerons opposed to P-02 etc.




Some bits (building a GR1 Granby as well),


Next stop is the gallery :).



Edit, just sprayed some X22 and it has crazed the red Revell gloss enamel on P-01, I guess it will be another day or so till the finish line now :(.

Edited by mirageiv
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I'm just progressing through the little detail things atm, the ones that seem to take an inordinate amount of time :)

However over the last few nights I did a few things. For the rubber wing seals I just masked over where is it and painted. I tried replicating it with foil, tape and a few other things but they just deformed when I operated the wing sweep. Yes I want them swinging toy like wings! :D

First I toned down the walkways on P-08, much better now imho.


Finished all the metallic areas on the jets but P-01 was very tricky given all that white paint lying around. Note to myself for the future, never mask over decals (even if you klear them), I had to replace quite a few in the area.


Finally a pic of P-04 that actually shows the colour of my Basaultgrau, not that light blue/grey in the other photos :)



David, who is nearly done with these.

Edited by mirageiv
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That's a real shame about the crazed red on P01. These builds all look fantastic, some seriously tight schemes you've produced. Can't wait to see them all finished.

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Many thanks for the comments chaps, much appreciated.

I finished them today, a few photos before I take some proper ones probably tomorrow :)



P-04 (MW-1 really is a huge piece of kit)




Its been fun for a good cause :)



Edited by mirageiv
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Pics added to gallery but a few more here, 5 for 3 kits is not enough :)












Enjoyed the group build guys, good luck with yours, will be watching :)


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