Jump to content

Fouga CM.170 Magister "Exotic Air Forces" - 1:72 Special Hobby


Recommended Posts

Fouga CM.170 Magister "Exotic Air Forces"
1:72 Special Hobby



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
The kit arrives on four sprues of grey plastic, a clear sprue, and a small resin block with 5 smaller parts on it. The plastic parts are of excellent quality, the panel lines are engraved and deep enough to be seen after painting without being trenches. Care will be needed to take some of the smaller parts of the sprue, and it might have been the case that these would have been better in photo-etch? The clear parts are crisp, clear and thin. The resin parts are for the under-fuselage antenna fitted to the Algerian and Moroccan examples. To be honest these parts are very small and I am not sure how you would remove them without damaging them. In this review sample one of the parts has broken off at some time and there is no sign of it despite the parts being in their own separate bag.





Construction starts in the cockpit area. The front and rear instrument panels are fitted (instrument faces are provided as decals), along with the seat supports for the front cockpit. The seats are added along with the engine and flight controls. Once complete the cockpit can be set aside. Attention then moves to the engine pods on each side of the fuselage. Engine fan faces and exhaust need to be placed inside and then the inner side of the engine trunking can be added. At the rear of each side the final exhaust section is added. Once the engines are complete then cockpit can be placed inside the main fuselage, and this then closed up. The radio equipment area to the rear of the cockpit is also added at this time. Various antenna behind the cockpits then need to be added and/or removed depending upon the version being modelled.










Once the main fuselage is together work needs doing on both ends. At the rear the tail cone is added along with ventral strake. The 'V' tails are then added, care being taken with the small hinges for these. At the front the first part to me made up is the underside of the nose where the nose gear mounts. This attached inside the nose cone and the appropriate gun/no gun insert is attached to the top of the nose. The prominent nose mounted VOR antenna loops are added and the nose attached to the main fuselage.





Construction then moves to the wings. These are of conventional upper & lower construction. The wheel wells are mounted into the wings before they are closed up, along with the wing mounted air-brakes. These can be modelled in with the deployed or retracted positions. The wing end mounted fuel tanks are in two halves, with the bottom being moulded to the upper wing, and then a lower fuel tank part is added. The clear noses can then be added to the front of the fuel tanks.






The landing gear is then added to the model. The front single nose wheel is two parts and this is added to the main leg, this is then mounted to the nose of the aircraft. The single front gear door is added. The main wheels though larger than the nose wheel are single parts. These are fitted to the main legs, the legs along with their retraction struts are added into the main gear bays. The three part main gear doors are added. If needed armament can now be added to the model. Bombs and rocket pods are included to be used as wished by the modeller. To finish off the model the canopies can be added in the raised or lowered positions.






The decals are printed by Cartograf and are excellent. They are crisp, clear and in register. The dayglo stripes have been washed out by the scanner but they are as you would expect on the actual sheet. Markings are provided for four examples;










  • Ugandan Peoples Defence Air Force School, Entebbe late 1960's. Supplied by Israel along with training personnel following Congolese attacks in 1965. In Israeli camo.
  • NT-44 Algerian Air Force, Air Force School at Tafraoui, early 1980s.
  • L602 Lebanese Air Force. Ex Luftwaffe aircraft delivered in 1965. Now on display at the Air Force museum in Rayaq.
  • Royal Moroccan Air Force, used in the 1963 war with Algeria.


This is a welcome new tool of an important and widely used trainer/light attack aircraft. The kit is highly detailed and should build upto an impressive if small model. Very highly recommended.








Review sample courtesy of

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's a nice kit and shares the same plastic as the CM.175 Zephyr, the instructions are specific to the individual boxings though.

This is a big improvement on the Heller kit.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

At the risk of stating the obvious, It looks a lot better than the Valom kit on my shelf of doom.

I dont have the Valom kit, so will take your word on that. It is better than the Airfix and Heller kits I have.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

I dont have the Valom kit, so will take your word on that. It is better than the Airfix and Heller kits I have.


Overly fussy cockpit assembly. Very poor locating points, especially tail. Average PE Fret with flat "Nose handles", average resin, with seats for some reason and poorly fitting transparencies (comes with a slip stuck to the instruction sheet telling you to bevel the edges for a better fit)
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Julien, and John for the comments on Valom Fouga.

I'll certainly get one, or two, together with some F1 and Alizé, even if this last one is a bit pricey to my taste.

SH are really producing some good product at the moment. As for the Alize I can see why its more expensive given how many I think they will sell. The Mirage F.1 and Magister had many more users and much more a mainstream aircraft.

Ffrom deserve praise for bringing it to market. Just my thoughts.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

As for the Alize I can see why its more expensive given how many I think they will sell.

Can't see that as a reason, Julien, as producing non-mainstream aircraft kits is kind of their trademark.

And most of them in this category are not so pricey.

But still, I'm very happy to see this Alizé coming to us in this scale.

I want first an Indian machine, then certainly a French one in its last version.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 years later...

I’m in the middle of a build of this kit now. My observations so far - lots of flash!, the upper nose cone (gun/no guns) is not a good fit. Generally a good, well detailed kit.



  • Like 1
Link to comment
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...