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Julien

Aero L-29 Delfín - 1:72 AdvantGarde Model Kits

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Aero L-29 Delfín
1:72 AdvantGarde Model Kits


2901.JPG


Designed in Czechoslovakia in the 1960s, the Delfín was a two-seat military jet trainer used by the Warsaw Pact countries that is still in operation with some countries and in private hands today. It is simple in construction and cheap to operate, with a good safety record due to its pleasant handling characteristics, which endears it to the cost conscious and anyone wishing to stay alive. Over 3,600 were made, and due to their use by the Soviet Air Force, they were dubbed "Maya" under the NATO reporting coding.

As well as flight training, the Delfín is equipped with hard points to allow it to be used in weapons training, which has inevitably led to it being used in action on occasion most notably during the Yom Kippur war, but also in other "low level" conflicts over time. It has been gradually replaced by the L-39 Albatros, but still finds use with private operators for air racing, experimental flights as well as joy-rides. The Sasol Tigers in South Africa fly the L-29 as an acrobatic team, and the low cost of ownership has made it a popular entry into jet-powered flying.

The Kit
It is good to see AMK reducing their excellent 1.48 kit down for modellers of the one true scale :) The kit arrives on two main sprues of grey plastic, with a further double small sprue for the tanks & seats. There is a clear sprue with separate front/rear canopies, and a small photo-etched fret. The quality of the moulds is very good. All the parts are crisp with no flash or moulding problems visible. All the panel lines are finely recessed and the moulded on details are very good.

2902.JPG


Construction starts in the cockpit. The two seats are constructed, these have five parts each and for the scale are very good. The instrument panels are added to the cockpit tub, along with the coamings and control columns. Instruments are provided as decals. The seat rails are then installed into the cockpit tub followed by the already completed seats. Next up the nose landing gear bay is assembled along with the four part exhaust. Once these sub assemblies are complete they along with the cockpit tub can be installed into the main fuselage. The rear decking behind the cockpit is added and then the main fuselage can be closed up.

2903.JPG


Nest up are the wings. These are midway up the fuselage so you have separate left/right wings to complete. They can be modelled with the flaps up or down. If doing the flaps down then that where the photo-etched parts come into play as they provide the complex interior to the flaps. As well as these the intake parts must be placed into the wings before they are closed up. Once made the wings can be joined to the fuselage.

2904.JPG


Various antenna are then added to the fuselage. Many of these are on the centre line and it shows attention to detail that they are added as additional parts rather than being moulded onto the fuselage halves. The horizontal stabiliser is then made up and added along with the rudder. The last major step is the construction of the landing gear. The front wheel is one part added to its leg, and the rear wheels consist of separate tyres and hubs. These are added to the legs along with the outer gear door parts. The rear airbrakes can be modelled open or closed, and the underwing tanks added. Lastly the front nose cover is added along with the canopies.

2905.JPG



Markings
The L-29 was used by a wide variety of operators, so the choice of marking is quite wide. AMK have elected to offer
  • USSR Air Force Red 07 silver with red wing & tail tips and fuselage band.
  • Czechoslovak 1978 overall silver.
  • Czechoslovak late1970's overall silver with red fuselage band.
  • Egyptian Air Force College Bilbeis. Sand/brown/green over red undersides.
  • German Democratic Republic Air Force 338 green/brown camouflage over light blue undersides.
  • Ukraine - Aeroclub of Kharkiv 2010 (as box art).
The decals are glossy, in register and look colour dense. The carrier film appears minimal.

2906.JPG


Conclusion
This is a great little kit from AMK. Highly recommended. We need more great kits like this in 1.72.



Review sample courtesy of
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