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Saab AJS-37 Viggen "The Show Must Go On"


Julien
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Saab AJS-37 Viggen "The Show Must Go On"
1:48 Special Hobby


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The Viggen was Sweden's Cold War fighter, which began service in the early 1970s with the AJ variant, which was primarily a ground attack aircraft that could also perform the fighter role if necessary. It was a tad shorter than the later JA, with a slightly different cockpit arrangement and a less powerful engine. Over a hundred were built, with roughly half of them converted to AJS standard at the end of the 90s with improved avionics and software. The last of these upgraded AJs were taken out of service in 2005.

The Kit
The initial Tarangus release of the JA-37 was a collaboration with MPM the parent company of Special Hobby. This latest boxing gives us an eye catching all over Red Paint scheme. The initial release was well received for the most part, but like all model kits, some issues have been pointed out with varying degrees of hysteria, and as this is ostensibly the same moulding, many of those issues will apply to this kit. It is still a modern and mainly accurate tooling of an important Swedish aircraft, and should give any modeller plenty of enjoyment during the build, and it will of course look great in your cabinet.

 

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Inside the box it is almost the same plastic as the Tarangus edition, with only the gun-pack sprue missing, which also included the extension tube for the JA and the cockpit for that version. There are six sprues of mid-grey styrene, plus one of clear parts, a small Photo-Etch (PE) fret that is also pre-painted, and a decal sheet. The A4 instruction booklet is printed on thin glossy paper in full colour, which is rather helpful during construction, and the large size of the construction steps is welcome to this modeller and his failing eyesight.

As construction is almost identical to that of the JA, which you can follow here I won't go over it all again, as aside from the lack of extension ring and the different cockpit tub and panel, it's near identical. I will however remind you that the detail in the main areas of interest is very good for injection moulded styrene, and the engine rear is superb. The cockpit is the recipient of the majority of the additional PE, which is decked out with a pre-painted instrument panel, side consoles and seatbelts, plus additional detail on the side of the seat, a pair of replacement rudder pedals and additional sidewall details. A trio of rear-view mirrors are also provided for the canopy when it is fitted later in the build. The gear bays are all well detailed, and as the inner main bay doors are usually closed when on the ground, no additional detail would be seen without the aid of a torch and the risk of a sore neck.

 

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The only items available in the box that you can hang from any of the pylons are a choice of centreline tank with either three or four fins, which fit to a stubby pylon just aft of a centreline intake fairing. It would have been nice to have some additional weapons included, but as the Viggen was often seen with just tankage, it's not a major thing.

Decals
The re-release gives markings for one certainly eye catching all over red scheme to commemorate the Viggen leaving service to be replaced by the JAS-39 Gripen. There are large white Ghosts for the top & undersides of the wings and smaller ones for the tail, along with the white text for the sides. 

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The decals are well printed, with good register, colour density and sharpness,they are printed by aviprint with a small sheet for the very limited other markings this aircraft carried.

Conclusion
Another welcome kit of this superb Cold War Warrior, and with the addition of some PE to detail up the cockpit coupled with a reduction in price, it deserves to sell well. For the detail and accuracy minded, check the forums for information about the corrections needed to improve the kit further.

Highly recommended if you want a different looking Viggen.

 

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Review sample courtesy of
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  • 2 weeks later...
18 hours ago, exdraken said:

Thanks for the comprehensive review!

 

A 2nd marking option would have been nice though!

Thanks on the first part, and 100% agreement on the second.

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