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Alenia Aermacchi M-346 Master (K48063) - 1:48 Kinetic Model


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Alenia Aermacchi M-346 Master (K48063)

1:48 Kinetic Model

 

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The M346 is an advanced trainer  / light attack aircraft from Alenoa Aermacchi. If the aircraft looks remarkably similar to the new YAK-130 its because the aircraft was originally developed in partnership with Yakolev. Both companies originally agreed to work with each other in 1991 to compete against Mikoyan. Aermacchi gained the rights to modify and market the design for western market. Even though Aermacchi owned 50% of the venture (with Yakolev 25% & Sokol 25%) they were increasingly putting money in due to lack of Russian support. The companies parted ways in 2000 with Yakolev being paid $77 million for technical documents.  The agreement between the companies allows Yakolev to market the Aircraft in former USSR countries, India, Slovakia and Algeria leaving Aermacchi everywhere else. The M346 is a highly modified version of the original aircraft with engines from Honeywell and flight controls from BAe systems.  As well as Italian Air Force the aircraft has been bought by Israel, Poland, Singapore, and Turkmenistan. 

 

 

The Kit

This is a new tool from Kinetic. The Box top is branded as Kinetic Gold, with no explanation anywhere to what makes it a "Gold" kit.  As well as the separate fuselage halves there are three spures of plastic for the kit, 2 armament sprues, a clear spure and a small sheet of PE in the box.

 

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Construction begins with the ejection seats, these are a multi part affair with plastic and PE parts being used. The cockpit tub is then built up. At the front the instrument panels, front & rear coaming, and HUDs are added, the side consoles and rear bulkhead follow. The seats are then fitted it. Next up the front wheel bay and leg are built up and out to one side, followed by the main wheel bays. The full length intakes and exhaust cans are then built up. Next attention is turned to the wings. The upper wings are moulded to the upper fuselage and the lower wings must then be added. If you are fitting the pylons then the holes for these need to be opened up.

 

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The reason for all the sub assemblies now becomes apparent. The nose gear front in the front section of the lower fuselage and some side parts are added. The intakes and fan fronts are then added in along with the exhausts. The cockpit section has the nose front sides added and the this is attached to the lower fuselage. The upper fuselage can then be added it. The main gears can then be made up and added along with the leading edges to the intakes.  All the control surfaces and now made up and including the tail. These are now added along with the tail planes. The kit provides separate flaps, slats and rudder. The nose cone is then added. The prototypes having an instrumented probe, but a simple cone for the production models. A variety of PE parts and aerial are added to the airframe. The large ventral airbrake can be posed open or closed. Two canopies are provided a clear one, and on with det cord moulded in. No mention is made o which to use so again the modeller will have to check their references. Pylons and then weapons may be added as needed. 

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Armament

Kinetic have included a generic weapons sprue as used in some of their other kits. The modeller will need to use their references to see which if any can be used.

 

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Markings

There are 6 options on the decal sheet. This has been designed by Israldecal and printed by Cartograf so there should be no issues with it.  There is also a supplementary sheet with weapons markings on it these are also printed by Cartograf. The six options are;

 

  1. Prototype 001 (Blue Aircraft)
  2. Initial Production Aircraft (Red Aircraft)
  3. Lavi 102 - Israeli Air Force
  4. 325 - Republic Of Singapore Air Force
  5. 7701 - Polish Air Force
  6. 61-10 - Italian Air Force

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You can find a colour copy of the instructions and profiles here, although the product hasn't yet been added to the product listing on the Kinetic website.

 

 

Conclusion

This is a great new tool from Kinetic of one of the latest trainers / light attack aircraft to hit the market. The moulding are clean and crisp with fine panel lines and good detail throughout. Highly Recommended. 

 

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