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Mike

Tornado GR.1 "Gulf War" (03892) 1:32

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Tornado GR.1 "Gulf War" (03892)

1:32 Revell

 

boxtop.jpg

 

After the debacle that was the cancellation of the TSR.2, the European nations aligned (for once) in the common need for a new Multi-Role fighter, and partnerships began forming an dissolving, resulting in the joining of British Aerospace (now BAe), Aeritalia and MBB of Italy and Germany, who formed the Panavia company with a view to creating a Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MRCA).  The basic design was a swing-wing airframe to provide good handling at high and low speeds, but with the usual problem of goal-posts being moved, layering additional requirements upon the project that resulted in a larger airframe.  The MRCA first flew in the early 70s, powered by two Rolls Royce RB199 engines, and looking very much like a Tornado, replete with the two seats that were a bone of contention at one point.

 

By the late 70s there were initial airframes with the British and German air forces, and training was undertaken at a joint base at Cottesmore, which stayed open until the beginning of the end of the Tornado in British service.  During service in the RAF it fought in almost all conflicts, except for the Falklands, where the tried and trusted Vulcans were dragged from the brink of retirement, rather than use an as-yet untested airframe so far away from home.  The Gulf War, the Kosovo war and subsequent peace-keeping duties, and Kuwait were amongst the most well-known operations the GR.1 was present for.  In the 1990s the original GR.1s and 1As were upgraded to GR.4/4A standard, which involved many changes to the avionics and a broadening of the weapons it could carry.  The GR.4 saw the RAF to the end of service, with the EF2000 Typhoon, another collaboration with European companies taking its place.

 

 

The Kit

This is of course a reboxing of the pre-millennial tooling from Revell with new decals for the Gulf War aircraft, which are probably the most popular options for a Tonka with many folks for their own reasons.  The original kit is around 20 years old now, and is a very good product of its day, with engraved panel lines, a decent level of detail, and a wide range of aftermarket now available.  Where it does suffer is the intakes, which are hollow, but have no internal trunking, leaving interior and the wing-swing mechanism visible if you don't cover them with FOD guards.  The kit arrives in one of Revell's preferred top opening boxes with seven large sprues in light blue-grey styrene (one cut in half), two of clear parts, the instruction booklet and a colourful decal sheet.  It's been a while since I've perused the sprues of this kit, and I was pleasantly surprised at how modern it looks, with fine engraved panel lines and raised details, a full set of fuel tanks and weaponry, and some good interior detail that will suffice for many, or act as a jumping-off point for detail hounds.  This boxing has the additional parts for the GR.1, which also includes the small clear additional sprue, and while not new it does give the modeller a more accurate finished result.

 

sprue1.jpg

 

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sprue3.jpg

 

sprue4.jpg

 

sprue5.jpg

 

sprue6.jpg

 

sprue7.jpg

 

clear.jpg

 

Construction begins with the two Martin-Baker seats, which are provided with slightly anaemic moulded-in seatbelts that could do with replacing after being scraped off with a sharp blade.  The instrument panels are decent, and with the addition of the rather nice instrument panel decals, they should please a lot of builders.  This carries over to the side consoles that are moulded into the cockpit tub, which is topped and tailed with bulkheads, panels, control columns and rudder pedals before the seats are added, and the single-part nose gear bay is attached underneath.  This part suffers a little from mould-damage inside, with some scuffing in between the ribbing on the bay roof.  Whether this will ever be seen is moot, but it is worth knowing about in advance. 

 

detail-cockpit.jpg

 

detail-ip.jpg

 

The completed assembly is then trapped between the two nose halves, the extra equipment and coaming between the two crew is added, and the HUD on the pilot's coaming is also constructed from two half ramps and a clear part.  The nose cone is separate, and a basic representation of the radar is provided, with nose-weight of 55g suggested to prevent having a tail-sitter on your hands.  Leaving the nose cone closed gives you a lot more space further toward the front of the airframe, losing out on only a little detail and preserving the lines of the aircraft.  The nose cone is moulded as a single part, with an additional ring that attaches to the rear, and either hinges open to reveal the radar, or is fitted shut as already mentioned.

 

The Tornado is a variable-geometry fighter, with wings that can swing back and forth, requiring the weapons pylons to also be able to rotate to follow the line of flight.  Revell's engineers have managed to mimic the wing swing in styrene, but you will need to be careful with the glue and paint if you want to retain that past the build stage.  The pylons are built up first, and have pivots and cams moulded into the tops, which will allow you to move the pylons manually later, while the wings have a sector cog on their roots, which mesh together, and permit their synchronised pivoting once they are in the fuselage.  They are formed into an assembly by the addition of a rail top and bottom, and are then set to the side while the elevators and main fuselage are made up.  The lower fuselage has the main gear bays fitted to the apertures, the wing-root gloves added to the sides, and a bulkhead with simple engine faces moulded into the front.  The inflatable bags that seal the wing against the fuselage during pivoting are simple plastic, which might not suit modellers looking for accuracy, as their shape changes with the angle of the wing.  There are aftermarket parts to help out here if you don't feel up to the task of adapting them yourself, but if you want to leave the wings able to pivot, you'll have to leave the parts as standard.  The wings and elevators are then fitted into the lower half and the upper section is dropped on top, with a pair of holes drilled in the spine for the later fitting of a couple of blade antennae.

 

One of the Tornado's nicknames (of unknown origin) is the Fin, due to the massive tail fin that makes it easy to see across a busy airfield.  It has two main parts, plus an electronics lump on the leading edge, a hollow intake at the root, and a pen-nib fairing at the bottom of the moulded-in rudder.  The twin exhausts are moulded with their trunking integrally, and these two parts drop into the rear fairing, which has much of the thrust-reversing bucket structure moulded-in, with two small parts between the exhausts added to depict the mechanism, and a pair of exhaust petals that finish off the area.  With this last subassembly completed, the nose, fuselage, tail and exhausts are brought together, and joined by the two substantial intake ramps that fix to the fuselage sides via two pegs, and should stand proud of the upper fuselage by a fraction by design.  The internal ramps inside the intake are separate to the main parts, but the trunking finishes there, which is why you'll see a lot of Tornados with FOD guards in place at model shows.  At the rear the two air-brakes are separate, with an actuator jack each to set them to the correct angle, but they are equally at home flush with the fuselage to retain the clean lines of the aircraft.

 

The tricycle landing gear of the Tonka is well-depicted, with a single strut at the nose, with twin wheels that have a flat-spot to depict weight.  The bay doors all attach to the edges by small tabs, which are cut off if you plan on modelling your Tornado wheels up.  The main gear struts are similarly detailed, with the forest of hoses moulded-in and the retraction mechanism shown in detail.  Each leg has one larger tyre, which are also weighted for realism, and the same bay doors can be used in-flight as well as with the gear down.  The nose of the Tornado is festooned with aerials and the distinctive FLIR pod with its clear window are supplied, plus various other aerials around the airframe.  The rather "scabbed-on" refuelling probe runs down the cockpit side, and can be posed opened or closed next to the canopy, which is moulded in windscreen and canopy parts, with a support included to prop the canopy open. 

 

Apart from some small parts on the tail, the airframe is now complete, and it's a case of choosing a weapons load-out, which Revell have been proactive about, and have supplied three different options for you to choose from.  You can of course go your own way too, but having three actual loads to choose from is a good start.  The first item are the centreline rails, which need some holes drilling according to a diagram.  They are detailed with cleats and shackles, then all three are glued to the flat underside of the fuselage ready for your chosen load.  Included in the box are the following:

 

2 x 1,500L tank

1 x BOZ 101 chaff and flare pod

AIM-7L Sidewinder A2A missile

1 x Sky Shadow ECM pod

2 x 2,250L tank

2 x 1,000lb LGB

4 x 1,000lb iron bomb

 

Markings

There are two options in the box, and you'd be right if you guessed that they were both painted in desert pink.  From the box you can build one of the following:

 

  • "Foxy Killer" RAF detatchment, Tabuk AB, Saudi Arabia 1991
  • "Nikki" RAF detatchment, Muharraq AB, Bahrain 1991

 

decals.jpg

 

The decals are printed in Italy for Revell by Zannetti, in good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin matt/gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas.  The weapons are shown on the last page of the markings guide, with stencils provided on the sheet.

 

Conclusion

If you want a 1:32 Tornado, then this is the one.  It's an older model, but it checks out with a few caveats mentioned above.  It's still a good kit, decent value, and boy does it look smart once built up.

 

Highly recommended.

 

Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit

 logo-revell-2009.gif t_logo-a.png or facebook.gif

 

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The nose art is a little disappointing. The text on the nose for Foxy Killer where it lists A & B team should be red outlined in black, these look just to be black. For Snoopy the bomb and panel in front appear to be too dark. Aain with Nikki the panels appear to be too dark.

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2 hours ago, tinytuco said:

Luckily we won't be building the box art, nice review of what is bound to be a very popular kit 😎

Never noticed, not enough bombs in there for that. 

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Bummer....no JP233's.  

 

Believe the standard iron bomb loadout was 8, not 4 at least in the early stages of DS1.  

 

Cheers

Collin

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3 hours ago, Collin said:

Bummer....no JP233's.  

 

Believe the standard iron bomb loadout was 8, not 4 at least in the early stages of DS1.  

 

Cheers

Collin

Quite right. For this "Gulf War" release and new sprue with a couple of JP233s, 8 UK Bombs ad 4 twin store adaptors would not have been that hard to do?

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