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I've reached an impasse with the Phantom as I wait for the tailplanes to arrive and try to find some underwing serials.

 

So, I may as well start another kit to be going on with, and what better than the familiar and rather fabulous Tornado? Again, a type that seemed prematurely withdrawn despite so many commitments abroad, it was only a few years ago we had eleven squadrons of these!

 

I'll be doing it in grey/green camo, as I don't like the bland overall grey, which to me signalled the beginning of the end not only for the type in service (along with the Jag, Buccaneer, Phantom and Harrier), but also my interest in spotting. As the colours and variety diminished, so did my interest in hanging around at fences and crash gates with a big camera. 

 

But, to bring back those halcyon days of the RAF, this Tornado will probably be a 27 Sqn jet from Marham, although I have a nagging possibility of a fully armed RAFG one! Let's see how it goes.

 

It was an ebay bargain, so no box! But all the parts are here, and I've a random selection of markings to choose from:

 

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Always in for a Tornado build, is this the Revell IDS? I think it was airframe hours that did the Tornado in the end, we worked them hard.

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It's the Italeri 'Black Panther' kit, but I'll be doing her as RAF.

 

Yes, they certainly earned their corn over their 40 years didn't they. Hard to believe it was that long ago they entered service. One knows one is getting old when they still seem like modern jets!

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I remember reading about that, interesting story. Very strange that the Yanks were so paranoid given our 'special relationship'! 

 

I'm thinking 16 Sqn could be an option, yes, already got the decals. Not got an F-117 zap though!

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3 hours ago, Lord Riot said:

I'm thinking 16 Sqn could be an option, yes, already got the decals. Not got an F-117 zap though!

It looks sprayed on, so a mask would look good, but the yellow and black squadron codes are tricky.

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7 hours ago, Lord Riot said:

It's the Italeri 'Black Panther' kit, but I'll be doing her as RAF.

 

Yes, they certainly earned their corn over their 40 years didn't they. Hard to believe it was that long ago they entered service. One knows one is getting old when they still seem like modern jets!

I worked on them from 84 to 88, before heading off to the land of the petrodollar to train their technicians for 12 years... Nice to see someone doing a green/grey GR1! I know what you mean about getting old, some I worked on are in museums...lol.

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That sounds brilliant @Tornadofairy. Tbh what inspired this build was a video someone posted on the Tornado Facebook page, of the legendary Windsor Davies talking about HAS hazards! I assume it was done at Marham as there was a lovely 27 sqn Tornado in the HAS.

 

Green and grey is the only real scheme for them in my eyes. Only Phantoms and Lightnings were grey.

 

Anyway, I've made a start on the office. No decals again, so the trusty biro had to come out. I can't paint this small.

 

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Something doesn't look quite right with the fuel tanks ...

 

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Some of the main airframe parts fitted together now, they fit nicely with minimum sanding and so far no filler required!

 

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Front section with cockpit assembled too.

 

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Although I am a bit of a clumsy oaf, I still fancy you'd better keep the filler at hand. And it might be worth a bit of research into the wing gloves (I think that's the right name for the parts that fit to the intakes and cover the wing leading edge). On the F.3 I'm eternally building, they were a right pain and after much work to get them together, they left a gap between the front edge of the wing and the glove too.

 

Good work so far though. And I'm sure you'll finish this well before I do my ADV. I've been going 12 months so far! I might return to the decaling tonight - maybe.

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Thanks Phil! Funny you should mention the intakes, I haven't got to the gloves yet but the boxy intakes themselves were pretty difficult to fit together neatly. They need a lot of squeezing and lining up. Hopefully they won't pop apart when I take the tape off!

 

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Starting to look a bit like a Tornado now anyway ...

 

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Despite drying overnight with masking tape holding it in place, the forward fuselage just broke off under slight pressure!

 

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I'm not that convinced by Tamiya liquid glue for large areas, so I thought I'd go old school and use proper glue like in the 80s, big dollops of it all over some spare plastic I cut up to give it more hold. 

 

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Not only that but the intakes are unfeasibly over-complicated. Why did they need to make them in three parts!? They don't look quite right on the top either, too sloped compared with the flat topped Airfix ones. Shouldn't the cross section be perfectly rectangular?

 

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I had to cut a piece of sprue to keep the surface flush with the inner edge piece too. They're really not a great fit. And more gluing and squeezing needed.

 

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Which is the best 1/48 Tornado kit for making an RAF GR1? I've seen some bad reviews of the Airfix one but it was much better than this.

 

 

 

 

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...which isn't without it's own challenges, but at least those are well documented (from reading a lot of builds here).

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From my understanding, none of them are great. Revell ultimately is the best but you need to perform surgery on the wing sweep for starters and then the flaps and slats sound a nightmare and the instructions are wrong or misleading. Italeri's is a swine to put together and lacks detail but does more or less provide a pretty faithful shape representation (front base of tail excepted). The HobbyBoss kit has some nice detail if somewhat simplified in the slats and flaps area and has a shape issue around the cockpit area. The Airfix kit is seldom seen built and never gets much praise, but aside that I know little about it. One thing is for sure, with misshaped fins and incorrect wing sweeps, canopies, etc and phenomenal amounts of aftermarket provided for all the kits, Revell is the best of a difficult bunch in my eyes.

 

All said, I've seen finished builds on here of all types and they all look very much like Tornados to me. I bet a lot of people on here can do a lot better with an OOB Airfix kit than I could with a Revell and 50 quids worth of aftermarket.

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I agree, some of the builds you see on here are amazing aren't they, not sure how anyone can achieve such results really, especially with old/poor kits. 

 

I might have to look for a Revell one I think, this Italeri kit seems very basic. Maybe it'll improve as it comes together.

 

At least I've joined it up again now, more firmly this time!

 

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The forward RWR looked too long so I filed it down to match the Airfix one.

 

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The intakes can only be described as 'ill-fitting'. 

 

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After a fair bit of sanding and smoothing, then rescribing some of the lines, this is how they look now. I think once the camo is on they'll look acceptable. 

 

The wing gloves were a poor fit too, but again I've sanded them down and just added a bit of filler. As you can see, the wheel well partly came away under the stress of so much sanding, thankfully I'd taped one end of it down inside so I was able to glue the edges and squeeze it down again with a long file pushed down the intake! It's hard work this kit! I hope it doesn't look a noticeably different shape to my Airfix one when it's done. I might stick to one brand for the same types in future so at least they'll all look identical like on a real flightline.

 

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It's definitely a battle around the intakes and wing gloves but it looks like you've beaten it into submission.

 

That's a good point about sticking to one kit. I went to the Bolton IPMS show the other week and visited the Harrier SIG table. All the models were brilliant, but the difference between the Airfix and Kinetic is stark. They both look a lot like Harriers, but the Airfix version looks like someone has squashed the canopy/nose in a giant vice. It's really put me off my Airfix Harrier GR.3 I was going to build. Might sell it and put it towards buying a Kinetic one (when they get released).

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I've added a couple of tiny aerial things that aren't included in the kit.

 

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I used my previous Tornado as a camouflage guide as the pattern just seemed a bit off in places in the instructions.

 

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There are more fun ways to spend a Friday afternoon! ...

 

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Finally wormed and bagged up though and I've since sprayed on the grey. 

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I wasn't that happy with how the spray had come out, so I gave it a coat of dirt wash and I think it's improved it a bit. 

 

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Tornado progress ...

 

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Free standing now! Always a relief when they don't tail sit.

 

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I'm going to add quite a few stores this time, the two tanks plus chaff dispenser and radar pod thing, but what would be relevant to put under the fuselage? 

 

Would an RAFG Tornado have carried an acquisition round Sidewinder under the inner pylon too, or would these usually be empty?

 

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I thought these long narrow decals would be a nightmare but they actually slid on quite nicely.

 

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Good job. I struggled with the ones in my ADV boxing as they broke up quite a bit.

 

How did you get on with the main wheel well doors? I found them an odd fit as they just hang there by one tab. I found getting them positioned symmetrically a fiddle.

 

 

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