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I have had an old ESCI Alpha Jet kit for a while & thought it was about time to dig it out.

 

WHqlCbR.jpg
 

I have a Gina too, and a Phantom RF-4E, so maybe a triple set of Luftwaffe builds?

 

While I like the rounded nose French & Italian examples, I think I will go for the pointy nosed German trainer / ground attack version.

 

This one was mint in box

 

LA1aayZ.jpg
 

So what do you get?  Classic ESCI silver (slightly brittle) plastic.  Surface moulded detail that is a bit heavy handed.  Yellowed decals

 

sDARLXh.jpg
 

lQjW4PA.jpg
 

I think the surface detail may go & get rescribed.  Maybe a couple of resin Martin Baker Mk.10s.  Decals sitting on a sunny windowsill getting some sun to bleach the yellow out.  Cut the flaps and pose them down a bit.  The canopy.  I usually pose them open, but this is a one piece canopy and I just don’t think it’s going to cut.  Might have to go with closed.

 

Any advice on building the kit would be appreciated.  I took the main body parts off to see how they fit.  The two body halves are very thin & flex all over the place.  The underneath panel that puts everything in place doesn’t want to fit.  The wing slots are massive for the locating tabs on the wings and tail.  They don’t fit anywhere near snug.  Think this is going to be interesting...
 

Lots of tape & a Hawk for size comparison

 

YMmUDUe.jpg
 

NGoLc84.jpg
 

So let’s see how this one goes.

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Pure nostalgia! ESCI kits of that vintage were a mixed bunch.

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11 minutes ago, Hook said:

Pure nostalgia! ESCI kits of that vintage were a mixed bunch.

Yes definitely a mixed bag but I quite like them.  Just found a picture of a classic German colour scheme one at Wattisham

 

1521587-large.jpg

 

41+27 where as the kit decals are 40+01 but she will look fine with Wattisham Phantoms, visiting Tornado F3 and RAF Hawks.  I am sure there are some pics out there of Alpha Jets visiting Mildenhall Airfetes.  Seen some from Fiarford.

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They certainly were regular visitors to the UK in those days based on photo searches. Even noticed that the full wraparound camo started to appear in 1987. There was a deployment to Waddington with aircraft in both schemes.

 

I thought this photo might be of interest as it’s a good front cockpit photo from 1984. I guess you’ll need to add some detail there  as Esci kits didn’t tend to bother with any cockpit detail.

 

https://abpic.co.uk/pictures/view/1430078

 

Looking forward to your progress. Just don’t put it in your new hangar as you might not be able to find it again!

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Nice one! I’m quite a fan of the old Esci kits, partly for nostalgic reasons as some were very nice whereas others were definitely under par. I remember reading a review of the Alpha Jet kit in an old modelling magazine that was very unflattering about its alleged shape errors, but as I haven’t seen one ‘in the flesh’ I’ll be interested to see what you make of it.

 

I also remember calling in at Llanbedr for a refuel a good few years ago and parking next to a pointy Alpha Jet A in German wraparound camouflage but with RAF roundels that confused the heck out of me. At the time I wondered if it was painted up for a film! Of course, it was one of the first Alpha Jets on the Qinetiq contract.

 

Jon

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On 19/06/2020 at 21:47, bar side said:

 Maybe a couple of resin Martin Baker Mk.10s.

I thought the German Alpha's had the Stencel seat, the French ones originally had MB Mk4's (IIRC).  I could of course be quite wrong but this site agrees.

 

I had one of these kits for ages and sold it on a few years back.

 

ISTR, the review in SAM was critical of the Alpha Jet because it lacked the finesse of the Gina which preceded.

 

Looking forward to seeing how this one turns out.

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Cheers @Filler nice cockpit shot.  Just trying to figure out how different the MB Mk.10 seat and MKF-10LN lightweight seat compare.  Much easier to get a standard Mk.10 resin one.  Did you see the Type C behind the Wattisham Alpha Jet?  That was the original idea.  Build an end as a back scene for photos.

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17 minutes ago, Wez said:

I thought the German Alpha's had the Stencel seat, the French ones originally had MB Mk4's (IIRC).  I could of course be quite wrong but this site agrees.

 

I had one of these kits for ages and sold it on a few years back.

 

ISTR, the review in SAM was critical of the Alpha Jet because it lacked the finesse of the Gina which preceded.

 

Looking forward to seeing how this one turns out.

Yes Wez, you are correct.  I googled Alpha Jet ejection seat and got the Martin Baker answer.  But the German version used the UPC / Stencel S-III-F3 seat instead.  
I have the ESCI Gina too, I will save that one for another day.

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Cheers @Jonners  must get some drawings & have a look at the shape before rushing in.  I did a double take when I first saw a grey green Alpha Jet with RAF roundels.  I usually go for mid 80s so I guess standard and wrap around are options.  Quite like & remember the standard scheme so I think that will be the one.  Then a Gina, then an RF-4E - got those already.  And then maybe a Starfighter?

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Pavla do a Stencel seat for the AV-8 not sure if is a close enough match

 

 

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Nice!

But be prepared for some work! It does not fall together...  ;)

 

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11 minutes ago, exdraken said:

Nice!

But be prepared for some work! It does not fall together...  ;)

 

Yes I found that from the fit of the bits I have taped together so far!

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40 minutes ago, JayBee said:

The Prototypes were fitted with Martin Baker MK 4 seats.

 

See here

Interesting.  Nice clip too.  Did I see a T-33 chase as well as the Gina?  Wonder why the Germans went Stencel sear while the French went MB?  Commonality with other airframes I wonder?

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Lovely to see an Esci kit underway. They were state of the art back in the 70's and 80's. I always had a soft spot for the Alpha jet too.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, bar side said:

Interesting.  Nice clip too.  Did I see a T-33 chase as well as the Gina?  Wonder why the Germans went Stencel sear while the French went MB?  Commonality with other airframes I wonder?

Yes, Fiat G 91 and T-33 of WTD 61 Manching. Maybe The Stencel SIII have better performance compared to MB Mk4. The Luftwaffe Alpha Jet flight profile in action was low flying at high speed. (ground attack, support troops).

 

One of the difference between the early prototypes and the serial aircraft was the slightly different profile infront of the wing and the movement of the wings sawtooth more to the inner side. This modification was needed for better handling and to prevent stall during high turn rates.

 

AFAIK the Esci Alpha Jet wing has the unmodified wing profile of the prototypes.

Edited by JayBee

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I wouldn't mind one of these as an Air Affairs agressor but there are already too many models in the stash I really want to build before I die!

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23 hours ago, JayBee said:

Yes, Fiat G 91 and T-33 of WTD 61 Manching. Maybe The Stencel SIII have better performance compared to MB Mk4. The Luftwaffe Alpha Jet flight profile in action was low flying at high speed. (ground attack, support troops).

 

One of the difference between the early prototypes and the serial aircraft was the slightly different profile infront of the wing and the movement of the wings sawtooth more to the inner side. This modification was needed for better handling and to prevent stall during high turn rates.

 

AFAIK the Esci Alpha Jet wing has the unmodified wing profile of the prototypes.

Good to know.  Will have yo look at that.  I was going to lower the flaps so some wing cutting was in the plan

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You can always use some of the aftermarket sets that are intended for the Kinetic Alpha Jet to improve your kit.

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On 6/24/2020 at 11:07 PM, JayBee said:

Yes, Fiat G 91 and T-33 of WTD 61 Manching. Maybe The Stencel SIII have better performance compared to MB Mk4. The Luftwaffe Alpha Jet flight profile in action was low flying at high speed. (ground attack, support troops).

 

One of the difference between the early prototypes and the serial aircraft was the slightly different profile infront of the wing and the movement of the wings sawtooth more to the inner side. This modification was needed for better handling and to prevent stall during high turn rates.

 

AFAIK the Esci Alpha Jet wing has the unmodified wing profile of the prototypes.

Any idea where I can get a drawing to compare?  I have seen a couple of plan on line but they match pretty closely to the kit.  Possibly the sawtooth is slightly closer to the body?  Been rescribing the wings & cutting out flaps today

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Been rescribing today.  Got it done and sanded back the surface detail.  Before

 

EJyG6TQ.jpg

 

And after with the flaps cut away

 

Zq1Bk7n.jpg
 

One body half done just about to start the other

 

sO42gcD.jpg

 

Both wings with the tabs built up as they were a very sloppy fit

 

aFf3ksb.jpg
 

And starting to put the structural inside parts together.  The body is very flexible & warped.  I think I will glue up the nose, slot in the cockpit, glue the tail and then try to pin together the wheel wells and the lower body panel

 

kLZNm9o.jpg

 

Not a lot of cockpit detail.  Just a few side decals and panel decals.  So could do with adding a little.  New resin seats ordered.

 

So just need to see how the wings need to be adjusted on the leading edges

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Posted (edited)
On 6/26/2020 at 4:35 PM, bar side said:

Any idea where I can get a drawing to compare?  I have seen a couple of plan on line but they match pretty closely to the kit.  Possibly the sawtooth is slightly closer to the body?  Been rescribing the wings & cutting out flaps today

I made a quick picture using my mobile phone and the wings parts of the Esci and Kinetic kit. 

 

I hope this helps to show the difference of the sawtooth position on both wings.

 

spacer.png

Edited by JayBee
Image added

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42 minutes ago, JayBee said:

I made a quick picture using my mobile phone and the wings parts of the Esci and Kinetic kit. 

 

I hope this helps to show the difference of the sawtooth position on both wings.

 

spacer.png

Cheers but it’s not loading I am afraid

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16 hours ago, bar side said:

Cheers but it’s not loading I am afraid

Sorry, I hope it works now. :)

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Better view of plasticard reinforcement around the main undercarriage mounting plate.  It kind of waved about in the air not braced by anything, so I fixed it to one side, braced, reinforced and extended the inner wheel well top to meet the back plate.  Also added a tab under the cockpit to strengthen the join.

 

qJluimx.jpg

 

gave the inside a dust of various greys.  Light grey in the wheel wells & darker in the cockpit.  Now when parked the Alpha Jet usually has the main wheel well doors shut, just the small doors open.  So you can’t see any detail inside.  Building it like this will make it tricky to fit the undercarriage legs at the end of the build.  And the main undercarriage legs could do with being fitted & let dry nice & firm.  Plus with the cockpit going in later there is a good chance to test the centre of balance.  So undercarriage legs have gone on.

 

gngusmp.jpg

 

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