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TSR.2MS


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TSR.2MS

1:72 Airfix

TSR.2boxtop.jpg

Although the TSR.2 is one of the few aircraft that requires no introduction, the fictional MS version that is the subject of this release from Airfix may be less familiar. The TSR.2MS is the star of Stratos 4, a Japanese anime show screened in 2003. In the show, an agency established by the United Nations is tasked with protecting the earth from the danger of approaching comets. The TSR.2MS is used by the agency as an interceptor, launched vertically with the assistance of rocket propulsion and tasked with destroying meteorites using the large missile carried under the fuselage. In the series, the aircraft are piloted by a team of teenage girls, whose images adorn the box artwork. All very wholesome, I’m sure. In a later series, the TSR.2MS is replaced by a fictional variant of the MiG-31 interceptor.

TSR.2sprue1.jpg

TSR.2sprue2.jpg

The kit arrives in an end-opening box, albeit a very sturdy corrugated one. The box sports a different style of artwork to the new Airfix style to which we have become accustomed, and this immediately sets this release apart from the current crop of Airfix kits. Inside are six sprues of white plastic, a single clear sprue and a fairly large stand moulded in black plastic. The package is rounded off by a large instruction book, full colour painting guide and a fairly large decal sheet.

TSR.2sprue3.jpg

TSR.2sprue4.jpg

TSR.2sprue5.jpg

Those familiar with Airfix’s original boxing of the TSR.2 in this scale will already know what to expect from this release. The components of the kit are nicely moulded, panel lines are finely engraved and the level of detail is reasonably good for the scale. Fans of the TSR.2 will not be disappointed by this release as everything you need to build the original aircraft is included in the box. Conversion to the fictional MS version is achieved by using the parts contained on the additional sprue. This contains a new cockpit and canopy, rocket motors, a large missile and some other additional details.

TSR.2sprue6.jpg

As there are a number of differences between the real TSR.2 and the anime version, Airfix have split instructions into two halves. The first half deals with construction of the MS version, and the second half with the real thing. Airfix are to be applauded for taking this step as it makes things much easier to follow for the builder. Those choosing to build the MS version will have to be prepared for a little surgery here and there, but nothing too taxing. The new cockpit (featuring pilots in the prone position) is a straightforward swap. The new canopy, on the other hand, requires the moulded-in division between the front and rear cockpits to be cut away. Construction then proceeds more-or-less conventionally, with a couple more cuts required around the jet exhaust and the rear fuselage for the in-flight stand.

TSR.2sprue8.jpg

All other differences are taken care of by additional sub assemblies that simply fit in place around the existing airframe. These mainly consist of the huge missile mounted under the fuselage, rocket motors under the wings and at the base of the vertical tail, and small fences on the top of the wings. The undercarriage doors must be fixed in the closed position, and care will have to be taken to ensure these parts fit properly.

Those who choose to build the more traditional (but only slightly less space-age) variant of the TSR.2 can set the extra sprue aside and flip straight to the second half of the instruction book. Construction proceeds in the usual fashion, and the builder has plenty of options to think about, with the canopies, undercarriage doors, ordnance bay doors and airbrakes all fully poseable.

TSR.2sprue7.jpg

The transparent parts are reasonably thin and very clear, although the raised detail is not particularly well defined, so careful masking will be needed.

TSR.2decals.jpg

Four marking options are provided: a single option for the TSR.2MS, and all three of the completed TSR.2 prototypes. Decals look nicely printed and look reasonably thin with a slightly satin finish.

Conclusion

This is a very welcome return for a desirable kit that had become quite difficult to obtain for a reasonable price, particularly so for those modellers (like me) who were not active in the hobby when the kit was originally release in 2006. A wealth of aftermarket parts are still available for the kit, including resin, etch and decals, thus ensuring those with a penchant for detail are well catered for. Highly recommended.

Review sample courtesy of logo.gif

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Those familiar with Airfix’s original boxing of the TSR.2 in this scale will already know what to expect from this release. The components of the kit are nicely moulded, panel lines are finely engraved and the level of detail is reasonably good for the scale. Fans of the TSR.2 will not be disappointed by this release as everything you need to build the original aircraft is included in the box. Conversion to the fictional MS version is achieved by using the parts contained on the additional sprue. This contains a new cockpit and canopy, rocket motors, a large missile and some other additional details.

TSR.2sprue6.jpg

Mmm. wonder what the missing bit bottom left is for.......

Four marking options are provided: a single option for the TSR.2MS, and all three of the completed TSR.2 prototypes. Decals look nicely printed and look reasonably thin with a slightly satin finish.

TSR.2decals.jpg

Those look better printed than the originals - will there be a market trading TSR2 decals with Sci-Fi modellers?

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Thought I saw there were some figures with the Stratos 4 boxing?

Assumed it would be some chaps other than the jockeys.

edit: the ad just says two pilots.

some Anime crew would have been better. :P

Edited by walrus
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Just a correction, the "wing fences" on the MS version in step 14 are actually on the bottom of the wing and are the attachment rails for the RATO's.

The omitted section of the sprue is for a high yield Trident Missile, which featured in Stratos4 X-2 "Dispersion" and is used to destroy the damaged Orbital Station 7 when it's orbit decays and it enters the earths atmosphere.

2 MS crew are provided ( in 4 pieces each, bottom right of the sprue) along with 2 regular pilots from the original release.

Edited by Richard M
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Hi Richard, does that mean Airfix are going to re-release it again with the Trident Missile?

Paul Harrison

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  • 4 years later...

Airfix needs to reissue the 1/48 TSR.2...whistle.gif

EXACTLY!!!! Whiffers can't do their job (in my opinion) if the essence of the whiff community is a rare kit which is out of production... Airfix if you are reading this, please re-issue the 1:48 and 1:72 version (with a corrected fuselage on the 1:48 version to get rid of that weird and ugly bulge...)

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