AIRCRAFT KITS

CAMOUFLAGED FOXBAT

1/48

MiG-25RBF

By: ICM Item no: 48904

Price: £43.99

Web: www.icm.com.ua

ICM’s latest MiG-25 is the first ever kit of the RBF electronic intelligence (ELINT) reconnaissance variant. Seven of the beautifully moulded styrene runners are shared with previous Foxbat-B reconnaissance releases, offering full-length intakes and nozzles, poseable flaps and ailerons, a sumptuous cockpit, plus there’s a new frame for the RBF’s ELINT-equipped nose cone. This appears to have the correct shape, but has one or two minor panel line errors, the most noticeable being the type’s distinctive radome ‘cut out’ on the top. Note, standard wing fences are included, but this version was equipped with ASO chaff/flare dispensers, so modellers will need to find aftermarket replacements or scratch-build them. Three liveries are supplied:

• Red 20, 47th GRAP, Shatalovo, August 2001

• Red 38, 931st OGRAP, Weneuchen AB, Germany, 1991

• Red 48, 47th GRAP, Shatalovo, 2001

DESERT STEALTH

1/48

F-117A Nighthawk

By: Italeri

Item no: 2750 Price: £24.99

Web: www.hobbyco.net

Italeri’s 1/48 F-117 was first released in 1990, when little was known about the type, and the re-released kit appears unchanged, with raised panel lines and incorrect bomb bay. The decal sheet is another issue, though, and offers a superb selection, plus full airframe stencilling.

There is a well-appointed cockpit, featuring a neat four-piece ACES II ejection seat, but the instrument panel is inaccurate. That said, for modellers wanting a basic F-117, this is an ideal option. Of the seven markings choices, six are for 1991 First Gulf War participants:

• 85-0825 ‘Mad Max’, 415th TFS

• 85-0813 ‘The Toxic Avenger’, 416th TFS

• 85-0832 ‘Once Bitten’, 416th TFS

• 82-0810 ‘Dark Angel’, 416th TFS

• 82-0803 ‘Unexpected Guest’, 416th TFS

• 85-0814 ‘Final Verdict’, 416th TFS

• 78-783, Air Force Flight Test Centre, Edwards AFB, 2005

DOLPHIN TEACHER

1/48

L-29 Delfin

By: Eduard

Item no: 8464 Price: €29.95

Web: www.eduard.com

After many years of neglect, Aero’s L-29 trainer is now well catered for in 1/48 scale, and Eduard has repackaged AMK’s styrene as a 'Weekend' release. A small photo-etched brass fret is included, for airframe antennas and airbrake hinges, although this just replicates items from the original kit. The finely moulded components, provided on six runners, exude refinement, from the integrally moulded cockpit sidewalls and undercarriage bays to the intricate five-piece ejection seats and full-length exhaust. Despite the styrene’s quality, the decals take the top prize, with individual ‘tiger stripes’ for the main scheme, and full-length ejection seat harnesses, which should make painting simpler. The two options are:

• 2853, 1st Flight, 11th Ftr Regt, Žatec, Czech Republic, 1993

• 1928, 3rd Air Base, Malacky, Slovakia, 1993

AIRBORNE WARRIOR

1/72

JASDF F-15J Eagle

By: Platz

Item no: AC-24 Price: US$18.03

Web: www.platz-hobby.com

You have to hand it to Japan’s Air Self-Defense Forces; they know how to create commemorative schemes. Platz’ latest F-15J iteration features one of these wonderful liveries, namely 304 Squadron’s 40th Anniversary regalia, with artwork depicting the unit’s namesake (a Tengu Warrior) on the upper surfaces and one tail fin. Markings aside, the kit is identical to previous releases, with seven styrene runners providing full-length intakes/exhausts, a selection of air-to-air-missiles and arguably the best Eagle cockpit in the scale. The decal sheet is a masterpiece, featuring sharp colour demarcations and perfect register; helpfully, most of the stencils are grouped together, and while there is copious carrier film, its gloss nature should minimise silvering. The sole marking option depicts F-15J airframe 42-8947/947 as it appeared at Naha Air Base in 2017

GULL-WINGED FUN

1/144

Vought F4U Corsair

By: AFV Club

Item no: AR14406 Price: £17.99

Web: www.pocketbond.co.uk

AFV Club’s airliner-scale offerings now include a splendid two-kit F4U Corsair package. Despite its size, there are eight styrene runners, with parts for four versions (F4U- 1/1A/1C/1D), providing different canopies (three), propellers (two), wing guns (two) and a choice of weaponry. Further options include raised/lowered undercarriage and landing/cowling flaps. The eight markings choices are:

• F4U-1, 17-F-8, VF-17, USS Bunker Hill, Jul 1943 • Corsair I, JT158/9L, 1834 NAS, 1943

• F4U-1A Corsair, 883, VMF-214, Solomon Islands, Dec 1943

• F4U-1A, 307, 18 Sqn, RNZAF, Guadalcanal, 1945

• F4U-1C, 53, VF-85, USS Shangri-La, Mar 1945

• F4U-1C, 11, VBF-99, USS Shangri-La, Jul 1945

• F4U-1D, 167, VF-84, USS Bunker Hill, Feb 1945

• F4U-1D, VBF-88, USS Yorktown (CV- 10), Aug 1945

ELECTRONIC AGGRESSOR

1/48

SAAB SK 37E Stör-Viggen

By: Special Hobby

Item no: SH 48150 Price: €62.50

Web: www.cmkkits.com

A new forward fuselage section has been added to Special Hobby’s existing Viggen parts, to allow the portrayal of a two-seat SK 37E electronic countermeasures aircraft. There’s a lot of styrene here, and the maker has remembered salient points such as the extended/dog-tooth vertical fin, bulged upper nose and instructor periscopes between the canopies. Pre-coloured photo-etched metal details are provided, as is the different rear instrument panel for this sub-type. It’s baffling, though, why Special Hobby didn’t offer the dedicated jamming pods, though…not even in its aftermarket resin range. The decals are stunning, and both lowvis grey and the classic splinter liveries are here. They are:

• 21/73, F 21, Lulea-Kallax, 2005/2005

• FC/09, Centre for Experimental Research, Malmen

• 4/70, Type Conversion/EW Group, F4, Östersund, 2004

• 4/74, as above, March 2000

BATTLE OF BRITAIN ‘GINA’

1/72

Eurofighter Typhoon RAF

By: Revell

Item no: 03900 Price: £19.99

Web: www.revell.de/en

Revell’s Typhoon gets a second outing as the RAF’s specially marked ZK349, which was bedecked in Dark Earth/Dark Green camouflage and the code serial (GN-A) of Flt Lt James Brindley Nicholson VC’s Hurricane Mk.I. Otherwise the parts (on six runners) are unchanged and there's much to admire, from the engraved surface detail to the well-appointed cockpit, four-part ejection seat and raised relief on the side consoles and instrument panel. That said, this iteration’s niggling aspects remain, with open-ended air intakes and no inner wing pylons. A decent array of air-to-air weaponry is supplied, although most will be unused if the box top scheme is used, but note the centreline pylon is different to the version Revell would have you use, with the result the drop tank’s upper fin fouls the fuselage.

TINY SUB-HUNTERS

1/700

JMSDF Patrol Aircraft Set

By: Pit-Road

Item no: S44 Price: US$18.03

Web: www.platz-hobby.com

Here’s a perfect addition to any modern Japanese Maritime Self- Defense Force (JMSDF) scene, in the shape of 1/700 scale P-1s and P-3s. There are sufficient parts for two of each, with separate undercarriage, four AGM-84 Harpoon missiles per model and hollow intakes for the P-1’s turbofan engines. Panels and flying control surfaces are represented as fine engraved lines. Nine schemes are specified, but there are numerals to make most JMSDF airframes:

• XP-1/UP-1, 5501/01, Air Development Sqn 51

• P-1, 5503/03, Air Patrol Sqn 3, Atsugi

• P-3C, 506/60, 203rd Air Education Corps

• P-3C, 5031/31, Air Patrol Sqn 2

• P-3C, 5006/06, Air Patrol Sqn 6

• P-3C, 5017/17, Air Patrol Sqn 9

• P-3C, 5002/02, Air Patrol Sqn 3

• P-3C, 5036/36, Air Patrol Sqn 5

• P-3C 5068/48, Air Patrol Sqn 8

FIRST OF THE JETS

1/48

He 280

By: Eduard Item no: 8068

Price: €39.95

Web: www.eduard.com

Eduard’s He 260 maybe almost two decades old, but age hasn’t affected its quality. In addition to four styrene runners for the 93 well-moulded parts, there is a pre-printed photoetched (PE) metal fret and selfadhesive canopy/wheel mask set.

Fine engraved panel lines and rivets adorn the exterior surfaces, but the interior is comparatively bare, with minimal detail in the cockpit, undercarriage bays and engines. The innards are enhanced by PE components, notably the instrument panel and side consoles, but for those wanting a busier ‘office’ they will need to scratch-build any extras, Options are limited to a choice between HeS 8A and Jumo 004 engines and an open/closed canopy. The three overall RLM 02 choices, which are all prototype/development airframes, are:

• V2, GJ+CA, March 1943

• V3, GJ+CB, July 1942

• V8, NU+EC, July 1943

TIGER, TIGER!

1/48

Dassault Rafale C

By: Revell

Item no: 03901

Price: £29.99

Web: www.revell.de/en

It might be hard to believe, but Revell has been delighting fans of French aircraft with its 1/48 Rafales for almost 20 years, yet it’s taken this long to release the single-seat air force variant. Runners from the B- and M-versions have been combined, so it includes the former’s dedicated AT730 triple-ejector rack and GBU-12 frame. This means there’s a well-appointed cockpit with six-piece M-B Mk.16 ejection seat, fine recessed panel lines and rivets on the airframe exterior, and accurately replicated undercarriage. There’s also a huge variety of weaponry to hang under the wings, including SCALP-EG, radar- and infra-red-guidance MICA air-to-air missiles, a Damocles targeting pod (although this is marked as ‘unused’ on the instructions) and two sizes of drop tanks. Two schemes are supplied:

• 118-EF, EC 5/330 ‘Côte d’Argent’, BA 118 Mont-de-Marsan, NATO Tigermeet, 2012

• 30-GF, EC 2/30 ‘Normandie- Miemen’, BA 118 Mont-de- Marsan, 2017

NEUTRAL TWIN-BOOMS TIGER, TIGER! 1/48

1/72

DH 100 Vampire Mk.I

By: Special Hobby

Item no: SH72339 Price: € 17.50

Web: www.cmkkits.com

This Vampire kit, branded ‘The First Jet Guardians of Neutrality’, due to its Swedish and Swiss schemes, is smashing. ‘New’ Special Hobby fineness is everywhere, from the delicately engraved panel lines and locating pins, to the beautifully moulded air intakes, engine fronts and undercarriage bays. The cockpit is impressive too, with moulded instruments, and there are also alternative curved and straight wing tips. The well-printed decals offer Swedish jets in the standard Olive Green over Light Blue-Grey, while the Swiss aircraft come in overall aluminium and Medium Sea Grey/Black garb:

• Mk.I, J-1002, Swiss AF, Dübendorf, 1946

• Mk.I, J-1003, Swiss AF, Dübendorf, 1947

• J 28A, 13/red E, 1 Sqn, F 13, Swedish AF, Norrköping, 1947

• J 28A, 3/yellow L, F 3, Linköping, 1952

THE EAGLE AND THE BEAR

1/72

F-15J Eagle 201Sq Chitose Air Base 60th Anniversary

By: Hasegawa

Item no: 02265 Price: £39.99

Web: www.amerang.co.uk

It seems that as long as the Japanese Air Self-Defense Force applies special schemes to its F-15Js, then Hasegawa will reproduce the liveries in scale form. This iteration echoes the jet 52-8860, of the 201st Squadron, 2nd Air Wing, which was decorated with stunning eagle, bear and hinomaru artwork on the vertical tails, to mark 60 years of Chitose Air Base. This firm’s Eagles are decent despite being rather venerable now, and the cockpit and avionics bay both have pleasing moulded detail. No armament is supplied though, so it’s a trip to the spares box or buying Hasegawa weapons sets if stores are desired. Fuel tanks and missile rails are present though.