Italeri 1/72 Eurofighter EF 2000B
KIT #: ?
PRICE: 6 Euros
DECALS: One option
REVIEWER: Carmel J. Attard
NOTES: Injection moulded kit with prototype decals for the 2-seat version

HISTORY

The new multi-role EF-2000 fighter is a development by a consortium of British, German, Italian and Spanish industries. There were delays of economical and technical nature at first and several prototypes have been built in the late nineties. Following the single seat version, a twin seat variant was designated for pilot training and precision missile attack missions. It has the same air to air combat features as a fighter, but is equipped with specialised electronic gear.

 By the summer of 2006 the four air forces has flown over 9600 hours in the Typhoon and 84 aircraft had been delivered to the 4 nations, 23 of these went to Germany. The Luftwaffe received its first Eurofighter in August 2002 prompting conversion from Mig 29 by JG 73 in April 2003. In July 2006 JG 74  traded in their F-4F ICE Phantom IIs for the Eurofighter to form Germany’s first operational squadron at Neuburg Air Base. Germany intends to operate 135 EF 2000 in Air Defence role. These have already replaced the small fleet of ageing Mig 29s inherited with unification of Germany in 1989 and will also replace Germany F4F Phantoms. 40 other EF 2000 will assume multi-role operations, replacing the Tornados IDS and ECR attack which will be due for retire in 2012. Other Luftwaffe squadrons set to receive the jet are Jadgbombergeschwader 31 at Norvenich Air Base, Jbg 33 at Buchal Air Base and Jbg 71 at Wittmund Air Base.

 In late September this year two, two-seat Typhoon visited Luqa, Malta, for the first time ever. These belonged to 23 Squadron RAF. They left Akrotiri air base in Cyprus and came in for the annual air show, one arriving on Friday 26th September, and the other on Saturday 27th. On Saturday afternoon one of these performed a fighter type aerobatic display over St Paul’s Bay. After the show the two Typhoons left Luqa in a low but fast and loose formation on their way to Barcelona, again to take part in an air show. 

THE KIT

This is a very detailed kit of the 2-seat version of the Eurofighter. Other kits of the Eurofighter have already appeared depicting the aircraft at different stages during development and although the Italeri kit is not quite to the production version standard there is a way to add the required changes so that I could represent my kit of the Eurofighter to the standard that it appeared in service with JG 73 'Steinhoff Laage', at Berlin in May 2006.

The kit is moulded in light grey plastic; free from flash and has engraved panel lines.  There is painting instructions on parts as you go along with the kit assembly. Both cockpit instrument panels are embossed which make it easy to hand paint although at this scale one may prefer to use decal sheet with printed instruments. There are two large under wing tanks and six AIM-120 missiles and twp AIM-9L/M sidewinders. The nose mounted refuelling probe can be assembled in the extended position and on the whole it is a straight forward kit with a crystal clear canopy that reveals any extra work that one could add to the cockpit interior. The decal sheet is somewhat brief with markings looking grossly oversize to me. I put away in preference to others from my spares box. The kit sheet caters for a British or an Italian machine.

CONSTRUCTION

The first stage of construction concerned the cockpit where separate throttles, instrument panels, control sticks, seats are provided. The crew seats are rather simple and come in separate pieces with harness detail moulded on. The dark gull grey cockpit consists of nine items which are put together and painted before transferred to one side of the fuselage. I added side console decal instruments using Eurofighter decal spares. Nose weight added to nose cone to ensure it stands on the nose wheel. The air brake aft of cockpit can be fitted extended or closed. The main wing parts come in three separate items and are assembled complete with an interior blanking plate, and wing tip ecm fairings.. The consoles are glued in one position while the 3 part jet pipe nozzles, which come in closed configuration, are fixed in place. The rest of assembly consists of adding the undercarriage and wheel well doors and refuelling probe that I preferred to assemble in the extended position to show some indication of detail to overcome the overall impression that the design of a modern fighter seems to lack.

 In order to build the production version that I had in mind to represent one that I spotted in a side view I picked from SAM issue dedicated to the Eurofighter Vol 28 No 12 Feb 2007, this required some alterations. The side view appears on P.796 showing the type in German markings with registration 30+05 and belonging to JG 73 Laag based in Berlin.

 The first alteration consisted of removing two small air intakes located under the rear of wings and blanked the area with filler. I also blanked the front of two small intakes that should be outlets instead which were altered to look so. The nose wheel door was reshaped so that the front edge is curved, this also meant to alter the corresponding wheel well front.. The kit nose cone had a small upper fairing that was filed off and sanded smooth. There are two rear engine blisters that come as separate parts No 26b which should be left out. The heat seeking sensor fairing part 27b is shortened at front before it is fixed to the nose. I also shaped a tiny outlet scoop from plastic sprue which I then added to upper fuselage ahead of exhaust outlets. A rectangular blade antenna was added under the air intake offset to the left. The pointed nose of the 1,000 litre fuel tanks were reshaped using a flat file. I also added four fins to the rear of the tanks. These I made from 0.4mm plastic card. The leading edges of main planes were made thinner by scraping along the edge with an Exacto blade. Finally I modified the spare under wing pylons for AMRAAM missiles and fitted to space in line with outer flap actuator fairings. A pair of straight rails were shaped and added to these pylons. Other smaller refining to the kit included detail portions added to the wing tip system pods, and triangular shaped antenna to the nose /data probes under the nose cone.

COLORS & MARKINGS

 The interiors of wheel wells and intake were painted Humbrol white; the exhaust nozzles were a mix of silver, black and matt varnish. These places were masked with tape as was also the clear canopy which was now firm in place.. The rest of the aircraft painted in overall dark ghost grey. Sliding areas on the white oleo legs and refuelling probe were painted silver. German markings and decals came from spares box.

CONCLUSIONS

In general this was not a complex update and maybe also within anyone’s reach, but in doing so one opens the chances for a wider spectrum of markings on production version of the Eurofighter that is now starting to emerge at a quick pace in European skies.

Carmel J. Attard

October 2008

If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly, please contact the editor or see other details in the Note to Contributors.

Back to the Main Page

Back to the Review Index Page