|PRICE:||around 20 Euro or so|
|NOTES:||Cost-effective, well detailed, plenty of decal options. Configuration a bit outdated.|
Eurofighter Taifun, 30-21, JG73 „Steinhoff“, Bundesluftwaffe, 2007
Born in the ´70s, when Europe was a cauldron of failed high-end fighter designs and industry consortia that dissolved into the void, and for some time held alive only by the stubbornness of an industry which refused to die, the Typhoon has developed into a mature design and a most capable fighter. It certainly looks as avant-garde today, even among F-22s and Rafales and Gripens and latest-generation F-16s as the original EFA looked in the ´80s, among Phantoms and Tornadoes.
There are several Typhoon kits in the “gentleman´s scale”. The best looks to be the Hasegawa one, albeit at a price; the runner up is the Revell-Germany, while the Italeri and Airfix are best to be avoided. Price and immediate availability here at Bonn made me choose the Revell kit for what was my original intention, building a “commemorative series” of Bundesluftwaffe aircraft to “celebrate” my deployment to Germany.
The kit is good, I mean, it shows excellent intentions marred by that general feeling of cheapness Revell kits use to have (hey, man, they ARE cheap!). Breakdown is complicated, but I guess the complex shape of the machine dictates that. There is enough armament to satisfy everyone and to be faithful to each of the plane´s users; sadly, lack of pylons (two each wing are missing) prevents the builder to turn this graceful airplane into a weapons truck. Besides, these modern aircrafts are moving targets, they are being upgraded all the time; so, I suspect the configuration is an early one (it even lacks a cannon; its issue as standard was only agreed in 2007 and presumably homologated for use later –just in time for operational use in Afghanistan) German machines do not show the IR-seeker either. I guess the problem of “mini-fleets” is as acute as it was on Tornadoes.
The intention being a rather simple build, I decided to limit the detailing to an Eduard Zoom PE set. To prevent a tail sitter, metal shot was crammed in the nosecone and around and behind the cockpit, secured with cyano and Milliput.
The intakes have no attempt at a trunking. To try to minimize the see-through effect, I cut a false bulkhead in cardboard and fixed it at the back of the intakes. It was not difficult. Another vent intake under the left nose was blanked off, while the prominent exhaust at mid fuselage was opened up!
Fuselage to wings join, if at all can be called like that, was complex but can be handled. The fuselage lacks any joining section in the undersurface aft of the nose, so it flexes on itself, creating gaps in the upper wing to fuselage join. In hindsight, some spacer or stiffener would help. The join between wing and fuselage runs through the wheel wells, creating an unsightly gap; I hide it behind some semi-spurious detail. The oleo connections running along the u/c legs are complex and daunting for a WWII modeller like me, but I attempted at reproducing something similar.
Exhausts, both the external petals and the internal tubes are fixed before joining fuselages. It would have been much more convenient, especially for painting them comfortably, if they could be added from the outside. Nevertheless, I tried to mimick the different tinting of the moving petals, an operation involving some cutting and masking.
anards I glued as a last step, after thoroughly finishing the model, in the funny angle they seem to adopt when the aircraft is parked.
Why would someone build a modern aircraft if not to hang whatever he can find from its pylons? Well, we have already talked about the pylons. The customary four AIM-120 were hung from the fuselage stations (the Meteor BVR doesn´t look to be operational today, much less in 2007) while the outer stations received two IRIS-T (operational QRA configuration at the time). The kit includes more weapons catered for each user of the plane: AIM-132 ASRAAMs and Sky Shadow ASMs for the RAF ones, AIM-9M for the Italian and Spanish machines, and Taurus ASM for the German ones (the latter doesn´t look operational at the time being either) But what we are really missing is the pylons for weapons stations under the wing and even fuselage (where a targeting pod is usually carried nowadays), to accurately depict a present service machine.
|COLORS & MARKINGS|
Well, specs for a Bundesluftwaffe Taifun call for FS35237 overall. It certainly looks the right colour when compared to pictures, but way too dark. Even allowing for scale effect, and the effect of the sun on the real airframes and the shadowy nature of the colour, it looks too dark. I failed to find any hint at a different colour in any source; and, living in Germany, I know the way this people relate to regulations. One day, someone will come with the discovery “Hey, 35237 was never actually the colour!” For the time being, I mixed it with some 36320, to lighten it without taking the bluish character away; then with some more, and then again. It still looks too dark.
Radome was painted Barley Grey, as were the dielectric surfaces and some leading edges (those in the canards by handbrush; they have a distinct step); the latter is not exactly accurate, but the contrast looks fine. Tanks and their pylons were painted also Barley Grey; in pictures they are definitely a colour different to the rest of the airframe, similar to the radome. Missiles were painted in 36375. Intake trunking and wheel bays were painted Light Aircraft Grey.
Contrary to RAF examples, which look certainly filthy (and certainly take pride on that), Bundeslufwaffe machines look invariably pristine (and take pride of that… different nation personalities?). Weathering was based on a heavy preshading and “mottle painting”, to give an irregular look to the otherwise plain surfaces; then, it was completed with some pastels, both dry and dissolved in water.
Full marks should be given to the Xtracrylixs paints; they are accurate, dry to a smooth surface (“they iron out fine” we would say), allow for painting effects and they are very forgiving. Clogging the tip of the airbrush forcing you to unscrew and clean it every two or three passes seems a good price to pay.
The decal sheet allows you to build a machine in service with any of the early operators. Everyone seems to prefer the RAF ones, and certainly their squadron heraldic is quite interesting: you can choose any out of four squadrons. Bundesluftwaffe is represented by JG74 “Mölders” and JG73 “Steinhoff” (they are called TaktLwG nowadays), but there are enough numerals to model any machine then in service. Options for Italian 4° Stormo “Cavallino Rampante”, plus one Spanish and one Austrian machines are provided. I followed the instructions to the letter but the fuselage crosses and codes ended up just a bit too far back; probably the profile in the instruction diagram is not drawn accurately. Otherwise, they behave perfectly.
Revell kits always deliver. They are probably not the best nor ones “oozing high quality”, as Tamiya or Hasegawa can be, but they are mostly honest, cost-effective kits which can render a good replica with almost no extra work, though probably not entirely apt to produce a masterpiece, unless in the right hands and investing a lot of time. Me, I have neither.
- “Eurofighter Typhoon: Europa´s Mehrzweckjäger der 4. Generation“, E-book
„Eurofighter Typhoon“, Kagero Topshots 11041
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