|KIT:||Matchbox 1/72 Jaguar T.2|
|PRICE:||Long out of production|
|NOTES:||1986 boxing, nice decals, poor quality control|
Interestingly, the original British requirement for this aircraft called for it to be used as an advanced trainer. The Jaguar B or as the RAF would designate it; T.Mk 2 was equipped to the same standard as the Gr. Mk 1 and the RAF acquired a total of 38. The French two-seat version is referred to as the E and a total of 40 were acquired. There were four export customers of the Jaguar International; Ecuador, India, Nigeria and Oman all have a few two-seaters in their inventory so there are some marking and camouflage options.
This kits fuselage is modified from the 1973 single-seat Jaguar molding (date still on the aft fuselage) in an effort to get additional mileage from the same molds. As was the norm for the 100 series of the Matchbox range, the 48 parts (included a one-piece canopy) are molded in three colours; grey, white and green. This kit was molded in China (made in November 11, 1994 going by the production stamp in the box) and it shows. First and the most obviously indicator is the crude way that the word England was covered on the tree. Next was the poor quality control that shows with some flash and the matt surface of the plastic in lieu of the nice polished finished from the originals.
As mentioned, the surface is not that great and while this kit features engraved panel lines, there are rather pronounced with the flying surfaces have the classic trenches. The separate detail parts for the office of this kit consists of two ejections seat shapes and that is it, not even those nicely sculptured aircrew as the position on the tree is taken by an extra seat. There is the hint of instrument panels in both locations and the roof of the nose gear bay doubles as the floor. A robust looking landing gear is supplied but the somewhat complicated looking main legs are simplified and all the tires appear to be too wide, especially the nose. However, all the bays are framed in and the doors will look fine after being sanded a little thinner.
External stores are limited to two large drop tanks and these have the stabilizing fins as separate parts which is just as well as they need to be sanded thinner or better yet replaced with .010 card. Intakes are separate with separate splitter plates and look good while the afterburners have no detail or depth.
This kit was produced for the Chinese home market as the instruction sheet is only in that language. Also in concert with this is the supplied tube of glue nicely packaged in its own bag. The instructions and detailed decal placement guides are well drawn and easy to follow but with the detail painting notes in Chinese; good luck!
Some of the Chinese produced decals look great while others are not. This one looks good (have not actually used any yet) and as normal there are two options. If splashy colour is your preference then go no further then the raspberry ripple (blue, red and white) dual from the Empire Test Pilots School, Boscombe Down circa 1984. The decals supply the red fuselage cheat line with school crest and lettering being very well done. A somewhat drabber and more warlike Sultan of Omanís Jaguar is the second option finished with a wrap-around disruptive camouflage pattern of two browns. Omanís national insignia is limited to a small red shield on the vertical tail and the individual aircraft number is in small black characters and placed on the aft fuselage. These two options are illustrated in full colour on the back of the box and the unit information is supplied in both English and French!
Nice looking decal sheet. As this kit offers both engraved panel lines and framed wheel wells, it will be considered for a future project; perhaps.
The Encyclopedia of Matchbox Toys (3rd Edition), Charlie Mack, Schiffer Publications
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