Eduard 1/72 Aero L-39C Albatros
(from the instructions) Aero L-39 Albatros is one of the most popular training jets in the world. Produced in large series since the early 70's, these aircraft are still in operational service in lots of countries, including Russia and Iraq. In the 70's and 80's it was the standard trainer in most Warsaw Pact air forces. It was produced as the L-39c (trainer) L-39ZA/ZO (light ground attack) and L-39 V (target tug). The Albatros was designed as a replacement for the L-29 Delfin (also produced by Aero), and has enjoyed excellent success in the export market. While it is being phased out in favor of the L-59, the L-39 has found a second life in private civilian hands, there being over 140 flying in the US. Another indication of its popularity is the recent addition of the Jet category at the Reno Air Races, where ONLY L-39's are flown. “Biele Albatrosy”- the Slovak display team,
also uses the L-39C. If you'd like to get your hands on one, there are many places to buy one- for under $500,000 (compare that to a brand new Gulfstream!)
I was caught unaware by the release of this kit. I knew MPM released this kit in
1/48, but since Eduard is a Czech company, and this is a Czech jet, I shouldn't
be surprised. The kit comes on 2 tan sprues and one clear sprue, with a sheet of
vinyl masks. No photo etch is included, but none is necessary. The quality of
the kit is fantastic. The detail on the
parts is astonishingly petite, and in my opinion, equals or surpasses Hasegawa and Tamiya, including the quilted texture on the inside of the cockpit! Check out the detail on the tail plane! Eduard has also provided tabs on the tail planes so that you don’t have to butt-join them (insert applause here). The wings are split into one upper portion and one lower portion. There are no locating pins for the fuselage, but there are two for the wings. The canopy, inner windshield and wing tip-tank lights are provided in clear and are flawless. The instructions are quite complete, and the camouflage guide is done in color.
As for stores, the kit is for the trainer version, not the ground attack version, so you get two under-wing tanks. You also get two rocket-looking-type-thingies, which I can't identify. I haven't seen any photos of L-39's carrying them, so I'll leave them off.
You get decals for 4 aircraft. Represented is a Czech Tiger Meet bird, a gray Czech bird, one Russian, and a shark-mouthed Lithuanian bird. All decals are in register, and very well printed. You also get a whole mess of stencil data, perfectly re-created in teensy tiny detail. Putting all of those on might be a bit of a chore, to say the least.
Wow! Eduard consistently impresses me. The lack of locating pins for the fuselage might cause problems for some people, but I don't think there's anything terribly horrible that an average modeler can't get around. Buy a lot of them, I am.
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