Airfix 1/72 Jet Provost T.5
|REVIEWER:||Carmel J. Attard|
Pavla upgrade sets and Modeldecals used
The British Aerospace Jet Provost Mk5 is a revised refined version of the earlier Mk3 and 4 and operated exclusively with the RAF Training Command. It provided basic tuition in a side-by-side environment. Delivery of 110 aircraft to the RAF was completed in October 1972. Most Jet Provost in the training role had a straight forward career first at the RAF College Cranwell and then at Linton-On-Ouse. The Jet provost Mk5 formed part of a number of RAF aerobatic teams and these include the Linton Blades, Red Pelicans, and The Swords, besides other solo display aircraft.
The Jet Provost Mk5 represented in this kit built markings belongs to The Swords aerobatic team based at RAF Leeming in July 1974. The team was led by Flt.Lt.C.J Thompson whose name was appears on TW428 ‘54’. During their existence The Swords used several different machines, four of these are represented in the sheet and these are:
XW428 coded 54 flown by Flt Lt. C.J.Thompson; XW407 flown coded 50 flown by Flt Lt. R.D.Thomas; XW424 coded 52 flown by Flt Lt. M.A. Fox who flew the No3 machine from the right-hand seat, and the crew names were accordingly presented on the starboard side. Another T5 operated by the Swords was XW426 coded 53 and flown by Flt Lt.J.D. Aldington.
Moulded in white styrene the kit has parts for either of two versions. Kit contains around 90 parts, which include alternative parts like wing tip tanks, under wing tanks and wing pylons and stores. The Jet Provost T Mk5 carried no wing tip tanks and has markings for The Red Pelicans aerobatic team finished in red, white and light aircraft grey, trainer scheme. Notwithstanding, the kit makes up into an excellent model of the Jet Provost T5. Surface detail such as panel lines and rivets are well reproduced though they are in raised form instead of engraved or flush.
All parts fit together very well and only trace of filler being required on the main wing and tail wing roots to fuselage joint. One really has to pack the nose with lead weight and ensure that it will not become loose. Alternative parts are provided for a Strikemaster. The differences are not major and are limited to wing tip tanks, underwing stores and different details such as aerials. My Jet Provost kit build includes the Pavla detail set, as well as decals that came from Modeldecal set No28.
The Pavla resin set consist of two detailed ejection seats, cockpit coming complete with a full instrument panel, two sets of rudder pedals, two control columns which a lot more accurate and detailed than those found in the Airfix kit, Port and Starboard side panels are complete with embossed details and a cockpit floor complete with central console and a detailed back plate /coaming. There is also a vac form clear cockpit canopy complete with a resin detail part that integrates with the sliding canopy part if it is fixed in open position.
The set comes complete with two A5 size pages of assembly drawings and guide to show which parts of the forward fuselage required to alter so that the complete office resin detail parts fit snugly. Other drawings indicate the colours that go on each resin item.... seats, instruments, panels etc.
Model decal set No 28 has two photos of the Jet Provost Mk5 from the Swords team, based at Leeming, UK. Four are included in the set so that any one can be selected. The open position of the cockpit canopy encourages one to straightforward super detailing the Airfix kit. 4-view detail drawings indicate the exact position of each decal item on the model. The T5 has a colourful livery of gloss light grey wings, gloss red lower half of fuselage and white top. There are around 40 decal items that cover any of the four in the team. Kit decals are also indicated with letter ‘Z’ so that there is no repetition.
Before going by the Airfix kit instructions, I have sawn off the cockpit coaming and the rear part of cockpit deck. These are accurately shown as shaded areas A in the Pavla instructions. The embossed locating guide parts inside the cockpit are also filed down. The above applies to both sides of the kit fuselage halves. The cockpit needed to be assembled first. Cockpit floor with back plate, and side consoles are first pre-painted and fitted in place. The seats are then slid in their respective spot making sure that the seat to go on the port is fixed in its right place since the seats differ from each other at their top part. The rudder pedals and control sticks are also added and the cockpit coaming and instruments are fixed at the end. Already the detailed cockpit will cause one to make a second glance and to me it has an elegance that was somewhat lacking in the kit if built straight from the box.
The vac form clear cockpit canopy pieces are carefully cut with a sharp blade and trimmed a little at a time at the periphery until the canopy frame has arrived to the best fit or seating. The two canopy parts were then set aside and their frame painted white upon careful masking with Tamiya tape. The rest of assembly went in accordance to kit instructions adding sufficient lead weight to the nose so that the model will balance on the nose wheel in the end.
No wing pylons and wing racks added and rounded wing tips were fixed instead of tip tanks. A whip aerial and a mast aerial were fixed under the forward fuselage. Two narrow streaks were added right under the air intakes, which were made from thin plastic card strips. The nose front Perspex was also cut from Pavla set and it looked so much more realistic than if the kits clear part was used. The wing undercarriage legs were lengthened by 1mm while the vertical doors were reduced slightly in height so that the torque link just stays visible as caught in pictures of the real aircraft.
|COLORS & MARKINGS|
The Swords Jet provost T5 wore the basic RAF trainer scheme as mentioned earlier and the blue trim and sword motif issued with the Modeldecal sheet added more colour and life to the team aircraft. In spite of age the decals seemed to retain good adhesion properties. The interior was cockpit medium grey, seats being black with drab cushions and blue seat straps. Ejector seat pull handles painted in yellow and black. Roundels and other standard markings are kit decals.
The model was something of a challenge to build because of the tiny detail parts that also took time and a lot of patience to paint. Still I enjoyed the work involved especially that the end result looks quite a neat and detailed replica.
1) Scale Aircraft Modelling Vol 17 No 9 November 1995 scale plans.
2) Modeldecal set 28 instructions.
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