|KIT:||Mach 2 1/72 Breguet Alize|
|NOTES:||Short run all-injected styrene|
One of the more rare modelled aircraft, the Alize provided over 40 years of service with the French navy (Aeronavale) and over 20 years with the Indian Navy.
Designed and developed in the postwar period the Alize was a compatriot of the British Fairey "Gannet". Both aircraft introduced a number of ingenious features, and served both in the ASW and airborne early warning (AEW) roles.
The Alize was powered with a Rolls-Royce Dart RDa.21 turboprop with 1,565 kW (2,100 SHP), driving a four-bladed propeller and had a CSF radar system with a retractable antenna dome in the belly.
The fuselage was fairly large and accommodated a lot of gear and a crew of three, including pilot, radar operator, and sensor operator. The pilot was seated in front on the right, the radar operator in front on the left, and the sensor operator sat sideways behind them.
The internal weapons bay could accommodate a homing torpedo or depth charges, and underwing stores pylons could carry bombs, depth charges, rockets, or missiles. Typical underwing stores included 68 mm unguided rocket pods or AS-12 wire-guided antiship missiles.
The Alize provided steerling service and participated with the Aeronavale, from the Suez conflict right up to the NATO air-campaign over Kosovo. With the Indian Navy it participated in Goa indepencence, `71 Indo-Pak war and Maldives operations.
The kit consists of a single sprue with an un-identified number of parts (they’re not numbered and I didn’t count), moulded in light grey plastic. The level of detail is good with recessed panel lines and minimal flash (only on the smaller parts). The transparency provides a canopy (mine was cracked and broken) and tail and nacelle-tip landing lights of the earlier version.
The decals are excellent. They are clear and (look) thin and are slightly matt and are provided for three un-identified Aeronavale aircraft.
The only real weakness of the kit is the instruction sheet. It is really only a single photocopied “Letter” sized sheet with the briefest of information or assembly steps. It hints at versions “A, B and C”, with reference to the alternative parts for each, and some assembly drawings, without any steps. The flip side shows the three paint schemes for the three respective versions.
Clearly this kit is for the more advanced modeller in mind, and the instruction sheet is nowhere in league of the Dragons or Tamiyas of our world. But if you have a few kits under your belt and want to build a kit of this very capable and “different” aircraft in 1/72, there is no kit like this.
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