Caracal Models CD 48044: Alpha Jet

Units: See review


$13.99 which includes US shipping


Scott Van Aken

The French, being loathe to cooperate much with anyone unless they have to, decided when it was time to find a replacement for the Magister as their primary jet trainer, to develop, in conjunction with the Germans, the Alpha Jet. This was instead of opting for the British Hawk. Now the Hawk is still in production while the Alpha Jet assembly line has been silent for a couple of decades.

However, the Alpha Jet, thanks to some incentives, saw a great deal of export, mostly to countries who were used to dealing with the French when it came to arms. Many of these being ex-French colonies.

Caracal Models has provided a very nice set for the recent Kinetic 1/48 kit, providing markings for 15 aircraft that covers 8 different countries.

Here is what is in the set:

  • Alpha Jet "314-TT", French Air Force
  • Alpha Jet "8-NF", French Air Force
  • Alpha Jet "314-TT" (old two-color camouflage) French Air Force
  • Alpha Jet "705-RU", French Air Force
  • Alpha Jet "102-FG", French Air Force
  • Alpha Jet "102-MB", French Air Force
  • Alpha Jet "2-FA", French Air Force
  • Alpha Jet "AT10", Belgian Air Force
  • Alpha Jet "AT15", Belgian Air Force
  • Alpha Jet "3501", Egyptian Air Force
  • Alpha Jet "228", Royal Morocco Air Force
  • Alpha Jet "TU-VCA", Ivory Coast Air Force
  • Alpha Jet "NAF471", Nigerian Air Force
  • Alpha Jet "TJ-XBU", Cameroon Air Force
  • Alpha Jet "5V-MBH", Togo Air Force
  • I have to say that since I stopped slide trading in the late 1990s, the French Air Force has totally changed the way it designates units and marks its aircraft in terms of codes. I do not understand how it is currently done at all. It used to be that the number corresponded with the wing and the letters then helped identify the squadron, with each squadron having the same first letter. I get the feeling that many of the later, all grey French Alpha Jets are now performing the role of the Magister in its later years; that of a unit or base hack.

    Anyway, the decals are superbly done and provide a wide variety of options. The first 9 options are either French or Belgian aircraft. These options are covered in the full color placement booklet that comes with all Caracal Decals. For the rest, the modeler will have to visit the Caracal web site at the URL provided in the booklet to get the camo and markings information. I have seen some other companies do things like this and am wondering if perhaps this is the future of decal instructions.

    The decals themselves are superbly printed by Cartograf and you get a full set of data markings as well as the wing walk markings, making for a most complete set.

    July 2014

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