Model Alliance MA72106: Tornado F.3
Many of us in the United States don't model a lot of modern British aircraft and that is a shame as the RAF has produced a number of very nice schemes for their aircraft. This sheet has seven of those, all for the Tornado F.3.
The Tornado has been referred to as 'the Fin' and looking at the aircraft, you can see why that is the case. These aircraft replaced the Phantom II and the Lightning for air interception duties in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Once the Tornado was available, these other aircraft were quickly shuttled off to scrap yards, fire dumps and, for those that were lucky, museums.
With that nice big fin, it was inevitable that we'd see some color on it and that is where all of the units have decided to put their unit markings. These aircraft are all in a rather boring grey scheme of Camouflage Grey over Light Aircraft Grey. Though no kits are recommended, to my recollection, in 1/72 you have but two choices. One is by Italeri which is nicely done and the least expensive of the pair. The other is the very nice Hasegawa kit, which is a bit more pricey. However, at least here in the US, you can easily find these kits at swap meets and auctions for $10-15.
Now, on to what you get on the sheet. Since these basically are all fin markings, you have one full set of stencils. There are insignia for all seven options.
First up is ZE159 from 111 Sq in 2002. This aircraft has a black fin and is in the 2002 display livery.
From 5 Sq is ZH 555 and while not exactly blazing in color, does have its 2002 air display livery.
The red finned aircraft is ZE 785 from the Operational Evaluation Unit in its 2004 display colors.
A rather plain looking 11 Sq ZE294 is in its standard colors from 2004.
Next up is ZE 158 from 111 Sq in its standard colors circa 2004.
A 43 Sq aircraft is ZE 293 in its 2003 show colors that includes the unit's black and white checkers.
Rounding out the seven is 56 Squadron's 2003 display plane, ZE 612 with red and white checkers on the fin tip. 56 Sq is the OCU for the Tornado F.3.
This sheet is available in 1/72 and 1/48 scale, the 1/72 scale being the one reviewed.
Review sample courtesy of Jon Freeman. This sheet can be found at http://homepage.mac.com/daleclarke/Aviationworkshop/ and at quality hobby shops worldwide.
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