Sheet:

Model Alliance MA72162: RAF ISTARS (RAF Waddington)

Units: See review

Price

11.00

Reviewer:

Scott Van Aken

As benefits the subjects, this is a huge sheet with stencils for the Sentry and a smaller sheet with most of the color markings and insignia. Waddington apparently holds all of the RAF's Sentry and Sentinel aircraft, since the RAF has decided to base all like airframes at the same place to simplify maintenance.

I find it quite interesting to note that 8 Sq has also inherited 23 and 54 Squadron, those latter units previously flying Tornado F.3s and Jaguars respectively. I guess they were down to the wire when it comes to keeping famous units in place and dividing the 8 (I believe) E-3Ds amongst three squadrons seems like spreading things a tad thin. Regardless, one of the markings on the sheet is for the 90th anniversary of 8 and 23 squadron with large tail markings. The sheet also includes enough serials to do pretty much any one of their aircraft.

Moving to the Sentinel, this is a new aircraft type to me and looks very much like a J-Stars plane. It is built by Bombardier and I'm unsure of any kits currently available though the instructions state that one may be produced in 2009 or 2010 in 1/72. It has the livery of 5 Squadron, another unit that used to fly Tornado F.3s. Again, enough serial numbers to do any of the five current aircraft.

The last option is for a Nimrod R.1 of 51 Squadron. This unit has been flying these three ELINT aircraft since they were developed. One crashed over 20 years ago but the other two are still at it and this sheet has the most recent camouflage scheme of a grey with a lighter grey upper fuselage. Again, enough serials to do either of these interesting aircraft.

Of course, kits of the Sentry and Nimrod are available from Airfix and considering their size, most reasonably priced. The sheets themselves are superbly printed; nice and crisp with no discernable registration problems. Instructions are superbly done and in Model Alliance's new booklet format.  If you plan on building any of these aircraft, this is the sheet you should get.

Also available in 1/32 (just kidding)

June 2009

Review sample courtesy of Model Alliance. This sheet can be found at www.theaviationworkshop.co.uk and at quality hobby shops worldwide.

If you would like your product reviewed fairly and quickly, please contact me or see other details in the Note to Contributors.