Kit: Tornado GR.1

Scale: 1/48

Kit Number: 834

Manufacturer: Italeri

Price: $19.95

Media: Injected plastic

Decals : Three versions: RAF Desert Storm, Italy Desert Storm, Germany JBG 34

Accuracy: It looks Ok, but I believe the fin is wrong.

Overall: see review

Comments: Those of you who have read a number of my reviews probably believe that I tend to build kits that are terrible. Sometimes this is true as often the older kits and those that are short run do lack the ease of assembly that is expected of modern mainstream plastic models. Having said that, I cannot understand why Italeri allowed this kit to reach the market. While the engineering might have looked OK on the board and allows for several Tornado versions, the building of the kit shows a huge number of basic flaws.

First of all, the major fuselage parts do not fit at all well requiring lots of putty and sanding. Naturally this removes any detail. The speed brakes are too small for the openings so need to be built in the open position. The fin is separate and does have fit problems. The radar warning pods on the fin do not fit well and have no distinct position marks. The cockpit is very basic indeed and with such a huge, clear canopy a nice cockpit is really needed.

Having said all those nasty things, I will admit that the finished product looks very nice, but it required work and help from aftermarket goodies. First of all, the cockpit got some nice Aeroclub white metal ejection seats. That also helped weight the nose. Next were some resin weighted wheels from Xtraparts.

Since the kit decals are not exactly state of the art, they were replaced by a lovely 45Sq/TWCU scheme from Xtradecal. As with most of my models, I used a variety of paints and on this one the two outer colors are a mixture of Gunze Sangyo and Xtracolor. I have been mixing paint types for years and have rarely had any problems at all. The canopy had no actuating mechanism so I hobbled together one to show off a now much improved interior.

Would I build another? Not for a while. It is a good thing that I got it cheap or I would never have touched it. Is the Airfix 1/48 Tornado a better kit? Don't know, but I did get an F.3 for $7.99 via Squadron so I'll let you know. This kit is only recommended if you have to have a 1/48 Tornado.

 

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