Revell AG 1/72 Jaguar GR.1
|KIT:||Revell AG 1/72 Jaguar GR.1|
|PRICE:||$18.65 at GreatModels|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||Reboxed Italeri kit|
Back in the late 1960's the British were in need of a dedicatedground attack aircraft to replace the Hunters and Phantoms that were currentlyproviding that need. Especially the Hunters, as they were getting very tired.That would then free up Phantoms for the air defense role.
Getting together with the French, who also needed a similaraircraft, the Sepecat corporation was founded to build what then became theJaguar. The aircraft were built in both France and the UK, because as similar asthe airframes were, each country had a lot of specific equipment that theywanted installed in their respective aircraft. The French version became theJaguar A and the British one the GR.I. Jaguars have been exported to Ecuador andto Nigeria.
Both countries are still using the Jaguar. At one time they werequite prevalent with the British alone having eight squadrons of the aircraft.That has now been pared down to three as defense drawbacks have taken it toll. Asimilar story with the French, though not quite to the same level as theBritish.
The aircraft has acquitted itself quite well in combat. The French have used it in Chad and during the Gulf War. The British have had success with it during the Gulf War and also during the myriad of conflicts in the Balkans. Frankly, the aircraft is very good and what it does and will be difficult to replace. However, it is now gone from service with the French, gone with the British and I'm thinking that both India and Ecuador are looking for replacements if they have not already.
I was perusing the Great Models database for a likely subject and my eyes fell on this Jaguar GR.1 kit. Well, I'd not heard that there was a new Revell AG Jag so I ordered it. When it arrived, I looked at the side of the box "Made in Italy" it stated in Lilliputian print. My heart sank. It sank a bit more when I saw the 1997 date on the box. "I'll bet this is one of Italeri's raised detail kits from the dark ages of modeling (before 1990 in the eyes of many)".
I cut the clear circular seal, expecting parts to come tumbling out of the box. Lo, they were all neatly sealed inside a nice polybag. The details didn't look raised either, but nearly as good as anything Hasegawa could put out. Once the bag was opened and I had a chance to look over the two large tan sprues and the smaller clear one, the more I thought this was a VERY close copy of the Hasegawa kit. Same separate front end for doing either a single seat or a twin seat version. Same separate nose for the British rangefinder or French smooth nose, same separate windscreen and canopy, same ejector towers in the exhaust and so on. Lots of 'sames', but perhaps it is that there is only one way to mold a 1/72 Jaguar. This kit has separate wing fences to facilitate installing the Sidewinder rails, a nice pair of wing drop tanks and a camera pod for the belly. It has sidewinders and some interesting looking bombs.
The bang seat is only slightly more interesting (replace it). There is raised detailing on the instrument panel and side consoles along with a decal for said instrument panel. Landing gear legs also look like they have more detailing. There is also an ALQ/101 jammer and a chaff pod for the outer wing stations as well as the chaff/flare dispensers, so perhaps it is not a copy, but heavily suggested by the Hasegawa offering.
Instructions are the usual Revell AG fare that offer no paint options other than Revell and no indication of a generic coloring (or in this case a nice BSC 381 standard color range). Markings are provided for two aircraft. One is a Desert Storm version in Desert Pink with the name 'Debbie' and a young lady in her undergarments for nose art. I was, of course, hoping for 'Buster Gonad and his Unfeasibly Large Testicles', but perhaps RAG thought that too racy. The other is a standard RAF painted plane from 2 Sq (or more accurately, II Sq) which would be the option for the recce pod. The markings are nicely done and quite gloss. Should be no problem with application. Those not wanting to use the kit offerings will find a plethora of options in the old Modeldecal range along with the Xtradecal Gulf War sheets (assuming you can find them). I have used them with great success over the years and used them for my Pink jag a decade or so back.
Well, if you ask me, this one is very much a viable option to the long serving Hasegawa kit and very much better than the Heller offering (though I'm not sure Heller did a RAF variant). It is easily available, somewhat reasonably priced and provides what I think will be an opportunity to make a very nice model from it.
You can do as did I and get this one atwww.greatmodels.com. They have lots of other neat stuff and their shipping is very prompt.
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