Hasegawa 1/72 Jaguar A/GR.1
|PRICE:||600 yen when new|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||Original boxing from 1984|
The SEPECAT Jaguar is an Anglo-French jet attack aircraft, originally used by the British Royal Air Force and the French Air Force in the close air support and nuclear strike role, and still in service with the Indian Air Force, which started an upgrade program for 125 examples in 2014.
Originally conceived in the 1960s as a jet trainer with a light ground attack capability, the requirement for the aircraft soon changed to include supersonic performance, reconnaissance and tactical nuclear strike roles. A carrier-based variant was also planned for French service, but this was cancelled in favour of the cheaper Dassault Super Étendard. The airframes were manufactured by SEPECAT (Société Européenne de Production de l'avion Ecole de Combat et d'Appui Tactique), a joint venture between Breguet and the British Aircraft Corporation, one of the first major joint-Anglo-French military aircraft programs.
The Jaguar was exported to India, Oman, Ecuador and Nigeria. With various air forces, the Jaguar was used in numerous conflicts and military operations in Mauritania, Chad, Iraq, Bosnia, and Pakistan, as well as providing a ready nuclear delivery platform for Britain, France, and India throughout the latter half of the Cold War and beyond. In the Gulf War, the Jaguar was praised for its reliability and was a valuable coalition resource. The aircraft served with the French Air Force as the main strike/attack aircraft until 1 July 2005, and with the Royal Air Force until the end of April 2007. It was replaced by the Panavia Tornado and the Eurofighter Typhoon in the RAF and the Dassault Rafale in the French Air Force.
This is the original boxing from 1984. Since then, the standard boxing has been reissued a number of times and has gained a new kit number several times. To my knowledge, this boxing is still in their catalogue and for those of you who want a relatively inexpensive and nice Jaguar in this scale, this is the kit you should seek.
The kit allows you to build both a Jaguar GR.1 of the RAF or a Jaguar A of the French Air Force. The major difference between the two is the very tip of the nose where the seekers are different. You will also find that the forward fuselage is a separate piece to allow for the two seat version to be kitted. As a result, you get two common sprues for all variants and a third one that is changed depending on the boxing.
Since this is the original tooling, the molds were brand new so no issues with flash. Typical of the time, you will find ejector pin marks on the wheels, landing gear and inside gear doors. However, the panel lines are all crisply engraved.
Not much in the cockpit aside from a generic seat, control stick and an instrument panel. There are decals for the instruments. The instructions do not indicate the need for weight, but I always add a few grams just in case. Intakes are nicely done and shallow, extending back only about an inch or so. Same with the burner cans which are even more shallow. No intake or exhaust trunking in 1984. Landing gear is properly sturdy with separate wheels.
You have the option to display the speed brakes extended if you so wish. You can also pose the canopy open, though, unless you install the pilot figure, you'll see little more than a fairly Spartan interior. A boarding ladder is included, which is nice.
There are a fairly good number of weapons including a centerline rack for two bombs and lower wing racks for rocket pods or Magic missiles (not used by the RAF). Also included are the overwing missile rails that are used by the RAF, though you'll need to get Sidewinders from a weapons set if you want to include these for the RAF version. What the kit does not include and what is pretty standard with Jaguars are the large underwing fuel tanks. One of these was also carried on the centerline depending on the load-out. These have been made in the past by various resin companies as I did my Desert Storm Jaguar using one on the centerline (along with a bunch of other aftermarket stuff).
Instructinos are old school without any paint chart, though the color callouts throughout the build are Gunze numbers. There are three markings options. One is the box art plane from 54 Squadron with the fearsome sharkmouth. Another is from EC 4/11, and the third is the Jaguar International demonstrator used to sell the plane to foreign air arms. Note that the decals are pretty thick though they may still work well. Most will want aftermarket. The color schemes for the RAF and French planes are not the same with the French using slightly different shades than the RAF. A paint mixing chart is provided.
It isn't the newest Jaguar kit around in this scale. That goes to the recent Hobby Boss kit. But of the various Jaguar kits produced over the years (and I think that Airfix, Heller and Italeri have all done them), this one is probably the easiest to build and the best bang for the buck.
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