Hobby Boss 1/72 Jaguar A
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||New tool kit|
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 isn't the first kit of the Jaguar in this scale with both Heller/Airfix and Hasegawa producing kits of the type in the past. However, this is the first new tooling in decades of this kit with Hobby Boss apparently starting with the French versions. This is the Jaguar A with an E kit also being produced. The sprues layout is such that the fuselage halves are on a separate sprue so no need to graft a nose section onto an extant fuselage.
The kit is nicely detailed externally and provides an adequate cockpit with seat, stick and instrument panel that fit into a one-piece tub. A decal is used for the instrument panel. Wheel wells are separate pieces that fit into the fuselage halves prior to assembling the halves. Unlike previous Jaguar kits, there is no separate large lower fuselage piece, this being reduced to a smaller section aft of the main gear wells.
There are inserts for the gun blast sections which makes it much easher to paint. Intakes are an outer piece onto an inner section. There is no separate trunking, but the exhaust sections will prevent see through. A single piece canopy/windscreen is provided.There are a myriad of antennas, intakes and probes to attach to the fuselage, many of which should be left until after painting.
Both the nose and main gear are nicely detailed and all have separate wheels. The wings will need holes opened for pylons and the fences are separate. This kit only comes with the French style fin without the large ESM antennas. Gear doors are nicely done with large attachment points. Note that the instructions call for interior green on the inside of gear doors and wells. This should be chromate yellow. You have a lot of options for things hanging under the wings including Matra LGBs, an AI-168 missile, BLG-66 bomb, Magic missiles, Altist targeting pod, BAT-120 rockets, BR-250 bombs, Barracuda ECM pod, Phimat chaff dispenser, and two large fuel tanks.
Instructions are well drawn and you are provided with two markings options. One is the box art plane from EC 1/7, the last unit to operate the type in France. This one is in the European camouflage of green/grey uppers and silver undersides. This plane is in the earlier markings and has the yellow surround insignia. Note that the right side fin's triangular badge on the decal sheet is missing the blue background. The other is in the Tchad camouflage scheme of light sand and dark brown. I've included a photo of this plane from my large slide collection and you'll see that the demarcation line between the two colors is not all that tight. Unfortunately, the insignia on the sheet are incorrect for this option as the yellow was removed from the roundel years before any of the desert schemes were painted on the plane. Just for your info, there are two other desert schemes. One is Arabie with a lighter brown as used in Desert Storm, and there is a modified Tchad with three upper surface browns that is very fetching. Aside from the omissions mentioned, the sheet is nicely done and includes all the required markings for ordnance as well as the airframe.
Cheap this isn't, but if you want the latest and greatest for this subject, then this looks like the one to get. I'm rather disappointed by the incomplete research concerning the markings, but this is something that I've, unfortunately, come to expect of Hobby Boss. Fortunately, aftermarket is there to help out in cases like this.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SEPECAT_Jaguar April 2016 Copyright ModelingMadness.com
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