|KIT:||Trumpeter 1/72 Chinese 'New Fighter'|
|PRICE:||$18 from North American Hobbies|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
This is one of those aircraft about which I know nearly nothing. Other than its existence, I don't know its designation or who is building it. (Thanks to Dave Womby, I now know it is the Jian J-10) What I can tell you is that it follows very much what has been the trend in fighter aircraft designed in Europe in that it is a canard delta. A similar general arrangement has been used on the French Rafale, British Typhoon, Swedish Gripen, and Israeli Lavi. This makes for a rather maneuverable aircraft and seems quite suitable for an air defense fighter such as this.
What I do know from the info on the kit box is that at least four prototypes had been completed by 2001 with initial operational capability due this year or next. The box history also hints that this may well be a provisional design with alterations made to the final product as required. Regardless, it is a neat looking aircraft and I'm sure that the modern fighter fans will be quite pleased with this one. Here is a website that was sent in by Waikong Chung that has more information. http://www.sinodefence.com/airforce/fighter/j10.asp
After all the brooha over the detailing on the Trumpeter 1/48 Vigilante, I was interested to see if this one had the same 'rivet' detail. It does not. In fact, the surface is rather smooth. It does have the now standard engraved panel lines so no concerns on that front. The sprues are relatively flash free with just a tad of flash on a few parts. Sink areas were spotted on the fuselage where there is detail or reinforcement on the inside, but it is minimal. I was particularly impressed with the care taken in packaging. Each sprue was in its own bag and the wings were wrapped in bubble wrap. Can't say that you see that very often.
A full sprue is dedicated to the stuff that hangs from the wings, meaning PL-8 and PL-10 missiles and various drop tanks. Separate flaps and ailerons are provided, though it seems they are not really designed to be positioned in anything but the neutral position as the flap actuator assemblies will prevent this. The intake is a bit shallow with a blanking plate provided to prevent you from peering down the intake. an optional position canopy with actuating arm is given. Interior is about standard for 1/72 scale. Some instrument panel/console detail is given as are decals.
Instructions are well done with nicely drawn construction steps. Painting information is given throughout, though there is no color reference chart. Only color numbers are given and these appear to be Gunze. I'm not sure if this is a trend or not, but it would be nice to have a generic name for these colors provided so we don't have to go running to our Hasegawa kits to decipher this info. Markings are provided for two aircraft. One is in two dark greys while the other is in two lighter greys with only the darker greys aircraft having both sides and an upper view to help in painting. Apparently one has a lot of variance in doing the camo scheme. The decals are very nicely printed and look as if they'll work just fine.
I can tell you that this kit was not on my 'have to get' list; primarily because I didn't know it existed until I'd heard about it recently. Like most of you, I have a penchant for modern jets though I rarely seem to build many of them. This one is pretty neat looking and shows just where the state of modern military aircraft has come. I'm sure it will build into a nice kit and while not exactly Hasegawa quality, it is getting there.
Thanks to me for the review kit.
If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly by a site that has nearly 300,000 visitors a month, please contact me or see other details in the Note to Contributors.
Back to the Main Page
Back to the Previews Index Page