Aurora 1/48 A-37 Strike Jet






One aircraft


Scott Van Aken


1968 issue`


Back in the 1960's, one of the aviation buzz words was COIN. COIN was COunterINsurgency, i.e. those people (usually of leftist bent) who are trying to overthrow your happy Western approved dictatorship. These kinds of things were going on all over the world in Africa, Central and South America, and in Southeast Asia. Now fighting these kinds of movements is quite difficult, especially if you are unable to maintain a sophisticated air force and the bad guys are skulking around in the boonies. What is needed is a reliable, easy to maintain aircraft that can deliver a decent amount of destruction on these disruptor.

In the past, what had been used were modified trainers. The T-6 and T-28 were perfect for the job. They could carry a couple of people, one to look out for targets, and some offensive weapons. They were cheap, easy to fly and easy to maintain. However, there really were not a lot of them and they tended to break down more as they got older. What was needed was a jet version.

Looking around at the jet trainers available, the USAF decided that a beefed up T-37 was just what was needed. Thus was born the A-37. Not only did it meet all the requirements, it could carry a prodigious amount of ordnance. It was quickly developed and given to our dictators in need at the time, the South Vietnamese. They found it perfect and had much success with it. The type was later used by the USAF and ANG and Reserves as a fast FAC bird and given to many friendly countries in Asia and Central/South America for use against their particular brand of skulking leftists. Though now out of the US inventory, they are soldiering on in many places around the world.



Since this is a 33 year old kit, you don't exactly expect it to all be on the sprues, do you? Anyway, Aurora was nothing if not able to upgrade a kit to get more mileage out of it. What you get in the box is the T-37 prototype with a nice little bag full of the extra bits needed to sorta make an A-37. Such as all those lovely tanks! What you basically do is build the T-37 and then glue on the ordnance and tip tanks.

Did I get to mention rivets? Aurora was justly proud of its rivets. To them that meant 'detail'. Actually, it isn't bad for such an old kit. You get a real cockpit with seats, instrument panel, control sticks, throttle consoles, and two real live mens to put into it. You also get a two piece canopy so you can display it open. No actuating mechanism, but this is 1968 and we don't need such things. The way the bombs are glued to the underside of the wings is interesting. There are two large pieces that are all attached to each other. This is shaped like an elongated 'E' with extra horizontal lines. You glue this thing to the underside of the wings and all the bombs to it. Not even close to right, but it is Aurora. The landing gear is rather spindly, but it is separate from the gear doors. What's more, the kit comes with a very nice, large display stand.

The kit decals have held up rather well over the years though they have started to yellow. You get basic markings and probably a bogus serial number. There are no engraved area on the wings or fuselage to show you where to put the markings. This is a 'modern' Aurora kit!

As you might guess, the kit is really only for collectors or those who want something to build an actual T-37 from. You see, this kit doesn't have the enlarged wing roots of an A-37 nor does it have the big thrust attenuators of the A-37 and it has actual normal wing tips (normal for the prototype T-37 anyway). If you can find one and are going on a nostalgia binge, this would be a neat kit to build stock.

Review kit courtesy of me and my wallet!

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