|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||New tool kit|
The Breguet Br.1050 Alizé (French: "Tradewind") was a French carrier-based anti-submarine warfare aircraft. It was developed in the 1950s, based loosely on the second prototype Breguet Vultur attack aircraft which had been modified into the Breguet Br.965 Épaulard anti-submarine warfare aircraft.
The Alizé was a low-wing monoplane of conventional configuration. It had a CSF radar system with a retractable antenna dome in its belly. The cockpit accommodated a crew of three, including pilot, radar operator, and sensor operator. The pilot was seated in front on the left, the navigator in front on the right, and the sensor operator sat sideways behind them. The landing gear was of tricycle configuration, with the main gear retracting backwards into nacelles in the wings. The main gear had dual wheels, and the front part of the nacelles accommodated sonobuoys. The Alizé had a yoke-style arresting hook.
The internal weapons bay could accommodate a homing torpedo or depth charges, and underwing stores pylons could carry bombs, depth charges, rockets, or missiles. Typical underwing stores included 68 mm (2.68 in) rocket pods or AS.12 wire-guided antiship missiles.
The folks at Azur/FRROM have a reputation for providing kits of aircraft that have either not been modeled before, have only been done in other scales, or have not been well modeled. Such is the case with the Breguet Alizé. This is an aircraft that has been only modeled before in injected plastic my a mainstream model company, and that was by Heller. This ancient kit was basically a prototype and it was typical of the late 1960's in that it was lacking in detail and had some shape issues as well. Heller did two boxings; one was in 1/100 and the other in 1/50. Heller released these kits several times, including relatively recently in the last camo scheme carried by the aircraft. Those with a penchant for masochism could also build the newer (than Heller) Mach 2 kit in 1/72 and F.M. 1/48 short run kit.
Now we have a series of these planes produced by Azur/FRROM that pretty well supercedes all that has gone before. One thing most of us will like is that the kit is devoid of resin or photo etch and includes very nicely done clear bits. Looking at the sprues diagram you'll notice that there are quite a few parts not used. This is because all the kits will have pretty much the same sprues included, so one simply uses those that are appropriate for the boxing that you buy. This particular kit is the aircraft as it appeared after its midlife upgrade. The telling external differences are some new antennas and the reduction of the front pod landing light to one that also includes antennas. These planes would still have been armed as the earlier variant reviewed a short while back. Again, all the sprues are identical, you just use some different bits not used before.
The cockpit is nicely done with separate consoles, radio and ASW equipment along with different style seats for the various crew positions. Sidewall detail is provided as well and though not much will be visible in the black crew area, the detail is there. The small windows of the aircraft are inserted from inside prior to closing the fuselage halves. I should mention that there are, throughout the build, notes on opening up sections, again, depending on the aircraft that is kitted.
8 grams of nose weight will be needed and there is plenty of room to place this. The kit includes a separate radome bay and if doing the model in flight, this can be modeled in the lowered position.
The wings are upper and lower halves on each side with a four piece gear bay. This bay is actually nicely done and the rather complex landing gear can be installed after these pods are glued onto the wing. As is normal for the early planes, the front part of these pods are lights so use the clear bits provided. The kit has single piece stabs and a separate rudder. Separate flap hinges are included as well as the A frame arresting hook. Under the wings are six pylons. These are to be painted black so you may want to wait until after the kit has been painted to apply these. Note that on photos I have of the aircraft without pylons, the pylon mounting holes are quite prominent so no need to fill these if you model the airplane without all the pylons. A nice selection of rockets, rocket pods and missiles is included. A one-piece cockpit canopy is provided and the prop is actually two pieces and the spinner bits, something a bit different.
The instruction booklet is superbly done with Gunze color information and detail reference diagrams throughout. Here is where this boxing really differs and that is the markings options provided.
The first is aircraft #42. This plane is in the dark grey over white scheme of earlier aircraft. This plane was with Flotille 4F in 1981
Next is aircraft #41, also with Flotille 4F and this time aboard the Clemenceau in 1997. This is in the dark grey over light grey worn by the type during its last years of operation.
The third option is also one in overall dark grey. This is #55, also with Flotille 4F from 1989 until 1996.
The decals are superbly printed. Past experience has shown them to be quite thin and opaque. I hope you like the little photo essay as I just happened to have images of all three markings options in my slide collection and they show that these planes were not grungy, but kept quite clean.
This is really a nice kit of this interesting aircraft. The French have always marched to a different drummer and rarely purchase military aircraft from other nations, even though the unit cost would be higher by not doing so. Similar to the way Sweden operates. It results in some different types that are often missed by most model companies. This kit makes up for one omission and is such that even if one has not built a short run kit before, it should make for a nice introduction into the genre.
Thanks to www.frrom.com for the
preview kit. If you cannot find it locally, ask them to order it for you.
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