Pilot Replicas' Viggen Ejection Seat and RAT


48-R-002 and 48-R-003


SwKr 96 each (about $12.00)


Any 1/48 Viggen kit


Andrew Garcia

The recent 1/48th Saab Viggen models by Tarangus and Special Hobby are very nice but have a few areas that can be improved with some resin or photo etched components. Depending on the intensity of your pursuit of plastic perfection the kits may be fine or have some “fatal flaws”. Regardless of where you are on that spectrum some enhancements will be a nice addition and result in an even better model than an OOB build. At a minimum I would suggest replacing the ejection seat, adding a RAM turbine and replacing the wheels. Some very nice resin parts from Pilot Replicas in Sweden can help with the ejection seat and RAT fixes.
As of this date I found two ejection seats for the Viggen are available that look quite nice. Both Czech Master (CMK) # 48219 Saab JA-37 Viggen Ejection Seat and Pilot Replicas 48-R-002 Viggen Ejection Seat provide resin ejection seats that are far better than the kit injection plastic parts. I have both and you can’t go wrong with either. Both come with etched metal parts for added detail.
The Ram Air Turbine (RAT) unit is missing from the Tarangus and Special Hobby kits. It is always open when the aircraft is on the ground. It is one of those very cool enhancements that can kick your Viggen up a notch when added to the kit plastic. Some nice color photos of the actual component can be found on the internet for color and appearance information. The very well done RAT is available from Pilot Replicas 48-R-003 Viggen RAT. I am using this on my current builds of two 1/48th scale Viggen’s.
Some surgery is required to incorporate this part into your build. A cut to the kit plastic is needed but Pilot Replicas provides a resin cutting template. However – there are no instructions for where to cut the kit plastic so you will need to rely on some web search to determine the cut location. I did it and did not find this to be a big obstacle. The location is underneath the port canard. I also recommend you add a silver/black lettering data plate and two instrument dials from your preferred supplier of these aftermarket detail decals for the best final results since the resin bits do not include these items with the package. 
There are a few other Viggen bits from Czech Master resin accessories that are replacements for the:
CZQ48220 Saab JA-37 Viggen Air Brakes (SPH/TAR)  
CZQ48221 Saab JA-37 Viggen Wheels (SPH/TAR)
CZQ48222 Saab JA-37 Viggen Thrust Reverser (SPH/TAR)
There are two sources, so far, that I identified that have replacement resin Viggen wheels. Czech Master and Two Mikes Resin have what you need if you choose to get new wheels. I have not had them in my hands for a close up view but they look good in the photos provided by the manufacturers.
I purchased my 48-R-002 Viggen Ejection Seat and 48-R-003 Viggen RAT directly from Pilot Models. I found it interesting that some of the resin was manufactured in the USA and packaged and sold by Pilot Replicas. A link to their site is:  http://pilot-replicas.com/product/48-r-002-viggen-ejection-seat/  .
The only concerns with the Pilot Replicas components is they have no assembly or color painting call-outs or instructions. This has never deterred modelers but is really appreciated when they are supplied. I used the Special Hobby kit instructions for help with the ejection seat colors. A web search for color photos will fill in the gaps for those who need even better information.
A special thanks is due to Mr. Pierpaolo Maglio who has generously helped me with my Viggen knowledge pursuit and guided me on improvements to the Tarangus and Special Hobby Viggen releases. He has built a few outstanding Viggen models and worked on the masters of some resin replacement parts so he “walks the walk as well as talks the talk” when it comes to actually building fantastic looking models of the Viggen and not just criticizing models from afar but never building one as some others might do.

Andrew Garcia
September 2015

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