KIT: Airfix 1/72 Saab Draken
KIT #: 02039
DECALS: Two options
REVIEWER: Tim Mansfield
NOTES: Pre 1980s kit for MM Group Build


What can I say.  Noisy, fast guardian of Swedish neutrality – at the height of the cold war.  Star performer at air-shows, where it demonstrated parity with anything on offer by the West – and, we find out later, the Red Star.  Primarily an Air-to-Air interceptor, the Draken also has Attack, Reconnaissance, and anti shipping roles – and it can disperse from airfields to operate from short strips of road!  Developed from a requirement raised in 1949, the Draken first flew in 1955 – and was finally withdrawn from service in 2005.


The kit is embossed 1970 on the inside – making it ideal for Modelling Madness’ Group Build project.  To add to ‘The way we used to build models’ feel – I’m not going to spend more than a weekend on this project or add any aftermarket detail!

The kit consists of 52 soft grey plastic parts, and a single piece clear canopy.  Surface detail is raised and interior detail limited a pilot on a VERY crude seat.

The kit retails for £3.99 in the UK – but mine was £1 at North  Somerset model show in 1999. What a bargain!

I had built a previous Airfix Draken in 1987 (the one in flying mode) – which was also built in the same manner.


All I can say is straightforward and quick – just follow the instructions.  No need for special tools or jigs.  I did use liquid paper on the outer wing joints, and tail – but nowhere else.  Also, I was more careful to remove moulding gates and check mating surfaces – than I was in 1987.

Airframe was completed one Friday night, and dried sufficiently to be painted later that night.



This kit still has instructions for Airfix paints – that are no longer available (although I can’t explain why my 1987 example turned out in two tone green!).

For this project I used Humbrol 75  for the upper green and Inscribe Ash Grey for the underside.  I applied a quick, pre-breakfast, coat of Klear to act as a barrier – and prevent dragging,  then used Humbrol 144 for the Grey camouflage pattern. Completed by 10am Saturday.

Finally another coat of Klear, to prepare for decals at 8pm Saturday.  

 Decal Application

Decalling started at about 10pm Saturday.  On my previous Draken, I’d avoided the chequers scheme – as I didn’t know how to prevent silvering.  No such worries now that I’ve discovered Klear.  I applied decals over a wet blob of Klear, and press flat with an old tee-shirt.  This fills any space between the model and decal, expels any surplus, and acts as an adhesive. 

The decals went on well (not many don’t with my application method), and consumed about an hour.



Undercarriage legs and wheels were fitted late on Saturday night, along with fuel tanks and nose-cone – before being left to set overnight.  This model has an air-gun pellet in the nose for ballast.

Undercarriage doors were fitted on Sunday morning – this model sits well on its undercarriage.

The outer wing missiles were painted white overall – then left to dry.

On Sunday evening the model was given an overall coat of Humbrol MattCote, before having the missiles fitted.

I went overdrawn on my ‘one weekend only’ timescale – by silvering the wing leading edges a few nights later.  For this I drew the outline with gel-pen – then infilled with Humbrol silver paint. 

And there we have it – another Draken enters my loft air force.


I’m not going to measure this model for accuracy – but will ask “does it look like a Draken?”  The answer is undoubtably YES!

The kit is not upto current standards – as I’d imagine the Hasegawa kit is – but that was known from its pedigree at the start.

Was this project FUN?   YES,  many thanks to Scott – for his group build idea.

March 2006

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