Kinetic 1/48 M-346 Master
KIT #: 48063
PRICE: $51.00
DECALS: Six options
REVIEWER: John Summerford


According to the box lid:

“The M-346 Master is an advanced jet trainer and light strike aircraft. Initially a joint Alenia Aeromacchi/Yakovlev venture, the partnership dissolved in 2000 and the M-346 was developed separately from the Yak-130. First flown in 2004, the M-246 is now fully operational with the air forces of Israel, Italy, Poland, and Singapore.

As published by Air Force Technology, the M-346 Master is an advanced and lead-in fifth-generation fighter trainer. The M-346 provides combat pilot training for front-line fighters with high angle-of-attack capability. Powered by a pair of Honeywell F124 turbofan engines, it is capable of transonic flight without an afterburner. During the process, the twin concepts of “design-to-cost” and “design-to-maintain” were adhered to, reducing acquisition and operational costs. The per flying hour costs of the M-346 are reportedly one-tenth of those of Eurofighter Typhoon. Outside of the training role, the M-346 was designed from the outset to accommodate operational capabilities including combat missions such as close air support and air police duties.”


Three bags contain 131 gray plastic parts for the airframe. Another bag has a sprue of 13 clear parts. Pylons and ordinance on three plastic sprues are inside two bags and total 112 parts. The fret of photoetch parts holds 26 parts. If I hit the right buttons on my calculator, that totals 282 parts. Molding details are sharp and panel lines are petite.

Decals printed by Cartograph are provided for the four air forces mention above, plus two prototype aircraft. In addition to the markings found on the main sheets, a smaller sheet has the markings for the various ordinance that could be loaded and a strip of stencils common to all aircraft.

The instruction booklet is 22 black and white pages long. Assembly is broken down into 31 steps. Color call-outs are for Mig, Vallejo, Gunze Mr. Color, Tamiya, and Humbrol paints, with notes referring to the Mig numbers. A painting chart cross references the other brands. There are slight differences between the airframes flown by the different air forces and the diagrams give detail drawings noting those variations.


Given the parts count for an aircraft in 48th scale, I think there is a lot of bang for the buck. The kit appears well engineered. I read a review from a British modeler who wrote that it went together so easily that he couldn’t remember how the process went a month after completion.


John Summerford

August 2019


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