Revell 1/48 Eurofighter Typhoon twin seater
|Scott Van Aken
The Eurofighter Typhoon is a European twin-engine, canard delta wing, multirole fighter. The Typhoon was designed originally as an air superiority fighter and is manufactured by a consortium of Airbus, BAE Systems and Leonardo that conducts the majority of the project through a joint holding company, Eurofighter Jagdflugzeug GmbH. The NATO Eurofighter and Tornado Management Agency, representing the UK, Germany, Italy and Spain manages the project and is the prime customer.
The aircraft's development effectively began in 1983 with the Future European Fighter Aircraft programme, a multinational collaboration among the UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain. Previously, Germany, Italy and the UK had jointly developed and deployed the Panavia Tornado combat aircraft and desired to collaborate on a new project, with additional participating EU nations. However disagreements over design authority and operational requirements led France to leave the consortium to develop the Dassault Rafale independently. A technology demonstration aircraft, the British Aerospace EAP, first flew on 6 August 1986; a Eurofighter prototype made its maiden flight on 27 March 1994. The aircraft's name, Typhoon, was adopted in September 1998 and the first production contracts were also signed that year.
The sudden end of the Cold War reduced European demand for fighter aircraft and led to debate over the aircraft's cost and work share and protracted the Typhoon's development: the Typhoon entered operational service in 2003 and is now in service with the air forces of Austria, Italy, Germany, the United Kingdom, Spain, Saudi Arabia and Oman. Kuwait and Qatar have also ordered the aircraft, bringing the procurement total to 623 aircraft as of 2019.
The Eurofighter Typhoon is a highly agile aircraft, designed to be a supremely effective dogfighter in combat. Later production aircraft have been increasingly better equipped to undertake air-to-surface strike missions and to be compatible with an increasing number of different armaments and equipment, including Storm Shadow and Brimstone missiles. The Typhoon had its combat debut during the 2011 military intervention in Libya with the UK's Royal Air Force (RAF) and the Italian Air Force, performing aerial reconnaissance and ground-strike missions. The type has also taken primary responsibility for air-defence duties for the majority of customer nations.
Apparently Revell is the only one to do the Eurofighter Typhoon in 1/48 which makes some sense as Revell is a German company and Germany is heavily involved in the program. This is the two seat version, which to some of us looks nicer than the standard single seat version. If there is a downside to this kit it is the lack of aftermarket decals for the twin seater.
Revell has a well earned reputation for producing quality kits and this one is no exception. The surface detailing is among the best there is and while the parts count is fairly high (241 pieces) they will mostly be put to good use. As you can imagine, a fair number of these bits are for weapons and things under wings. Revell has provided both British and German weapons with the kit so you can have an accurate load out.
Since this is the two seat version, the cockpit is a bit more parts intensive than usual. You get two acceptable ejecion seats along with instrument panels that are a mix of decals and paint. Controls are also included and the rudder pedals are molded into the instrument panels. Note that throughout the build you will be asked to open holes for various bits, some of which are optional so you do need to do some homework in this regard. Before closing the fuselage halves, the canards are attached. These are designed to be movable. 30 grams of nose weight are required, which is a fair amount. Fortunately, there is room to place it.
Once the fuselage is closed, construction turns to the main gear wells and the intake. There are seamless intakes out there if you want to spend the money. after those bits are installed, the lower wing goes into place and is followed by the upper halves. Then there are various scoops, fairings, the upper fuselage and the exhaust before moving towards the landing gear parts and doors. You can model this in filight if you so desire though no stand is provided for this.
Other options are a raised or lowered speed brake and raised or lowered cockpit canopy. If doing the raised canopy, you need to manufacture a pair of struts out of stretched sprue to hold it open. Another option is the extended or retracted refuelling probe. The rest are all weapons which include 1000 litre tanks, Meteor, Sidewinder and AMRAAM missiles as well as Taurus, Stormshadow, and a German recce pod. GBU-24B LGBs are also in the mix. You get a very complete loadout diagram.
Instructions are well done with Revell paint references. This means several shades will need mixed which includes the overall greys for both the British and German camouflage colors. Most of us will research these shades and use ready mixed paints from someone else. You have the box art option with 29 Squadron RAF, as well as two JG 73 options, one with special tail markings. Decals are nicely printed and are mostly stencils, including those for the various weapons.
As they say, if you want one of these in 1/48, then this is it (so far). Fortunately, it looks like a really good kit and there are aftermarket pieces for it to gussy it up if you want to do so.
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