Heller 1/72 Jaguar A
KIT #: 71241
PRICE: $10.00 'used'
DECALS: One Option
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: Kit includes paint and brush


The SEPECAT Jaguar is an Anglo-French jet attack aircraft originally used by the British Royal Air Force and the French Air Force in the close air support and nuclear strike role. It is still in service with the Indian Air Force.

Originally conceived in the 1960s as a jet trainer with a light ground attack capability, the requirement for the aircraft soon changed to include supersonic performance, reconnaissance and tactical nuclear strike roles. A carrier-based variant was also planned for French Navy service, but this was cancelled in favour of the cheaper Dassault-Breguet Super Étendard. The aircraft were manufactured by SEPECAT (Société Européenne de Production de l'avion Ecole de Combat et d'Appui Tactique), a joint venture between Breguet and the British Aircraft Corporation, one of the first major joint Anglo-French military aircraft programmes.

The Jaguar was exported to India, Oman, Ecuador and Nigeria. The aircraft was used in numerous conflicts and military operations in Mauritania, Chad, Iraq, Bosnia, and Pakistan, as well as providing a ready nuclear delivery platform for the United Kingdom, France, and India throughout the latter half of the Cold War and beyond. In the Gulf War, the Jaguar was praised for its reliability and was a valuable coalition resource. The aircraft served with the French Air Force as the main strike/attack aircraft until 1 July 2005, and with the Royal Air Force until the end of April 2007. It was replaced by the Panavia Tornado and the Eurofighter Typhoon in the RAF and the Dassault Rafale in the French Air Force.

While Heller did their own Jaguar kit, it was tooled so that one could install either a single seat or two seat nose section. This kit has a solid single seat fuselage so it is the Airfix kit. That is borne out by having British bombs and drop tanks on the sprues. However, there is an additional sprue with French drop tanks and pods for under the wings.

Typical of kits of this era, it has raised panel lines. There is a small amount of flash on a few parts, but not really all that much. The fuselage halves have the proper under nose targeting sensor and the proper tail for a French aircraft. The cockpit is minimalist at best with a floor, rear bulkhead and seat shape. A pilot figure is included to help fill the space.

Landing gear legs are quite simplified and molded as a single piece with separate wheels for all three legs. There is no indication of nose weight needed, but I'd put in a little just in case. With the cockpit trapped in the fuselage halves, the one piece wings (with holes for pylons already drilled) and tailplanes are installed. this is followed by the intakes, gun ports, canopy, nose probe and tail antennas.

On the underside, the aft rear fuselage insert is installed along with the landing gear. Speed brakes can be posed open but there is no actuating cylinder. Then there are gear doors and the exhaust. The final items are two fuel tanks, as well as the ecm pods for under the wings.

Instructions are well done and provide Humbrol paint numbers. This particular kit includes little plastic tubs of most of the paints and a brush. I've used Humbrol acrylic paints before and if these are viable, should work quite well. The lone set of markings is for a European camouflage plane in green and grey over silver with EC 3/7. Decals are quite matte, but should function just fine over a clear coat. 

This kit will probably not appeal to everyone. There are more modern kits on the market from Hasegawa and Italeri. There may be others, but those are the only two that come to mind. Still, most all kits are worth building if you aren't brainwashed into thinking that only 'new' kits are worth the effort. I like these older kits as they are generally fairly trouble-free and you don't have worry about screwing them up. 



February 2022

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