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SAAF Saab JAS 39 Gripen C — 48th scale kit by Kitty Hawk (kit no. KH80117)

This was the third of my South African Air Force jet builds. The kit gave me virtually no issues, apart from the dive brakes not fitting too well in the closed position. Finish is good and the surface detail is fine. Paints used were Mr Color, thinned with Mr Color Leveling Thinner. Chrome work is with a Molotow Liquid Chrome pen.

The SAAF was the first foreign buyer of the Gripen when in 1998 the initial order for 9 dual- and 19 single-seat aircraft was placed. However, the order was revised in 2005 to nine dual-seat and seventeen single-seat aircraft to replace the dual-seat Cheetah D and the single-seat Cheetah C fighters then currently in inventory. The first SAAF Gripen, SA01, rolled-off the Saab assembly line in October 2005 and made its maiden flight in Sweden on 11 November. SA01 made its South African public debut on 19 September 2006. This aircraft, a fully test-instrumented two-seater Gripen D, is based at the SA Air Force’s Test Flight Development Centre in the Southern Cape, where it is engaged in the comprehensive integration and development of customised South African avionics, weapons and systems. The first two South African Gripen C aircraft arrived by ship on 11 February 2010. The full complement of Gripes were introduced between 2008 and 2012.

2 Squadron of the SAAF operates the Gripens. The weapons system employed by these aircraft are: 120 kg Fragmentation Bomb, 120 kg Low-Drag Bomb, 145 kg Bomb, 460 kg Bomb, GBU-12 Paveway II, IRIS-T, Litening III targeting pod, Mauser BK 27 27mm Cannon and Thales Digital Joint Reconnaissance Pod.

Unlike with my previous articles, I am posting photos taken during the build process as well as final reveal shots. I hope they are of interest.

14 additional images. Click to enlarge.


14 responses to SAAF Saab JAS 39 Gripen C — 48th scale kit by Kitty Hawk (kit no. KH80117)

  1. Nice work, Ray…hopefully, Kitty Hawk kit designers are gettin’ better at what they do. 🙂

  2. Thanks, Craig. This is a 2013 new tool, so already a great improvement on earlier kits from them, as I have heard. It was my first KH build and I really enjoyed it.

  3. Nice build mate, some great cockpit detail!

  4. Nice job. Like the Gripen a lot.

  5. A great looking model of a very attractive plane. Despite having some success with two Kittyhawk kits I was still reluctant to try one of these due to the negative comments that seem to abound on the internet, I think you’ve persuaded me otherwise.

    • Thanks, George. Yes, Gripens are beautiful planes. Love the lines! As for Kitty Hawk kits, I have also seen all the negative comments, but I’m a perverse fellow 🙂 who enjoys the challenge of a not-too-good kit. As I regain old skills and learn new ones, these challenges seem to get easier all the time. I’m looking forward to see what my 1984 ESCI Mirage F1C kit I picked up on eBay for 20AUD is going to demand of me.

  6. Very nice – love the Swedish aircraft designs, and your execution on this looks great.

  7. I’m with George when he stated that yours is a “great looking model of a very attractive plane.” Lovely! As I have zero experience with any Kitty Hawk kits, I’ll take everyone’s word regarding the KH quality.

    Well done, Ray.

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