Fonderie-Miniature 1/48 SE.2415 Grognard II
This is my Fonderie Miniature 1/48 SE 2415 Grogard II, built in 2003.
The Grognard was designed by SNCASE as a single-seat, low-level ground-attack aircraft. Although in development in the 1950s for the French Armée de l’Air, the program was cancelled in favor of the Sud-Ouest Vautour II. It started as SE2410, a spectacular design, with two stacked Nene jet engines fed by a single dorsal inlet in a compact, bulbous fuselage with the single cockpit at extreme front. The official name SE.2410 Grognard I (French: Grumbler) was derived from the nickname for a soldier of Napoleon’s Old Guard. Problems encountered in test flights led to a number of modifications to the tail unit and ailerons. Development continued with Sud-Est building two prototypes with a further refinement that led to the SE.2415, identified as the Grognard II, a two-seat development that included a stretched fuselage incorporating a raised cockpit with a bubble canopy and reduced 32˚ wing sweep back. Following initial testing, two boundary layer fences were installed on the outer wings of the SE.2415; underwing spoilers were also tested.
I bought this kit when I was on a mission in France in 2003. I didn’t know this plane existed. The kit is multimedia with rough textured and with a lot of flash, but nicely detailed, soft (…workable…) styrene main fuselage and wing parts, beautiful resin cockpit, instrument panel, seat, wheels, wheel wells…nice white metal gear legs and smaller details (even a camera positioned in the cockpit for filming purposes, as it was a prototype), two nice vacform canopies and good looking decals.
Of course, being a Fonderie-Miniature kit, it took some (!…) effort to put together (filing, filling, sanding, filling, sanding…you know the story). From what I can recall, the styrene parts fitted OK. Work needed to be done as to succeed fitting the resin wells and cockpit to the fuselage, but once you install them they look beautiful. It’s a pity the wheel wells can only be seen a little, due to molded closed main gear doors.
Since the plane was bare metal, I gave the model a coat of Humbrol silver after a lot good progressive sanding of the external surfaces up to 2000 grit.
The decals behaved beautifully, as long I was extremely gentle with them (better safe than sorry), since they looked thin and fragile. Clear varnish sealed everything. It would be interesting to try various metal shades and not having a monotone silver fuselage, but I would leave it to the pros, and anyway photos of the real thing do not show any serious metal shade variation.
The canopy – alas, as always hand painted cause I’m lazy to do masking – was very clear, yellowed a bit after all these years (as well as the varnish at some spots).
So here is my rendition of this gorgeous girl (my less than average skills doing the best they could). Look at this air intake on top of fuselage….behind the canopy. How on earth they thought to put the intake right there? The canopy – and the whole front! – would aerodynamically shadow it, especially at positive angles of attack! The poor engines would stall! Or not quite so? Reports state that test results were good! Go figure…..
Challenging kit, but had so much fun building it.
What a strangely beautiful plane!
Keep safe and be strong! We will prevail!
7 additional images. Click to enlarge.