Portuguese FIAT G-91 R3 (NATO Tiger Meet, 1987, Portugal) – Revell, 1:72
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Portuguese FIAT G-91 R3 at 1987 Nato Tiger Meet
Esquadra 301 - Portuguese Air Force
The heritage and history of this Squadron began in November 1968 with the creation of the Portuguese Air Force 502 Squadron 'Jaguares', located in Nacala, Mozambique at Air Base 5 (BA5), flying the FIAT G-91.
In August 1974, the FIAT G-91's stationed in BA 5 and the ones from 121 Squadron (Tigres) from Bissalanca - Guinea were sent to BA 6, Montijo, Portugal, forming the 62 Squadron which was organized in accordance with the NATO regulations.
In 1978 the squadron was renumber to 301 the (still, now with F-16 MLU) actual designation. At this time, they were given the missions of Close Air Support, Battlefield Interdiction and Tactical Reconnaissance.
On this same year, the 301 Sqn participated for the first time in the Tiger Meet in Belgium. Full Member since 1979, the 301 Squadron has already won the 'Silver Tiger' twice (1980/1985) keeping well alive the Tiger Spirit.
In 1987 the Nato Tiger Meet was hosted by the Jaguares at Montijo Air Base and the Portuguese Squadron presented a Fiat G-91R3 (5465) with an exquisite painting scheme by Armando Jorge Soares and Jorge Henrique Pinto Silva.
The colours Black FS 37038, White FS 37722 (nose), White FS 27880 (teeth), Yellow FS 23655, Red FS 31136, Pink (Red FS 31136 and White FS 37875) and Brown FS 30227 were applied.
This aircraft had an ephemeral existence with this painting (only three months), having returned to receive the original colours shortly after the Tiger Meet in which it was exhibited and was later dismantled in 1993.
To represent this plane (which I remember seeing flying in 1987), I used a kit from Revell that I was offered by a modeller friend and that I planned to build in another version, also Portuguese. However, the offer of decals for this version by another modeller, made me change my mind.
The building of the kit is straightforward, the interior has the normal detail for 1:72 kit with some years and the fittings are also the (bad) normal, requiring the use of some putty.
After the building was completed, and in order to apply the yellow paint, I applied a quite diluted white primer so as not to erase the panel lines and other details of the kit.
This was followed by the application of yellow, except in the ‘nose’ that would be painted white, and then brown on the ‘head’.
After that step was over, it was time to apply masks and paint some panels black, as well as the details on the nose, according to reference images.
Having finished the main painting, it was time to apply the gloss varnish in order to place the numerous decals that make up the stripes of the ‘Tigre’, as well as the national and operational marks of the aircraft.
As the decals where quite old and not in their best form, some crackled and it was necessary to retouch some stripes, in deep black paint.
After all the stripes where applied and retouched, the ‘mouth’ followed. This was the most difficult decaling part as it was necessary to make the decal conform to the gun area, which was not easy even with a lot of softening solution. Eventually the decal had to be cut and retouched with a custom-made mixture.
When all the painting and decaling were complete, everything was sealed with two light satin clear coats.
To finish the building, it was time to fix the landing gear and make the head and position lights using some PVA glue over a silver or coloured base as applied.
Having it done, all that remained was to unmask and clean the canopy, apply some gauzy agent on it and display the model with an open canopy.
It was a quick and enjoyable build, hope you like as much as I did.