Review: J 29F Tunnan, Pilot Replicas, 1/48
This article is part of a series:
As things are moving along at the Swedish model kit manufacturer Pilot Replicas, I thought I´d give you a review of what have been released so far. Hopefully I can come back with a few bits and pieces along the way, as PR is far from done with this barrel-like creature.
This model kit seems to be the one in 1/48 scale that finally got the dimensions right: AZ is plain wrong making it look like two design teams combining their efforts, Hobby Boss is closer to 1/52 apparently but looking quite the thing (Ed. the air intake is wrong and the undercarriage is way off...), Neomega...is not styrene...and somewhat off?
The box itself
This particular boxing is first generation style, single flap insertion on the front side. The newer version is closing on the outside, with separate small flaps inserting into the sides and locking the lid into position. Good stuff!
As this is a fairly simple kit there are only 19 official steps to construct the model. Most of us have our own particular way to deal with a kit, though. The construction is well laid out on three pages plus an introduction to the original on the first page. Paper is glossy and images are computer generated renderings. Painting is called out in actual colour plus codes for Tamiya, Humbrol, Vallejo and Federal standard.
As can be seen on the photos there are only seven sprues of parts, including clear parts and a small etched fret for cockpit details (wow, even three rear view mirrors are included!). Somehow I get a feeling the model is as simple as the actual aircraft itself. Smart construction and break down of main parts should make this a quick build. The plastic is somewhere between shiny and satin, not really polished. This is no disadvantage as the J 29 had a slight greyish appearance and not a shiny polished aluminium look to it. The J 29F fuselage is in four pieces, a given as the later boxings will be of the B and C models. These had a slightly different aft section due to lack of afterburner. The dedicated photo reconnaissance version, S 29C, had camera bulges and openings on each side of the front gear, thus there are some panels to add on this fighter boxing. I have found a very few pin marks but they should be easy to scrape away or ignore as they are likely on unseen surfaces. All the little rivet, fasteners and other details are looking like the real thing and a bit of a wash should make these pop on the model.
Painting and decalling instructions
The model comes with instructions for painting and decalling of three individual aircraft, all very different and colourful. First page of four are positions for general markings like "don´t, please, blah blah here".
The other three pages are for 1) 29547, an individual from 1st squadron, F 3 wing, outside Linköping (home town of SAAB aircraft manufacturing). Bright and colourful as a medieval knight. This one is wearing the oh so common black exercise markings showing opposing forces in air-to-air combat. Red is the colour of the first squadron. 2) A bit unexpected and daring choice is this machine, 29621, from F 20 wing in Uppsala. F 20 was the air force academy, training officers. I say daring choice as this is comparatively anonymous and bit dull compared to many other colour schemes. However, we must not forget a very important and vital activity as training of the officers. The fuselage day glow stripes denote an aircraft stressed for higher G load factors. If one is interested in a slightly different (and more colourful) variant there is an excellent decal sheet from Moose Republic Decals, blue Martin of F 20. These can be found at various shops like Moose Republic, Rebell and Alfa hobby.
Last but not least is 3)29422, a very bright machine from 3rd squadron at F 15 wing, Söderhamn, yellow Johan. A quite unique and striking variant with big orange day glow panels. The decals have been drawn by Moose Republic (former RBD) and have the correct colours for crown markings and squadron colours.