Saab J 29B Tunnan S/N 29475 - UN Squ. No. 22 (Sweden) - Congo - 1961/1963
Initially, I was thinking of making a classic aluminum version. But Hobby Boss also offers a camouflaged version, to say the least, new, with UN roundels (squares here :-)) for the UN. I did not take long to decide to retain this decoration which goes off the beaten track.
A little history (source: Pilot Replica):
The Congolese crisis and the 22nd U.N. Fighter Squadron (F 22 squadron in Congo)
The Congo crisis was a period of power struggles and serious unrest in the Congo that began when the Congo was declared independent from Belgium. Following a UN request on September 23, 1961, the Swedish government decided that a small group of J 29 B should be sent to the U.N. Fighter Wing, called F 22.
The task of the F 22 was to protect UN air transport primarily through escorts and offensive missions, a task that presented great practical difficulties in the type of war waged in Congo in 1961. Difficulties in distinguishing between objectives military and civilian installations were extraordinarily large. On December 6, 1961, the first attack missions were carried out against the air bases of Kolwezi and Jadotville in Katanga. The mission of the F 22 with its Swedish J 29 B, Indian Canberra and Iranian and Filipino F-86s, was at that time of crucial importance to the security and success of UN troops in the Congo.
Its significant contribution was the attack on Kolwezi Air Base, where the Katanga Air Force was quickly and surprisingly completely destroyed on the ground.
The F 22 was dissolved in April 1963. Two J 29 and two S 29 were repatriated to Sweden, the other aircraft were destroyed on the spot because the cost of their repatriation was considered too high. In total, 9 J 29B and 2 S 29C (reconnaissance) served in the Congo.
So much for the story of this ephemeral squadron.
Regarding the model, nothing special to say, it's a good little Hobby Boss model, without any notorious trap. As is often the case with this manufacturer, some steps are extremely precise, and others are less successful. But nothing insurmountable. I also added Master Model metal pitot tubes, an Aires resin seat and a PE Maestro Models ladder. For camouflage, we might as well say that reference photos are not legion, often with colors that have yellowed over time. So I had to resolve to interpret and improvise. I realized that the orange sprinkles should have been thinner.
I hope that this little flying barrel, which although it looks clumsy, nonetheless displays a certain elegance, will please you in this ephemeral livery. See you soon !
15 additional images. Click to enlarge.