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In-Box Review
172
Alpha Jet upgrades
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by: Tim Hatton [ LITESPEED ]


Originally published on:
AeroScale

Introduction

Pavla have released a number of resin detail sets for the Airfix / Heller Alpha Jet. A subject close to my heart at the moment as we are visited daily by these lovely little jet trainers over our home.

S72061. 2 x MB. Mk 4-AJRM4 Ejector seats.
Price: £3.30
Beautifully cast in dark grey resin, the one piece ejection. Including moulded seat harness, buckles, activation rings on top of the seat and between the pilots legs. There is a pronounced dimple in the shoulder support cushion, which I thought was a moulding fault, but is present in the full size seat. There is a casting block attached to the lower seat that will need removing. Unfortunately there are no painting instructions. Check out Martin Bakers website for help with colour guidance.
Contents:
2 resin parts.

U72-120. Starboard intake and exhaust nozzles.
Price : £4.65
Don't be confused by the title, you are supplied with both intakes moulded onto splitter plates and recessed panel lines are finely reproduced. They are both connected to the same casting block via three small resin legs which will help enormously to ease separation. The engine nozzles are minute in size, but again beautifully cast including the rear turbine spindle within the jet pipe. Also included with this set are various intakes and vents attached to the aircraft fuselage. Full fitting instructions are included.
Contents:
13 resin parts.
1 sheet of instructions.

V72-71. Canopy.
Price: £1.44
Vac-formed, this is a very good replacement for the canopy supplied in the Airfix kit. Some careful cutting is required as you only get one. Care will be needed to the rear of the instructors position because there is a little cut out for the wing leading edge. It is possible to separate the two canopies with a very sharp knife and a steady hand if you want to show the cockpit interior more clearly.
Contents:
1 canopy.

U72-121. “Patrouille de France”
Price: £3.10
This represents the tank which contains the oil that produces the coloured smoke for the display team “Patrouille de France”. Nicely detailed with recessed panel lines. Unfortunately there are no fitting instructions, although it could be a direct replacement for the kit part in the Heller kit.
Contents:
1 x coloured smoke oil tank.

The above sets come in a resealable bags.

C72093. Alpha Jet E cockpit set.
Price: £12.50
This set contains:
2 x MB. Mk 4-AJRM4 Ejector seats [see above].
1 x one piece casting of the two pilots positions.
4 x rudder pedals.
3 x instrument panels.
2 x Control sticks.
2 x Hydraulic rams for the canopies.
2 x Throttle levers.
1 x Vac-formed canopy {see above].
2 x Small sheets of instructions.

Three instrument panels? Pavla supply two different panels for the front trainees pilot position. One comes with a HUD, the other does not. The instrument panel minus the HUD is I think meant for a “Patrouille de France” aircraft, which normally don't have HUD's fitted. The seats are the same as described above, unfortunately in my sample there was damage to the all the activation rings on the seats, they had all broken off and were floating around in the packaging. One of the hydraulic rams had separated from it's block and was nowhere to be seen. Disappointing, but not massively difficult to replace with some scratch building. The cockpit tub is attached to a resin block by six short arms which make separation a simple affair. All the switches, gauges and ducting are very well done. The canopy is loose with the contents, but no sign of any damage. Instructions have all the information needed to install this set and what you need to cut away from the Airfix/Heller kit. Also included are full painting instructions for the cockpit and seats. A pity there no such instructions for the ejection seat set.

This set comes packed in a clear vac-formed rectangular blister backed with card. The packaging are joined by heavy staples. Unfortunately there is no cushioning for the components so I would give the packaging 8/10 for rattlingness! Ironically the items in the resealable bags were not damaged at all. Pavla you must look towards putting some sort of cushioning in the blister pack to stop things rattling, lessening the chance of damage.

Conclusion

These sets will improve your Alpha Jet no end. A small amount of work is necessary to fit the cockpit set such as removing the small rear bulkhead behind rear pilot and some careful painting and highlighting.



SUMMARY
Highs: Excellent detail on the castings and the canopies look much better than the kit canopies. Will suit folk allergic to PE parts.
Lows: Broken bits in the cockpit set.
Verdict: Highly recommended
Percentage Rating
85%
  Scale: 1:72
  Suggested Retail: see text
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Jul 24, 2010
  NATIONALITY: France
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 90.86%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 88.99%

Our Thanks to Pavla Models!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Tim Hatton (litespeed)
FROM: ENGLAND - NORTH WEST, UNITED KINGDOM

Aircraft are my primary interest from WWll to present day.

Copyright ©2019 text by Tim Hatton [ LITESPEED ]. All rights reserved.



   

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