This release from Tarangus
is the Lansen J 32B/E
. The “B” or the hunting Lance is the all-weather fighter version replacing the J33 Venom and J29 Tunnan. The “E” or the disturb Lance is the ECM variant used to counter the growing threat from electronic sources. In all two prototypes and 118 production aircraft were built between 1958 and 1960. The “B” type was retired from frontline service in 1973. At least two Lansens still remain operational with the sole task of taking high altitude air samples for research purposes in collaboration with the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority. One of the Lansens was used to collect volcanic ash samples from the eruption of Eyjafjallajökull in April and May 2010.
The J 32B was armed with four 30 mm ADEN cannons, Rb 24 missiles (license-built AIM-9 Sidewinder), or 75 mm unguided rockets fired from pods. The J32B was powered by the Flygmotor RM 6A (Rolls-Royce Avon Mk 47A) engine, 40% more powerful than the Flygmotor RM 5A engine used on the J32A. All variants had afterburner installed. A few surviving J32B’s were converted into the J32D [target tug] and the J32E.
The J32E as already noted was specifically equipped for ECM (electronic warfare and countermeasures). Fourteen J 32B’s were modified for the role and they saw long service finally being retired in 1997. Aircraft was equipped internally with a nose mounted G 24 jamming system in one of three versions for L, S or C bands for jamming ground and naval radar. Externally mounted Petrus and Boz pods were carried to deal with aerial borne radar.
The Lansen can still be seen on the air show circuits in Europe.
The short run kit is contained in a side opening box with a fine study by Tor Karlsson of a J32B taking off from its home base. Underneath there are three colour profiles providing a taste of the marking options available. Inside the box you will find:
2 x light grey plastic sprues.
1 x small clear plastic sprue.
1 x sheet of water slide decals.
1 x instruction booklet.
1 x A4 sheet of marking options in colour and a stencil guide.
The two grey plastic sprues are in a large bag and the clear sprue is contained in its own smaller bag. The decals and instructions are in another bag of their own. Each bag has press-to-seal zipper strips for added security. Initial impressions are favourable. There are only around 62 grey plastic parts. The plastic looks good quality and has a rather shiny appearance. There is evidence of some flash, moulding marks and some large raised and recessed ejector marks. This is a short run kit remember. So don’t expect Tamiya quality parts and fit here. Most of the parts will need some attention with a sanding stick just for a quick clean up.
Two tubs are provided for the pilot and navigator. The side consoles have some fine raised detail. The two separate instrument panels have a mix of recessed and raised detail. There is an annoying raised ejector mark to remove from the floor of each cockpit. There is no HUD screen supplied, but it should be easy enough to fashion one. The pilot’s office has a separate flight stick. The Saab Mk III ejector seats are detailed very well for this scale. They depict the frame of the seat and headrest without cushioning for the lower back and backside and there are no harnesses. Each seat has rather novel clear plastic blast screens to add either side of the headrest. A frame fitted to the rear of the seats is provided as a separate part. The colour for the parts of the cockpit is provided in the instructions, but there is plenty of online photographic reference of this area to refer to.
The canopy and windscreen is one piece and looks reasonably clear. The curved blast screen fitted in front of the navigator is a little hazy.
The rather large fuselage is moulded in two parts. The vertical stabiliser is a single separate piece. The surface detail is finely recessed and some of the inlets, outlets and the troughs for the 30mm cannons are included. There are additional air intakes, aerials and even a tail bumper to add onto the fuselage. The air intakes for the Flygmotor RM 6A are well done and capture the subtle shape beautifully. A couple of short lengths of blanked off ducting are included. The splutter plate is moulded onto the mouth of the duct. These work really well and the look of the splutter plate is spot on. The jet pipe is moulded in two halves and is capped at one end with re heat matrix and a separate one piece jet nozzle at the other end. The re-heat matrix has enough detail for added interest for anyone peering down the jet pipe. The jet nozzle in my sample has a small nick in it that I presume is a moulding defect. There is no such detail in the images I have seen of the real thing. It should be easy enough to repair though.
Unlike its 1/48 scale bigger brother this release features a one piece lower wing. There is a flow channel that will need to be removed from the cut outs for the undercarriage bays. The fit of the upper surface is good and the trailing edges are commendably thin. The two wing fences and the pitot probe are separate parts. The two flying horizontal stabilisers are each one piece; there is quite a small pivot that acts as an attachment point. As with the main wings the trailing edges are pretty thin.
The front undercarriage bay is made up from four separate walls and these are joined underneath the floor of the pilot’s cockpit. There is some very nice if basic detail moulded on all the parts. The main under carriage bay is moulded in one piece. There is some good moulded detail, but this is somewhat marred by a protruding ejector mark. One of the ejector pins has gouged a trough into one of the walls of the undercarriage bay. It should be simple enough to fix. There is some additional moulded detail on the inside of the fuselage for the main under carriage bay. The nose wheel, legs and mud guards are moulded in one piece and as a whole look very good although it will take some careful painting. The main undercarriage legs are reasonably detailed and the wheels are moulded in two halves. The hub detail is pretty good. The gear doors have some detail moulded on them.
The contents include four wing pylons, but the only things supplied to hang on them are two one piece Rb 24 missiles. If you remember from the background notes they were license-built AIM-9 Sidewinders. There are none of the jamming pods for the ECM version which is rather disappointing. There is the option of fitting the rather distinctive belly fuel tank. The Petrus/Adrian jamming pod and the BOZ 3 chaff dispenser for the Lansen are already available from Maestro Models. They are designed for the old Heller kit so they should fit this kit.
There are options for four aircraft all serving with the Swedish Air Force. Three aircraft are the J-32B flying with squadrons F1, F4 and F14. These are finished in olive drab upper surfaces and a mix of light grey and natural metal under surfaces. The aircraft from F12 has some interesting dayglow orange chequer patterns on the tail and spine. Fortunately the chequers are included as decals. The single example of the J32E flying with F16 I suspect will grab modellers attention [it did me]. The upper surface has a disruption camouflage scheme of olive drab and dark blue and wing outer panels in dayglow orange. The dayglow orange panels are included on the decal sheet. It is well worth looking at some images of the J32 generally to see the variation of fade on the upper surface colour.
There are no clues who designed and printed the decal sheet. The decals look pretty good on the sheet although I cannot comment on the accuracy of the colour of the orange chequers. Additional squares are included just in case there are any cockups in their application. The definition of the print is very good, particularly the smaller stencils. There is little evidence of excessive carrier film.
The instruction booklet has eight pages and takes you through twenty five building stages. The black line drawings are very good. There is a two page painting guide [in colour] and a two page markings and stencil guide in black and white. The only grey area I can find is the fitting of the aerials for the ECM version. There are no specific instructions for the fitting of them other than in the colour paint guide and a mention of the asymmetric positioning of the aerial behind the belly tank. Paint references provided are for Gunze Sangyo, Humbrol, Tamiya and Tarangus
have also supplied the FS numbers.
I have to say that this is a pretty straightforward build. The only tricky bit was cleaning up the rather nasty looking ejector pin marks in the main under carriage bay. Anyone with a modicum of modelling skills should be able to rectify the look of the parts affected. The areas needing attention with filler was the upper wing/fuselage seam and a touch around the fuselage join. I took a little time to blend in the canopy to the fuselage. I did add a HUD, seat harnesses and overhead ejector seat activation handles. The latter were fashioned from stretched sprue from a Red Arrows Hawk. The tail bumper was malformed on the sprue and seemed to be missing the tiny wheel. The missing wheel was very easy fabricate from a slice of sprue. I decided from the start to create the only “E” version provided with this kit. I was intrigued by unusual colours of the upper camouflage scheme. So I used Tamiya olive green [XF-58] and sea blue [XF-17] for the upper surface colours. I followed the painting instructions to alter the sea blue, Tarangus
advise adding a small amount of flat yellow [XF-3]. The rear under surface and the leading edges of wings and tail were painted with Alclad II Aluminium and the rest of the under surface was painted light grey [XF-66] with a touch of white. Johnsons Clear was brush painted to seal the paint and provide a good base for the decals. The decals were a pleasure to use and responded very well to Microsol and Microset. Weathering is purely personal and I wanted the look of a well-worn aircraft. I have not fitted the wing mounted pitot tube; I will replace the kit item with an aftermarket metal probe.
This is a fine looking release from Tarangus
. Yes there are a few negatives, but there are far more positives. Out of the box this release will please most modellers. The fit is pretty good and the quality of the plastic and the execution of the recessed detail are excellent for a short run plastic kit. I really enjoyed the build and used this kit to get me out of a bit of a building rut. No doubt the likes of Maestro Models will have a small catalogue of after market releases in the very near future if you want to jazz up this kit. Make no mistake this is a big fighter for the 1950’s and anyone that has built the 1/48 release will testify to that. So this release will please many folk out there with minimal display space as well as the folk that build in exclusively in 1/72 scale. It’s a real pity there are no pods included for the ECM version.