by: Darren Baker [ ]
HistoryThe SAAB Gripen had what can only be called a troubled birth, a number of aircraft being destroyed during test flights. The Gripen has also suffered a number of issues with its avionics that on top of everything else put the production of the Gripen back, in some ways it is surprising that the aircraft progressed beyond testing. Now that all of the issues were out of the way the Gripen has done quite well and now flies with four Air Forces around the World.
IntroductionRevell of Germany has released an all new model of the SAAB Gripen in 1/72nd scale.
This product is packaged in one of the Revell of Germany end opening card boxes; looking at the artwork on the box this should end up looking quite eye catching. The parts for the model are supplied in the form of four grey sprues and one clear sprue; the sprues are packaged in three plastic bags that have prevented damage occurring to the sprues and the attached parts.
Unfortunately this sample has arrived without a decal sheet or instruction booklet; it happens to all companies from time to time and it provides me with the opportunity to again test their replacement parts department. The lack of these two items will make this review a little difficult.
A look of the mouldings in this releases from Revell of Germany leaves me with a very positive opinion of the model and what Revell of Germany can offer with a new moulding rather than a re-release of an older product. There is no flash present anywhere on the moulded parts that I can pick out. Ejector pin marks are present and in this offering are fairly shallow and in my opinion only placed in hidden locations. The sprue gates are of a reasonable size and located in areas that should make removal and clean up easy. One issue that Revell of Germany does suffer from in some of their products are sink marks, good news as I could not detect any issues of this nature.
The cockpit looks to be well moulded to me and has some nice raised detail present. The ejector seat is supplied as a separate part, the only weakness here that I can see is a lack of any harness detail present on the seat, it is however possible that there may be a decal on the sheet for this purpose which I have seen Revell of Germany do previously. The instrument panel has some nice detail present which is raised, I suspect that Revell of Germany has supplied decals for this area as well. Something I am not sorry to see omitted is a pilot figure.
The wheel bays are very nicely detailed for a model in this scale including the undercarriage doors. The wheels have nice detail present on both faces, an aspect I appreciate in Braille scale models. The undercarriage struts are a little on the heavy side, but I believe they are down to a size that is realistic in terms of strength and durability.
The fuselage is a little unusual in that it is split into four main parts and a separate nose cone. The panel lines are recessed and have good definition, I cannot vouch for the accuracy of the panel lines as I do not have any reference for the Gripen. The belly of the fuselage between the wings is moulded as an integral part of the wings; a good thing I feel. The jet exhaust has been supplied with two options of a flared or closed exhaust nozzle. Detail has been moulded both the inside and outside of the nozzles. An in-flight refuelling probe has been supplied with this model and I believe this identifies the aircraft as a later version of the Gripen. Revell of Germany has also supplied separate airbrake at the rear of the fuselage with nice detail present.
The wings are very finely moulded, which will provide a good profile and make assembly easy. The lower halves of the wings being moulded attached to the belly of the fuselage should mean that the angle of the wings is accurate; wings that are moulded separately can droop as I am sure we are all aware. The trailing edges of the wings have been supplied as separate parts would indicate to me in the absence of an instruction booklet that the flaps can be set drooped if wished. That canards at the front of the aircraft are attached by a small pin which also allows the modeller to decide the angle they wish to set them at, I am a little concerned that the small pin may allow the canards to droop while the cement sets or could be easily knocked off, that said I like the option provided.
The canopy provided is of a good thickness which should prevent it causing distortion. There are also a number of smaller clear parts on the sprue which I believe are for the front undercarriage leg, wing tips and possibly the HUD; this is a guess due to the lack of an instruction booklet.
Revell of Germany has supplied a nice mix of weapons for the model; there are provided 4 types of missile and a drop tank, the various weapons are well detailed for the scale.
ConclusionDespite the missing instruction booklet and decal sheet I am very impressed with this release from Revell of Germany. The moulding quality is very good and the lack of moulding issues should make construction easy and a joy to build. Because of the lack of moulding issues I feel this model will appeal to modellers of every skill level and has the possibility to result in a very pleasing finish. This is one of the best models i have seen from Revell of Germany in this scale.
Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For details visit www.revell.de/en, @RevellGermany or facebook.com/Revell
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The missing parts arrived on the 27th of February and so a replacement time of 6 weeks.