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In-Box Review
172
L-39ZO Weekend Edition
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by: Tim Hatton [ LITESPEED ]

Background
The L-39 was built in Czechoslovakia by Aero to serve as a second generation tandem two seat trainer for Warsaw Pact countries. The prototype, X-02, was first flown in November, 1969. Production started in 1971 and 2,260 aircraft were produced of this variant, making it the most widely produced jet trainer in the world. The L-39 was sold to numerous air forces and latterly has become very popular as a civil aircraft with many owners in the USA. It is a favorite mount in the jet section of the Reno Air Races. The Albatros is also used by the Breitling jet team, based in France. To date it is one of the largest civilian aerobatic teams in the world to use jets.
The L-39ZO was designed to be an interim weapon trainer variant for export. The four underwing pylons are stressed for 500 kg (1,100 lb) (inboard) and 250 kg (550 lb) (outboard), with total external load of 1,150 kg (2,500 lb). The L-39ZO was first flown on 25 June 1975. 337 export versions were built.


Contents

This is my first look at Eduards end opening box and I have to say I am impressed. It's survived two trips across Europe by post very well. All the contents are enclosed in two separate re sealable bags for extra security for the journey to your front door. Inside the box is:
-2 x beige injected plastic sprues.
-1 x transparent plastic sprue separately bagged.
-1 x sheet of decals.
-1 x six page construction and painting guide.

Cockpit:is made up from around eleven parts. The cockpit floor includes the side consoles. The side consoles and separate instrument panels have fine raised low relief on them representing dials and switches. There are some good colour representations of the detail found on both instrument panels and side consoles on the decal sheet. To apply the decals the low relief details will need to be erased. Flight control sticks look good and there are separate rudder pedals as well. There is some quilted detail on the inside walls of the fuselage where the cockpit is located. Each of the two VS1-BRI ejection seats are built from five parts. The seats look a little simplified, but the real things are much less complex looking affairs compared to Western bang seats.

Canopy: is a three piece affair. The separate windscreen and two canopies are beautifully thin and clear. The canopies open side ways to crews right.

Fuselage: is split vertically and features some very fine recessed detail. The front of the engine air inlets are separate parts. Each intake is made from two parts, there are locating pegs to help join the two components and also locating pegs to join the finished air intakes to the fuselage. Before joining the fuselage halves together, the primary compressor blades and the rear engine spool needs to be fixed in place. Both the engine details are mounted on bulkheads. The fairing that includes the jet pipe needs fitting also. The jet pipe fairing is quite a thick piece of plastic and there are a few shrinkage marks, but they wont be seen once the fuselage halves are glued together. The only thing that is lacking is a hole on the underside of the fuselage for the engine starter motor. Quite simple to rectify by drilling a hole in the plastic.

Wings: the lower and upper wing halves are full span including the wing tip fuel tanks. There is some excellent raised and recessed detail to be seen. There are clear plastic landing lights to attach to the forward part of the wing tip fuel tanks. The horizontal stabilisers are both one piece and feature some fine detail including finely raised vortex generators. The horizontal stabiliser attachment points consisting of a couple of small pegs and holes is not very positive.

Undercarriage you will have probably noticed the complete lack of wheel bays for the undercarriage. Nope this is no mistake on Eduards part. In fact the L-39 was intended for rough airfield use and so it was designed to have the undercarriage doors shut except when the gear was cycling to keep debris from the grass strips entering the bays. The one piece oleos are nicely detailed, there is a little flash between the the torque link and the oleo on the main legs. The wheels are very well detailed and are one piece.

Accuracylooks pretty good compared to plans and photos.

Payload included with this release is:
-1 x under fuselage gun pod.
-2 x 250 kg [?] bombs.
-2 fuel tanks.
-4 x pylons.

Markings: being a Weekend kit, this release has only one set of markings and it's for:
8226 Air Force Academy, AZ Zawiyah Air base, Libyian Air Force, 1985.

This particular aircraft features a three coloured camouflage scheme of sand yellow, sail and green on the upper surfaces. The lower surfaces are light grey. Not sure about the green colour reference [Mr Hobby Aqueous] given by Eduard, it does not look green on the box illustration and the colour guide on the back of the box. A quick google reveals that the green is correct and the dark brown shown in the colour illustrations is misleading and should be green.

Decals: are Eduards own and although the sheet is small it is packed with stencils. Colour and registration is spot on. The anti glare strip in front of the cockpit and on the inner forward area of the wing tip tanks are included as decals. I do like the national insignia, its a simple green disc.

Instructions the black line drawings and the instructional symbols guide you through the building process very well. Both the coloured and monotone four view painting instructions is particularly useful for applying the three colour disruptive camouflage scheme and applying the many stencils.

Conclusions

This is a great little kit from Eduard, particularly with the attractive camouflage scheme of the Libyan Air Force. The low number of parts should promise a quick build. The only time consuming aspect will be the application of the three coloured upper camouflage. Check out a build review of the Eduard L-39C Albatros that I did a couple of years ago . It's reat to see this kit re released, nice one Eduard.
SUMMARY
Highs: Great looking aircraft, nice choice of schemes by Eduard.
Lows: Horizontal stabiliser attachment.
Verdict: Highly recommended.
Percentage Rating
90%
  Scale: 1:72
  Mfg. ID: 7416
  Suggested Retail: 225Kč
  PUBLISHED: Apr 18, 2012
  NATIONALITY: Czech Republic
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 90.86%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 88.39%

Our Thanks to Eduard!
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

Aeoplanes are my primary interest from WWll to present day.

Copyright 2018 text by Tim Hatton [ LITESPEED ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of AeroScale. All rights reserved.



   

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