Kinetic 1/48 Alpha Jet E Quick Build Review
|Date of Review||September 2013||Manufacturer||Kinetic|
|Subject||Alpha Jet E||Scale||1/48|
|Kit Number||48043||Primary Media||Styrene, Photo-Etch|
|Pros||Nicely detailed kit||Cons||Flash, minor fit challenges|
|Skill Level||Experienced||MSRP (USD)||$64.95|
For some background on this subject or to see this kit as it appears straight out of the box, look at our inbox review of the Kinetic 1/48 Alpha Jet A/E here. I decided to do a quick-build to see what, if any, challenges might await when building this kit.
First, I am using Tamiya Extra Thin Cement for this quick build. There is no use of putty, filler, cyano, paints, primers, or anything else. What you see is the kit coming together straight off the sprues with a little fitting and trimming. I do use a few clamps here and there to help hold this project together as I am moving rather quickly through the assembly process.
Here are the subassemblies out of Step 1 - the cockpit is complete and goes together well. The kit provides photo-etched seatbelts and shoulder harnesses which were not used in this quick build. The other assembly is the bottom of the intake ducts which double as the top of the main wheel wells. The center beam was installed in this step.
With Step 2, we assemble the E nose, the intake ducts complete with engine compressor faces, install these into the fuselage halves, and finally install the ILS antennas to the vertical stabilizer.
In Step 3, the fuselage halves go together, the nose is installed, the tail cone is assembled, and the forward intake panel inserts added. There is a slight gap on either side of this insert (on both sides of the airframe) which will need a little filler.
Now the wings are installed, pylons added, Fowler flaps added in the deployed position, and the various fuselage inserts added to replicate the vents and bumps of the Alpha Jet E. Like the intake trunks, these inserts will require a wee bit of filler as well. I opted to leave the speed brakes closed when these were installed.
Note that in the photo above on the right, the main wheel well subassembly is mounted to the bottom of the airframe - this was the result of believing the vague instruction drawing and a momentary caffeine deficiency. The subassembly actually slips inside the fuselage and lays atop the intake trunks. It also doubles as a spacer pushing the fuselage sides out to alignment with the intake subassemblies.
After the last in-progress images, I added the fuselage underside, engine exhaust fairings, landing gear, gear doors and canopies.
Here is a the first look at the assembled kit.
Overall, this is another nice kit from Kinetic. My only real problem with this kit is the fact that many of the parts, especially the smaller ones, had a touch of mold flash which will require extra care to clean up to make the model fit. The extensive use of inserts on the fuselage may allow more variants of the Alpha Jet to be represented, but the inserts seem to shrink after injection since they don't fit snugly into their intended recesses in the fuselage halves. Those intake panels are the worst of it, but you can see that even this is easily fixed with a bit off filler. Otherwise, the kit does go together rather quickly and the detail options are quite nice. With the nice decal options in the box, you will have some colorful options available for your scale flightline.