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Tornado GR.4 12 Sqn Farewell Special Kit

Hasegawa 1/72 Tornado GR.4 12 Sqn Farewell Special Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review November 2014 Manufacturer Hasegawa
Subject Tornado GR.4 12 Sqn Farewell Special Scale 1/72
Kit Number 02116 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Very nice detailing Cons Nothing noted
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $49.99

First Look

Tornado GR.4 12 Sqn Farewell Special Kit
Tornado GR.4 12 Sqn Farewell Special Kit
Tornado GR.4 12 Sqn Farewell Special Kit

After the cancellation of the TSR-2 and F-111K programs, the RAF was still looking for a replacement for the Vulcan bomber and Buccaneer strike aircraft. The solution began under the Anglo-French Variable Geometry (AFVG) program in the mid-1960s but after the French withdrawal from the program, a new consortium was developed under the Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MRCA) program consisting of Britain, Germany, and Italy with the resulting production done under the Panavia consortium of BAC (later BAE), MBB, and Aeritalia. The aircraft developed under the MRCA would become the Tornado and as a multi-role aircraft, Panavia would produce strike variants as Tornado IDS or Tornado GR.1 (RAF), interceptor variant as Tornado ADV, and SEAD variant as Tornado ECR.

The Tornado entered service in the late 1970s and remains in service though most will eventually be replaced by another product of an international consortium, the Eurofighter Typhoon. The Tornado serves in the Royal Air Force, Luftwaffe, Italian Air Force, and the Royal Saudi Air Force (the only non-consortium customer for the type). In RAF service, some GR.1s were modified into reconnaissance-capable aircraft replacing the cannon with the Tornado Infra-Red Reconnaissance System and designated GR.1A. Other GR.1s were modified to carry the Sea Eagle anti-shipping missile and designated GR.1B. In the mid-1980s, the Tornado received a mid-life update (MLU) and these modified aircraft became GR.4 and GR.4A.

Hasegawa has released another example of their nice 1/72 scale Tornado kit in their limited edition series, this time representing the RAF GR.4 aircraft from Number 12 Squadron who recently retired their Tornados. The kit is molded in light gray styrene and presented on ten parts trees plus one tree of clear parts. The aircraft featured in this release is wearing the special commemorative farewell markings. Among the features and options in the kit:

  • Nice cockpit
  • Positionable canopy
  • Movable wings
  • Positionable speed brakes
  • Positionable stabilators

The kit provides a nice selection of external stores including:

  • 2 x Sky Shadow ECM pods
  • 4 x Alarm anti-radiation missiles
  • 2 x 330 gallon external tanks
  • 2 x Storm Shadow cruise missiles
  • 6 x Brimstone missiles

The kit provides marking options for two aircraft:

  • GR.4, ZA395, 12 Sqn, Farewell markings
  • GR.4, ZG775, 12 Sqn, FB

The decals are nicely printed and feature a nice set of airframe stenciling and walkways.

This is a really nice looking kit that isn't complex, so this should be an easy build for most modelers. This will be a fun build for the average modeler and provide some interesting opportunities for the AMS modeler that will want to do that little bit of work to enhance the kit. Either way, this Tornado kit is a welcome addition to scale flight lines everywhere.

My sincere thanks to Hasegawa USA for this review sample!

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