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EMB-314 Super Tucano Kit

Hobby Boss 1/48 EMB-314 Super Tucano Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review May 2014 Manufacturer Hobby Boss
Subject EMB-314 Super Tucano Scale 1/48
Kit Number 81727 Primary Media Styrene, Photo-Etch
Pros First kit of this subject in styrene Cons See text
Skill Level Experienced MSRP (USD) $52.99

First Look

EMB-314 Super Tucano Kit
EMB-314 Super Tucano Kit
EMB-314 Super Tucano Kit
EMB-314 Super Tucano Kit

Embraer developed the EMB-312 Tucano to provide a modern, lower operating cost alternative to the aging fleet of T-37 trainers that operated in South America as well as similar aircraft abroad. The design was well received and was also produced for the RAF under license by Short Brothers. When Embraer tried to make a counter-insurgency (COIN) variant of the EMB-312, they didn't receive any interest from the Brazilian Air Force.

Brazil initiated the SIVAM program to counter illegal activities in the Amazon rain forest, and Embraer offered the EMB-314 which was powered by a PT6 with more than twice the power of the EMB-312, armed with two .50 caliber machine guns and an external payload of up to 3300 pounds. The aircraft features a glass cockpit, Kevlar armor, five external stations, and a wide range of air-to-air and air-to-surface weapons.

HobbyBoss has released the EMB-314 (also designated as A-29) Super Tucano which is the first kit of this subject in injection-molded styrene (AVM released this subject in 1/48 resin). This kit is molded in light gray styrene and presented on six parts trees plus one tree of clear parts and one small fret of photo-etched parts. Among the features and options:

  • Nicely detailed cockpit
  • Nice ejection seats with photo-etch crew restraints
  • Propeller is set in feathered position (shut down)
  • Canopy can be positioned open but some work will be required here
  • Only four of the five weapons stations provided (no centerline)
  • Nice landing gear and gear wells

The instructions don't acknowledge a centerline station though you will see photos of A-29s with an external tank or practice bomb dispenser on the centerline. What's also missing is the optional FLIR ball that is mounted just aft of the nosegear well which wouldn't be a problem except that this kit provides laser guided bombs (LGB) and no way to designate a target.

Among the external stores provided:

  • 2 x external tanks
  • 2 x Mk.82 500lb slicks
  • 2 x Mk.82 500lb Snakeyes
  • 2 x AIM-9L Sidewinder
  • 2 x AIM-9P Sidewinder
  • 2 x GBU-12 LGB

Markings are provided for three examples:

  • A-29B, 5906, FAB (Brazil)
  • A-29, 451, FACh (Chile)
  • A-29, 3124, FAC (Columbia)

The decals include displays for the front and rear glass cockpits as well as relevant airframe and weapons stencils.

Note: There is a fine mold line in the canopy but I have good news, that line is also in the full-scale canopy as well (look at the photo walk around in the link below). The line in the full-scale aircraft is either an antenna or ejection detonation cord, but either way, you will actually highlight that mold line instead of buffing it out. You will have to remove the mold line in the windscreen though but it too is fine and should be easy to clean up.

This is a very welcome addition to the kit flightline as the A-29 is one of those aircraft that is beautiful to look at and would be awesome to fly. While we're on the subject of Latin American COIN aircraft, how about a nice IA.58 Pucara in 1/48 scale HobbyBoss?