Kitty Hawk Models 1/48 SEPECAT Jaguar A Kit First Look
By Fotios Rouch
|Date of Review||November 2012||Manufacturer||Kitty Hawk Models|
|Subject||SEPECAT Jaguar A||Scale||1/48|
|Kit Number||80104||Primary Media||Styrene, Photo-Etch|
|Pros||New-tool kit of this subject||Cons||See text|
|Skill Level||Experienced||MSRP (USD)||$59.95|
The Jaguar is an Anglo-French collaboration built strong and light and easy to maintain. The Jaguar was used by the RAF, French Air Force, Indian Air Force and the Omani Royal Air Force. For a great site with great historical references and photos go to: http://sepecat.info/b/history/ and http://www.airvectors.net/avjag.html
The Jaguar A has appeared in 48th scale a few times before. First by ESCI and then by Heller. The Heller kit was better than the ESCI effort. Italeri announced a Jaguar GR.1/3 at the 2012 Nuremberg Toy Fair but it is not clear if it is going to be a rehash of the old ESCI kit. Kitty Hawk was kind enough to send me a preview sample of their latest effort. So let's see what is in the box.
This was a heavy box and for a good reason. There are so many parts in there! First impression upon opening the bags is that the molding is first class with beautiful and restrained panel lines and rivets. The model is designed so all the Jaguar variants can be produced. This is obvious by the fuselage coming in four parts. The main fuselage will remain the same and then different forward fuselage parts will represent the GR.1/3 and the T2!
Both the Martin Baker Mk4 and Mk9 ejection seats are included. Instructions begin with the cockpit assembly. While not comparable with what resin cockpits can do for you it is very adequate and with some smart painting it can be very persuasive. I like that the kit includes a nice photo-etch instrument panel and side consoles but it even includes the side walls as parts of the cockpit assembly as opposed to relief detail on the fuselage sidewalls. The MB Mk4 ejection seat is acceptable and photo-etch seat belts are included. The front landing gear and wheel well should be very easy to paint as the wheel well walls come as separate parts. The whole assembly then attaches to the bottom of the cockpit.
It is popular with Chinese designed kits to have at least a few panels open. This kit is no exception and the port fuselage side comes open and shows off the electronic gear and avionics. Once I start building the kit I will be able to report how well the panel covers fit in case modelers do not want to disturb the sleek Jaguar lines. The main landing gear wheel wells follow the same style as the front one and they come as assemblies that will be fitted on the inside of the fuselage halves. The engines come as complete assemblies and they can both be displayed with the fuselage panels off. Same goes for the 30mm ADEN canons. The wings will look great with dropped slats, flaps and spoilers deployed (the Jaguar has no ailerons).
The clear parts look good but the canopy in my example had the beginnings of a stress fracture.
The kit provides two full sprues with all kinds of weapons. I am not sure if all are applicable to the French Jaguar A especially during the time of French interventions in Africa and during the first Gulf War. The kit does include the Martel AS 37 missile used in ‘87 against Libyan radar stations. The AS 30 laser guided missile used in the Gulf War is also included. Other weapons included are Sidewinders AIM-9L, Magic 2, BGL 1000, BGL 400, iron bombs, cluster bombs, the PHIMAT ECM pod, etc. A center line tank is also included in the parts but it is not shown in the assembly instructions or the weapons load out guide.
The decals are great looking, in register and with nice vivid colors. Decals for the weapons are also included. One option is a chocolate/sand scheme and other is for blue/gray machine. Both French.
In conclusion, I am very pleased with this Kitty Hawk release. A very nice high tech kit that will please all the modelers that have had to make do with very old kits for the longest time. It is finally time to do justice to this great looking machine!
Certainly recommended to all the Jaguar fans.
My sincere thanks to Kitty Hawk Models for this review sample!