Trumpeter 1/32 EF-2000A Typhoon Kit First Look
|Date of Review||April 2009||Manufacturer||Trumpeter|
|Kit Number||2278||Primary Media||Styrene, Photo-Etch|
|Pros||Superdetailed and superbly engineered||Cons|
|Skill Level||Intermediate||MSRP (USD)||$179.95|
The cost of developing sophisticated combat aircraft has grown well beyond the financial capacities of most countries in the world. Building upon a political and business model developed several decades ago for the Panavia Tornado, Great Britain, Germany, and Italy joined together again to develop the Eurofighter Typhoon. The requirements for such an aircraft started formulating back in the 1970s and design work initiated in the 1980s.
First flight of the aircraft was in March 1994 and full production started in 1998. The aircraft has entered service with the RAF, Luftwaffe, and the Italian Air Force, with additional customers receiving aircraft including Austria, Spain, and Saudi Arabia. Greece and Japan have also shown interest in the fighter as well.
The Typhoon is a twin-engined fly-by-wire design with very high agility and supercruise capability (sustained supersonic flight without afterburner). The single seat and two-seat variants are equally capable air-to-air as well as air-to-ground. The aircraft also has 13 weapons stations that are rated for just about anything in the NATO weapons stores inventory. If you wonder how this aircraft will perform, go back and look at its single-engine flight test cousin - the X-31. There's no doubt that Typhoon has built upon that impressive capability!
Trumpeter has released their beautiful Eurofighter Typhoon. This first release covers the single-seat EF-2000A and is quite stunning out of the box. I just saw this aircraft's early prototype hanging up in the RAF Museum in London.
The kit is molded in Trumpeter's standard light gray styrene and presented on 18 parts trees, one tree of clear parts, one set of rubber tires, and one fret of photo-etch. There is no sign of the mad riveter in the design of this tooling.
The kit comes well-packaged to ensure your Typhoon arrives safely at your workbench. If you look at the wing sprue, there isn't a huge sprue frame to hold that beast together, so Trumpeter packages this sprue bound to a cardboard carrier to ensure it arrives intact. Nice job!
The Typhoon kit does have a number of features that will allow you to pose your aircraft in a number of configurations:
- Fully detailed cockpit (more on this later)
- Nicely detailed radar (ditto)
- Positionable canopy
- Port and starboard avionics bays can be posed open
- Nicely detailed EJ200 engines
- Positionable canards
- Positionable leading edge slats
- Positionable ailerons and elevons
- Positionable dorsal speed brake
- Positionable radome
- Positionable inlet flaps
- Positionable air refueling probe
- Optional boarding ladder
Since this is an all-glass cockpit, Trumpeter has done something rather interesting here. In the spirit of the color photo-etch trend, we have decals for the instrument panels and side consoles, though you might want to add some raised knobs to enhance the appearance. Look at decal sheet number two - it not only has the panels, it also provides a number of displays that can be used to show the avionics powered up. You might save the extras for your other glass cockpit projects. The kit does provide the throttle as a part that is installed after the decals.
The radar set is another matter. The radar phased array plate is attached to a gimbal and behind the shield is the rack of avionics to make the radar function. The problem is that there is no provision to see the avionics rack once the fuselage halves are assembled, though you can scratchbuild the slides to show the radar set out for maintenance.
To complicate matters, the radome doesn't appear to be hinged for open display, but this too can be fixed with some brass rod bent into hinges.
The engines are also nicely detailed, but like the radar avionics, you can't see those engines once the airframe is assembled except for the compressor and turbine faces. The kit does have nice full-length intake ducts to the engines.
If you do opt for a maintenance display, the port and starboard avionics bays can be shown open and there are a number of boxes separately molded to populate the bays.
The kit doesn't lack for external stores either. You would have an impressive display indeed if you built this model with all of the weapons assembled and laid out in front of the aircraft as they periodically do with public relations photos. This kit includes:
- 2 x Meteor BVRAAM
- 2 x Alarm
- 2 x ASRAAM
- 2 x IRIS-T
- 2 x Apache
- 2 x KEPD 350
- 3 different ECM pods
- 3 x external fuel tanks
The kit comes with three sheets of decals to render one of two subjects:
- Typhoon F.2, ZJ917, 17 Sqn, AE, RAF
- Typhoon, 30+09, JG 73, Luftwaffe
The first sheet is exclusive to this release, the second is common to all the releases which also tells us that there is a two-seater as well as Typhoons in Austrian and Spanish AF (ALA 11) service coming in our future. The second sheet has all of the common stenciling for all of the Eurofighters as well as those stencils that are unique to the user nations. The third sheet contains all of the stenciling for the wide array of weapons. This third sheet also tells us that the next release will also include the following weapons not included in this release:
This is an impressive model and it will provide the modeler with some very nice options. The Eurofighter is one of those aircraft you can look at and know it will fly. If you really want to have a good look, check out the race that Richard Hammond of Top Gear drove against an RAF Typhoon.
I don't doubt that we'll be seeing some nice aftermarket goodies for this kit, but I think you'll be pleased with the results straight out of the box. So when are the Red Arrows transitioning over to the Typhoon?
My sincere thanks to Stevens International for this review sample!