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Tu-16 Kit

Trumpeter 1/144 Tu-16K-10 Badger C Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review April 2009 Manufacturer Trumpeter
Subject Tupolev Tu-16K-10 Badger C Scale 1/144
Kit Number 3908 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Nicely scaled down version of their detailed 1/72 release Cons  
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $41.95

First Look

Tu-16 Kit
Tu-16 Kit
Tu-16 Kit
Tu-16 Kit
Tu-16 Kit

As the Cold War advanced in the early 1950s, the Soviet Union's principal bomber of the time was the Tupolev Tu-4 Bull, a reverse-engineered copy of the B-29 Superfortress. As the US and UK were developing more advanced jet-powered bombers, Tupolev developed a swept-wing bomber around a pair of the new Mikulin AM-3 turbojet engines. The resulting design entered production as the Tu-16 (NATO codenamed BADGER) in the early 1950s.

Soviet Naval Aviation adopted the Tu-16KS Badger B as its maritime interdiction platform carrying the AS-1 Kennel missile (looking like an unmanned MiG-15). The limited range of the AS-1 led to the development of the Tu-16K-10 Badger C and its new missile.

The Tu-16K-10 had a more sophisticated maritime search radar in its platypus-nosed radome which gave the Badger C the ability to detect potential targets (like aircraft carriers) from ranges beyond the enemy battle group's air defenses and launch its supersonic AS-2 Kipper (K-10S) missile from a safe distance. The Badger C was later updated to carry the AS-5 Kelt and AS-6 Kingfisher before it was relegated to reconnaissance missions in favor of newer, more advanced Tu-16s entering service.

Here is a sweet and simple build - Trumpeter's new 1/144 Tu-16 Badger. As you can see in the sprue layouts, the kit is modular to allow for different noses and other details to be swapped about to render different variants.

The kit is molded in standard Trumpeter light gray styrene and presented on three parts trees, plus a single tree of clear parts. According to the specs, there are 87 parts in here, all of which are used in this project.

The kit features a simple but reasonable (in this scale) cockpit which will be somewhat visible through the cockpit windows. The instructions don't mention installing any ballast behind the cockpit bulkhead (or anywhere else for that matter), but according to my Mark I eyeballs, the center of gravity seems to be behind the main gear, so I'd add weight to keep the aircraft from becoming a taildragger.

The kit instructions have you build up the three main modules - nose section, tail section, and mid/wing section, then plug it all together. Because of the modularity of the project, this might be a simple way to finish the model in metalizer shades using Alclad II (or your favorite method) while the three modules are still separate. You'll want to test fit the modules of course prior to metalizing to ensure you won't have any surprises at the end fit/gap-wise.

The kit also provides the AS-2 on the centerline and two AS-5s for under the wings. These are optional depending on how you wish to portray your Badger.

Markings are provided for Red 55 and Red 88, and as you might imagine in this scale, the markings are fairly simple. You have the red stars in six places, the Bort numbers 55 or 88, and the Outstanding Unit (Otlichnyj) emblems for the nose.

This is a nice addition to your Soviet heavy metal flightline and is in a scale that is still large, but won't require a room addition to display like its 1/72 big brother.

My sincere thanks to Stevens International for this review sample!

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