AMK 1/72 L-29 Delfin Kit First Look
By Michael Benolkin
|Date of Review||August 2016||Manufacturer||AvantGarde Model Kits (AMK)|
|Kit Number||86001||Primary Media||Styrene, Photo-Etch|
|Pros||Stunning details||Cons||Nothing noted|
|Skill Level||Experienced||MSRP (USD)||$16.95 (at Victory Models)|
When the Soviet Air Force had started the transition to jet-powered combat aircraft, they lacked an effective trainer to help pilots adapt to the unique challenges of early turbine flight. When a requirement was released for such a trainer, three companies answered the call and the Aero Vodochody L-29 was selected. Over 3,500 examples were built providing primary training to Soviet and Warsaw Pact aviators as well as being exported to a wide range of allied nations. The L-29 would serve in the Soviet and Warsaw Pact air forces well into the 1970s until they were replaced by another Aero design, the L-39 Albatros.
AvantGarde Model Kits (AMK) is a prolific model company from China that has been releasing a variety of subjects using some impressive mold engineering. Here is their first entry into the 1/72 scale market, the L-29 Delfin which is based on the design AMK used with their earlier 1/48 L-29 kit. Molded in light gray styrene, this kit is presented on five parts trees plus one tree of clear parts and one small fret of photo-etched parts (duplicate tree not shown). The layout of the kit is straightforward and not over-engineered so it will build as smoothly as AMK's other releases.
Among the features and options of the kit:
- Detailed cockpits
- Detailed ejection seats
- Positionable canopies
- Positionable leading edge flaps
- Positionable Fowler flaps
- Photo-etched details in the flap wells
- Positionable rudder
- Positionable elevators
- Positionable speed brakes
- Detailed landing gear and wheel wells
- Positionable nose bay door
The kit provides the following external stores options:
- 2 x external fuel tanks
The decal subjects provided in this release include:
- L-29, PA-0819, Kharkov Aero Club, 2010 (Russian Knights scheme)
- L-29, Bort 07, Soviet Air Force
- L-29, Bort 3244, Czechoslovakian AF, Kuchyna AB, 1978
- L-29, College Bilbeis, Egyptian AF
- L-29, Bort 338, East German AF, Late 1980s
This is a beautifully rendered kit of the Delfin and an improvement over the venerable KP and Bilek tooling that were the only other options in this scale. By the time you read this, the kit will be heading to our master 1/72nd scale modeler to see how well this kit performs. Stay tuned.
My sincere thanks to Victory Models for this review sample!