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Dassault/Dornier Alphajet

Heller 1/72 Dassault/Dornier Alphajet Kit First Look

By Hervé Brun

Date of Review February 2011 Manufacturer Heller
Subject Dassault/Dornier Alphajet Scale 1/72
Kit Number 80257 Primary Media Styrene
Skill Level Basic MSRP (Euro) Out of Production

First Look

Dassault/Dornier Alphajet
Dassault/Dornier Alphajet
Dassault/Dornier Alphajet
Dassault/Dornier Alphajet
Dassault/Dornier Alphajet
Dassault/Dornier Alphajet

History of the molds :

  • Reference 257 issued in 1977, yellow box
  • Reference 80257 issued in 1980 (black) and 1986 (orange)
  • Reference 80205 issued in 1986 (export version for West Germany) with Special Markings of 25 Jahre Jagdbombergeschwader 43
  • Tooling sold late 1986 to Lodela and then reissued by Revell under Reference 04105

Note that the Heller's Alpha Jet reference 80257 issued in the 90s and in the last years is the Airfix tooled Alpha Jet, which is worse than Heller.

When Heller issued this kit in 1977 (issued first in the standard yellow box and later in the early 80s in the standard black box), this 1/72th scaled Alpha Jet was just the best Alpha Jet model of the market. Better than Revell's or Matchbox's. More than 30 years later, on my own, this kit stays the best Alpha Jet model at the 1/72th.

Note the box art I present is the very last box art of this kit (late 80s box art, called Orange box). In this orange box the styrene was grey and the decals provided a Patrouille de France Aircraft and again the 40+01 Alpha Jet A of the Luftwaffe in 1976.

In the first issue the kit was molded in dark green styrene, with the markings of the no 4 prototype, and the Alpha Jet A 40+01. The parts I present are from this very first issue.

The kit represents or the Alpha Jet A or the fourth prototype, but does not represent an Alpha Jet E (standard French Air Force version). The shape and the dimensions are very good. The wing root, the wings shape, the rudder or the nose are of correct shape. This is not always the same for the other 1/72 Alpha Jet kits. The structural lines are fine and raised and the details are good for such an old tooling. Of course the kit needs an upgrade regarding to the present kits quality, but you can easily obtain a very good Alpha Jet straight from the box.

If you want to represent the fourth prototype, you've just to follow the notice. If you want to represent an operational Alpha Jet, you've to withdraw the landing lights in the wing leading edge and make new landing lights on the undercarriage. In all cases, you may sand the exhausts because they are too thick. You can add brake wires on the undercarriages, seat belts and a few detailing in the undercarriage bays. I think that's enough.

Note that the Pavla detailing set C72093 (presented at Cybermodeler) fits this kit with minor surgical duties. So it is of interest.

To complete this review, I think that it is possible to represent an E version of the FAF, but you have to model a new nose with balsa wood or Milliput.