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Etendard IVM/IVP

Kitty Hawk Models 1/48 Etendard IVM/IVP Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review February 2017 Manufacturer Kitty Hawk Models
Subject Etendard IVM/IVP Scale 1/48
Kit Number 80137 Primary Media Styrene, Photo-Etch
Pros Nice details and options Cons See text
Skill Level Experienced MSRP (USD) $63.95

First Look

Etendard IVM/IVP
Etendard IVM/IVP
Etendard IVM/IVP
Etendard IVM/IVP
Etendard IVM/IVP

In the history of naval aviation, only a handful of countries have operated aircraft carriers, whether they were indigenous vessels or acquired from other nations. On the otherhand, even fewer countries have developed their own carrier-capable aircraft. That list is really limited to the United States, Great Britain, France, and Russia. We won't pick nits here about the fact that the Russians do not own any aircraft carriers (they are aircraft-carrying cruisers which allow them to transit through the Bosphorus Strait into the Black Sea). China has recently entered the ranks with the J-15 (based upon the Russian Su-33) with additional designs to follow.

When the French Navy started development on the Clemenceau-class aircraft carrier in the 1950s, they were planning an fixed-wing air group based upon the Sea Venom for air defense, the Alize for ASW, and the Dassault Etendard IV for strike and reconnaissance. The Etendard was a new design developed by Dassault which was smaller and lighter than an F-100 Super Sabre, yet shared many design features including low, swept wings, guns recessed under the nose, and ventral speed brakes ahead of the main landing gear. Unlike the F-100, the Etendard featured air intakes on the sides of the fuselage like its sister aircraft, the Mirage III. The engine was the same as the Mirage III - the Atar 8 (the Mirage III used the Atar 9 which is an Atar 8 with an afterburner). The Etendard IV series entered service in the early 1960s and would remain in service for nearly 30 years until replaced by the Super Entendard.

Kitty Hawk released their Super Etendard last year and now follows up with this release the Etendard IVM/IVP. Up until now, the only option for the Etendard IV in 1/48 scale was the Heller/Airfix tooling. The IVM is the strike version while the IVP is the reconnaissance version of the Etendard IV family and this kit will produce either variant with some nice options as well. Molded in light gray styrene, this kit is presented on six parts trees plus one tree of clear parts and one fret of photo-etched details. Among the features and options in this kit:

  • Choice of IVM or IVP noses
  • Nicely detailed cockpit
  • Nicely detailed ejection seat w/photo-etched crew restraints
  • Positionable canopy
  • Optional boarding ladder
  • Nicely detailed wheel wells/doors
  • Detailed Atar 8B engine
  • Positionable auxiliary intake vents
  • Optional display with removed tail section
  • Positionable tail hook
  • Positionable speed brakes
  • Positionable leading edge and trailing edge flaps
  • Positionable ailerons
  • Positionable horizontal stabilizers
  • Positionable rudder
  • Positionable air refueling probe for IVM
  • Optional centerline reconnaissance pod for IVP

The kit provides the following external stores options:

  • 2 x Magic 2 AAM
  • 1 x Barracuda ECM pod
  • 1 x Phimat chaff dispenser pod
  • 2 x 68mm rocket pods
  • 2 x AS.30
  • 4 x 250kg bombs
  • 2 x BL755
  • 2 x twin ejector racks
  • 2 x external fuel tanks

Markings are included for five options:

  • IVP, 117, Flotille 16F
  • IVP, 118, Flotille 16F
  • IVP, 118, Flotille 16F Retirement Scheme
  • IVM, 9, Escadrille 59S, 1981
  • IVM, 7, Escadrille 59S Retirement Scheme

The decals provide a nice array of airframe stencils and walkways. Note that the color profiles have three photo-recce and two strike fighter options but they are all identified as strike fighter (IVM) retirement schemes. There are two retirement schemes, but three are in-service schemes.

The design of the kit is not over-engineered though the instructions do not really cover or expain some of the options. For instance:

  • The IVM air refueling probe is depicted extended though it can be posed stowed/closed
  • The tail section is separated at the maintenance break so you can pose the aircraft with the tail section removed to show the Atar 8B
  • The aux intake 'blow-in' doors are shown where to place them, not how to pose them open or closed
  • The flight control surfaces are all separate but the installation tabs are set to neutral, you can remove the tabs and pose the flaps, etc., as desired
  • There are four mystery windows (GP25-28) that install into openings ahead of the speed brake wells. To the best of my knowledge, the Etendard IV never had windows in these locations as the strike cameras were in the nose or in the ventral pod that sits over these very same 'windows'. With at least the IVM (and likely the IVP), paint over these windows as there are access doors in these locations

If you're looking for a nice project for your scale flightline or a contest contender, this kit will provide some nice details and colorful decal subjects to work with. Give one a try!

My sincere thanks to Kitty Hawk Models for this review sample!