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Fouga Magister Kit

Kinetic 1/48 Fouga Magister Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review March 2014 Manufacturer Kinetic
Subject Fouga Magister Scale 1/48
Kit Number 48051 Primary Media Styrene, Photo-Etch
Pros Nice details, two complete kits in the box Cons Nothing noted
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $39.99

First Look

Fouga Magister Kit
Fouga Magister Kit
Fouga Magister Kit
Fouga Magister Kit

In the history of turbine-powered aviation, the Germans were the first to fly with the Heinkel 178 (followed by the British Gloster E.28). The Germans were also first with an operational combat aircraft with the Me 262 (followed by the Gloster Meteor). The first purpose-built turbine-powered trainer was the Fokker S.14 Machtrainer, though the first to go into large-scale production was the Fouga CM.170 Magister. To put this into context, the S.14 first flew in 1951, the CM.170 in 1952, the T-37 in 1954, and the T-2 Buckeye in 1958.

The Magister entered production 1954 with over 900 examples built. A carrier-capable variant was also produced as the CM.175 Zephyr. The type was produced by Fouga in France and license-built by Heinkel-Messerschmitt in Germany, IAI in Israel, and Valmet in Finland. The Magister has seen military service in at least 25 countries and can be found flying in the warbird community today.

I remember being told by several knowledgeable hobby experts that trainer kits never sell. That was certainly true a decade or two ago, but not so much today. Look at the wealth of trainer subjects that have been released in the last few years in a variety of scales, and now we have the first Fouga Magister produced in 1/48 scale injection-molded styrene.

Kinetic took on this project with a good team of experts to create this beautiful new kit. Molded in light gray styrene, this kit is rendered on three parts trees plus one tree of clear parts and one small fret of photo-etch parts. But if you buy today, Kinetic will double your order and send you two kits in one box! Sorry, I was channeling a bad commercial. There are indeed two complete kits in this box, so you can build two of the five subjects provided in the kit or look for some aftermarket options.

Among the features of the kit:

  • Nicely detailed cockpits
  • Very detailed nosegear structure in the nose
  • Nose hatch is removable to reveal avionics, nosegear structure, and gun bay
  • Full-length intake and exhaust ducts with Marbore engine faces fore and aft
  • Choice of positionable canopies or single-piece closed canopies/windscreen
  • Choice of rear cockpit transparencies
  • Positionable landing gear
  • Positionable flaps
  • Positionable ailerons
  • Positionable dorsal and ventral speed brakes
  • Landing gear hubs are molded separately from tires for ease of painting
  • Optional underwing weapons pylons
  • Optional rockets for underwing pylons

This release has five colorful marking options:

  • CM.170, MT15/272, Belgian AF
  • CM.170, VP585, Patrouille de France, French AF
  • CM.170, 312-AX/529, French AF
  • CM.170, 216, 147 Sqn, Israeli AF, 1967, Six Day War
  • CM.170, 158, Israeli AF Flight School, 1976

These decals are nicely done and include a nice suite of airframe stenciling - painting instructions are provided using FS 595 or RAL numbers.

This is another very nice release from Kinetic and fills another gap in the trainer subject list.

My sincere thanks to Lucky Model for this review sample!