Revell 1/48 Learjet 35A Kit First Look
|Date of Review
|Great fit, nice subject
It all starts with the wing. The North American Sabreliner was based on the F-100 Super Sabre wing. The Dassault Falcon was based upon the Mystere IV. In the case of the Learjet, it was the aborted Swiss P-16 jet fighter prototype's wing. Go back a little further and the Boeing Model 337 was based on the B-17 wing while the Boeing 377 was based on the B-29's wing.
William Lear Jr. founded the Swiss American Aviation Corporation to develop a business jet based upon the P-16. When development of the P-16 was terminated, Lear bought the design and tooling for the aircraft, moved to Wichita KS, and renamed the company Lear Jet Corporation.
The Learjet 35 was an outgrowth of the Lear 25 that could accommodate up to eight passengers plus two flightcrew. The Learjet 35 is powered by two Garrett TFE731 engines and is over a foot longer than the Model 25. The Learjet 35A had greater range and fuel capacity.
The USAF procured the Learjet 35A as the C-21A. Several other governments also adopted the Learjet 35A into their military branches including Argentina, who lost one to the British during the Falklands/Malvinas War.
If this kit looks a little familiar, it should. Revell/Germany reissued the Hasegawa 1/48 Learjet 35 along with the Cessna Citation I and Dassault Falcon 10. As with the other Hasegawa kits, this one is produced on four parts trees molded in white styrene plus a single tree of clear parts. Actually the clear parts are tinted.
The kit is of the older generation of Hasegawa tooling - raised surface details. Nevertheless, the detailing is fine and nicely done. And as with the other business jets in this series, this kit has a nice interior to see through that open cabin door.
While the kit provides color recommendations for the interior, note that interiors varied significantly as commercial and privately-owned business jets tended to have the look of the owner inside and out. While you could do research on the appearance of these aircraft interiors, you would be just as correct to color coordinate the interior as if you were about to spend several million dollars on your own jet.
The interior provides a nice flight deck and seating for eight in the main cabin. Even a small cabinet is provided to store hanging coats and small luggage.
The exterior is also nicely detailed with the only option available being the main cabin door positionable open or closed.
As with any commercial aircraft, there are a wide range of color schemes you could apply to this model. The kit provides four interesting examples:
- Learjet 35, C-GIRE, Skyservice Aviation, Toronto, Canada (the subject of the box art)
- C-21A, 84-0109, 76 AS, USAFE, Ramstein AB, Germany
- C-21A, 84-0075, 375 AW, AMC, Scott AFB
- Learjet 35A, N27TT, AirNet Express, Columbus OH, 'Remembering 9/11'
What I especially like about Revell/Germany releases is their decal sheets. These tend to have more options and more interesting subjects than their US counterparts. This is especially true in this case as these decals were done by DACO Products. Very nice indeed!
This kit was released in 2003 by Revell/Germany but it is still readily available. I found this one on the sale rack of my local hobby shop recently. Hasegawa continues to reissue this kit with different decals, so finding the Learjet 35A in one form or another should not be a problem.
If you're looking for a nice aircraft subject that will actually test your scale automotive painting skills (gloss colors), and look really nice in one of those contest categories that see few entries, here is an excellent opportunity!