Wingman Models 1/48 Dornier Alpha Jet A Kit First Look
By Michael Benolkin
|Date of Review||June 2014||Manufacturer||Wingman Models|
|Subject||Dornier Alpha Jet A||Scale||1/48|
|Kit Number||48009||Primary Media||Styrene, Resin, Photo-Etch, Turned Brass|
|Pros||Nicest Alpha Jet kit in any scale, comprehensive decals||Cons||Nothing noted|
|Skill Level||Intermediate||MSRP (Euro)||55.00€|
In the early 1960s, many of the European air forces were looking for a replacement trainer to keep their aircrew training current with the combat aircraft being operated by each Air Force. At the time, the two principal trainers in use in Western Europe was the French-built Magister and the US-built T-33 Shooting Star. While both still had operational life remaining, it was going to take some time to develop the replacement.
Two contenders emerged from the training requirement, the British Aerospace Hawk and the Dornier-Dassault Alpha Jet. The Alpha Jet was first flown in 1973 and would see production for over a decade with around 480 airframes built. The main customers for the Alpha Jet was the German Luftwaffe, French Air Force, Portuguese Air Force, and the Royal Thai Air Force. Other users included Belgium, Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria, Portugal, Qatar, as well as privately owned examples elsewhere in the world.
Two major variants were produced by Dornier/Dassault: the Alpha Jet E trainer and the Alpha Jet A close air support aircraft. Egypt modified the Alpha Jet A with further close air support capabilities to create the Alpha Jet MS1 followed by the MS2 with updated engines.
Last year, Kinetic Models released the first styrene kit of the Alpha Jet in 1/48 scale ( look here). Wingman Models has raised the bar further on the Alpha Jet with several previous releases which include a really nice resin cockpit, wheels and a nice set of yellow tape masks. This kit is another special edition featuring the Luftwaffe Alpha Jet wearing commemorative colors. Let's take a closer look:
This kit is molded in light gray styrene and presented on three parts trees, plus one tree of clear parts, one set of gray resin parts, one small fret of photo-etched parts, and one set of masks. Among the features and options of the kit:
- Nicely detailed all-resin cockpit
- Resin ejection seats
- PE frame for the HUD
- Positionable canopy
- Resin wheels
- Positionable flaps
- Positionable speed brakes
This release has three colorful marking options:
- Alpha Jet, 40+44, JaboG 43, Oldenburg AB, 1984, commemorative colors
- Alpha Jet, 40+80, JaboG 43, Oldenburg AB, 1993, commemorative colors
- Alpha Jet, 41+09, JaboG 49, Fürstenfeldbruck AB, 1994, commemorative colors
These decals are nicely done and include a nice suite of airframe stenciling. Painting instructions are provided using Revell and Humbrol RAL color equivalents.
This is another very nice release from Wingman Models and easily tops the list for the best Alpha Jet in any scale (in plastic).
My sincere thanks to Wingman Models for this review sample!