New GB, new kit. And since I had nothing, I went looking for some appropriate decals and then looked for a matching kit. I didn't wanna do an Israeli or US jet. SO I came across these decals:
They offer the more exotic countries - Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Syria, Libya, Qatar (I didn't even know Qatar had an airforce....)
The kit that matches the decals is this one:
Now, I never did a KittyHawk before, and I'm picking up mixed signals left and right. The kit does seem to be pretty accurate, but does have its shortcomings. One reviewer said the white metal AM undercarriage is a must. Now I wanted to do this in flight, so that won't be a problem.
The box is chockful of sprues (a bit too full if you ask me). Nicely engraved detail, but also sink marks and injectorpin marks in places where they will be rather visible....
The biggest downer in the kit is undoubtedly the canopy:
Not exactly the way it's supposed to be if you ask me. And nothing I can fix either. And so I mailed KittyHawk, but either they don't read their email or they don't respond. And so I mailed Hannants, and got my answer the first day after New Year's. They're sending me a replacement.
Now I don't know how many replacement parts they have lying around, since I doubt he was talking about a replacement kit (or was he?)
The instructions are clear, with a nice color layout for the two offered color schemes. Which I won't use, which is a shame since hey actually are pretty nice.
To top things off, the kit includes a small PE fret.
So, let's see where to start. I'm putting off the picking of a scheme. Right now, I'm thinking Libya (top photo, top scheme) or Qatar (top photo, 2nd scheme). Libya is a bit harder to do, so nicer to have, but I do like the blue underside of the Qatar scheme.
I'm also considering going for an aftermarket pitot tube, that looks pretty nice.
There's always a but....
I've read a review online that mentioned all the weapons the C-version came with. And I would *really* like to load this baby up with as much firepower as I can. The kit comes with a lot of sprues with bombs and missiles and whatnot, but since we're looking at two showbirds, there is no info what goes where, except the two Super Matra 53 F missiles on stations 2 and 4, and either a 1200L EFT or a 2000L EFT on station 3. That, I fear, just won't do, especially not when you see what we have.
Unfortunately, my sources indicate that, for instance, the wingtips (stations 0 and 6) can carry 3 types of missiles: the Matra Super 550, the Magic 2 or the AIM 9L Sidewinder. None of which are included (as opposed apparantly to the F.1C boxing by KH). Now I can grab some Sidewinders from a Hasegawa Weapons Set, so that's not a problem, but I will need to find the launch rails for this thing then.
So, basically, here's a few sprue shots. I've been trying to identify what I do have, and I succeeded in most places. Is anyone maybe able to fill in the blanks?
Just the 2000L EFT. Not gonna be using this, since this only goes on station 3 and I want the AM 39 Exocet missile there.
1 = 1x AM 39 Exocet
2 = 1x 1200L EFT
3 = 2x Super Matra 530 F
4 = 2x GBU 12 Paveway II
5 = 2x Matra Blu-107 Durundal
6 = ????
7 = ????
1 = 1x Barax ECM pod
2 = 2x Super Matra 530 D
3 = looks like 2x Rafaut AUF 2 launch rails (each can hold 2x GBU 12 Paveway II)
4 = 2x AGM 65 Phoenix
5 = 2x Python AAM
6 = ????
7 = ????
8 = 6x BAP 100
Here the fun starts..... a Barax ECM pod is nice, can only be carried on station 1, but then what do you put on the other wing.... The Phimat ECM pod sounds like a plan since that only goes on station 5, but that one appears to not be included. Also, the BAP 100 I can find on photo's are always 9 on a launcher. I have 6.... Also not a clue why there are Python missiles included, I doubt Israel is selling them to their Arab neighbors. The two Rafaut launchers are nice, I could use one, put the two GBU 12 Paveway bombs on it, and put it on the inner pylon (station 2,4). Perhaps then a AGM 65 Phoenix on the other?
Sprue G (2x)
1 = 1x 1200L EFT
2 = 1x Alkan 910 pylon for station 3
Not yet sure why I have this sprue twice, but there's probably something there I need twice. Not the EFT, since there's a 3rd one on sprue E. Guess you could fit this one with 3x 1200L EFT on stations 2,3,4?
Sprue H (2x)
1 = 2x Alkan 915 pylon for stations 2 and 4
2 = ????
3 = ????
4 = ????
So now we have pylons for 2,3,4 - but where are my pylons for stations 1,5 and the launchrails for the wingtips. Also, the Rafaut dual launcher needs a pylon to hang from, I wonder if that could be the Alkan 915, but first glance tells me that's not going to fit.....
Now, the 'typical weapons load' I have found states that it is almost mandatory, whatever the specific mission, that this one carries some ECM pods, specifically a Barax and a Phimat, but also a Corail on two unnamed pylons outside stations 1,5, and the magic 2 on the wingtip launchers. That is not gonna happen since I only have the Barax ECM pod.
And so I came up with this:
stations 0,6 (wingtips): AIM 9L Sidewinder
stations 1,5 (underwing outer pylons): Barax ECM pod on 1 and a Blue-107 Durandel on 5
stations 2,4 (underwing, inner pylons): Matra Super 530D/F on 2 and 2x GBU 12 on 4
stations 3 (centerline pylon): AM 39 Exocet
note: the Durandel seems to be aimed at destroying runways....