1/72 Revell Germany Tornado Gr1

 31 Squadron Markings from Xtradecals

by Ken Middleton on Sept 11 2003




I have wanted to do a British subject ever since visiting London in April 2002. Daniel Butcher encouraged me to do a Tornado and sweetened the pot a bit by sending me the Xtradecal sheet from the UK for free, and I finally tackled one choosing 31 Squadron. Thanks Daniel! 

This was built for the RAF/RN group build and the first model I have built for myself in over 5 years. I needed to do a lot of research, as I was not overly familiar with the details of a RAF Tornado. It certainly was a team effort, as you will see as you read.

The kit is outstanding, and has many parts for a 72nd scale subject. A large collection of weapons (bombs and missiles), pods and tanks are included. The wings are moveable as well. The refuelling probe, canopy and speed brakes can be posed open or closed. Many tiny antennae are included, and I lost a couple in the process. Two decal subjects are provided – one in the two-tone gray scheme, and the other in the green/gray camo. Decals are also provided for stencilling for both camo patterns (most I did not use) and all weapons, tanks and pods. The under-wing-things decals are a nice feature. 

Click on image below to see larger image

I wanted to do the gray camo, and Bill Clark helped out with the colors. An interesting thing happened when flat coating the model. I used Testors Dullcoat and with the very high humidity we had been experiencing, it frosted slightly, giving a whitish weathered look, actually doing 2 steps in one. 

I have no complaints in the assembly process. I decided to outfit my Tornado for the SEAD (Suppression of Enemy Air Defences) mission, mounting two ALARM (Air Launched Anti-Radiation Missile) missiles underneath. I added two Hindenburger fuel tanks, painted in the lighter F3 gray for variety, and the BOZ and Sky Shadow pods. I lost the Sky Shadow pod after assembling it (still have not found it), and Murph graciously supplied one to me. 

I added the signature Tornado dirty tail by lightly rubbing on charcoal pencil dust with an old paintbrush. I ground down a bit by rubbing a pencil on some sandpaper. I didn’t want to over do the weathering, and added just a little on the left front fuselage, the cannon ports and wing sweep areas as well.

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The white antennae on the side of the tail were a bit tricky to get aligned with each other. There are no locator markings, and I had to “eyeball it”. The black leading edge was accomplished using a large black Sharpie marker. I simply ran the marker along the edge of the antennae a few times to make the black edge. Using the fatter type marker was much easier than trying it with the thin type. I got the idea after reading that some people will use a red marker for outlining landing gear doors on certain aircraft

I added 2 crew members from the Airfix F-14 kit, and had to cut their bodies from the waist down to get them to sit properly in the seats.

I wanted to build it in flying mode, and added a bit of variety by posing the refuelling probe open (another nice option) and attached a drogue basket to it. Sean Bratton provided the basket and I supplied the bent tooth pick hose.  The landing gear doors fit pretty well in to the openings. The curved acrylic rod was the first attempt at it, as I normally use straight. It is heated with a heat gun for a minute and then slowly bent around a cardboard jig I made. This was modeled after Pat Hawkey’s technique in a past Fine Scale Modeler article. The heat gun technique is from Lyle “Tilt” Katcher. A pop rivet (also from Pat’s article) is separated and the large part is inserted into the plane and rod is inserted into the rod as a stem.

Click on image below to see larger image

Click on images below to see larger images

Special thanks to:

  • Daniel Butcher for the encouragement and decal sheet

  • Bill Clark for the color information

  • Sean Bratton for the refuelling drogue basket

  • Murph for the Sky Shadow pod and pod configuration info

  • Lyle “Tilt” Katchur for acrylic rod technique

  • Pat Hawkey for his Fine Scale Modeler article on display stands

  • Steve Bamford for publishing


Photos and text © by Ken Middleton