1/48 Special Hobby AJ 37 Viggen - Thor's Bolt

Gallery Article by Michael Phillips on Nov 6 2018

 

      

Hi all!
I am back with my latest completed model, the 1/48 Special Hobby AJ 37 Viggen from 7 Sqd of the Swedish Air Force.

The kit is actually very nice to build, and has some really nice detail. There are a few errors in the kit, all of which are well known here and on other sites. I myself was not too concerned with these issues, as they did not bother me, and by doing an in-flight build was able to avoid two of the bigger issues (canard flaps droop on the ground and way too thin wheels and tires). That also did not keep me from making some mistakes of my own on this build, mostly concerning the weapons load. Apparently AJ 37s did not carry anything on the outer pylons due to vibration (although this was fixed on the JA and other variants), and I mixed green training munitions with live RB 75s. Oops. 

I chose to do the Fields and Meadows splinter scheme, because OF COURSE. LOL This is without a doubt the most challenging paint and mask job I have ever done, and it is not even close. This makes the F-16C Blizzard scheme I had done previously look like a walk in the park. Even with the DN Model masks this was extremely tedious, and required much touch up when finished, and I didn't get some areas exactly right. But all in all, I was very pleased when I removed the masks! The paints are all Gunze Aqueous except the black, which is Tamiya Rubber Black. I think the colors are a very nice match.

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When I think of the Viggen, I think of a few things that make this aircraft iconic. The unique shape. The fabulous green splinter scheme. And of course the flourescent red day-glo practice markings! I couldn't resist putting them on my model. For these I used the Euro Decal Viggen Day Glo sheet. I did have some problems with this sheet, unfortunately. First, these decals are very delicate, and tore at even the slightest resistance once place on the model. In fact, I originally was going to do "34" for sq 6, but I managed to destroy the #3 as I tried to place it. So I changed the number to 45 and had to be verrrrrry careful with the #4 , #5, and the vertical fin numbers. But I will say the Euro Decals are much brighter and look much closer to the real thing than the decals in the kit and the TwoBobs sheet.

I also changed up my in-flight stand set up slightly with this model. Instead of the armature wire I had been using, I decided to try using flat aluminum bar that I got at Lowe's. That worked out very well and I think it looks much cleaner and more eye pleasing. I will be using this method from now on.

Here is what I used in this build:

  • Kit: 1/48 Special Hobby AJ 37 Viggen

  • Decals: TwoBobs AJ/JA 37 Viggen, Euro Decals Viggen Day Glo numbers

  • Aftermarket: CMK Bofors M/70 Rocket Pods, Eduard Maverick Missiles, Hasegawa Weapons Set C (for Aim-9Js to simulate Rb 24Js), Master Model Pitot set, and DN Model Splinter Camo Masks

  • Paints: Gunze Mr. Surfacer Black 1500 (primer base), Gunze Aqueous H308, H309 Dark Green, H58 Light Green, and H310 Brown, Tamiya Rubber Black, Clear Red, Clear Blue, and Smoke, and Alclad II Gloss Black Primer, Airframe Aluminum, Pale Burnt Metal, and Burnt Iron. Future Gloss coat for decals and Future+Tamiya XF-21 Flat Base 6:1 ratio for final matte coat. Mig Ammo Deep Gray panel wash on the underside and black areas, and Deep Brown for the topside.

Michael Phillips

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Photos and text by Michael Phillips