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1/32 Revell Tornado ECR 

Tigermeet 2001/02

by Ben Montgomery

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321 Lechfeld Squadron of the Luftwaffe has long held the right to attend the annual NATO Tigermeet meetings.  Every year it makes a special effort to paint at least one of its aircraft in a tiger scheme for the event.  2001 and 2002 were no exception, with the rise of the well known 46+44 Tigerjet.  When I saw the Revell 1/32 scale model of the aircraft, I had to get it, in spite of the hefty price tag (£35).  The initial look of the kit is very good – lots of panel lines engraved into every part and lots of cockpit details to paint.  All the parts seemed to fit smoothly and there were clear instructions to follow.  The decal sheet is also very impressive.  All of the build went fine until I had to mask off the sections that were to be painted yellow where the paint effect was “peeling off”.  Although there were guidelines on the decal sheet for where the yellow should end, it was very difficult to transfer this onto the actual model.  After several attempts, and a few hours I was satisfied that I had managed to mask off the required area correctly.  As it was, the fit was very close, with only minor overlaps, which were later corrected with small amounts of gray or yellow paint.  The next problem was the decals.  Around the nose area, they did not fit properly (the decal sheet was slightly warped!?! in the box) There was scrunched up areas around the nose, and although I used loosening fluid to try and correctly position them, I couldn’t do it, and ended up scraping off the black stripes and painting them on by hand.

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After this, I decided to have a go at weathering the jet, although this was a big risk as I had never done this before and it was an expensive model.  I used black ink on wet cotton wool, and dragged it in the direction of the airflow.  This produced a heavy black effect, which I wiped down with a wet cloth.  Unfortunately, some areas around the trailing and leading edges of the wings had excess black that spilled over, and left barker patches.  The model in the end was much dirtier than I intended it to be, but I like it and think it is good for a first weathering attempt.  I did later find a picture on the internet that showed the actual jet looking almost as dirty as mine.  Because I had been building my jet for a long time, and doing smaller projects when I got bored of it, I found that looking at it I could see things to be done that I did not have the skill or confidence to do when I started it ( such as the weathering).  One quite obvious thing was the lack of painting on the undercarriage.  I went back over it and painted in hydraulics and wires to make it look better.

In between modelling sessions, I put the Tornado on the ceiling with the rest of my models (including a 1/48 B-1B Lancer which hasn’t fallen off yet!!).  Unfortunately for me, the worst possible thing that could happen then did. Yup, you guessed it, it fell off.  Bit like a scene out of ER or Casualty or something.  The fuselage snapped in half, the tailerons came off, landing gear was totally destroyed and airbrakes snapped.  After some phone calls, I got some brass rod and industrial strength super glue (he he he).  It took a lot of time but I managed to reassemble the landing gear, and drill the wheels back on.  The Tailerons also had the same treatment.  In the end, it didn’t look too bad apart from gaps in the fuselage, which I have yet to sort, but will do when I can find where I put my model filler!  As it is now, the model is almost finished, and a I hope to have it done in time for the Air Training Corps Wing Modelling Competition in August (as well as my Su-34 Fullback which is going in as a diorama). Even though the model could have looked better, I do not mind because now my model has a bit of history behind it and that makes it more special to me. 

Ben

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Photos and text © by Ben Montgomery

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