Fonderie Miniature

1/48 S.N.C.A.S.O Vautour IIB model kit

Product # 6025

Product Article by Jean-Paul Poisseroux




At the beginning of the 50's, the French Air Force asked for a multirole combat jet.

The national firm, Société Nationale de Construction Aeronautique du Sud-Ouest proposed and won the concept with the Sud Ouest 4050 "Vautour" program.  Based on the fact that more than 80% of the components would be common to all versions, the program was launched for the N ( N for Night fighter, two seater), A (for Attack, single seater ),and B (for bombardment, two seater with bomber in the glass nose).

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Clear parts Fuel tanks


This important versatile aircraft in French and Israeli AF history was only available for a long time under Heller 1/50 scale poor kit. Hi tech from France put on the market some years ago the N, and A versions.  When Hi tech stopped it's 1/48 modern jet line, molds were ready for the bomber and FM took the relay.  The sturdy box contains mainly plastic sprues for fuselage, wings, reactors parts; resin items for half engine, interior, wheels, wells, interior airbrakes and forward/backward engines blades.  The other items are vacuformed canopies (doubled), etched fret from Eduard, instructions and decals. About the quality of the items, I send you to my analys of the SMB2, it's almost  the same; soft engraved plastic (easy to cut), very accurate resin parts.  The Eduard label speaks for itself for the p/etched and if the clear parts need slightly sanding and Future Floor to restore the transparency, some metal parts are always badly molded (my front main leg was yet badly aligned, but initial metal mold from Hi-Tech had been modified).The three major critics I formulate concern firstly the instructions, that I qualify as "non existent" Exploded view, and some drawings about interior  lay out  are not enough for a inexperienced modeller (even for a Frenchman like me).  A champion will need good references  (see the end of this article).  Secondly the dry fitting showed that without locator pins inside the fuselage and the reactors, the wheel wells ,and the external reactor (which beared the auxiliary little wheels, like the Harrier) will have to be perfectly aligned in the center to get right straight gear legs.  Take your time on these sequences!I personnally will proceed as follows; 

1)  make a external jig to get your fuselage perfectly vertical.

 2)  glue the gear (after a moment to clean the white metal and try to make the main leg recovering the good attitude!) in the wells,

3)  insert them in the half fuselages (taped, not glued), fix one side temporally with "patafix" and after adjustment, insert cyano glue on the other side.  It will assure you a "half glued part". The other solution is to replace cyano with Araldite 2 parts glue which will allow you quiet adjustment.

Resin Parts

The instructions, even small, give you area and dimensions  to open  the nacelles for good fitting of the intakes/exhausts resin parts. 

The more important area you'll have to deal with putty is located at the junction where the wing trailing edge is in contact with the top engine pod.  Make a cut to insert it properly. (no step in this area).

You'll have to then scratchbuild a landing light on port side, nav lights (red/green) on leading edge and "resculpt" the circular air intake at the root of the fin.  The fences on   wings have good shape but can be replace by thin card or aluminium sheet.  I forgot to mention that you can also add drains and wiring on gear legs.  About the cockpit ,follow the color instruction and engrave instrument under the Eduard panel (or adhesive instruments if you have).  The rear bulkhead will need some putty to match the styrene contour. About the forward placed bombardier, after cutting the entrance door (horizontal top) follow the sketch too. It's tiny as in reality, and the Norden Bombsight can
be replace if you find the box item not enough detailed. For clear parts, I obviously
 recommend white glue. I could consider to take a interior print of them and make my own clear vac over.  But you have a double clear in the box.

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Nacelle lower wings upper wings

 For the decals, you'll have the choice between an Israeli and a French aircraft. I am not used with the first decoration (Vietnam camo type) and will turn to the second.  If you follow me ,you'll have to prepare the entire skin for an "metal" bird. FM molds were always the same at that moment and sanding  the plastic parts is the first task you'll deal with. In the contrary, an "orange skin" effect will ruin your job, but what a challenge!
For the French choice, you'll keep the stencils which are unique and replace at least the roundels with Carpena/Colorado items.  (my sheet has separate blue center circles, but exterior yellow ring is not centered).  If you are not afraid with this challenge, you'll get a unique big French aircraft in your collection.  Not really recommended for a beginner, it's really not a TAMIYA kit, but it's the only game in town for a long time!  And after all, how do we do 20 years ago?  The basic and highly documentation on Vautour
are French mag REPLIC n°118( N version with color helpful photoscope), Wingmaster n°25 (A version) and the fabulous monography from LELA PRESS or in USA distributor


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Cast Metal Parts

Photo Etched Parts



Photos and text © by Jean-Paul Poisseroux