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Saturday, February 23, 2013

Revell Panavia Tornado GR4

Though it continues to be a somewhat slower than usual winter on the 72 Land production line, I did manage to finish another model this week.

This one actually started with intent to become another example from the Xtradecal 72156, but it didn’t end up that way. I was looking seriously at the 2 Squadron Tornado GR4 on that sheet, but then stumbled across Model Alliance 72154. On that sheet was an earlier example of 2 Squadron’s anniversary markings from 2007. I’ve always liked the look of that aircraft, so it moved into first choice.

The problem was that I didn’t have a GR4 kit. Now, the differences between a GR1 (which both Hasegawa and Revell do a kit of) are not extensive. There are some cockpit differences, which I was willing to ignore, and there are some types of ordance that the later version carries. But since I was going to build it clean, like I do most examples, that wasn’t a big deal. But there is a second sensor on the underside of the nose that is very distinctive. Without that bit, it couldn’t be considered a GR4. I considered just carving it from a piece of styrene strip, but didn’t happen to have drawings.

The 72nd Scale Aircraft forum came to my rescue. I found a helpful chap named Jim Bates, who was willing to part with the Airwaves resin piece for the sensor. This had the advantage that it would give me a 3D model in case I wanted to scratch build the next one. So Jim sent me the bit free of charge (cheers Jim!) in a Altoid box, so it not only arrived in fine shape, but minty fresh as well!

I used the Revell GR1 as the base kit. I find these marginally more difficult to build than the Hasegawa version, but not really enough to make much of a distinction. The Revell landing gear is the only place that presented definite problems, and that is more a function of the Tornado’s oddball engineering than anything else.

The fin and spine are Black, remaining upper surfaces are Dark Sea Grey, and lower surfaces are Dark Camo Grey. Gear and wells are White. Exhausts are Alclad Aluminum and Light Burnt Metal. I think if I had it to do over I would paint the rearmost exhaust piece Dark Jet Exhaust.

As mentioned, this is the 2 Squadron’s 95th anniversary markings as applied in 2007. Another in my short lineup of Tornado GR1s, F3s, and GR4s.

This is completed model #423 (#4 for the year), finished in February of 2013.