Downsized Delfin

AvanteGarde Model Kits make a welcome entry into the world of 1:72 modelling…

Upon opening the box the modeller is greeted by a fairly straightforward model kit that exhibits high levels of detail and finish

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Over the last couple of years, AvanteGarde Model kits (or AMK as they will from hereon in, be more pithily know…) have ploughed a quality furrow within the field of 1:48 jet aircraft. Though the list of releases is far from long, the quality of each subsequent release has built upon the last in terms of quality, engineering and complexity. They have to many, shown what is possible from a range of kits – the fact that that has been done this from the ground up, makes this an altogether more impressive feat.
Following on from the release of a 1:48 Aero L-29 Delfin, AMK have decided to downsize the kit and release it in 1:72. Now, when I say “downsize”, that’s exactly what I mean. Having built the larger kit, I can say with some certainty that its diminutive brother is almost exactly the same in every way. If I was to be shown the runners, details and breakdown and not be told it was in 1:72, I simply wouldn’t have been any the wiser. No compromises have been made in terms of breakdown and detail, which means that anyone building this kit, are in for an absolute blast – Just ask Drewe Manton…

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Initial Thoughts…

Upon opening the box the modeller is greeted by a fairly straightforward model kit that exhibits high levels of detail and finish. Panel lines and rivets are fine and comprehensive. Where needed the rivets add to the look of the airframe, but are not overused; we’ve seen plenty of small models like this utterly destroyed by the use of thousands of oversized rivet holes, but that’s not so here, only the most obvious being replicated. Panel lines are similarly pleasing and in conjunction with the intakes that are scattered over the fuselage, go some way to capturing the look and feel of the real aircraft. So far, so very good.
Internally, the model scores highly; the cockpit it well-detailed with a full bathtub decorated with accurate instrument consoles, separate panels, multi-part ejector seats taking care of the remaining detail. For my larger build I used a set of Eduard details to add to the interior, new panels and seat straps helping to bulk out or replace what was supplied in this kit. In this case, we don’t — currently — have that privilege, so the kit will be built from the box, a few tape belts (or items from the spares’ box) being the only concession to additional detail.
The interior is completed with a full-length jet pipe, before closing everything up and adding the wings. The wings and tailplane are designed to feature deflected or retracted flying surfaces, the flaps being either drooped or retracted thanks to pins that are either left in place (drooped) or retracted (removed) – simple and effective. Equally clever are the etched brass inserts for the flap bays. The ribs that are found within these basis were supplied in the larger kit as individual parts; here, they are one-piece sections that sit within the wings, the ribs simply being twisted and glued in place.
The wings are very easy to build, a clever insert dealing with the curved intake ramps that sweep into the fuselage. Fit is amazing, only a swipe of a sanding sponge along the leading edges being needed to complete clean-up before fixing the wings in place. Once again, the union between the fuselage and wings looks to be perfect, only a brush full of Tamiya Extra Thin Cement being needed to complete the job. With the wings on, the tailplane can be added. Thanks to a separate elevator, there’s a degree of flexibility in how you can finish the model. The rudder is also separate and once again, can be fixed in whatever position you choose, though perhaps a neutral location would be best…

I will though be building this one and Blogging it on here, so fear not, if I find anything to be amiss, I’ll be sure to let you know!

The model is completed with the assembly and painting of the smaller items, undercarriage, canopy, airbrakes and underwing tanks. These are all well-detailed and perfectly moulded. I was particularly impressed with the canopy, the clarity of the windscreen and two opening sections being very pleasing.

Aeroclub of Kharkiv, Ukraine, 2010
Air Force of the USSR
Czechoslovak Air Force, Kuchyna Air Base, 1978
Czechoslovak Air Force. Same aircraft as above, but from the early years of the 1970s
Egyptian Air Force College, Bilbeis
East German Air Force, 2nd half of the 1980s

The painting instructions are well drawn, with clear, full-colour views to help the modeller apply the paint and decals needed to finish the model. The decals are similarly impressive, the sheet being sharply printed, in register and accurate.

In Detail…

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Final Verdict

This is a very fine kit from AMK. Now I’m sure that there are those that will say that I cannot really draw that conclusion having not yet built it, but let me reassure you; having already completed the 1:48 Delfin from this company and seen that this kit is virtually identical in every way, it’s not a stretch to draw such conclusions! I will though be building this one and Blogging it on here. So fear not, if I find anything to be amiss, I’ll be sure to let you know!

My thanks go out to Martin Wilson of AMK for the review samples and to Zac Sex for the full-sized images. Thanks both!

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Useful Links

AvanteGarde Model Kits Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=avantgarde%20model%20kits

Aero L-29 Delfin Reference – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aero_L-29_Delf%C3%ADn

Eduard L-29 updates – http://www.eduard.com/store/Eduard/L-29-Delfin-interior-S-A-1-48-1.html?cur=1&force_sid=ec23422b9b14f963cdba96b6d40de818

Mr Hobby Paints – http://www.albionhobbies.com/mr-hobby-paint/

OUR DELFIN’S BIG BROTHER…

As mentioned earlier, I’ve already built the AMK 1:48 kit, so thought you would like to see that one as part of this preview. As you can see, the kit builds into a highly detailed replica, detail that is further accentuated thanks to the use of Eduard’s etched brass details. Their canopy masks were also used to help mask the delicate framework that adorn the crystal-clear canopy sections.

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For more information on this build, please take a look at the March 2016 edition of Model Airplane International, where you will find an extensive feature including a step by step building and painting guide. Back issues are available direct from ADH Publishing:

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http://adhpublishing.com/shop/store/products/mai-issue-129-april-2016/

 

 

 

 

AND THE REAL THING!

Designed and built by the Aero Company of then Czechoslovakian state, the L29 was the first jet engine aircraft produced by this company to see wide-scale production.
The L-29 took to the air for the first time in 1959 and as such would have been a competitor to the likes of the French Fouga Magister and British Folland ‘Gnat’.

Thankfully, today, the remaining L-29s soldier on in the hands of private collectors. Its role as a fine, sturdy jet trainer, having been passed on to the equally outstanding L-39 ‘Albatross’.

Zac Sex has allowed us to use some very nice pictures of this jet, which may provide some inpspiration and detail to build one in miniature using either of the AMK kits. Thanks Zac!

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