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erik_g

The HobbyBoss J 29F Tunnan in 1/48-ish

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This is a short build thread/review of the new HobbyBoss SAAB J 29F Tunnan kit. As some of you are aware of, I have critizised the decals earlier, because quite frankly, the SwAF roundels are all wrong, the colors are way off and the shape of the crowns are completely bogus. The ID-letter used on the fin and nose looks like it is based on comic sans and so on.

But lets start with the good..

The kit has nicely engraved panel lines. The level of detail is good. The only things I felt was missing was belts for the bang seat and some piping for the MLG legs. Both were easily fixed. I stole the belts from an old Maestro PE set made for the badly misshaped AZ Models kit of the Tunnan. I suppose that is a kit I will never, ever build now.

The cockpit has plenty of detail and you get decals for the instruments and sidewalls. While perhaps not 100% accurate, it does look the part I think. The let-down in the cockpit department is the seat, that looks a bit too wide. As already said, the seat needs some belts and perhaps a seat cushion too. When the Tunnan was in active service the parachute was not permanently in the seat, but worn by the pilot, so no seat back is needed. I also added an ejection handle out of some bent lead wire.

The colour callouts does not match any Tunnan-cockpits I have seen, so I based my colour choices on photographs instead. Old SAAB cockpits were a mix of mostly green, black and bare metal

HB-tunnan2.jpg

HB-tunnan3.jpg

The kit includes a long intake tube with a nice representation of the axial compressor at the end, the rear end of the engine is represented as well, with an exhaust pipe turbine disk and what I suppose is a rudimentary flame holder. The J 29F had an afterburning DH Ghost engine called RM2 in Sweden.

All the internal pieces, cockpit, intake, exhaust and wheel bays fit well and easily goes where they are supposed to, and the fit of the parts is very good. I used putty in two places, the intake tunnel and a small spot at the front where the fuselage halves meet the nose ring. Everything else fit very nicely. Ejection pin marks are placed where they won't be seen, so they are not a problem. The canopy is very clear and thin. Another plus is the inclusion of armament - in this case eight unguided rockets. The J 29F did use Sidewinders at the end of their career, but if you want to hang an AIM-9B under the wing you will have to source your own missile and launcher.

I went for the included armament. The only thing I "added" to the build at this point was drilling out the gun ports.

Building this kit is a nice experience and when put together it looks like a Tunnan.

Sounds like a nice kit, right? Well, it is, in some respects.. but there is more, unfortunately..

Foto-2015-10-27-10-51-51.jpg

Foto-2015-10-28-16-36-26.jpg

Foto-2015-10-28-16-37-44.jpg

Now the bad parts.. It does look like a Tunnan. The shapes are however not entirely right. I feel that the intake might be a bit too large in relation to the rest of the nose, and there are other lines I don´t think match the real thing correctly. However, I can live with those errors because they are not as apparent. The cockpit area could be improved by an after market resin seat, and the kit needs after market decals. However, there is one problem that might make after market decals and resin seats a difficulty. The kit is NOT the advertised 1/48 scale. It is closer to 1/52. I had the opportunity to compare the parts to the upcomming Pilot Replicas release of the same aircraft, and both the PR and the AZ kit are much larger. So any after market company designing decals and other details will have to decide if they are to go with the HB kit or if they are to be true to scale.

The real ugly is the decal sheet. The markings are for one Swedish and one Austrian aircraft. I can´t say much about the Austrian markings, but they actually look useable. However, the Swedish markings are not. The stencils.. well, lets say they wanted one set of stencils to fit both versions, since they didn´t want to make a separate set of german language and swedish language stencils. So they replaced all letters with hieroglyphs instead. The instrument decals are nice though.

HB-tunnan1.jpg

I stole decals from varous other decal sheets I have lying around. The numbers come from a 20+ year old sheet, and not surprisingly they cracked.. The markings represent an aircraft used as a target tug. But I used my artistic liberty of hanging rockets underneath the wings anyway. I consider this model a bit of practice before the PR Tunnan comes out.

As of the photo above the kit only needs the spine antenna reattached, the landing headlights attached under the nose, and its clear lenses attached. New pitot tubes and clear nav lights on the wing tips.

So, if you belong to the "looks like.." crowd, you might find this kit nice, and it does look like a Tunnan when finished - although slightly small.

If you want more details, correct shapes, a well researched decal sheet and want the kit to be in 1/48 scale, then you should wait for the Pilot Replicas versions. I was able to see the kit this weekend, and it is nice.

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Could you please show more pictures of the finished model?

Many thanks in advance.

Polo. :rolleyes:

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The shrunken barrel....sounds like a pub :)

Great worl, mate ;)

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Oops one too many

Edited by Aigore

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Hi Erik,

many thanks for your quick review build. I was toying with the idea to buy one as it didn't look to bad in the photos. But the error in scale and the sloppy research on the decals really killed it for me. So I will wait for the Pilot Replicas one...

Nonetheless your build came out really well and looks every inch like a Tunnan. :thumbsup:

Oh, and I second the request for more pics of the finished kit.

Cheers

Markus

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There will be more pics when it´s finished, I guarantee that. Too bad they messed up the scaling and decals, because it was actually a nice kit. The PR kit will be nice too, but I believe it will be harder to build since they have sliced the fuselage up to accommodate for different versions.

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Just picked up this kit myself, and am disappointed that it's under-scale. Still, I love the Tunnan, and will be build it happily - and use the Austrian markings! Very much looking forward to Fly's upcoming 1/32 scale kit.

 

Kev

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