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A recent weekend I went to the Swedish Air Force museum in Linköping, Sweden, for a modellers get-together organised by the local IPMS chapter. Since the participants got 20% off in the museum shop and they had the new Tarangus/Special Hobby JA 37 Viggen in 1/72 scale I could not resist. Although I have several of the 1/48 scale offerings, I had to check this one out too, being a life long Viggen fan. (the Heller Viggen was my first model kit, in 1982).
I am sure most of you have a little knowledge about the Viggen. This is the fighter/interceptor version of the Viggen. It was armed with a 30mm gun, two Sky Flash radar guided missiles and up to four Sidewinders. Late in its service life it was equipped to carry AMRAAM, which it could carry four while also carrying two Sidewinders.


The event also included a trip to the museum storage facility, where they keep a real JA 37. Incidentally (or maybe not) it is the very same that is displayed on the box art. The aircraft in storage is upgraded to Di standard while the kit is a regular JA 37.The visible differences being some antennas and cockpit displays.


Note the weathered and faded appearance. It will be fun to replicate this!

The box is packed with sprues. The JA boxing contains just about everything needed to build the AJ (Attack), SH (maritime reconnaissance) and Sk (trainer) too, as far as I can tell. The nose for building an SF (Photographic recon) is however missing.
Many of the complaints regarding missing or misshapen parts in the 1/48 kit has been corrected.


Not only do you get canard wings with the correct hinge angle (at least it looks correct, haven't checked), you get separate flaps. You ALSO get a separate set of canards for the JA version, with two vortex generators per wing instead of one. AFAIK you don´t even get that with the new corrected sprue for the 1/48 version. 



I intended to build this kit kind of OOTB, but I had a PJ productions Viggen/Gripen pilot lying around, so I put it in the cockpit to hide the somewhat bare seat. The cockpit interior is ok. It could quite easily be extra detailed withg some levers and detailing on the rear bulkhead. The instrument panel for the JA is for the old, pre-D version of the Viggen. I guess in this scale it´s not that noticeable if one wants to build a D version.






The kit includes the Ram Air Turbine, the small windmill that is extended prior to landing and remains out on the ground for most of the time. As mounted according to instructions the compartment for the RAT end up a bit too much forward, displaying a thick edge through the opening. A little bit of surgery made it look much better. 



The RAT compartment also holds the refill point for the breathing oxygen.


The fuselage is a complex affair with the fwd fuselage split in an upper and lower part while the aft half is split in a right and left half, ending with a a one piece tail cone holding the reverser petals.
The kit includes intake tunnels which also acts like mating surface for the fwd fuselage halves, increasing rigidity and stability of the assembly. The fit is OK, but some filler is needed. with a bit more patience maybe a better fit could have been achieved, but it´s OK.



Less ok is the positioning of the join in relation to the formation flying light. That will be hard to fix I think. Note that the outer part of the intake is a separate part.




Unfortunately there is no panel line where the join between the upper and lower fwd fuselage is on the intake sides.




The tail cone has the same strange lumps as the 1/48 kit. It will require some cleanup.




As can be seen here, the tail cone is quite plain on the real thing. Note the vent holes on the fairing. It's only on the JA version, so I will have to replicate them eventually. 




The tail end is fairly detailed. It looks more or less exactly as the 1/48 counterpart. There is surely room for after market improvement, but I think it looks quite good as it is. The little fairing above the exhaust need a little RWR-antenna. Not included in the kit.







As the project stands in time of writing. Joins have been puttied, sanded, primed, puttied again and so on. Time to add the rest of the fuselage details that I left off for easy sanding.


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Thanks for this post.  It is coming along nicely.  I have always loved the Viggen as well.


I actually just ordered this kit from a shop in Sweden.  Was excited to have a new 72 scale one available.

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A little progress on the Viggen. After being quite happy with the puttying and sanding I moved on to add some of the bits that would have interfered with sanding. When time came to add the fuselage pylons I hit a snag. I believe the mounting holes are located too close to the centerline. Looking at reference photos, my own and in the excellent viggen-porn book from Nordic Airpower, I became quite sure that this is the case.

As I could see from photos the pylon should be quite close to the hatch over the RAT compartment and the two service panels. In fact, the RAT hatch is almost resting against the pylon when open.


So I cut off the small mounting pins and glued the pylons further out. Unfortunately the shape of the pylon is perfectly adapted to the old location, so there are some gaps to fill. Have not yet got around to do that.


To be able to fit the canopy in the closed position I had to sand down the bottom of the seat. 
I think this is the fault of the kit, not because I added a pilot, but it looks nice when the canopy is open.


Almost ready for paint. Note that I have added the position lights outboard of the RWR antennas on the wings. They will be painted over as the JA 37 has them on the wing tips instead.


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Since the last update I managed to give the tail end some love. The tail cone is lacking in detail, probably due to mold limitations. The tail cone is molded like a cylinder, front to back, so side details are not possible. I am pretty poor at making panel lines, but after some trial and error I managed to get something that I thought looked ok.


The depressions where the position lights on the other versions are supposed to be mounted was filled in. The JA did away with the belly strobe light, due to it breaking when firing the gun if I am not mistaken.




I scratch built the rear RWR antenna from a semi-shere made from sprue and two punched plasticard discs.


Time for paint. After a covering coat of alclad grey primer I painted the model using MRP paints. I used their "Panzer Grey" and "Dove Grey" that are correct for Gripen camouflage. They are however really not quite right for Viggen. But since I am going to weather this quite heavily I thought close is good enough.



After the base coat I mixed a little panzer grey with the lighter dove grey and weathered and faded the darker colour.



Then I added dark grey to the panzer grey and added the various stains that can be seen on the real aircraft.



After some detail painting I coated the model in Future to prepare it for decals and washes. Unfortunately I forgot the RWR-antennas, they are supposed to be black. Oh well, next time.
I am thinking that a blue-gray wash would be perfect for the panel lines. I don´t think I have any at home, so I´ll check an art store for blue oil paint. I do like to make my own oil washes. I am old school in that respect.  




To be continued!

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Started adding decals, but there are surprisingly many of them for a small 1/72 scale aircraft. Need one more evening to put the last ones on.


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