by: Tim Hatton [ ]
The only 1/48 Saab Viggen is produced by ESCI and Airfix. It's not without some accuracy issues, so Maestro Models have been on a mission to produce improvement parts for the kit. This new release focuses on the tail end of the Viggen.
The resin parts are doubled bagged for protection and the photo etched fret is wrapped separately.
-1 x resin tail section.
-1 x resin reverse flap
-1 x resin jet pipe.
-1 x resin rear engine section.
-2 x photo etched afterburner fuel matrix.
-1 x A4 sheet of instructions.
Resin and PE parts The one piece resin jet pipe of the Volvo RM8 low-bypass afterburning turbofan jet engine and the separate resin part representing the low pressure fan and spool look very good indeed. The afterburner fuel matrix is made up from two photo etched parts. The jet pipe has some interesting surface detail and at the end of the pipe the lip is commendably thin. The jet pipe is attached to it's casting block via four small and thin sections and will be a simple matter to detach. The detail of the rear of the engine is nicely done and the inclusion of the photo etched fuel matrix by Eduard will certainly make the area busy. To fit the jet pipe into the kit requires a large area underneath the rear fuselage to be cut away. Once the pipe is fitted, the cut away plastic is glued back in position.
The one piece resin tail cone has some excellent detail inside including two of the reverse thrust petals. They are both cast in a neutral position. The attention to detail is very good, I do like the ribbing detail in the small section of air frame above the rear of the jet pipe. The tail cone is cast onto a block, the three attachment point are very thin and should present no problems removing it. To fit the tail cone requires the removal of the kits tail cone, guidance is provided in the instructions. There is some very thin resin flash in the gaps where the reverse thrust gases exit that need removing.
The resin reverse thrust petal situated on the upper part of the jet pipe is separate. It can be positioned in the neutral/retracted position or you can display it in the dropped position. The upper reverse thrust petal did eventually drop after the power was turned off. This drop could take hours or up to a full day depending how well the hydraulics were maintained. So if you want to see all that lovely detail down the jet pipe, glue the petal in the retracted position. The petal itself is nicely detailed and is cast onto a small resin block via three short stubs and should present no problems separating it.
The quality of all the castings is first rate, I could not see any air bubbles at all.
Instructions guide you through the modification process through photo images of the kit and resin parts as well as a very good written description in English. There is also a good safety guide to using resin parts safely. There is no painting guides for the various parts, but there are plenty of online Viggen walkarounds you can reference for colours.
There are some fine resin casting with this set and along with the photo etched pieces will certainly improve the look of the rear end of the Airfix/Esci kit. Although there is a fair amount of surgery required to the kit, hopefully this set will improve the look of the finished kit. Much to my regret I don't have either kits to make a comparison with the resin parts.
Nice one Maestro Models.