A few words about the kit
After 20 years of abstinence from our hobby, I decided to return by choosing this kit as my first modern aircraft.
Although my previous experience with Italeri was not the best, I must admit that this kit pleasantly surprised me. The molds are of 2019 and this absolutely justifies the almost perfect fitting, quality and detail, which in some areas is compatible to a 1/48th scale kit!
The kit offers the V/STOL option, (which I selected), as well as decals for 3 different versions; British of the Royal Navy, USMC and Italian Marines. There are plenty of aftermarket products available, such as photo etched sets etc but due to my inexperience, I decided to go without any of them.
The construction is really trouble-free on all levels; the parts fit together excellent, the use of putty and sandpaper is minimal and the instructions are completely understandable.
There is a degree of complexity due to scale, but it is suitable for beginners as well. In my opinion, what definitely needs an improvement is the jets’ exhaust which comes in 2 parts resulting to a very visible (and definitely not pretty) line where the 2 parts are glued together. For this reason, I would suggest to remove all detail, sand the 2 parts to make them flat and then cover them using aluminum foil
For even greater “visual satisfaction”, we can create texture by rolling our hobby knifes’ textured surface of the grip handle on the aluminum foil as well as add piping and cables.
Finally, a small and easy to make addition is the ejection handle from thin wire which adds some more realism to the unfortunately “simple” cockpit of the kit.
In my opinion the most complicated part of this aircraft. In my opinion, Italeri should have included masks in the kit as if you try to do it by hand (like me) you will suffer a lot
Primarily, I used Vallejo’s 1mm masking tape, a process that was extremely tedious and if I had a “time machine” I would prefer to buy after market masks, something that I recommend to the aspiring modelers of this kit!
In my case, of course, the main failure I had during painting came from the wrong choice of Tamiya’s Light Gray, which proved to be too light and led to an “eye-catching” result which, however, is far from realism.
Would I recommend it?
Not only would I recommend it but I will definitely build it again, but this time with the use of aftermarket sets (for an even better result) and definitely aftermarket masks…
Construction, text and photos: George Roubis
Translation: George Roumbos