Detail & Scale Header
Digital Publications Link
Aviation Photo Section Link
Scale Modeling Section Link
Aviatin Artwork Link
Furball Aero Design / Detail & Scale Decals
About Us Link
Contact Us Link
Home Page Link

Detail & Scale Books

Quick Links to Available Detail & Scale Series Publications.


Detail & Scale Series


F3H Demon in
Detail & Scale
**********F9F Cougar in Detail & Scale
Revised Edition

**********
F2H Banshee in
Detail & Scale, Pt. 1

**********

SBD Dauntless in
Detail & Scale

**********




F-102 Delta Dagger in Detail & Scale
**********

F4F & FM Wildcat in Detail & Scale**********

F-8 & RF-8 Crusader in Detail & Scale
**********

Military Aviation Websites:
Click Here

——————

Scale Modeling Websites:
Click Here



KIT REVIEW


Special Hobby Fouga CM. 170 Magister "German, Finnish, and Austrian" -- 1:72 Scale



The Fouga CM. 170 Magister is a well-known European trainer of the early jet age.  Distinctive for its V-tail and low profile on the ground, it trained many thousands of pilots from France to Israel and beyond, as well as serving as a light ground attack aircraft in more than a few wars and wowing airshow crowds in aerobatic display team service.  The CM. 170 has been represented in 1:72 scale by several injection-molding manufacturers, and in late 2017, Special Hobby released the third in their growing family of small-scale Magisters.  Let’s check it out.  

(Return to top of page)

The Fouga Magister was the first European jet-powered basic trainer placed into mass production.  The Magister’s origins are found just after World War II.  At that time, Fouga’s CM. 130 was developed to replace the piston-engine Morane-Saulnier MS.475 as the French Air Force’s primary trainer.  The CM. 130 first flew in 1948, but it became quickly apparent the airplane was not up to the task, and as with many early jets, was badly underpowered.  Yet, the basic idea behind the CM. 130 was sound.  Fouga went back to the drawing board, beefed-up the design, added two Turbomeca Palas turbojet powerplants, and integrated a V-tail configuration drawn from a Fouga glider testbed.  This V-tail was a ruddervator, functioning as both a rudder and elevator.

The resulting CM. 170 prototype first flew on 23 July 1952.  It reflected a straightforward engineering philosophy.  The tandem cockpit dominated most of the nose, while the teardrop-shaped fuselage was mated to straight wing.  The Magister was also distinctive for how very low it sat to the ground.  Fouga’s second attempt at a primary jet trainer succeeded.  The following year, orders were placed, and by 1956, the French Air Force had their first batch of production Magisters in service.  A total of 929 airframes had been built when the production line closed in 1967.

CM. 170s were extensively exported, flying under the flags of 27 different nations.  Some of these Magisters were built under license in Israel and Finland.  Other CM. 170 operators included European powers (e.g., West Germany, Belgium, Ireland), various African air forces (e.g., Libya, Katanga, Uganda, Rwanda), and Latin American operators (e.g., Brazil, El Salvador).  France, Belgium, Germany, and Brazil employed CM. 170s in their national aerobatic display teams.  Magisters also serve as civilian operated aircraft operated in the USAF and US Navy test pilot schools.

Armed Magisters were fitted with a pair of either 7.5 mm or 7.62 mm machine guns in the nose with a capacity of 200 rounds per gun along with two hard points that could accommodate a range of small bombs and rockets.  During the 1967 Six Day War, Israeli Magisters went after Egyptian and Jordanian armor providing much-needed close air support.  While they demonstrated their combat effectiveness, they were extremely vulnerable to ground fire.  Magisters were also significant assets in the Salvadoran civil war and the Congo Crisis of 1961.  The last Magister in military service flew with Belgium in 2007.  Today, the airplane is popular among private civilian pilots.

(Return to top of page)

Special Hobby’s 1:72 scale CM. 170 is based on their 2015 tooling and is the third kit released in this line.  The kit contains four light gray injection molded polystyrene sprues containing 151 parts by my count.  Approximately 27 are not used in this kit.  Panel lines, rivets, and fasteners are all delicately represented by finely engraved, recessed details.  Seventeen clear parts are present on a single sprue. The full color instruction booklet guides the build over 19 steps.  The decals and the markings guide cover three Magisters:

Strengths:  This is neat and rather appealing little kit, far exceeding my initial opinion before opening the box.  Of course, there’ve been a good number of CM. 170 kits in 1:72 scale including the venerable Heller and Airfix kits going back to the early 1980s.  This CM. 170, looks like the best of the bunch.

Shape, size, and configuration details appear to be accurate.  The engineering and parts breakdown in the kit is relatively simple and conventional.  The engraved surface details are smooth and very clean.  The cockpit is rather basic, but the major components are there, from the seats, controls, and so forth.  I also like the main gear well inserts.  The three speed brakes per wing are designed as inserts that pop up through the upper surface of the wing.  It’s a real nice touch.  That said, the instrument panels are nicely done for 1:72 scale.  I did some test fitting, and the fuselage and wing halves line up perfectly in a pretty airtight fashion.  You’re not going to need much putty at all.  Also, the kit contains some gorgeous and optically flawless clear parts.  They are really nice!  And, as a recent Special Hobby kit, the molds represent this company’s constantly improving quality and ascendancy to higher and higher production standards.  They are up there now with Trumpeter and Hasegawa on several levels, including surface smoothness and fidelity of engraved detail.  

Each of the three paint scheme options is interesting and eye-catching in its own ways.  For some reason, think I like the Austrian scheme most of all.  The decals were printed by Cartograf and appear to be flawless in every respect, down to the finest airframe maintenance stencils.

Weaknesses:  Special Hobby kits have a reputation for large pour gates connecting the parts to the sprue.  While they have improving markedly in this respect (seen in this kit), some (but not all) of the smaller parts are attached via proportionally large connectors.  Care in removal and subsequent cleanup will be necessary, but nowhere near as much as earlier generation Special Hobby offerings.  The cockpit is pretty basic, but at least there are some nice decals for the instrument faces – but not for the side consoles.  There are also no restraints for the ejection seats. 

(Return to top of page)

Special Hobby did excellent job with their 1:72 scale CM. 170 Magister, and I think it is easily the best injection-molded Magister in 1:72.  Overall, the level of detail is very good.  This will be an appealing project for those who like trainers, European jets, and just nicely made aircraft kits.  Of course, Special Hobby’s sister company, CMK, already produces a range of cast resin aftermarket parts including new seats and wheels.  However you go about it, this should be a fun kit to build.

Sincere thanks are owed to Special Hobby for the review sample. You visit them on the web at http://www.specialhobby.info and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/specialhobby 

Haagen Klaus
Scale Modeling News & Reviews Editor
Detail & Scale

(Return to top of page)

** Click on the thumbnails below to view a larger image.**


   

(Return to top of page)

Our Most Recent Release!



F9F Cougar in Detail & Scale
Revised Edition

Detail & Scale Special Edition Books


U. S. Navy and Marine Carrier-Based Aircraft of World War II
********



JET FIGHTERS
OF THE U. S. NAVY AND MARINE CORPS
PART 1: THE FIRST TEN YEARS
********

Attack on Pearl Harbor, Japan Awakens a Sleeping Giant

********


Colors & Markings Series

Colors & Markings of U. S. Navy
F-14 Tomcats,
Part 1: Atlantic
Coast Squadrons
********


Colors & Markings of the F-102
Delta Dagger

**********

Colors & Markings of U. S. Navy
F-14 Tomcats,
Part 2: Pacific
Coast Squadrons

**********