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KIT REVIEW


Revell of Germany Eurofighter Typhoon RAF (British Legends 1918-2018) -- 1:72 Scale



The Eurofighter has come to be a mainstay of many European and other air forces around the world, serving as an admirable and highly capable multirole platform.  The Royal Air Force has been one of the principle operators of this 4.5 generation jet fighter.  In 2016, one Typhoon FGR. 4 from No. 29(R) Squadron was painted in the colors of a Hawker Hurricane to honor Flight Lieutenant James Nicolson, one of the heroes of the Battle of Britain.  This scheme has now been given attention in one of the kits in Revell’s “British Legends” series that honors the RAF centennial.  Here, we examine this new edition of the Revell 1:72 scale Typhoon.  

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The Eurofighter has a long and complex history, with the first movement towards development of a new fighter aircraft that would eventually become the Typhoon dating back to 1971.  Various European nations, such as England and West Germany, France, and Italy, could see the need for an advanced fighter design for the 1990s.  Various consortiums began to emerge between a number of European manufacturers, and in August 1986, British Aerospace’s EAP (Experimental Aircraft Program) prototype flew for the first time.  This design was flight tested, modified, and reworked over the next several years by the team composed of Daimler-Chrysler (DASA), British Aerospace, Aeritalia, and Construcciones Aeronáuticas.  Eventually, the final Eurofighter design emerged, with its twin-engine and canard/straight delta wing configuration.  The first Eurofighter flew in 1994 from DASA’s facility in Germany.  Initial operational capability was reached in 2003, preceded by nine years of a very complex flight test program, further development, elaborate political entanglements, and cost-related delays.  Today, nearly 500 Eurofighters have been delivered across three major production blocs (or tranches) to Germany, the U.K., Spain, France, Austria, Italy, Kuwait, Oman, and Saudi Arabia.

The Typhoon is a highly agile aircraft, aided by quadruple-redundant digital fly-by-wire flight controls.  Airflow to the supercruise-rated Eurojet EJ200 engines (each capable of providing up 20,200 lbs of thrust in afterburner) is a double intake ramp situated below a splitter plate under the forward fuselage. The design is also somewhat ‘stealthy’ in the sense the inlet shape prevents a direct line-of-sight with a radar beam. The angles of leading edges of the canards and wing are optimized to scatter incoming radar energy, and leading edges, the intakes, and other surfaces are coated with radar-absorbent materials (RAM).  The jet also employs a variety of passive sensors and software that carefully limit outgoing electronic emissions.
 
The Typhoon features a glass cockpit without conventional instruments and is dominated by three full color multi-function displays (MHDDs) and a wide-angle HUD.  Further features include a HOTAS configuration, the Helmet Mounted Symbology System (HMSS), a Multifunctional Information Distribution System (MIDS), among other pilot-friendly features including the Direct Voice Input (DVI) system.  This allows a Eurofighter driver to control some 26 functions such as displays, communications, and systems management, by spoken commands alone.  More critical functions such as employment of weapons still require switch and button-based inputs.  Along these lines, the Typhoon has demonstrated excellent air-to-air capability, and it provides air defense for the various nations that operate the jet.  The air-to-ground capabilities of the Typhoon continue to develop and expand.  Its first combat operations were in 2011 as British and Italian jets supported the NATO Operation UNIFIED PROTECTOR over Libya, flying both CAP and ground attack missions.  Typhoons in Saudi service contributed heavily to their bombing campaign in Yemen as well as attacks on ISIL targets in Syria using the Paveway IV laser-guided bomb in combat for the first time.  Quite clearly, the Eurofighter Typhoon will be a major player for many air forces for the foreseeable future as its service lifetime has just begun.

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Revell’s 1:72 scale Eurofighter Typhoon RAF is an injection molded plastic model kit consisting of 85 gray plastic parts on four sprues and three clear parts on two additional sprues.  Also included is a very well-printed color instruction booklet which guides the builder through assembly of the two seat Typhoon over 35 steps.  Markings are provided for one jet:

Strengths:  This kit is relatively straightforward to build and looks like a lot of fun.  I would give this kit overall good marks for surface detail (though see below) with very nicely executed, finely-recessed panel lines.  I snipped off and cleaned up the fuselage parts and wings from the sprues for a little test fitting, and it looks like a great fit is achieved between these parts.  Shape, size and proportions appear accurate.  Various building options exist with the kit, such as with an open or closed canopy, extended or retracted refueling probe, extended or retracted speed brake, and open or closed engine nozzles.

I was pleasantly surprised by the detail of cockpit side consoles, gear wells, and landing gear.  For a 1:72 scale kit, they are very nicely molded.  The choice of underwing stores only includes air-to-air missiles (four Meteor, four AMRAAM, two Sidewinders, two IRIS-T, two Taurus, and two Storm Shadow missiles), two underwing drop tanks, and a centerline drop tank.  The missiles are all single-piece parts with integrally molded fins.  Most of these parts, however, are not used on this version of the kit.

The scheme in this offering represents a special commemorative scheme in honor of the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain.  The decals were printed by Znchetti in Italy and look good in terms of colors, register, and other technical characteristics.  Specifically, this jet was painted in the colors of the Hawker Hurricane flown by Flight Lieutenant James Nicolson.  He was a 23 year-old pilot in No. 249 Squadron.  On 16 August 1940, when engaging a German Bf 110, defensive fire from the Messerschmitt wounded Nicholson in the eye and foot.  As his engine sputtered and airplane burned, he shot down the Bf 110 before bailing out safely, but not before surviving being accidently fired upon by the British Home Guard.  Nicolson is the only Battle of Britain pilot and the only pilot of RAF Fighter Command to be awarded the Victoria Cross during the Second World War.  After recovering from his injures, Nicolson was posted to India in 1942 flying Bristol Beaufighters over Burma.  During this time he was also awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.  Wing Commander Nicolson lost his life on 2 May 1945 when flying in a RAF B-24 Liberator that caught fire and crashed into the Bay of Bengal.

Weaknesses:  This is an all-around good kit for this scale, but a few observations must be offered.  While some elements of the cockpit and its aft decking are very nicely molded, the detail on the front instrument panel (one of the three clear parts) is non-existent and one must use the very basic instrument panel decal to have any detail there, which only consist of the MFD screens and buttons.  The Martin Baker Mk. 16 ejection seats seems fairly accurate in shape, but the molded-on belts, even (or especially) in this small scale, are overly simplified while the lap belts are missing altogether.  So, the kit cockpit, at the end of the day, is a something of a bummer.  And while not a point to ding this kit, do keep an eye out for the seams in the intakes.  I would not think they would be too hard to clean up, but it might be a little tricky given the small space in which to work and the construction sequence for these parts.  Also, there is a prominent seam on the canopy that many builders will want to sand smooth and polish clear. 

Exterior recessed panel lines are good, but there is not a single rivet, screw, or fastener represented on the surface of the model.  To that end, it seems surface detail is simplified, but it is understandable for a 1:72 scale kit.  I would suggest sanding away the fuselage strip formation light frames, as they would be projecting a few scale inches off of the airplane’s skin rather than being conformal as they are on the actual jet.  Also, missile fins are rather thick and noticeably over-scale.

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Revell’s 1:72 scale Eurofighter Typhoon RAF can build up into a good replica, but it has both strengths and weaknesses with the principle limitations involving detail.  The paint scheme is great.  And for those interested in adding more detail look into the world of aftermarket parts, of course.

Sincere thanks are owed to everyone at Revell for the review sample.  You can find them on the web at https://www.revell.de/en/home/

Haagen Klaus
Scale Modeling News & Reviews Editor
Detail & Scale

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