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KIT REVIEW


Revell of Germany # 03952
Eurofighter Typhoon "Single Seater"-- 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.  In this 2016 release, Revell of Germany has produced a retooled 1:72 scale kit of the Typhoon, and a review sample recently arrived on our review bench.

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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 various 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-redundan,t 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 as well.
 
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 of Germany’s 1:72 scale Eurofighter Typhoon 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 AMRAAAM, 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.
The scheme in this offering represents a special and very eye-catching scheme flown by Taktisches Luftwaffengeschwader (or Tactical Fighter Wing) 71 "Richthofen" in 2016 around the time when they went from a fighter group to a fighter wing.  It’s a visually complex scheme, and the decals do it justice.  Colors look good and appear in register. Carrier film is thin but fairly well restrained and has a flat (non-glossy) appearance.

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.  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. 

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 noticeably over-scale.  Unlike Revell of Germany’s 1:72 scale Gripen kit, there are no missile stripe decals on the decal sheet. 

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Revell of Germany’s 1:72 scale Eurofighter Typhoon can build up into a good replica, but it has both strengths and weaknesses, the limitations regarding detail.  For those interested in adding more detail to the kit (probably a good idea!) aftermarket parts are soon to come, no doubt, for this recently released kit.  There’s plenty of resin and photoetch detail parts (from cockpit details to seamless intakes) for the 2004-era tooled Revell of Germany Typhoon, and I leave it up to the builder to evaluate how easily those may be incorporated into this new offering.     

Sincere thanks to Revell of Germany for the review sample.  You can find them on the web at http://www.revell.com/germany.

Haagen Klaus
Scale Modeling News & Reviews Editor
Detail & Scale

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