Box art
Box art 2
armoured_charmer_10
armoured_charmer_4

Click on a picture in the gallery above to see a full resolution image, or to navigate manually

Panavia Tornado GR.1
No. 14 Squadron 
Tabuk, Saudi Arabia, 1991

This model is under construction. Please see below for photos of construction stages.

Why this plane?

Because every model collection needs a desert pink airplane.

What was added

  • Main wheel bays

  • The pilot's seat had a few details added, using Evergreen strips, as explained below.

  • Finally, this kit requires a fair amount of weight added to the nose, to sit appropriately. This is appropriately indicated in the instructions sheet. To avoid problems, I basically filled the entire available radome with 5c coins and line sinkers, all cemented with cyanoacrylate.

Notes and lessons learned

  •  

 

Construction steps 

1a. Cockpit closed
1a. Cockpit closed

press to zoom
1b. Nose wheel bay
1b. Nose wheel bay

press to zoom
9. After a lot of sanding and re-priming
9. After a lot of sanding and re-priming

press to zoom
1a. Cockpit closed
1a. Cockpit closed

press to zoom
1/12

Click on a picture in the gallery above to see a full resolution image, or to navigate manually

  • 1: Font fuselage halves joined, cockpit interior masked. The ejection seats are not cemented at this stage. A layer of Alclad black base and microfiller has been applied. The second image (1b) is a bottom view of this stage showing the nose wheel bay (painted prior to cementing).

  • 2: Main wheel bay fitted. Some internal detail was added using hobby wire and evergreen strips, based on several "walk around" images found in the internet.

  • 3: Dry fitting the top and bottom fuselage, showing the original kit's shape of the swing wing "slot". It is quite different from the one in real Tornado, enough to demand some scratch building.

  • 4: Detail of the reshaped swing wing slot (cut into a rectangular shape, as in the real Tornados). At this stage I still don't know how I'm going to fill this hole with something that looks like wing root pneumatic seals.

  • ​ 5: The internal workings of the swing wing and tailerons, prior to the fuselage being closed.

  •  6: Front view of the main fuselage assembly as it was being cemented. The swing wing mechanism is visible. The kit provides some useful "spacers" (the vertical plastic bits you see near the front) to ensure that this will match to the cockpit and nose assembly with minimal pain.

  • 7: Fuselage, tailplane and dorsal spine tail fairing joined (7a). A significant amount of Vallejo putty was needed to fill gaps between these parts. Apparent is the amount of sanding needed to smooth out the gaps between parts near the swing wing slots, which basically brought back the original plastic colour. After Alclad primer and microfiller (7b), the fit issues are no longer apparent. In 7b the jet nozzles have been painted, weathered, cemented in place (requiring more use of putty to bridge a gap between them and the tail fairing), and masked.

  • 8: The last major job is to join the jet intakes and nose cone. Of course, this means another round of heavy filling, sanding and scribing. Image 8a shows a ventral view. The interiors of the intakes were painted prior to cementing to the fuselage, and appear here masked. Image 8b shows a lateral view of this stage, which emphasises which parts were stripped bare in order to allow smooth transitions.

  • 9: Finally, something that looks like a Tornado starts to emerge from all the filling, sanding, re-scribing. And, multiple topping-ups the base coat.

1. Cockpit parts
1. Cockpit parts

press to zoom
2. View from above
2. View from above

press to zoom
7. cockpit port2
7. cockpit port2

press to zoom
1. Cockpit parts
1. Cockpit parts

press to zoom

Click on a picture in the gallery above to see a full resolution image, or to navigate manually

The Tornado GR.1 cockpit

These images give you some idea of what type of detail you get in this kit's cockpit, pretty much out of the box. The model comes with fair representations of the Martin-Baker Mk.10As, instrument panels and side consoles, but admittedly these are a lot more "schematic" than the ones you can get aftermarket. The only addition to my build were the parachute risers (the vertical belt-like straps in front of the head rests), made from Evergreen strips.

The photos here show the cockpit following painting, sealing with floor polish, and treatment with Tamiya panel accent black. Before closing the fuselage everything got a layer of Vallejo flat varnish (after which the screens were made shiny again with a drop of floor polish). In these images the seats are just dry fitted. In reality they were left out until it was time to close the canopy, to facilitate masking.