Thursday, March 12, 2009

Airfix 1/72 Jetstream by Paul Bradley

Here’s a kit that illustrates the perils of releasing a kit in anticipation of an aircraft entering service. The Jetstream was a popular British light business turboprop aircraft, still in service in some areas as the Jetstream 31/41 feederliner. IN the late-sixties, it was marketed as a utility/light transport military aircraft and attracted an order from the US Air Force for 11 aircraft as the C-10. This would be used as a 12-seat transport or 6-case air ambulance, but the order was cancelled before any aircraft were built. Interestingly, one of the pre-production Jetstream was marked in USAF colours and featured in the pilot episode the Gerry Anderson show, UFO.

While no aliens are included in the kit, there are two pilots in a reasonably detailed cockpit area, while the cabin features a set of stretchers attached to the sidewalls, and the rear cabin door, featuring a set of built-in air stairs, is separate.

Detail over the airframe consists of fine raised lines, with engraved lines for the control surfaces. The undercarriage is fair, but there is no detail inside the bays. The engine pods are separate and represent the Garrett turboprops that were to be fitted to this version.

One set of markings are provided, for a spurious USAF scheme – I don’t think I can salvage the ones included in my box…!

It would be possible, with a fair amount of work, to produce an actual Jetstream using this kit. For the Royal Air Force and Royal Navy versions, the engines would need to be replaced by the standard Astazou units used by these versions, and there are numerous detail changes that need to be made. I’ve seen it done, and was also impressed by Bruce Leyland-Jones “what-if” USAF gunship version, the AC-10, featured on the UAMF forum.

This is a good little kit and with a little work can be made into a nice model.