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In-Box Review
148
Tornado IDS
Panavia Tornado IDS
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by: Darren Baker [ CMOT ]


Originally published on:
AeroScale

Introduction
The following is the introduction provided by Revell of Germany on the front of the instruction manual;

The Tornado was developed and built as a two seat multi-role combat aircraft by the United Kingdom, Italy and Germany. The requirements of the aircraft, which at that time was designated ‘multi-role combat aircraft’ MRCA for short, included: optimised for low level flight, automatic terrain following flight, extended range, high weapon load and short take off and landing runs. The prototype made its first flight on 14th August 1974. The first production aircraft were delivered in 1979. The basic version of the Tornado is designated ‘Interdiction/strike’, IDS for short. Its primary task in war is to provide support to troops on the ground. In addition to its weapons for self defence, the Tornado can also carry a large variety of weapons systems for use against troop concentrations, radar installations and other airborne and ground based targets.

A weapons system operator sits behind the pilot. His duties include giving tactical advice to the pilot and the operation of passive and offensive weapons systems as well as navigation and monitoring flight parameters. He is able to define the aircrafts exact position during flight by comparing map and radar images using a radar mapping device. The aircraft have been fitted with GPS since 2001. An automatic terrain following system consisting of terrain following radar, a radar altimeter and a flight control computer allows safe low level flight down to 30 metres/100 ft above the ground. The Tornado can be refuelled in mid air by means of a retractable refuelling probe which greatly expands its operational availability, particularly over the open sea. Thanks to the thrust reverser system in the rear of the aircraft, the pilot is able to bring it to a standstill in the distance of 100 metres/300 ft. For self defence the Tornado has a radar warning system, a rader deception transmitter in an external pod (Cerberus III) and a chaff and infra red decoy flare dispenser system (Chaff and flare container BOZ 101). AIM 9M sidewinder air to air guided missiles and AGM 88 HARM anti-radar missiles as well as additional fuel tanks can be carried on a total of 9 external stations.

Units of the German Air Force and German Navy took delivery of the Tornado from 1981 onwards. Overall the Air Force has received 212 and the Navy 112 Tornado IDS. To celebrate the occasion of their 50th anniversary on 8th October 2008 JaboG (Fighter Bomber Wing) 33 in Buchel gave one Tornado a spectacular livery. It illustrates its affinity with the region and its American Partners in Buchel. The impressively designed tail unit aims to express the Tornado Wings spiritness. The air inlets display the coat of arms of the Federal State of Rhineland Palatinate and the garrison town of Cochem. The lower surfaces of the horizontal stabilisers show a combination of the Germa and American flags to symbolise the teamwork and cooperation. The concept was selected by Flight Sergeant Stefan Boltz, the airbrush design was applied by Dipl. Designer Louis Du Chateau, Capt Stephan Gliffe and Major (Res) Bodo Henry at Erding Air base. Shortly after the event FBW 33 was renamed Tactical Air Force Squadron 33.

Contents
This model is one of the latest releases from Revell of Germany and when it arrived the first thought I had was “that is a big box for a 1/48th scale Tornado”. The need for a very large end opening card box becomes obvious when you open it up. Inside you will find;
  • 13 light grey sprues
  • 1 clear sprue
  • 1 decal sheet
  • A warning pamphlet
  • An instruction manual
The sprues are not packaged individually but they are packed in a fair few plastic bags. The packaging has prevented any damage that I am aware of.


Review
First Impressions
My first thought when opening up this box was “Wow! That is a lot of plastic”. Quality wise the model is also good news for the most part; there are a lot of ejector pin marks, some of which are quite large, but all of these marks will I believe be hidden on the completed model. There are also a small number of flow marks on the plastic parts, but again the good news is that these do not appear to have left any deformations. It would also appear that this is a brand new offering from Revell of Germany, as embossed on the inner face of the spine of the aircraft model it states 2014 and I have to say from first impressions, it looks as if Revell of Germany has done a damn fine job with this new offering. The sprue map in the instructions indicates that a number of parts will not be used and with my belief that this is a new offering, it would indicate that further models are planned on and around this initial release.

Cockpit
Starting with the ejector seats, I believe you will be pleased. Revell of Germany has taken a multi-part affair and detail is very good in my opinion, the harness detail is present and of a reasonable thickness for the scale. The instrument panels and side consoles have raised detail and in a number of cases decals to make life easier for the modeller. I like the fact that Revell of Germany has supplied detail painting callouts as your progress through the build. Anything that makes life easier is a plus. Accuracy of the cockpit is an area of Tornado I am not going to comment on having been shot down in flames before, but I will say it does look the part and most modellers will be happy, those that are not will likely be offered resin cockpits very soon.

Internal Structures
Inside the fuselage and wings of this model there are a few structures of note. The engine intake vents are present and run nearly the full length of the fuselage body and finish with a set of fans. I believe this structure may be so large in order to help keep the body of the aircraft rigid and also to give the large number of body panels a solid structure to attach too and be in the correct orientation. The Tornado having variable geometry wings has been addressed with the typical interlocking teeth inside the centre of the fuselage and allowing even adjustment of the wings. Revell of Germany has also added a bar inside each wing which adjusts the weapons hard points at the same time as the wings are moved.

Fuselage
The fuselage of this model has an impressive parts count, which I believe is to allow for other mouldings to be used in conjunction to make alternate future releases of the Tornado, from what I have seen of this model so far I believe it will be the pinnacle Tornado in 1/48th scale for a while. There are nine main panels that make up the fuselage of the model and that does not include that huge tail. There is some very fine details to add in this area of the model, a detail level that I find very impressive if you consider the price of this model and the effort that Revell of Germany has put into this release. The panel lines are very lightly recessed and appear accurate when compared to photographs online. If you had not guessed I am becoming very impressed with this model. I am also thinking that this is the first model I have seen from Revell of Germany that would not be a great model for the beginner, as it is quite complex and has some very fine detail that could deter some people.

Wings
As mentioned already the wings are adjustable, nothing unusual there you are thinking I suspect. It is what else that Revell of Germany has provided in the box that makes this area special; it has separate leading edges, air brakes and flaps with very pleasing details if you opt to show these areas deployed. Again an area the model with very good detail throughout.

The Tail
The rear vertical and horizontal stabilisers have good panel line detail and what I feel is a good profile. The horizontal stabilisers have been designed to be adjustable, the rudder of the vertical stabiliser is supplied as a separate part, and while not workable it could be attached out of alignment if desired; this will make adding the very large tail decals bothersome though.

Engines
There is no hidden engine detail included with the model; however the areas that are visible on the real aircraft are nicely replicated in the model to a high standard. Something on this model that I am not aware of having been replicated previously in any scale is the reverse braking system on the Tornado; this is obviously an option and not a workable feature. I should add that the airbrakes either side of the tail also have the option of being shown deployed or closed with good detail throughout.

Undercarriage
The undercarriage of the model is the first place where I have a complaint, and you will not be surprised to hear, I suspect, that it is the main legs of the undercarriage that have rattled me. Revell of Germany has split in half everyone of the three main leg struts, and these are going to be a pain to fill and sand; not impossible but definitely a pain. With that out of the way, detail is again very good both on the struts, doors and in the bays, the addition of some fine wire will finish this area off a treat and give a realistic look to this area.

Canopy
The canopy is another area where Revell of Germany has impressed me; inside the box they have provided separate rear view mirrors both front and rear; I know this has been provided before in the form of photo etched parts by other manufacturers. Also included are separate locking handles for the cockpit and the support structure for the canopy when open and closed, and that is something I have never seen on a Tornado model before.

External Stores
This release of the Tornado from Revell of Germany is a little light on external stores and depending on your preferences may be a complaint you will make. The included weapons consist of;
  • 2 drop tanks (I am unsure of size)
  • 2 BOZ-101 pods
  • 2 AIM 9M sidewinder air to air missiles
  • 1 Cerberus pod
  • 1 photo recon pod
So as you can see not a huge number of wiz bangs on this puppy; that said it is a suitable mix for the external hard points and will add some interest.

Instructions and decals
The instructions are typical Revell of Germany, being loose leafed and using black and white line drawings to guide you through the build. The finishing option will make some complain who would have liked more options. The finishing option provided is for Tornado IDS 45 44 ’50 Jahre JaBog 33’ Buchel 2008, a very colourful addition to anyone’s display case. The decals are very good having good colour, well defined edges and being very thin.

Conclusion

It is difficult to pick fault with this model; the split undercarriage legs are a pain and I know some will complain about the lack of external stores and of course only one finishing option, but these are not so much faults as general observations and opinions. The plus score is very high due to the effort which has been put into this model in terms of detail and the great price as well. This is by far the best Tornado model available today in any scale and from any manufacturer in my opinion. The detail is of a very high standard overall generally. If you want a Tornado model in your collection this is the model to buy and I look forward to other releases of the Tornado around this base kit.

Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For details visit www.revell.de/en, @RevellGermany or facebook.com/Revell

Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE.
SUMMARY
Highs: The huge number of options when it comes to displaying the finished model.
Lows: All of the main undercarriage legs being split down their centres.
Verdict: The Tornado model to buy in any scale..
  Scale: 1:48
  Mfg. ID: 03987
  Suggested Retail: £22.99
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Jun 04, 2014
  NATIONALITY: Germany
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 87.16%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 83.40%

Our Thanks to Revell of Germany!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Darren Baker (CMOT)
FROM: ENGLAND - SOUTH WEST, UNITED KINGDOM

I have been building model kits since the early 70’s starting with Airfix kits of mostly aircraft, then progressing to the point I am at now building predominantly armour kits from all countries and time periods. Living in the middle of Salisbury plain since the 70’s, I have had lots of opportunitie...

Copyright ©2019 text by Darren Baker [ CMOT ]. All rights reserved.



Comments

Darren, Thank you for a very concise and well detailed review. Like you, I can't see any valid reason for each of the landing gear struts to be split in two. There is always the chance for misalignment, and tedious prep for painting. Not to mention that they can't be nearly as strong as a single solid strut. The markings do look quite colorful, which should produce an excellent display model. Joel
JUN 05, 2014 - 09:06 AM
This is the Tornado kit to beat at the moment.
JUN 05, 2014 - 03:37 PM
   

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