China Aircraft 

Chinese aircraft models in 1/72 scale

Chinese aircraft are becoming more and more subjects of plastic model kits. This is also a large contribution of the Chinese kit brand TRUMPETER, who issued a lot of kits during recent years including those of chinese aircraft types. The Trumpeter kits are getting better and better. 

Many models are of the Shenyang Aircraft Corporation (China) and Chengdu. Called after the city in the North of China where traditionally aircraft were being built, this manufacturing plant started  with copies of Soviet types like the Mikoyan Mig-17 and Mig-19 during the Cold War and later also starting developing their own aircraft types. Nowadays, the company not only builds military aircraft, but aslo supplies components for commercial aircraft to major aircraft builders in Europe, North America and China. 

1. Shenyang F-8 II Finback
2. Chengdu J-10

3. Shenyang J-7  (on MiG-21 page...)


1. Shenyang F-8 II "finback"

This is a Chinese single-seat twin-engined air superiority fighter, with secondary capability for ground attack. Development started way back in 1964 ! However there were many development problems and the type went into service with the PLAAF much later, the numbers being unknown.  PLA Air Force operates probably this type in 4 regiments.

It has one 23 mm Type 23-3 twin-barrel cannon in an underfuselage pack immediately aft of nosewheel doors. Also pylons are fitted below the delta wing, capable of carrying various stores and fueltanks.

Max speed is claimed to be about MACH 2.2 but this seems a bit a too high... 

References: website of Janes

A couple of drawings were discovered:

Dimensions of the real plane are a length of  21.59 m and wing Span of  9.34 m. 

The Trumpeter 1/72 kit #01610 has about 120 parts which are crisp and with fine recessed panellines. It represents the F-8 II type. Decals are provided for Chinese planes with options for several Red nose numbers. 
Instructions are clear but with some "vague" colours, the overall plane being white but with a nice colour scheme print.

At 1/72 Scale the length is 295mm and wingspan 130mm, and the Trumpeter kit matches with these figures.

Accuracy seems OK, which indicates Trumpeter had access to a real plane. Detailling is as can be expected for a kit at this scale but is not exceptional but with good undercarriage, panels and exhaust pipes which are of enough depth. You may add some extra details in the cockpit area. Stores are fuel tanks and chinese type PL-8 ? missiles. The plane is rather "clean". 

The kit was made straight out of the box. Only limited amounts of putty filler were needed, but nothing uncommon for the average modeller.



It seems "all" Chinese operated F-8's are white.

Overall, this is a model of a unusual subject. 

The overall model was assembled, sprayed light grey to check voor any surface imperfections. After some minor correction with putty, it was given a mat white and than gloss white coat with the Badger 150 airbrush. The exhaust area was given a coat of metallic. The nose, fin leading edge and gear wheel hubs were painted green. The nose wheel leg has some blue areas. 

Decals are very nice, although I feel a bit oversize, especially the special markings. Application of the decals went OK. Cockpit hood was set open and the model was ready.

Shenyang F-8





A nice straight out the box model in the 1/72 collection

2. Chengdu J-10 "New generation fighter"

The Chinese Chengdu J-10 is a modern fighter which as similar design features as the latest Western types like the Typhoon. It has canard, delta like wing and central rectangular intake.  Development started back in 1980 and there were numerous problems resulting in several "redesigns" during the project, with the prototype being flown not earlier than 1997!  The project also uses foreign technology, from Russia and probably from Israel also.

The J-10 is thought to have a very good maneuverability and also speeds around Mach 2 at altitude and a max weight of around 18,500 kg. It has 11 external pylons to carry stores. The type entered service at the end of 2005 with the PLAAF.

J-10 instrument panels

real airplane

In 1/72 scale the Chengdu J-10 is available from Trumpeter #01611 and has about 100 parts and markings for two planes with different serials and colour schemes, which are believed to be prototypes. 

Parts have fine recessed panels and look OK.  Cockpit interior is simple so cries for some extra details. You also get some parts for the PL-8 AAM and PL-10 AAM missiles and fueltanks.

The model is quite good and assembly was straight forward. However I added a tunnel / intake so removed the vertical walls in the intakes (in parts A1 / B22). In the middle of the intake, a triangular piece of card was added to suggest  2 intake tunnels. 

During assembly, some filler was needed and take care to get the wing-fuselage joint well aligned. 

Colours indications are vague, I made the plane with several grey shades. Used were Humbrol 147 for H57.73 (about FS 36495) and Humbrol 127 for H308/308 (about FS 36375). The missiles seem to be white and the nose black. The lower scheme shown by Trumpeter on instructions page 8 seems OK. The undercarriage legs were painted white. An Badger model 150 airbrush was used to apply the paint. 

The model was not weathered as pictures suggest it is still in development and well maintained. The cockpit was a bit detailed and the canopy got some lines internally to suggest demisting ducts.

The few decals went on fine after a coat of Johnson Future was applied to give it a gloss undercoat.
After decalling, a semi-mat varnish was applied. 






Chengdu J-10
Overall, a nice modern Chinese airplane in the 1/72 model collection.

Back to Model pictures.......

3KB back to home
(c) Copyright "designer"/ All rights reserved/ Amsterdam The Netherlands.Your comments are welcomed by  webmaster
Created June 22, 2007
Last update July 1, 2018