1/72 scale kit of the HAL Ajeet
review / modelling report
The Indian aeronautical industry started, after the Second World war and the India independance, developing many aircraft at the time. The desire was to have an independent industry and also to have many aircraft as to opposing countries.
The single seat Midge and two seat Gnat are a family of aircraft developed by the British Folland aircraft company in the mid nineteen-fities. Folland wanted to meet the Royal Air Force 1952 Operational Requirement OR.303 calling for a lightweight fighter. The Royal Air Force lost interest in the fighter but kept interest in the trainer, but the Gnat was also built under license by Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) at Bangalore in India between 1962 and 1974.
Indian Air Force extensively used the Gnat, it also wanted later on a single
seat fighter. The HAL design buro completed a single seat design
in 1974 of a "mk.II", called the Ajeet,
meaning unconquered. The HAL Ajeet had also an improved internal fuel system
and the Gnat underwing tanks were discarded. Also other systems were used
and it could carry four wing pylons for stores. Also, 2 30mm Aden canons
were installed at the sides of the air intakes. Max speed was slightly
below MACH 1. The first Ajeet was flown March 1975, but production deliveries
started in 1977. A total of 79 Ajeets were built until production
ended in 1982. The last Ajeets were phased out of Indian service in 1991.
|Airfix had issued many year ago a
1/72 model of the Folland Gnat. But no model existed of a single
seat Midge or Ajeet until AEROCLUB
came with a very simple short run ejection mouded kit, I believe around
(NOTE: in 2017 Special Hobby released a fine kit of the Ajeet)
The overal model from AEROCLUB was almost discarded so bad was the fit. A simple floor was added and another small ejection seat found in the spares box. Inside the rear of the fuselage, a scrap round tube was inserted to look like the jet exhaust.
The AEROCLUB model I had has very basic decals for a FINISH AIR FORCE GNAT/ MIDGE. So for the HAL Indian Air Force Ajeet, decals were sourced from my decal scrap box.
The overall model got a coat of light
grey, followed by plain aluminium applied with the airbrush. Revell
acrylic Aluminium 56 was used here for a natural metal aircraft
The model is a genuine tailsitter, so I had to use a wire to keep the nose on the ground, no led will help here!
The canopy is a terrible fit, it was elected to set it closed. Gaps were there closed with white glue. Finally, a wing pitot was added made from a metal needle.
After applying the decals as per instructions, also this model got a decal protecting coat of Johnson Future/ Pledge with the airbrush.
Now how about a 1/72 companion HAL
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|Created this page
December 14, 2012