Aero L-39 Albatros in 1/72 scale
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Review / Modelling  report
Aero L-39 Albatros in 1/72 scale kit review and modelling report: KP kits

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Using again another KP kit reboxed by AERO , this model no #14 has markings for a Thailand Air Force and the kit for a L-39ZA was made rather straight forward as described on page 1....

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Colours were hard to establish. 

I had some first tries using the kit instructions but was not satisfied with these looking at photos of the real Thai L-39 aircraft. I finally settled for these modelling colours:

Lower surfaces: Gunze Sangyo 311 (about FS 36622);
Medium Blue: Gunze Sangyo 306 (also on the lower areas as pattern);
Light blue/ grey: Gunze Sangyo 338 (about FS 3495);
Darker blue: Gunze Sangyo H25;
Decals came from the kit (in the AERO release).

Note that the nose anti-glare panel is light grey. This was airbrushed, after masking seen below...

The wing leading edge pitot tubes (I made these of metal needles) are white with red stripes. 

The Thailand L-39 ZA were also seen with GSh-23L 23 millimeter twin barreled cannon. This was retrieved from the Eduard kit. Also it is sometimes seen with Sidewinder AIM-9J missiles on the outboard pylons. I got the missiles from a Hasegawa Weapons set III and made a launch rail from a piece of strip to be set on the pylon. A nice addition to the model. 

Some recessed panellines got a wash using PROMODELLER weathering wash. 
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Other kit finishing was similar as described earlier with a dull varnish coat. Final installment was the undercarriage as well as some smaller antennas such as on the vertical tail and also a large anti-collision light on the spine for the Thai aircraft. On each canopy the 2 fixed handles were added and finally static dischargers completed the model. 


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The Thailand Air Force ("Kong Thap Akat Thai") was established very early in 1913 when Thailand was known as Siam. From 1939 the name Thailand was used and after the second world war ended some American aircraft were put in service. During the Vietnam war also the air force was re-enforced and also some USAF aircraft operated from Thai bases. The Thai  air force used a variety of aircraft over the years. Current aircraft are Saab Gripens and F-16 aircraft fighters but also F-5E and F-5T trainers and various transports. The L-39ZA/ ART was procured in the 1990's with more than 30 aircraft and L-39 are operated by the 401 Light Attack Squadron from Takhli. ..


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A nice model is now in the World Air Forces collection of a Aero L-39 ZA of the Thailand Air Force
 


The fourth KP kit reboxed will be made as a Chechnya Air Force L-39C and the KP kit was made as described on page 1....

I opted to droop the trailing edge flaps. These were cut out from the KP kit wing lower and upper halves. The forward edges of the flaps were puttied and sanded to be re-used.

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The model was further assembled and got a grey base coat. The flaps were than set in drooped position. A GSh-23L 23 millimeter twin barreled cannon was retrieved from an Eduard kit.
The upper flap fairings were made from a bit of reshaped plastic rod. 

The markings are for a Chechen Air Force L-39C in the mid-nineties. 

The colours were airbrushed and these acryllic paints were used:

lower surfaces: AKAN 73008 light blue;
olive drab:    Gunze Sangyo 304 (approx FS34087);
brown / beige:   Revell Aqua 314; 

First various yellow panels were airbrushed using Revell Aqua 12 "gelb" on a mat white base after these were masked. 

and the result...

There were variations in national insignia with red and green stars. I printed the "green" star insignia retrieved from the internet in a few sizes on white decalsheet (from the Bare Metal Foil company) suitable for inkjet printing with my fine inkjet printer in colour. The prints were gloshed 5 times with Johnson Pledge/ Future varnish with the airbrush. 
 

When dried for 48 hours, the six required "green" stars were carefully cut out and these home made decals applied. The remainder of the stencils came from the various L-39 kits and sheets.


Light grey anti-glare panels were also painted.

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The cockpit got also some extra detailing, note the transparant mid screen. Some adapted seats from the Eduard L-39 kit were installed. The canopy came from a PAVLA vacu form set. Gaps were closed up with White Glue and when dried, painted with a fine brush in the appropriate surrounding colours.
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This model got a couple of UB-16 unguided rocket pods fitted on the outboard pylons; these pods came from the 1/72 Revell MiG-21 F13 kit #04346 and  painted aluminium. 

The wing leading edge pitot tubes made from metal needles. Other kit finishing was similar as described above for the other models with a dull varnish coat. Final installment was the undercarriage as well as some small antennas. On each canopy a fixed handle is seen so 2 in total on the port left sides, these were made from thin sprue. Adding static dischargers completed the model. 


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Chechnya is a republic located in the Caucasus region in the south of the former Soviet Union declared its independence in September 1991. A conflict between the "Chechen Republic of Ichkeria" and Russia soon emerged. Within Chechnya nearly 265 aircraft and helicopters had been left by the Russia at bases Khankala and Kalinovskaya when it evacuated the Chechen Republic in 1992. The abandoned aircraft included some 80 L-29 Delfin combat trainers, 39 L-39 Albatros trainers, three MiG-17 fighters, two MiG-15UTI trainers, as well as six An-2 and two Mi-8 helicopters. The next decades many conflicts between clans and neighboring countries were in the region. Today, Chechnya is a relatively stable federal republic, although there is still some separatist movement activity. 


     L-39C  Chechnya Air Force (mid nineties)

Another special model in the World Air Forces collection....
 

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May 25, 2016