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 China aircraft industry. Called after the city in the North of China where traditionally aircraft were being built, the various manufacturing plants like the Shenyang Aircraft Corporation (China), Chengdu and Harbin started with copies of Soviet types like the Mikoyan MiG-15, (J-2), MiG-17 (J-5), MiG-19 (J-6), MiG-21 F13 (J-7) and Tupolev Tu-16 (Harbin H-5) during the Cold War and later also starting developing their own aircraft types with the Nachang Q-5 and Shenyang F-8.
The Chinese air force, PLAAF is a large airforce with thousands of aircraft with off course fighters, bombers and transports as well as helicopters. Also a very large naval air arm (PLAN) is operated which not only has naval aircraft like the usual helicopters but also its own fighters, transports and the first aircraft carrier operated air wings. The Chinese army air corps (AAC) operates large fleets of helicopters.
0. Shenyang J-7 (on MiG-21 page...)
2. Chengdu J-10
3. Xian JH-7
page 2 JH-7
page 3 J-15
started way back in 1964 of the J-8 which was a larger sort of MiG-21 /
J-7 with a large nose intake and two engines! However there
were many development problems and it did not meet requirements. Only
about 100 first generation J-8 "Finback A" were manufactured until 1987.
The J-8D was an interceptor which be refuelled in the air and fire PL-8 air-to-air missiles and in a ground attack role low drag bombs. The latest version was the J-8F with bWp-13B engines, a new Type 1492 radar and it could fire the PL-12 (SD-10) active homing air-to-air missile. First flight of the J-8F was in 2000. The JZ-8F is a reconnaissance version. The J-8H/ J-8G is a modernized version of 2002 with unknown radar capable of firing PL-11 AAM missiles, laser bombs and YJ-91 anti-radar missiles.
It appears that in 1995 some 100 "Finbacks" were operational and in 2010 still some 300 modern J-8 are active in the PLAAF. It is also operated by the Chinese naval aviation (PLAN).
References: website of Janes
A couple of drawings were discovered:
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, indicating this to be a model of the J-8D. 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.
Overall, this is a model of a unusual
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.
A nice straight out the box model in the 1/72 collection
2. Chengdu J-10 "New generation fighter"
The Chinese Chengdu J-10 (FC-20) is a modern mlti-role 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 at the Chengdu aircraft industry corporation and there seem to have been assistance from Israel incorporating "Lavi" experience in the design. The assistance did not last long quickly and the project had numerous problems resulting in several "redesigns". The project also was to use Western avionics but due to the Tianammen 1989 incident this was blocked. Russian systems were later on incorporated including the AL-31F jet engine delivered from Russia (and not licensed).
First prototype flew in 1996 with a first production aircraft delivered in 2002 and it was still secret aircraft.
The J-10S is a dual trainer and the J-10B is an improved version with a simpler intake ramp and better radar cross signature. It also has an optical targeting system, visible in a bulge forward of the windscreen.
It appears that in 2010 some 120 J-10 aircraft were delivered.
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 itself looks 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.
some filler was needed and take care to get the wing-fuselage joint well
are vague, I made the plane with several grey shades. Used were enamel paints 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 radar nose black. The lower
scheme shown by Trumpeter on instructions' page 8 seems OK. The undercarriage
legs were painted white. A Badger model 150 airbrush was used to apply
Chengdu J-10A "1013" of the CAC/ 3rd test flight regiment .
|On to next China aircraft [ Page 2.... ] |
- China Today: Aviation industry, China aviation industry press, 1989 (english version);
- Chinese Air Power, Yefim Gordon and Dmitriy Komissarov, Midland publ., 2010;
- The Chinese Air Force, Evolving concepts, roles and capabilities, Editors Hallion, Cliff and Saunders, Institute for national strategic studies, Washington, 2012;
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|Created June 22, 2007
Last update December 6, 2018