Hongdu JL-8/ PAC K-8 Karakorum
[ page 2 ]

K-8 trainer in 1/72 scale: modelling report

....continued from page 1....

A number of additional 1/72 Trumpeter K-8 kits were to be made. I had seen that the JL-8 / K-8 was in use with many smaller air forces, and the models are nice in my series of World Military Aircraft in Plastic.

I had also purchased a good decal sheet from El Presidente decals with no less than 8 air forces
(printed at Fantasy Printshop). Sheet EDP-7201 has markings for Sri Lanka, Burma/ Myanmar, Ghana, Sudan, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Egypt. What is also nice is that it is indicated what condition aircraft were mostly seen, and details like a hard or soft camouflage edge. Some decals are little translucent, particularly when set at some dark areas. That is easily solved by putting a (often white) decal from your spare decal box below these areas before applying the appropriate El Presidente decal.
el presidente decals el presidente k-8 decals 7201

This kit was made in a scheme of a Namibia K-8

Kit assembly was easy but please note the suggestions and corrections as described on page 1....

k8 namibia

Colours are difficult to establish. I looked at the few photos on the internet and the acryllic colours airbrushed were:  

- lower areas first:  medium blue Revell Aqua 50 "lichtblau";
- camouflage sand/stone  Gunze Sangyo 313 (about FS33531);
- camouflage green Gunze Sangyo 340 (about FS34097).

k8 namibia

Masking was done as the edges between colours are rather sharp. The black anti-glare panel has a slightly different shape as on most Karakorums.

k8 namibia

The K-8 does not carry the national insignia but the air force emblem. In the decal sheet unfortunately the small crown in the Namibia air force emblem was missing in the set. I had to suggest the crown with tiny spots of various colours applied with a tooth pick. The drawing of the decal set was used as example. It looks rather good now.


Completing the model was straight forward with gears and details. A few fuel tanks as per kit were also installed. The detailed colours were as standard with mostly light grey interiors, wheelbays and gear legs.

k8 namibia cockpit

The details were added as described on page 1 like....

- adding the clear blast screen in the canopy;
- 2x2 mirrors in the canopy;  
- slightly repositioned large pitot tube #B16;  
- extra small extra pitot sensor in front of the wind screen;
- tailplane elevator trim tab actuators;
- static dischargers.


Finally, the whole model got a sealing coat of semi matt varnish with Johnson Future mixed with 10% Tamiya X-21 flat base matting agent mixed in airbrushed on to it. 

The canopy was set open and turned to the right. That completed the model. 

namibianamibia flag  .....namibia roudnel
Namibia became independent in 1990, previously the region was known as "Zuid-West Afrika". It has about 2 million inhabitants. Armed forces were set up and the aviation squadron ("Namibiese Lugmag" NDFAW) started with a few Cessna's and Mil Hip and Hind helicopters acquired from Libya. A few MiG-23 were also received from Angola but were not operational. Some aircraft were used in local conflicts like in Congo and Angola. In 2001 MiG-21 aircraft to be refurbished in Israel were eventually never delivered! But Chengdu F-7 (MiG-21 look alike) and FT-7 aircraft were obtained, arriving in 2005. Later, probably 12 K-8 Karakorums were acquired. The main base is at Grootfontein with other bases at Keetmanshop and the HQ at Karibib. Other aircraft are some transports like the Harbin Y-12 and An-26.

k8 namibia rear
K-8 Karakorum ,  
"Namibiese Lugmag" NDFAW, coded NDF-6-502 based at Grootfontein.

k8 namibia

namibia k8 

k8 namibia

.. and at air base Grootfontein, Namibia
Another kit was made in a scheme of the Sudan air force. The markings are again on the excellent El Presidente K-8 decals sheet. I opted for another scheme for a camouflaged aircraft of which a few photos were seen.    
Colours applied with the airbrush were...  
- first an overall colour of "off white".
- next came after maskinbg off the white on some upper areas in sand using Gunze Sangyo 313;
- finally a few green areas were applied using Revell Aqua 364  "laubgrun".  


This K-8 does not appear to have an anti-glare panel in front of the windscreen. I had to add first some white disks cut out from spare white decal sheet before applying the Sudanese roundels.
I also changed the aircraft number 806 to 809 as a different scheme was applied.  
k-8 sudan air force

The remainder of the model was finished as described above with adding details. But now the canopy was set closed and small gaps were closed up with white glue. Paint in the surrounding camo colour once dried.


I found that a small flat antenna is fitted on the spine. This was made from thin card and added.

SUDAN (Islamic Republic)
sudan map ..sdan flag..sudan roundel......
[ initially as one Sudan: 2,500,000 sq.km | between 25-35 million inhabitants ? | capital: Khartoum ][ now "north" Sudan 1,880,000 sq.km ]

Sudan was the largest country in Africa and the Sudan air force was established in 1956 after Sudan became independent. With British assistance, types were Provosts and Pembroke transports. In the 1960s the country also ortiented East with Soviet and Chinese influences.  

For more information about the Sudan Air Force, look at the MiG-23 page here....

Over 22 K-8S Karakorums were delivered from China as from mid 2006.

Sudan Air Force K-8 coded "809" 

note the small flat antenna on the spine

k8 sudan


 sudan karakorum

Sudan airport at Khartoum..... with the K-8 and Tupolevs and Antonovs.
khartoum air port k-8

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Created June 15, 2017