||Review / Modelling report|
Albatros in 1/72 scale kit review and modelling report
The Czech Aero L-39 Albatros is a high-performance jet trainer aircraft developed as a successor of the Aero L-29 Delfin. Read more about its history on my 1/32 scale HPH L-39 page....
report covers 1/72 scale kits: the old KP kits and the better EDUARD kits.
In 1/72 scale for many years there was the KP (Kovozávody Prostejov) L-39 kit. After it was released in 1982, it appeared in various boxes and bags over the years.
Several kits were purchased:
(B) AERO kit of a L-39ZA which
is the same KP kit but with decals for a Thailand Air Force aircraft with
Though the KP kits are simple, shapes are not bad at all. The number of parts is about 40 is cream white plastic which is a bit brittle and some parts need quite some sanding to remove all flash. The moulds are rather old and that shows. A couple of fuel tanks and 4 wing pylons are provided but not the seperate canon fairing below the forward fuselage. Panellines are there but mostly raised, I retained these as much as possible: a camouflage paint later on will make them look good enough.
The KP kit single piece canopy is
often scratched so needs polishing. Also, its fit is not that good. To
get a better result, I bought a couple of PAVLA #7225 clear vac canopy
sets for the L-39, they are not expensive at all.
The good news is that the KP kit intakes
are quite deep but the exhaust pipe a bit undeep. Also the wing has 2 upper
and lower halves and correct dihedral. The undercarriage is a simple affair
as well, but the L-39 also has a simple undercarriage with mostly the doors
closed when parked. (these doors are moulded "closed" in the kit).
During the L-39 modelling project,
a whole bunch of seats and accessoires were tackled in one go. Seats got
medium grey paints with variation in head rest and parachute pack colours.
Ejection handles were made from thin metal wire and painted red. Seat straps
made from tape cut in slices.
Kit assembly started with fitting
the cockpit tub and panels. It shows gaps when fitted, these will be filled
with white glue later on. The transparant screen between forward and rear
seat is missing in the kit, this was made from thin clear sheet to be fitted
The KP kit required considerable filling
and sanding, particularly below the intakes between fuselage and wing.
This is difficult to reach, so sanding sticks were used. The wing itself
and tip tanks also require filler and sanding. The wing tip tank lights
do not fit well and also need sanding and filling with white glue that
dries up clearly.
Various KP models would be made.
On each model, after the basic assembly
and filling and sanding the model got a grey base coat with the airbrush
to check for any flaws. I usually use Revell Steingrau #75 acrylic for
Eduard also released a 1/72 scale kit of the L-39. It is far better than the old KP offering.
I made a 1/72 scale Eduard kit for a Czech AF L-39 many years ago as seen here.....
The Eduard kit also has appeared in various boxes with "weekend edition" kits for quick builds but also kit with some extra detail parts of etched metal and canopy masks and "Double Combo" kits with parts for 2 models. Some slightly different versions are for the L-39C, L-39ZA and L-39ZO.
(Please note that there are variations
in antenna and anti-collision lights layouts between L-39 Albatros aircraft,
so check photos for the desired aircraft to model. )
Kits made here are:
(D) L-39C kit # 7418 (Weekend
Edition) with decals for one USAF 412 test wing grey L-39C;
Some general comments on the EDUARD
The number of parts is about 60 with
fine recessed panellines. The two canopies can be set open and for the
anti-collision lights on the wing tanks, clear parts are nicely provided.
Stores comprise 4 wing pylons, fuel tanks and what I thick are ground firing training rockets. The gun pack is a seperate item for fitting under the forward fuselage. The assembly is clearly shown in the instructions.
Construction starts with the cockpit.
But the seat sizes are considerable different as compared to the PAVLA
resin seat I also purchased. The rear seat in particular is quite high
and when the caniopy is set closed interferes with the canopy. So I reduced
both Eduard kit seat heights considerably by about 2 mm. An easy task.
The remainder of the kit assembly
is good, check which holes to open up in the lower wing depending on your
pylon and weapons choice. Some tiny amounts of filler were needed at the
intakes and lower wing-fuselage joints. My kit had some sinks marks at
the rear upper fuselage, these were filled as well.
These will be discussed for each model
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Created this page
May 19, 2016