Artistic me: Ah, the Swedes…
Sports Fanatic me: I just love their fish.
Nerdy me: They’re not actually…
Artistic me: Shhhh. Just let him be.
Normal me: Been a while, hasn’t it?
Apathetic me: Wonder if anyone’s noticed.
Nerdy me: I noticed.
Normal me: Of course you did, you’re the one who does most of the work that makes it here in the first place.
Artistic me: Hey now, what about me?
Normal me: Er, sorry, you too.
Artistic me: Hmph.
Apathetic me: Can we get to the point now?
Normal me: Oh, of course, Mr. Impatient. Anyway, we’re here to discuss yet another of James’ many model aircraft. This time, it’s Sweden’s light-weight superfighter, the JAS 39 Gripen.
Artistic me: It’s a pretty little plane, small, delta winged with canards.
Nerdy me: Only one engine, but it’s quick due to its weight, and it has one of the smallest frontal aspect ratios of any modern aircraft, making it difficult to see heads-on. Advantageous in a dogfight.
Normal me: This particular kit came from the Italeri company. James had already sampled their work in the F-22A he had built three years ago, and he has a fairly high regard for the company. Once again, here’s a step by step, photo by photo representation of the work involved. Take it away, Nerdy and Artistic.
Nerdy me: Step one involved building the cockpit and placing it in its proper location in the fuselage. Essentially a standard procedure. I’ll note, though, that the ejection handle – always a nice touch – is still a pain to paint due to its size. Making up for it is the quality of the decals. Nice ones, though the surface details are lacking.
Artistic me: Step two closed up the fuselage. Normal stuff, that, and not too difficult this time. The cockpit lined up relatively well and didn’t require significant nudging. Step three was the construction of the wings (basically just sticking the two top pieces on the one bottom one) and that was affixed to the fuselage in step four. Simple.
Nerdy me: Now things start getting interesting again. You’ll notice in the next shot, the canards have been added, and there are now air brakes on the aft fuselage.
Artistic me: And now things get less fun. Why? Because of white, that’s why. White paint is atrocious. Not as atrocious as silver, but it comes close. It takes far too many coats to cover well, and even more with gloss. Anyway, the landing gear and whatnot are going into place.
Nerdy me: Now things have really come together. The gear doors are added, the canopy included, and other miscellaneous details such as antennae added. She’s nearing completion, and even has a preliminary paint job. You’ll note the yellow on the wing root – that’s a decal. James decided to put that one at least because that surface was fully painted and it gave a bit of a reference as to how it’ll look when completed.
Artistic me: As much as i hate to say it, the weapons add even more to this aircraft, in a way. At least to the realism. Goodness knows this has plenty of them.
Nerdy me: Now it’s time to put her on display. So here we go.
Nerdy me: Well?
Normal me: She looks very nice indeed, I’m glad James decided to pick that kit up.
Sports Fanatic me: Yeah, I really want to fly that bird.
Apathetic me: Join the Swedish Air Force.
Sports Fanatic me: Will they give me their fish?
Apathetic me: Ugh…
Normal me: So, isn’t James thinking about using his new gloss-coat lacquer on it?
Artistic me: He is. He saw someone else’s kit, and they’d done that and it looks even better with it.
Normal me: How much work would it take to do that?
Artistic me: Not much, it’d just be a matter of taking it down and carefully brushing into the nooks and crannies on the underside. We’ll see, I suppose.
Normal me: Sounds like a plan. Well, that’s all for tonight, folks. Hope you enjoyed it. Ta ta for now.