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Tarangus 1/48 A32A Lansen

 

Review by Jonas Ericsson

 

So, it finally arrived, the greatly anticipated SAAB A32A Lansen, the Swedish Airforce cold war attacker! This one has been in the works for a while and on the wish list of many modellers, perhaps especially the Swedish modellers.

 

The Lansen(Lance) has not been around in 1/48 scale before, until the Swedish company Tarangus took on the task to construct and manufacture one in 1/48 scale.

 

A little about the Lansen...

 

Lancen where built in three main versions the A32A, S32C(recce) and J32B(Fighter). Some where modified to J32D as target towers and some became J32E and used as ECM platforms. All in all SAAB built 449 units, all versions.

 

Lansen was officially withdrawn from active duty in 1998, then the type had been in service with the Swedish airforce from 1955-1998, a staggering 43 years of active duty. Two still remain in operational use today as high alltitude air sample collectors for the Swedish Radiation Authority. Quite impressive, to say the least.

 

So, back to the kit review.

 

First up the kit box. What a fantastic box top art of the Lansen, very nice. The box itself are of the very sturdy type. I like that, it shows that Tarangus will do what they can to protect the kit from being damaged on the way to you, the modeller.

 

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What´s in the box then? Well there are two zipped plastic bags, one for the kit and decals and if you look closely, both resin EJ seats. Second bag is for canopy and the rest of the clear parts.

 

In my opinion, both the resin EJ seats and decals should be placed in separate bags to protect them from damage from the kit.

 

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Sprues.

 

Sprue layout is good and as expected, nothing special about it. The surface detail on fuselage, main wings and tailplanes are excellent with very fine and nicely engraved panel lines.

 

On the smaller parts the level of detail are good and looks nice. Some small amount of flash can be found on the smaller parts also some pin marks can be found on parts, but most of them will not be visible.

 

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Very nice surface detail on main wings, with very nice engreved panel lines.

 

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The main wheel well. A nasty pin mark that need a little attention from the modeller. Otherwise there is nice detail in here.

 

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The forward part of the fuselage and the air intake.

 

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Clear parts. Windscreen, canopy and the armoured glas protection for the navigator are excellent, very clear and transparent. As they should, they are in their own zipped bag.

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The resin EJ seats. These looks great and are very nice in detail. A little flash can be found, but that´s pretty common with aftermarket resin parts and is an easy fix with an hobby knife and needle files.

 

As stated above they really need to be placed in their own separate bag. It´s not so fun if the got some of the small details knocked off by the rest of the kit parts.

 

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Decals looks very nice and are within register, top job on those. Two decal options are provided.

 

First option is a A32A no:32070 from F17 Wing, a restored Lansen, based at the F7 wing Såtenäs, with the historical wing.

 

The other option is a A32A no:32177 from F15 Wing duríng the Autumn manouver 1968.

 

Another thing worth mention is that the decal sheet also contain decals for a S32C Lansen, the recce version. As there are no parts in this kit to build a S32C Lansen we can see it as a nice bonus with those decals.

 

Max at Tarangus/Maestro Models told me that there will be a conversion set or perhaps even a new kit for the S32C Lansen, so those decals in the A32A Lansen kit can be of great use in the future. I look forward to that, as I really like recce birds.

 

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The instruction manual for A32A Lansen is in A4 size and in semi glossy paper quality, like the Eduard instruction manual for their recent kits and that´s just superb, I really like those kind of instructions.

 

The manual has a great sequence layout and are easy to understand and also very nice paint call out in all building steps.

 

Tarangus did a great job when they supplied such a high standard instruction manual with this kit.

 

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I got the fuselage and wings together with Tamiya tape to show how the airframe of the Lansen look like. She is a beauty with the classic configuration of sweept wings.

 

When some small remains of flash and pin marks are removed there are no problems with warping or any other alignment issues, just a great fit, just like it should be.

 

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Here is a photo of the A32A Lansen together with a Royal Danish RF-35 Draken, just to give you an idea on how big the Lansen really is.

 

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Final thoughts...

 

This is a kit that many have been waiting for, a Lansen in 1/48 scale. Until today the only option for the modeller if he or she want to build an Lansen, is the old Heller 1/72 Lansen. Pretty inaccurate, it lacks a lot of important details and it got raised panel lines...nothing wrong with that if you like raised panel lines.

 

When I first heard the rumors about a Lansen in 1/48 and that it was a Swedish company that worked with it, I was pretty amazed. Then, when Tarangus showed us the first test shots on their homepage I got really excited and here we are with the brand new tooling of the Lansen in 1/48, fantastic.

 

The kit is of the shortrun/limited edition type and therefor more expensive than other mass produced kit from bigger brands.

 

This kit is excellent and as far as I can see it seems to be very accurate, both in shape and in measurements. It has beautiful surface detail on fuselage, wings and tailplanes. Small parts and cockpit is a bit sparse in detail, as many other kit of this type. As this is a shortrun style kit it has no location pins in fuselage and wings, so it needs a little more attention from the modeller to get things aligned. In my opinion, this kit is well worth it´s money.

 

If you like Swedish aircraft, this cold war attacker/fighter is a must have and it has it´s place in the line of SAAB constructed jet aircraft types.

 

Max Nykvist at Maestro Models has told me that various bombs, rockets, detail sets and conversions in both resin and PE are in the works for the Tarangus Lansen.

 

Many thanks to Max Nykvist at Tarangus/Rebell Hobby for providing me with a review kit. Thanks.

 

Review date: 2012-01-11.