JAS 39C Gripen No:39264 “Red Flag 13-2 Nellis AFB 2013.
By Jonas Ericsson
Kittyhawk JAS 39C Gripen boxtop.
Instructions, decals and a small PE fret.
These two sprue trees are from the 1/48 Kittyhawk Mirage F.1 kit and contains a lot of weapons and ordnance for the French aircraft and only a few are for the Gripen such as the GBU 12…but on the other hand we got a lot of left over weapons for the spare box.
This book is mostly about the JAS 39A/B Gripen, but have a lot of beautiful detail photos, so it will be of great help.
Maestro Models IRIS-T Missiles and boarding ladder.
The following aftermarket parts are intended for the Italeri Gripen, so we will see how much of them I can actually use. I have done a quick comparison of some of them and it´s quite promising.
First up, CMK resin EJ seat, don´t think this one going to cause any problems.
Aires opened burnercan and CMK JAS 39C Gripen resin wheels. We will see how good or bad the burnercan fits on Kittyhawks Gripen. The resin wheels should not pose any problems.
One odd thing with Kittyhawks JAS 39C Gripen kit is that there are no external fuel tanks provided in the kit. Very strange indeed as the Gripen used them quite often, look at the picture at the beginning of this build thread, the 39264 Gripen is carrying two huge 1200 liters fuel tanks.
These two external fuel tanks is sourced from a 1/48 Hasegawa Danish RF-35 Draken. Both the Danish and Finnish Drakens used them as well as the Gripen.
I also got a closed resin burnercan from CMK. It looks better than the kit burnercan and is almost exactly the same diameter. I have not decided if I´m going to use the opened burnercan or the closed one…we will see I guess.
The assembly of cockpit and forward fuselage.
So, now it´s time to start and build the JAS 39 Gripen and as usual things starts with the cockpit and for this one the forward fuselage. I can´t wait to see how this kit of a fantastic aircraft goes together.
Cockpit parts layout and the EJ seat already built and glued together. Cockpit is adequate detailed, not super detailed, but not sparse either, something in between I would say.
I had previously built the kit EJ seat together so we could compare it with the CMK resin seat, intended for the Italeri kit. The are equal in size and therefore a drop in fit for the Kittyhawk Gripen.
The kit seat is not bad at all, just little less detailed than the CMK resin seat. My choice leans towards the resin seat…
I got the cockpit all together and decided to throw in the EJ seats to see how they look when in place. First the kit EJ seat…
…and then the resin seat.
The forward fuselage parts, cockpit tub and the HUD coaming.
I did a quick tape together of the forward fuselage and cockpit parts to see how things goes together…and it looks mighty fine to me. There are some very small gaps, but they should not be any problems to work them out without the need of filler.
You can easily see in the way the part breakdown looks, that the two seater JAS 39D Gripen will arrive later on. The two seater Gripen is lengthened in this forward fuselage part only, the rest of the Gripen airframe is pretty much the same as the one seater Gripen.
Next up was to sort out the pressurisation/air conditioning outlets on the spine, right behind the cockpit. These have some sort of a brownish metallic look to them…so I made a mix of Tamiya XF-16 Aluminium and XF-10 Flat brown. Kittyhawk suggest copper as the color for these outlets, but I don´t think it looks quite right according to photos I have looked at.
Now I just have to remember to put the unit in place before I start to glue the fuselage together…
Well, I will build the Kittyhawk Gripen mostly OOB with the addition of some resin parts from Aires and CMK. My curiosity to see if the resin aftermarket parts intended for the Italeri Gripen fits to the Kittyhawk Gripen is to strong to resist, so we will see what I will be using and not. I will not do major surgery to the Kittyhawk Gripen to make these resin parts fit, then I just leave them out.
But some extra detailing in the form of cables, hoses and wires can´t be wrong, so I decided to add some further detailing behind the EJ seat in the cockpit, to the avionics shelf.
Since the nose wheelbay will have to go in at the same time as the cockpit and the pressurisation/ Air conditioning unit before closing up the forward fuselage, I decided to get it together and add some extra detailing to the wheelbay at this stage.
When I taped the cockpit together earlier, I realized that the cockpit was quite open and roomy and made me thinking that it was possible to glue the cockpit and fuselage together and then paint it.
The only parts left out where the HUD part and the instrument panel. With those on the side it should be a nice and easy paint job and a lot less parts to handle…how it goes…I guess we will see later on.
The cockpit sidewalls will go in before the paint session starts as well, just debate with my self if I should add something extra to the sidewalls first…
Cockpit and fuselage are glued together and ready for the paint session.
Just a quickie with the resin EJ seat and the HUD coaming part in place, not glued though. It looks very good, I like it.