Chengdu J-20 stealth fighter in 1/72 scale
The Chengdu J-20 is claimed to a third generation "Stealth Fighter" of China. The first flight of the J-20 was in early 2011 and it is likely that the aircraft can reach MACH 2 with a combat range of about 2000 km. With supposed stealth properties it is difficult to detect by radar, but it is quite a large aircraft and much larger than the Western F35. It has canards and a large wing and fuselage with an internal weapon bay that can carry mainly air defense missiles such as the PL-10, PL-12, PL-15 and PL-21. In the year 2020, tests and evaluations were still being carried out on about 20 aircraft from the first production batch. The testing is taking place near the base in Wuhu in Anhui, China. The production version of the J-20 will probably get other engines, namely the WS-15, and the J-20 will become an important type in the modern Chinese air force.
The Bronco Models J-20 kit released in 2020 with no. GB7010 for the “Mighty Dragon” has 3 sprues with about 60 parts in light gray plastic and a transparent tinted cockpit canopy.
The fine decals are for three gray schemes and the instructions give color indications of the brands Gunze Sangyo, Mr.Hobby, Tamiya and Humbrol.
The model is simple but neatly detailed with fine engraved panel lines as you would expect in a stealth aircraft. The internal weapons bay is provided but if you want to show it you have to separate the separate bay doors in part #C1. For the weapons load, there are two types of Air-to-Air missiles in the kit. But I've also seen pictures of missiles that appear to be situated in bays in the air intake sides. For this model I will therefore put a number of missiles on the side.
While building, you may have to cut away the many plastic push-out pins. The main wheel wells are numbered incorrectly: B3 is B4 and vice versa. Some white glue was needed to close gaps in the internal bays.
The cockpit is simple but sufficient, the modern cockpit is quite bare in the real aircraft and mainly medium ghost grey. On this model, the canopy will be set closed.
The inlet covers that come with the kit will also be used because there are no parts for the air ducts in the fuselage. During the build I noticed that the fit is good of this kit if you align the large fuselage parts correctly. It just needed some sanding, especially on the exhaust fairing #C10.
You can then easily set the separate tails and canards. Some gaps are a bit wide, use white wood glue to close these.
A base coat of gray was airbrushed with Revell Aqua 75.
The colours of the real J-20 are unknown to me, so an educated guess was made.
The entire model was airbrushed the overall coat Gunze Sangyo H82 acrylic "dark gray". Then a choice had to be made which paint scheme to apply; the second option suggested in the kit instructions for the PLAAF 172th Air Brigade with a camouflage pattern was picked with a camouflage pattern.
This was done with masking and than airbrushing Gunze Sangyo H331 acrylic which is "Dark Sea Gray" in which a drop of aluminium was mixed in for the “stealth” effect.
The aircraft also has front and rear leading and trailing edges in a slightly lighter color. These all had to be masked and airbrushed for which I picked Gunze Sangyo H306 approx. FS36270.
Applying the decals went quickly because the model already had a glossy paint. The gear bays and undercarriage were painted white and some extra detail was added, such as hydraulic lines along the struts.
The exhausts were airbrushed in gloss metal paint and given a black wash. With a black permanent marker, some edges on the doors were drawn.
For the missiles I chose a color of blue and white. The large missiles were placed in the fuselage weapons bay.
A pair of smaller PL-10 short range missiles will be set on some brackets on the side of each intake. If you look closely you can see engraved lines for the side bays on the model, those missiles brackets are situated along the bottom door edge.
A few small pitots were made and set on the nose sides. (the prototypes had a large nose pitot).
An semi gloss layer of varnish was airbrushed and the tinted cockpit canopy set. The pair of red painted intake covers completed the model. A modern Chinese J-20 is now in the 1/72 collection.
... set in scenery...
In the fall of 2021 I saw footage on the TV of Mighty Dragons skimming past near the island of Taiwan, I hope it stays that way.
Also check out the other China model pages here..
- WikiPedia about J-20
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Created this page
March 29, 2021