Saab JAS 39 Gripen
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Revell Saab Gripen JAS 39C (new mould) , Scale: 1/72

 ... back to Gripen page 1....

After the Italeri kit described on page 1 (also issued by Revell in a completely new box...) , mid 2014 Revell came with their own brand newly tooled 1/72 Gripen seen here: 

Revell Germany 1/72 kit of the Gripen, kit #04999-0389, brand new tooling released in 2014.  

It is a very nice kit of the later version JAS 39C with about 110 parts in light grey plastic in the usual current Revell style. There are also very nice stores in this kit, some quite unique as they are not found in any other 1/72 kit. Examples are IRIS-T missiles and the RB-15F missiles. Also, fuel tanks, AIM-9 Sidewinders and AIM-120B AMRAAM missiles are in the kit. There is also a sort of reconnaisance pod. 

The decals are for:
(1) Czech air force , 211 squadron with a very attractive Tigermeet 2014 tail.
(2) Swedish air force , F17 as on exercise at USA Red Flag 2013. 

The decals are fine and nicely printed. 

This kit is for a single seater but the parts breakdown suggests also a two seater (Revell kit #03956 from 2016). 

The construction of this Revell kit starts logically with the cockpit which is well detailed, the seat has 3 parts but looks good. 
Add a few seat harness straps from painted tape. Boxes and cockpit side consoles are there with raised details.   

The assembly looks good and the interior is basically medium-grey coloured. The gear bays, door interiors were also painted medium grey as well as the gear struts. 

In STEP 9 the vertical tail rudder base I sanded off a bit to get a better fit. Better fit the tail later on and install also the pitot tube #19 (seen in STEP 24) now. With a razor saw, the rudder was also marked to create a gap for the movable rudder. It will look better.

In STEP 11 the forward and aft fuselage are joined as these are separate assemblies but the fit is pretty good. Same for the canards in STEP 13, better put them on later.

In STEP 14/15 , the rear airbrakes can be set open but when setting the closed, filler and sanding is needed. I also assembled the landing gear parts at a later stage after painting/airbrushing. 

In STEP 23 shows the nose and it needs some putty and sanding to fit smooth. The air-refuelling probe is nice but when set closed, considerable flling is needed to get a smooth closed door #70. 

The various small antennas are there and shown in STEP 25, they differ depending on the air force. The gunpack is also there. 

In STEP 26 it is a bit unclear at what angle the small vortex vanes #62 + 63 are to be fitted. They tilt slightly upwards. 

In STEP 27 the canopy is shown and there is a seam in the middle. But this is also seen on real Gripen, so do NOT remove this seam, it should be really there!

In STEP 33 the stores fitting is shown, it is a bit unclear. Part #77 is probably a Ligtening pod pylon although the pod itself is not included?

After basic assembly, the model got some putty in some spots. 

After a first sanding round...

The vertical tail was fitted and a little filler/putty was needed at the base. Ensure a perfect vertical position. 

Next, the model got a base grey coat. Any flaws were corrected using again putty where needed.

The stores were also assembled. 

It was decided to make a Thailand Air Force Gripen.

I saw somewhere that the official Swedish Gripen colours are according to the Swedish NCS1950 system SIS 5502-B and SIS 3502-B with approximations as U.S Federal Standard FS36373 for the lower areas and FS36173 for the rest. 

The Thai Gripens colours indicated are a bit different, but I must admit I am not sure. I have seen on the internet that there is no standard colour system used by the Thai Air Force and squadron can adapt the colours during the operational career of an aircraft. I settled for the Gripen with these colours:
FS36270 upper surfaces : medium grey Gunze Sangyo 306 acrylic ;
FS36375 lower surfaces : light grey Gunze Sangyo 308 acrylic ;

100 shades of grey so to speak....

These acrylics were airbrushed and only a little masking is needed. Also airbrush the not yet fitted parts like the canards, doors and so on.

After that, a gloss surface of Johnson Future/ Pledge was airbrushed in a few thin coats on the model. Between coats, wait say 30 minutes before airbrushing the next Future gloss coat. This gives a nice even gloss shine that will help decal application to prevents "silvering" (avoiding air bubbles being trapped below a decal, spoiling the appearance). 

I had a couple of spare decals from SIAM Decals  with Thai roundels which are very tiny and only seen on the fuselage. (note that SIAM also has Thai Gripen decals readily available). I opted do create some myself and also had to make the Thailand flag on the tail, not a problem with some spare decals. I also assumed that the standard smaller "english text" stencilling is used on these Gripens. 

UPDATE NOTE:  March 2020 Kovozavody Prostejov (new KP) has released in 1/72 an ex-Italeri moulded Gripen in box #KPM0161 that also has the Thai markings in decals.

Here a selection of various decals is seen... The decals above right are of the very old 1/72 Revell kit for a prototype

The remaining kit parts like the undercarriage, canards and a pitot made from a metal needle were positioned without any problems. 

What is nice is the Shark logo seen on the Thai Gripens. It was hand painted on a white decal with a fine brush using photos. It was set on the tail.

The model got finally a transparant coat using a mix of 95% of Johnson Future/ Pledge with 10% mix Tamiya "flat base X-21" acrylic agent with the airbrush. The fine Harder Steenbeck airbrush was used with 0.6 nozzle with pressure at a very low 0.8 Bar. The Future mix was not thinned. Spray from not less that 15 cm distance in very thin layers. This gives a nice even semi-gloss sheen.

The seat was given a few harness straps made from tape and installed and the canopy painted. Two tiny mirrors were set inside the forward frame. The HUD was installed and that completed the model. The stores were not fitted as most Thai Gripens are seen "clean" on photos. 


Thailand air force JAS 39C Gripen 
In 2007 Thailand decided to replace its aging Northrop F-5 aircraft. A year later, the Thailand Air Force reached an agreement with Saab for the purchase 12 Gripen fighter jets (8 single seaters and 4 2-seaters). The Gripen is part of the Integrated Air Defense System with also some SAAB 340 AEW version aircraft that were bought. The first batch of Gripen fighters for the Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) was delivered in February 2011. 

Above a real Thai Gripen  (also note the South African air force Gripen in the background) .... and here below the new made 1/72 Revell JAS 39C Gripen model.... what can be seen is that the pylons shapes are slightly off in the kit and the lower antenna a bit too large but I kept it this way. But the rest looks good. 


set in a scenery at Bangkok airport...



This Thai JAS 39C Gripen model is a nice addition in the World Air Forces model collection...

UPDATE JUNE 2016: Revell also now issued a two seat Gripen JAS 39D (kit#03956) with a few new sprues.

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Created November 5, 2015;
Update June 2016