Aero L-29  Delfin
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Aero L-29 Delfin in 1/72 scale
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real L-29
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bilek l29 box

Another brand that released a long time ago in 1998 a 1/72 scale kit of the L-29 Delfin was Bilek. I still had this old kit in the stack and decided to make it anyway.
bilek l29 parts
This kit was released in several boxes, this kit release #911 is a bit of a mixed quality:
- the about 50 plastic parts are basic and the material is rather brittle;
- there is one piece canopy with no seperate hoods;
- provided are instructions in full colour;
- there is an etched metal fret with some detail parts in the kit;
- very nice is that there is a lower fuselage reconnaissance fairing included in the kit (though not applicable for the schemes provided).

- decals are fine for no less than 6 schemes:
(a) L-29 Czech air force, 2 Letka at Bechyne in 1994 with a metal scheme;
(b) L-29 Slovakia, Kuchyna in 2003 with a camouflage scheme;
(c) L-29 Soviet Air Force VVS in a metal scheme with red trainer markings;
(d) L-29 Egypt in a camouflage scheme;
(e) L-29 of the DDR (East German) air force at Bautzen in 1964 in a Cold War camouflage scheme, which was the only L-29 in this scheme, the others were in bare metal.
(f) L-29 Iraq air force, based at Tikrit in a metal scheme.

bilek l29 decals

bilek l29
Colour numbers are indicated in Modelmaster colours. Colour 1710 is about FS34079, colour 1728 is about FS36375 and 2053 is about FS30279 desert sand; Another source suggests: green about FS34102, grey FS36293 and sand FS30260.
bilek l29
It was decided to make this model in the Slovakia Air Force scheme (b).

The assembly starts with seperating with care the parts from the sprues. Use a razor saw, the plastic is brittle.
Inside the wing roots there is no air intake duct, so with some card this was suggested and I did not use the parts #A7.

The nose wheel bay was boxed in with some card. Add also a nose weight though that can also be done later on. At the rear of the cockpit a deck was made with card.

Inside the cockpit tub some details were added from scrap. The instrument panels and side consoles are provided in a nice coloured etched metal parts. Seat harnesses are also provided. The bit were set in place but not (yet) the ejection seats.

The main assembly was done next, considerable putty/ filler was needed at the wing root joints and stabilizer. The control surface edges were inscribed a bit deeper with the OLFA scriber.
Some of the putty can be removed with a cloth and nail polish remover. This will avoid sanding scratches.
The model got a base grey coat to check for any surface flaws.
Here a comparison of the shape with the AMK kit is seen...

Next followed the paint scheme and for the Slovakia L-29 these acrylic colours were airbrushed in this order:
- lower grey: about Gunze Sangyo H308 (FS36375);
- sand: a mix of 70% Revell aqua #16 Sand + 30% aqua white;
- brown Revell aqua #84;
- green rims:  Gunze Sangyo H309 (FS34079).

Between the colours, the pattern was masked of with Britt "Poster Buddies" in rolls and paper and tape. This gives "soft" edges between the colours.

Decalling was next. The model got a gloss varnish coat with Johnson Future / Pledge before applying the decals. The decals were fine and set in place as per instructions.
kk-1 seat
I replaced the kit seats with resin seats KK-1 of an old unknown Czech ? brand. Though the canopies will be set closed, it will improve the model.

A blast screen was made from scrap between the forward and aft seat, using the made AMK kits as example.

The landing gear was to be set deployed on this Bilek kit. The main doors were cut from the parts #A25 and #A27. Inside the gear bays some detail was inscribed and added with sprue.
nose gear l29
The nose gear leg is very crude, I refined it with a metal paper clip leg, plastic bits and another nose wheel found in the spares box. The forward nose gear door was set almost closed as seen on parked aircraft.
Pitot tubes in the wing leading edges were made from metal needles and anti-collision lights painted. A few spare lower wing fuel tanks were added found in the AMK kit.

With all bits installed, finally a mat coat was airbrushed at this stage to get a nice good even sheen on the model with the usual technique...

The canopy is one piece. It was set in place and any tiny gaps were closed with White Glue. When dried, paint in the surrounding colours with a fine brush. That completed the model.
slovakia map slovakia flag   slovakia roundel
Slovakia became independent again after the collapse of the East Block with the split with Czechia in 1993. The air force aircraft were split as well. L-29 were also in use though many were replaced by L-39 Albatros aircraft.   
slovakia l29
 L-29 , coded "2846", 1. stihaci bombardovaci letka, 2. letecke kridlo, letectvo Armady SR, Malacky- Kuchyna in 2003.
l29 slovakia
 and set in a scenery....
l29 slovakia
That completed a nice 1/72 collection of Aero L-29 Delfins. I also made a 1/32 HPH L-29 kit.... Look here....

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this page created
May 1, 2018; updated 2021