Jump to content

improving the old 1/32 Revell Gripen


Recommended Posts

Continueing with the 1/32 Gripen....


The shape of the canards is a good basis for further corrections. First remove the raised “stubs” and raised details.  



This is seen here compared with the drawing and small fixed fairing is needed at the intake as well.





Next, add a small tip extension of 3 mm with card.  The small locks at their rotation rod were removed so it can be installed later on.


The canards look good now , these were not yet installed at this stage as they are very vulnerable.

Now the base model could be further completed but it would be nice to have also some pylons and stores. It is a good idea to tackle this now as it may need adjustments at the lower wing. 


With various drawings and the good 1/72 Revell Gripen kit, it was found that the 1/32 kit pylons are very inaccurate.


A drawing was made to 1/32 and it was clear that when making inserts, sections of the kit pylons can be used. Cuts were made and putty and card used. The strange engraved vertical lines were also filled with putty and all was sanded.


Adding these improved pylons later on will have a large effect on how the model will eventually look. 


A replacement for the central pylon was found in the spares box and will be adapted.
For the central fuel tank, it was also seen that it needs a flat horizontal cross section. 


An insert was made with strip of 4 mm wide, it was bended, glued, puttied and sanded.

The far better looking corrected central fuel tank and pylon is seen here. 

For the wing tip missile rails that had been cut off earlier, some far better ones were found in the spares box and only needed a bit adaption.

An additional forward pylon was set below the right intake found in the spares box and a bit adapted
It looked fine till now. On the upper fuselage a few strips were added from thin card where the small vortex plates will be set later on. These are seen on real Gripens. 


A small fairing for the anti-collision light on each intake was added (the kit parts #34 were not used).
Also 4 re-shaped pylons were installed after the spanwise stations were checked with the 1/72 Revell kit. Any gaps with the wing were closed with putty but it took less effort than first thought. Note that the sweep angles of the pylon bases moulded on the wing were not changed, this is almost invisible, the pylons themselves were set "in flow direction". 

Please note the replaced wing tip missile launchers.
An important build mile stone was reached! The overall model could now get a base grey primer coat.
I airbrushed Revell Aqua acrylic 75 “steingrau”.

It was obvious that after so much modifications and puttying some small rework was needed with putty but nothing too dramatic. Some re-puttying and sanding was needed but took quite some effort to get smooth surfaces.

It was again checked with another pass of base primer.



The cockpit area obviously needs extra detail, to be done later. In the photo also on the intake the small fixed fairing at the canard is seen. 

Another check was made with the photo camera with the scale drawing. A few photos were made "from a far distance to avoid camera lens distortion as much as possible". The composition is seen here:



... and superimposed on the scale drawing....







The model was also checked with a side profile with gear.


Some work is still be done with the windshield and removing 1 mm on top of the fin. The intake is now about 1,5 mm bit too far forward but will be retained as the canopy will be extended and will be set in open position....


What has been done till now:

- fuselage plug of 17 mm
- cockpit plug / sill of 4 mm
- wing span from 5 mm each near flap with insert to "near zero" 1 mm at forward edge with "vortex" extension
- new missile rails
- repositioned nose bay
- adapted main gear closed doors and bay
- improved gun fairing
- improved pylons
- improved vertical tail 
- (canards are here not yet installed)
Some smaller details also to be added like large fences on fuselage near canards, low visibility light strips etc etc  (not yet done)



Edited by mydesign
Link to comment
Share on other sites

What a remarkable transformation. 

It looks like it's been alot of hard labour to get to this point but the results speak for themselves.


On behalf of all those who appreciate the lines of the Gripen I'd like to thankyou because you have surely paved the way for a mainstream IM company to bring one to the market now. :goodjob:


Keep up the great work. 



Link to comment
Share on other sites

.... continueing ....


From the corrected vertical tail, 1 mm was sanded off from the top. 
The next important mile stone is going forward with the colour scheme…

The model got a few recessed panellines with the OLFA panel scriber. But I did not add many as large areas are puttied and not to spoil the surface appearance. A lot can be done also with pencilled lines and shading. 


As seen, a few base “weathering” effects with black patterns were airbrushed for any recessed panel lines.


Now what scheme and air force to pick?

At this stage the model is ready to get the first paint coats. My long time modelling friend Erwin persuaded me to make this model in a South Africa Air Force (SAAF) scheme and provided some documentation also from South African friends. The Gripens sport low visibility SAAF markings and flag. 
I will design the decals with a graphics program on the PC and than to be were laser printed by a friend on decalpaper.
For the SAAF scheme the Gripens show a sort of “diamond shaped pattern”. These scheme colours are approx. an overall scheme of Fed.Std FS36320 grey and the diamond in FS36118. 

Gunze Sangyo acrylic colours were airbrushed of respectively H307 and H305 but any paint brand will do for these Federal Standard colours. 

Some “soft masking” is needed with now the diamond seen..

The gear bays and door insides will be painted mainly white.  

As the cockpit sill had been increased 4 mm in length, so the canopy should be increased in length, the proportions will than also look like seen on the real Gripen.
The approach chosen was to shave off any raised kit canopy details. Frames of 2 mm each at the rear and front edges will be added from bended card strips.

First the canopy was, after masking the main areas, carefully sanded at the raised edges so the raised frames are now removed/hidden and than polish A LOT!


The needed canopy extension of frames of 2x 2 mm width: at front and rear edges were made with bended plastic strip.
The interior of the canopy framing was made from scrap with card looking at photos. This canopy will be set turned open to the left, there is a strength bar aft of the seat. Also, I saw rather wide edges at the canopy front with the mirrors almost being unvisible when seen from the front. The mirrors were cut from metal sheet.

Detailing the canopy requires care as not to damage the clear section. Main frame colours are black.



IMPORTANT NOTE:  a central thin frame is not yet set, it will be added later onto the canopy top centre line.


The windscreen was the next item. It was placed in position but it did not look good. It seemed that the steep angle was a bit too much. To make sure, another overall model side view photo was made from long distance to avoid camera lense distortion. With the photo editor program it superimposed on the scale drawing. 
I concluded that the windscreen should still be set about 2 mm more forward and tilted a bit to get a less steep angle…. 

This can be achieved in 2 steps: first by removing some plastic at the rear area of the windscreen mating surface; this is marked here “red”:

Sand symmetrical. Next, I added a strip of 1 mm below the front of the wind screen nose at the mating surface. There will than be a visible gap but this can be closed/ filled with putty. The other small gap between the windscreen rear edge and front of canopy is not obvious as the canopy will be set open on the model. To be done…. 


The windscreen was set, surrounding surfaces protected with masking tape; any gaps filled were with putty and sanded. 


A new side view photo with corrected windscreen sit (again from long distance to avoid camera lense distortion) was made and another check at seen here:  



The side profile looks fine though the intake looks to be about 1 mm bit too far forward but this is almost undetectable.
An upper view photo was made from a large distance to do a check. 

In upper plan view the model looks quite good. The span is correct with a better leading edge sweep. The trailing edge angle and wing chord at the ailerons deviate as expected a bit as the wing planform was rotated but this is not obvious when looking at the model. The nose upper profile with canopy and wind screen looks good now.  Note that the canopy will be set in open position (and will get a central thin running frame).


As regarding the intakes they look OK though the angled upper is a bit different than the drawing, but may be here the drawing is not entirely correct. Same applies for the exact pylon locations, the drawing may not be spot on.


It was concluded these issues are minor.

After all that effort done on correcting the Revell kit I was happy! Ready to proceed further on detailing such as the cockpit, seat etc. in the new year.... 


Have a Great New Year!   



Edited by mydesign
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...