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Fly Swedish SAAB J-29B Tunnan in Congo

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Hi guys,


I received this kit very recently and did not consider starting another project. However, I'm now more or less stuck for one week with regard to the Sea Vampire project. Moreover, the Tunnan kit looks very simple and I just want to build it with some detailing. No crazy conversion here and close to no aftermarket. Just elbow grease! I should also add that some comments from various people (including a close friend) about the kit buildability are typically the kind of things that are teasing me...:mental: Finally, I've yet to see a building thread covering the assembly challenges.


I will post some pictures today as I already solved the nose and cockpit painting issues and the wing ones are in WIP mode. Still wondering about two other challenges: the height of the MLG doors and the very plain exhaust. The landing gear strength question will be managed later. Hopefully, I have ideas to solve all of them!  





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Hi again,


Actually, I have been incredibly lucky as I succeeded in getting the FOUR Nordic Air power books dedicated to Swedish jets! Moreover, if the price was not very cheap, it was not noticeably more expensive that if I had progressively bought the four issues from the editor! Such books are not old but unfortunately, the author, Jan Jorgenssen, died during the COVID period. And as there were produced by the author, the printed batches of each release were not that large. This means they are already becoming very rare assets. I'm very happy as they are the very best printed source of pictures of Swedish jets.




The two other books hereunder, published by MMP are also very good source of pictures and technical info for one and painting schemes for the other. They are highly recommended as well even if the technical description and walkaround section could have been more exhaustive. I think the MMP Tunnan book is similar to another book, published in Swedish by the author, Mikeal Forslund.




So, with them and some dozens of web images, I'm ready!


Actually, this makes me think I've been quite stupid when I ordered two Jetmads kits but did not get the Viggen kit! Oh well, it looks the AJ will be released later. So, it is not too late! We will now have a look at the kit weaknesses and find ways to solve them.

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The nose is probably the most visible kit problem and one that is really requiring intervention. If you just have to solve one issue choose that one as this really spoils the look of that stubby plane!

There are currently two aftermarket options: Resin2detail and Maestro models. Both are made of 3d prints. The Maestro models one is made in Sweden and was directly available from the Dutch reseller who sold me the Fly kit. This is why I simply got it directly with the kit as it looks OK. However, it has no internal panel line. That is something that may be different on the Resin2detail set.




There are no instructions, just a 3D printed part to clean. Actually, mine was already separated from the printed gates in the bag. Hopefully, nothing was damaged. Note I never found any instructions on the maestromodels website! So, I did the measurements myself and will gave them hereunder.


The print is quite good but required cleaning to remove the very small printed facets. This is a classical side effect of 3D pinting of fully round surfaces. However, this is quickly done with a fine grain sanding sponge. The non-visible face asked for more work to mate the resin part with the plastic ones.

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Here's where you have to make the cut. Simply follow cautiously the panel line.




It is quite difficult to take both pictures of both noses because of the color contrast but it is clear the plastic one is noticeably too thin.




Actually, if you put the resin one under the plastic parts, the thickness difference becomes very obvious. Simply look at the left of the picture.




If you want to use that resin nose, you must cut part of the air intake parts. After measurement, it looks close to 17 mm must be removed.




However, even if the intake length is now comparable to the kit one, it is not easy to combine both the plastic and resin sections without a little bit of work.


First I cautiously cleaned the internal side of the resin part to increase slightly the internal diameter where the plastic part will be inserted.




I also bevelled the edge of the plastic section to ease the correct positioning:



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Another kit issue is not really an accuracy or assembly one. Actually, it is a quite rare and weird issue: the kit designer has wanted to simplify the assembly of the cockpit a little bit too far: :blink:




If you look at the tub, it is very nicely cast BUT for god sake, how can you paint that?!? :BANGHEAD2: The picture from the side does not show it very clearly but the tub sides are rounded and their top prevents access to the middle area. Moreover, you just have 22mm between the sills.


The Tunnan had not the classical "black hole "cockpit of many fifties jets. It had dark green sides, a metal floor,  black instruments and various spots of color. Useless to say that unless you have a trained spider who is painting scale model internals for you, I do not see how it is possible to paint that correctly. Possibly with crooked paintbrushes...? :hmmm:


As I just have straigth brushes and no trained spider (sorry for that major deficiency!), I considered a different approach: rebuilding the tub. However, this would ask for major work (remember I was hoping this would be a quick assembly...:doh:).


Finally, I thought that some cautious cuts could solve that and it took me a full evening but I found a solution.


Here's the new tub! Hopefully, you should not really see that much the difference with the original one!




I cut the tub in four sections. First I scratchbuilt the rear bulkhead as it is quite plain and this was easier than trying to remove the resin one without any damage.




Then, I cut and sanded the resin rear bulkhead to fully remove it. The front one was sawed as rebuilding it with its the visible details would have asked for more time. Finally, I removed the starboard console along the floor edge. Everything was done with different razor saw blades (CMK and ASK ones for the tricky areas).




Now, it is easy to have access to the tub side details:




And if you're doing a dry assembly of the sections with blu tack, here's the result from different angles:




The cuts should not be visible when the painted sections will be re-assembled!




I'm quite happy as I really scratched my head to find a solution. I do not know why but it looks all the last kits I got have some cockpit issues... Hopefully, this is always one of my favorite model kit areas!


Next steps will probably be the re-inforcement of the fuselage seams and the wing issues...


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It’s not the first time we see these modellers’ ‘traps’, castings that look soo good and well-detailed at first …until you start to paint them and wonder how you’ll do it. 
Having said that, you did solve the problem in a rather radical but nevertheless elegant way. :clap2:

Edited by quang
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53 minutes ago, quang said:

It’s not the first time we see these modellers’ ‘traps’, castings that look soo good and well-detailed at first …until you start to paint them and wonder how you’ll do it. 
Having said that, you did solve the problem in a rather radical but nevertheless elegant way. :clap2:

Thanks! Indeed, this is not the first time I'm seeing such an issue but this is the first time to me for a very visible multi-color cockpit. <_<

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Thanks for starting this, Thierry. I have some of the same books myself, including the Nordic Airpower book - though I had no idea that Jan has passed away. I'm just waiting on the Maestro Models intake part to appear at BNA, and will probably have to give up on the promised review samples from RESIN2detail, and just order them. Since I have two Fly kits and also two of Tigger's vac kits, I'll need all the aftermarket I can get! Will be following your build closely.



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I've just noticed that the Maestro intakes aren't even on the Maestro website yet, so it seems like I might have quite some wait before being able to obtain them. In the meantime I ordered some RESIN2detail sets. I wonder what happened to our friend from Sweden who was developing some corrections sets.




I just found the link Thierry posted in LSP Discussion to the Maestro product page. Couldn't find it any other way, however!



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4 hours ago, LSP_Kevin said:

 I wonder what happened to our friend from Sweden who was developing some corrections sets.



I thought the same! Note that the only really annoying thing that is missing has not been announced by anyone: the early engine exhaust. It looks Fly is giving a smaller version of the J-29F reactor rear end with a plain tube! Unfortunately this is not how the DH Ghost engine rear section used on the J-29B is actually looking...<_<

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Thanks Dutik,


I considered doing that but I decided months ago I would not participate anymore in any group build as far as the organisation of my available time is not changing. I have periods with a lot of free hours and then others where I cannot touch a plastic part for weeks in the best case. This is clearly not compatible with the group build philosophy. Moreover, if you want to come back later, the GB is closed and you need to bug the admins to move the thread! I simply took the lessons of the past. If my other activities are changing, I will reconsider that but in the meanwhile I think this is the most reasonable approach for all parties.





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