Panavia Tornado Detail Set

TAC Scale Dynamics

Catalogue No.: 32034
Scale: 1/32
Media: Resin and Brass
Review Type: In-box
Rating: Highly Recommended

Reviewed by Phil Brandt

S u m m a r y

Contents: 21 Resin Parts, 2 Large Photo Etch Frets, Acetate Instruments
Price: US$32.95 plus shipping
Advantages: Excellent detail, comprehensive coverage
Disadvantages: Understated 3D definition for knobs, switches and instrument cages

Highly recommended for modern aircraft fans

Obtained directly from TAC Scale Dynamics


B a c k g r o u n d

In just a few years since startup, TAC Scale Dynamics has rapidly risen to the front ranks of heavy-hitter aftermarket detail set manufacturers. Known for producing finely detailed, well-cast resin components, Talal Chouman, TAC Scale's honcho, has chosen imaginative 1/32 subjects with appeal to modelers who sometimes take the plastic road less travelled. Witness beautiful ejection seats, lots of weapons, Mig-21 and -29A/B cockpits, a complete Mirage-to-Kfir conversion and now a Tornado interior together with exterior avionics panels and Eduard-produced photoetch. Using the excellent new-tool Revell kit, the TAC Scale set adds welcome complexity to the large tandem-seat cockpit which, as in the case of the F-4, F-14 or F-15E, quickly becomes the focal point for viewers.

F i r s t L o o k


The Tornado set includes twenty-one resin parts (seats, bulkheads, avionics bays w/separate black boxes and doors, canopy side rails and rear arch w/defroster ducts, and a new stick) two large Eduard PE frets and the customary Eduard photo instruments.

As a 'couch potato' in the MB Mk 7 seat for over 600 hours, ol' Bondo especially appreciates skillful representation of ejection seat complexity, and TAC Scale doesn't disappoint. The MB Mk 10 seats are exceptionally well done: the forest of NATO belts, harnesses and associated hardware is raised just the proper amount to allow max use of washes and drybrushing, and the various (many!) piping, wiring and connectors for seat components are fine and sharp. I especially like the detailing of the drogue and main chute extraction mechanisms up on top of the headrest.

Two large avionics bays and one smaller equipment (LOX vessel) bay are nicely detailed, as are the separate black boxes which, in some cases, actually slide in on tiny resin channels. Bay cover panels get decent detailing, too. The two resin cockpit bulkheads are notable for the much more realistic definition of electric conduits and Cannon plugs and the manner in which they are routed.

The unadorned Revell canopy receives heavy duty detailing in the form of long resin side rails with prominent defroster ducts, ancillary equipment and the rear defroster duct/arch. Finally, the stick has been completely redone.

The accompanying Eduard PE set includes the typical instrument panel (front and back seats) treatment with photo instruments behind the PE. Instrument groupings along the front instrument shroud are added, as are a HUD and various additional black box panels at the rear seat position. The only thing that bothers me about PE instrument panels is the relative lack of definition for instrument cages, knobs and switches. Some structural detail is added to the speedbrake wells, but none is added to the speedbrakes themselves as it is in the Flightpath PE set. A PE trim piece is added to the canopy sealing surface of the windscreen, and six mirrors are added to the canopy itself. Fins are added to the external tanks. An entire PE fret is devoted to the crew ladder and platform. At this scale, though, two-dimensional hand rails don't get it; I'd substitute plastic rod. If you want to open the radome and detail the attack radar, a correct PE flat face antenna is included. This is a welcome bonus because the Revell version has a prominent sink mark on the antenna face, the filling of which would have destroyed surface detail.

The instruction sheet is in non-text style, but contains very clear, self-explanatory illustrations. BTW, I strongly recommend Verlinden's Lock On Number 12, "Panavia Tornado IDS". Its outstanding color pix are practically mandatory for proper cockpit and avionics bay painting. Almost equally important, for structural details, is the Linewrights Ltd. Aeroguide 4, "Panavia Tornado GR Mk 1."

Lessee now...the basic kit, plus the resin Paragon flaps/slats and this TAC Scale set, and we're talkin' at least a C note. And we haven't even talked about those nice-but-big-buck Paragon JP233 weapons dispensers! But, hey, nobody said modelling would be fair or economical. Big Boys and Their Toys......... after all, you'd easily pay more than this--been there; done that--for a chunk of Collectaire flash-laden, odiferous resin and metal that would still require tacusan
arbeito, as they say in the Land of the Rising Sun.

My thanks to TAC Scale Dynamics for again releasing a winner; Bondo likes it!

Review Copyright 1998 by Phil Brandt
This Page Created on 28 October, 1998.
Last updated 22 July, 2003.

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