Kit Previews
June 25, 2015
Hangar 47 takes a look in the box with previews of Airfix' newly tooled Boulton Paul Defiant, the Junkers D. 1 by Roden, the Morane Saulnier MS 760 Paris by Aerofile, and the F-5A Freedom Fighter by Kinetic....

Based on the same design philosophy that produced the successful Bristol F.2B of World War I, the Boulton Paul Defiant entered service  with the RAF as its only "turret fighter" in December 1939.  Initially shocking the Germans over Holland and France in 1940 with its impressive rearward firepower, the Defiant's halcyon days were brief.  Once Luftwaffe pilots clued in to its complete lack of frontal armament, they exploited this weakness in head-on attacks with often fatal results.  Withdrawn from daylight operations by October 1940, it had later success as a nightfighter and special operations aircraft.  Airfix's Boulton Paul Defiant features completely new tooling, engraved panel lines, a detailed cockpit,  radiator, and gun turret assemblies, boxed in wheel wells, optional open or closed canopy and optional position landing gear.

Derisively nicknamed "the Tin Donkey" and dismissed as   second-rate by the likes of Hermann Goering, a leading ace in Baron von Richtofen's squadron, Junkers' revolutionary monoplane appeared in limited numbers on the Western Front in the last months of World War I, but went largely unappreciated by the conservative leadership of the Imperial German Air Service at the time.  Scattered piecemeal among various squadrons and seeing limited service, it was arguably never given a fair chance to prove its worth, but nonetheless pointed the way to the future of single seat fighter design.  Roden's Junkers D.1 features simulated corrugated aluminum surfaces, a complete Mercedes in-line six-cylinder engine, detailed cockpit and separately mounted control surfaces.

Entering service in 1958, the Morane Saulnier MS 760 Paris was a high-performance jet trainer used by the French Navy for nearly 40 years to train Super Étendard and F-8 Crusader pilots.  Seating four but with the handling characteristics of a single-seat fighter, the MS 760 harked back to the pre-World War II days when Morane Saulnier was a leader in world aviation.  Comfortable and rugged, it remains popular with civilian pilots today.  Aerofile's MS 760 is a limited run kit featuring lightly engraved panel lines and a vacuform canopy, with decals for the French Navy, the Argentinian Air Force and an American civil version.

Specifically developed as a lightweight, low-cost export fighter, the F-5A first entered service with air forces of the West in 1964.  Evaluated in Southeast Asia starting in October 1965 under the Skoshi Tiger program, the F-5A proved an effective ground attack aircraft comparable to the F-100, but with shorter range.  Ultimately serving as an interceptor and fighter-bomber for over sixteen nations, including the United States, the F-5A became a staple of Western Air Forces during the Cold War.  Kinetic's F-5A Freedom Fighter features engraved panel lines, highly detailed cockpit and wheel wells, trademark wing-tip  fuel tanks, and ordnance including two Sidewinder missiles, two Mk. 82 500 lb. bombs, two rocket pods, optional position canopy, photo-etched details and separately molded control surfaces.

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