Saab J-29B “Tunnan”
by Markus Wuellner
Saab J-29B “Tunnan”
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When I visited Scale Model World 2005 in Telford I noticed the announcement of a new 1:48 resin Saab J-29F Tunnan kit at the NEOMEGA stand. I pre-ordered it straight away despite the price tag of £60.
In common with all of NEOMEGA's detail and conversion sets, this complete resin kit is of excellent quality and exceptionally high level of detail in all aspects. This includes the cockpit, wheel wells, landing gear, Intake duct, exhaust and of course the surface details. The Kit also comes with a very nice decal sheet with markings for several Swedish and one Austrian aircraft, all in natural metal finish. The canopy comes as a very nice and clear vacform piece.
Unfortunately there were no external fueltanks, rockets and pylons included in the kit. The landing-light-hatch in front of the nosewheel was also missing - at least in my kit!
Long before I purchased this J-29 kit I was interested in the history of this early Swedish jetfighter. Of special Interest to me was it’s involvement in the fighting in Congo during the early 1960s as part of the Swedish United Nations contingent. The Tunnans served alongside Indian Air Force Canberras and Iranian/Ethiopian Air Force F-86Fs which were also operating out of Kamina Air Base which is located in southern Congo. During this deployment some of the aircraft have been painted in a very special camouflage scheme which consisted of green and blue splinter top surfaces with additional field improvised orange streaks. The lower surfaces were left bare metal. The swedish national markings have been replaced with large UN logos on white squares in six positions.
The fighter-J-29s sent to the Congo were exclusively early B-variants apart from the two S-29C Recce Tunnans also deployed. The J29B differs externally from the later J-29F in having a shorter, sleeker exhaust-area and straight-leading-edge-wings without sawtooth and wingfence! So if you wish to build a Congo-Tunnan you need to change the NEOMEGA kit in the a.m. areas since the kit-variant is a J-29F!
All these changes were quite easy to achieve by sanding down the excessive resin material.
A more complex task was scratchbuilding the droptanks, rocketrails and pylons. I used several different scale drawings and photos as a reference for this. An old surplus ESCI / Mig-23 droptank had the approx. correct diameter and served, after shortening, as the basic body for the new Tunnan droptanks. The final shape came with a lot of putty and sanding.
After completion of one tank I copied it by using cast resin and a self made silicone mould. The first rocket pylon was made of sheet styrene sanded to shape. This served as the prototype and was copied seven times in the same way mentioned above.
The small hatch with the twin-landing-lights in front of the nosewheel was made of bent Aluminium sheet and two MV-lenses.
The kit decals, though very nicely printed, are of course only for J-29Fs, so the only useful decals are the stencils. All the special Congo-markings like the large “UN” letters, the “J” tailcode and the blue UN-logo were self-designed using Coreldraw-Software plus an inkjet-printer.
Model, Images and Text
Copyright © 2008 by Markus Wuellner
Page Created 9 January, 2008
9 January, 2008
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