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Aero L-39V Albatros
& Letov KT-04

Mark I Models, 1/144 scale

S u m m a r y :

Catalogue Number:

Mark I Models Kit No. MKM14414 - Aero L-39V Albatros & Letov KT-04

Scale:

1/144

Contents & Media

17 grey and one clear styrene parts, (also sixteen unused grey parts), five green resin parts, a length of thread; plus waterslide decals covering four aircraft.

Price:

Available online from: Hannants for £10.67 and Modelimex for €11.67.

Review Type:

First Look

Advantages:

Simple to build kit made more interesting by the inclusion of a towed target.

Disadvantages:

Imprecise colour guidance (but should be easy to remedy).

Conclusions:

This is a very simple good quality kit of an attractive aircraft, with the added interest of the KT-04 towed target. The moulding has sufficient finesse that I think the eye will be drawn away from any unavoidable slightly over-scale elements.

Colour cross-referencing would have been helpful, as I do not like to rely on the printed shades provided on boxes or in instructions. But this can be overcome by a resourceful modeller who cares about such things.

The kit should be very easy to build. Neatly finished; it has the potential to produce a little gem of a model that will be very undemanding on display space.

Recommended.

Reviewed by Mark Davies


Valom's 1/48 scale An-2 Colt is available online from Squadron.com

 

Introduction

 

The Aero L-39 Albatros is a high-performance jet trainer aircraft developed in Czechoslovakia to meet requirements for a "C-39" (C for cvi?ný – trainer) during the 1960s to replace the L-29 Delfín. It was the first of the second-generation jet trainers, and the first turbofan-powered trainer produced, and was later updated as the L-59 Super Albatros and as the L-139 (prototype L-39 with Garrett TFE731 engine).

 

 

A further development of the design, the L-159 ALCA, began production in 1997. To date, more than 2,800 L-39s have served with over 30 air forces around the world. The Albatros is the most widely used jet trainer in the world; in addition to performing basic and advanced pilot training, it has also flown combat missions in a light-attack role. Atypically, it has never received a NATO reporting name.

Source: Wikipedia

The L-39V was a dedicated target tug version for towing a Letov KT-04 target aerial drone introduced to air forces of Czechoslovakia and the former East Germany. Until 2002 this drone was also utilised by Slovak Air Force.


 

Mark I Ltd is perhaps best known for their 4+ range of aviation booklets and Mark I Guides and decal sets. A year or so ago they also took over the superb CMR range of resin kits, and now includes a few new releases under Mark I's auspices. Most recently, Mark I has acquired the Attack Hobbies 1/144-scale range of jet aircraft, which it re-boxed and released with new decals.

The re-released Attack Hobbies range and two ex-Eduard kits (Bf 109G & Fw 190A) have served as a launching-pad for Mark I to move into the development and realisation of its own new tool 1/144-scale kits using electro-plated metal moulds with  different boxings of the Westland Wessex and Heinkel he 219 being released so far.

 

 

FirstLook

 

Contents

The kits comes packed in a good quality end-opening box with nice artwork on the front, and a painting and decaling guides for the four decal options on its rear. All parts are sealed in a plastic bag, with the resin items and the thread sealed separately in their own smaller bags. The decals are loose with the kit sprues.

 

 

The instructions are formed by a fold-out sheet with colour printing. They include a parts map and clear assembly diagrams that are easy to follow. All text is in English, with detail colour call-outs included. The instructions include a four-view coloured painting and markings guide for each option, with generic colour names used for the main colours. I feel a more precise colour reference would have been helpful here, such as FS-595 equivalents or cross-reference to a readily available model paint range. However, a bit of Googling or asking questions on modelling forums should clarify the exact shades to use.

The base kit is originally by Attack Hobbies, and is available in two other boxings from Mark I Models, these being - MKM14412 Aero L-39C/ZO Albatros “in US Colours" and MKM14406 Aero L-39ZO/ZA/ART Albatros. This is partly the reason for the leftover parts that consist of payload options, pylons, and an alternate cockpit.


 

The Kit

The kit follows a conventional breakdown for this type of aircraft and all parts are crisply moulded with delicate recessed panel line detail.

 

  • Mark I Models 1/144 scale Aero L-39V Albatros & Letov KT-04 Review by Mark Davies : Image
  • Mark I Models 1/144 scale Aero L-39V Albatros & Letov KT-04 Review by Mark Davies : Image
  • Mark I Models 1/144 scale Aero L-39V Albatros & Letov KT-04 Review by Mark Davies : Image
  • Mark I Models 1/144 scale Aero L-39V Albatros & Letov KT-04 Review by Mark Davies : Image
  • Mark I Models 1/144 scale Aero L-39V Albatros & Letov KT-04 Review by Mark Davies : Image
  • Mark I Models 1/144 scale Aero L-39V Albatros & Letov KT-04 Review by Mark Davies : Image
  • Mark I Models 1/144 scale Aero L-39V Albatros & Letov KT-04 Review by Mark Davies : Image
  • Mark I Models 1/144 scale Aero L-39V Albatros & Letov KT-04 Review by Mark Davies : Image
  • Mark I Models 1/144 scale Aero L-39V Albatros & Letov KT-04 Review by Mark Davies : Image
  • Mark I Models 1/144 scale Aero L-39V Albatros & Letov KT-04 Review by Mark Davies : Image
  • Mark I Models 1/144 scale Aero L-39V Albatros & Letov KT-04 Review by Mark Davies : Image
  • Mark I Models 1/144 scale Aero L-39V Albatros & Letov KT-04 Review by Mark Davies : Image
  • Mark I Models 1/144 scale Aero L-39V Albatros & Letov KT-04 Review by Mark Davies : Image
  • Mark I Models 1/144 scale Aero L-39V Albatros & Letov KT-04 Review by Mark Davies : Image
  • Mark I Models 1/144 scale Aero L-39V Albatros & Letov KT-04 Review by Mark Davies : Image
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The cockpit is formed from a styrene tub, basic ejection seat and what I guess is the winch cable-reel where the rear seat would otherwise be.  The instrument panel is a solid blank face and there is no control column (although one can easily be made from scratch). The basic detail does not seem to matter too much in this small scale. Perhaps Brengun may yet release a PE detail set for this kit. The canopy is clear and reasonably thin, but its curvature will lead to some distortion when viewing the interior. Again, maybe Brengun will release a vac-form canopy for this kit, as they seem to be growing their range of 1/144-scale canopies.

 

 

This kit’s airframe should be very quick to build as the wings and horizontal stabilisers are one-piece mouldings; with only the air-intakes, exhaust nozzle, and undercarriage needed to complete the main structure. The undercarriage is very simple but quite finely moulded. It can be seen from the parts photos that there are no wheel wells; just holes for the undercarriage legs to insert into. This is quite correct, as the L-39 has fully closed wheels when the undercarriage is down, as can be seen here and here.

The kit captures the lines of the real aircraft and high degree of moulding finesse. Yes, in theory panel lines in 1/144-scale are going to be overdone no matter how fine the moulding, but most would want something represented to add interest to the model. The overall quality is good. 

 

 

The Letov KT-04 is a simple one-piece resin casting for the compete airframe, with a one-piece trailer and its three separate resin wheels. The resin casting is very good with some easy to remove casting plugs and wafers. A length of thread is included to represent the tow cable.


 

Colours & Markings

The four colour schemes offered with this the kit. The first three include a KT-04 in the same colours, and the fourth does not mention a KT-04. The schemes are:

  • 2nd Training Regiment, VVLS SNP Military Air Training Establishment, Czechoslovak AF, Kosice AB, 1980’s;

  • Slovak AF, Poprad AB, September 2002;

  • ZDK 33, East German AF, Peenemunde AB, spring 1990; and

  • German AF, Rothenburg/Gorlitz Airport, July 1991.

 

 

The decals appear to be excellent, as we would expect given the company's background in decal production.

 

 

Conclusion

 

This is a very simple good quality kit of an attractive aircraft, with the added interest of the KT-04 towed target. The moulding has sufficient finesse that I think the eye will be drawn away from any unavoidable slightly over-scale elements.

Colour cross-referencing would have been helpful, as I do not like to rely on the printed shades provided on boxes or in instructions. But this can be overcome by a resourceful modeller who cares about such things.   

The kit should be very easy to build. Neatly finished; it has the potential to produce a little gem of a model that will be very undemanding on display space.

Recommended.

Thanks to Mark I Ltd for the review sample


Text and Images Copyright 2014 by Mark Davies
Page Created 21 May, 2014
Last updated 21 May, 2014

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