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Trumpeter Chengdu J-10B aircraft

The J-10 is China’s first indigenous multirole fighter, and the “B” is an upgraded version of the original design. Its performance is roughly equivalent to the F-16C.

Molded in Trumpeter’s standard gray plastic, the J-10B has beautiful surface and rivet detail as well as nicely detailed wheel wells. Cockpit detail comes in the form of decals and looks good. The kit provides only one marking option, however, there are a lot of external stores to choose from.

Instructions are clear and easy to follow, as is the painting and decal guide. Other than the main colors on the aircraft and missiles, though, you will have to search references for colors of other areas on the model. Paint suggestions refer to several manufacturers.

Construction follows the traditional format, with work beginning on the cockpit. Trim the instrument decals closely and section them for better fit. As with other Trumpeter fighters I’ve built, construction moves along quickly and fit is very good. This kit is no exception. I did modify some of the building steps.

After installing the nose wheel bay and cockpit, I glued the fuselage together and inserted the intake trunk through the bottom opening where the wings attach. This ensured the intake precisely matched the separate intake lip.

Be careful when joining the wings to the fuselage, and be sure the wing meets its outline on the fuselage. I was only half careful and had to do some tricky sanding and scraping to eliminate a raised joint along the fuselage. Speaking of seams, there is one at the top of the canopy. The actual aircraft has a dark line there, from the rear edge of the canopy to just short of the front edge. I used a decal to simulate this feature.

Trumpeter has you install the landing gear later in the build, which is good. However, it requires some care to ensure correct alignment. Also, the tires are weighted, with keyed wheels and axles to keep the flat surfaces down. On my model, the wheel holes were too small for the axles — and when I expanded the diameter, the keys were eliminated. Not a big deal, but it complicates positioning the wheels flat on the ground. Other small parts had similar fit issues.

On the painting guide, note the upper surface color should be GSI Creos H61 (INJ Gray), not the H16 indicated. That color is green. The decals worked very well. Stencils abound on the aircraft as well as the missiles, so be prepared to devote some time to them. I spent about 25 hours on the kit, with a couple of those on the decals.

Overall, Trumpeter’s J-10B is an excellent kit. I would recommend it to modelers with a couple of builds behind them.

With its accurate dimensions and array of external stores, it makes an interesting companion to the other canard/delta configured fighters: Typhoon II, Rafale, and Gripen.

Note: A version of this review appeared in the December 2016 issue.


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