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Azur FrRom Breguet 1050 Alizé 1G

FineScale Modeler reviews the 1/72 scale aircraft kit with good cockpit detail
RELATED TOPICS: AIRCRAFT
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The Breguet 1050 Alizé was a carrier-based antisubmarine warfare aircraft that entered service with the French navy in November 1957, replacing its aging Grumman Avengers. Initially used in the submarine hunter-killer role, it was later relegated to coastal and sea surveillance until retirement in 2000.

New from Azur FrRom is a short-run injection-molded kit molded in a soft gray styrene featuring fine recessed panel lines, injection-molded canopy, and decals for three different versions. A small photo-etch fret contains just the oleo scissors. The 12-page, 29-step instruction booklet is printed in color with clear CAD-style drawings for each step. Painting instructions are somewhat limited, though, so check your favorite references.

Construction starts with the three-man crew compartment. The cockpit is well detailed, with all the electronic boxes and gear molded as individual pieces. My personal library is limited, but a quick internet search showed that most of the cockpit is black or very dark gray. I used Tamiya NATO black for the floor and bulkheads, and semigloss black for all of the gear. A little dry-brushing picked out the highlights, but most of this work is invisible once everything is completed. I did have to trim down the front of the floor to allow the fuselage halves to fit together; positioning of the floor is a bit vague, though, so it may have been my error. In any case, test-fitting is a must.

The radar dome can be placed in either a retracted (parked) or lowered (in-flight) position. I assembled the compartment as instructed but left the dome off until final assembly to ease masking and painting. I added a little more than the specified 8 grams of weight to the nose, but it turned out to be nowhere near enough. There’s plenty of room for more, but I’m not sure the landing gear would be able to hold up.

As with most short-run kits, there are no alignment pins or locator holes between parts. Fortunately, the fuselage halves matched pretty well, and the wings’ fit was surprisingly good. Fit of the nacelles to the wings was a little more work, though; they matched the lower part of the wing but needed filler to smooth the top seam.

I had trouble with the main landing gear, too. There are flat pads on the lower wing that appear to be where the main supports (parts D38-D41) attach, but they’re too close together to fit the struts. I ended up filing the struts to fit and pinning them with a piece of wire. The plane has a bit of a nose-down stance which I’m not sure is correct.

I decided to leave the underwing stores off. There are six HVAR 5-inch rockets, two AS. 12 missiles, and two Matra F2 rocket pods included if you prefer your plane fully loaded.

The three marking options are all similar, with a medium blue-gray over off-white. I used Testors Model Master Flanker blue gray for the topside, and a mix of flat white and camouflage gray for the underside. Gear wells were painted armor sand.

The decals’ print quality and color are excellent, and they settled into panel lines with just a touch of solvent. 

When I first opened the box, I was surprised at how big this plane is. But it scales out very close to the dimensions listed on Wikipedia — just a tad short on wingspan and a little long. Height is a little off, too, but probably because that nose-down attitude has the tail too high.

Because of the vague nature of some of the fits, I would reserve my recommendation of this kit to experienced modelers. Overall, I’m happy with the outcome, but if I were to build another, I would probably spend a little more time correcting the stance and possibly eliminating the need of a tail stand.


Note: A version of this review appeared in the October 2018 issue.

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