Saturday, May 17

Fancy a bit of swinging? Well Nic does – though only with the wings on his model kits… Review of Revell's new 48th scale Tornado

Today our man in Belgium Nic takes a look at Revell’s new tremendous Tornado: Revell’s new  1/48th scale kit in his review
Review: Revell Panavia Tornado IDS
1/48th scale
Kit N°: 03987
Kit type: injection moulded
Scale: 1/48
Sprues: 13 styrene + 1 clear
Parts count: 279
Decals for 1 different marking: 45+44 “50 Years JaBoG 33”, 2008.

Let me sit down with a cup of tea and I’ll tell you all about a kit of a fantastic looking jet fighter: the Panavia Tornado.

Nose a little downwards, wide main gear, wings like a vulture. Speed, my friend – that is what this machine lives for. Big air intakes, wings that sweep back to make it look like an arrow and two loud engines tucked underneath a big vertical tail. See one coming? Runaway !!
So it’s good news that a new kit is presented on the market, right? Thing is: it’s not the first... In many respects though, this is truly the definitive one in this scale. Don’t get me wrong, this newest Revell release isn’t something you glue together and paint overnight, but the quality of the kit and the level of detail makes it stand out. At last a Tornado with separated flaps, slats and even spoilers, finally a kit with good-looking intake ducts and with detailed thrust reversers. 

Let me show you some of the sprues and tell you why I am rather jolly about this kit – even the typical Revell instructions – “how-do-I-get-92-steps-into-9-pages” – don’t get me down!

This kit contains 279 parts, which is a lot. Probably because Revell wanted to offer a maximum of details, a lot of areas were broken up into many parts. An advantage of this strategy is that it offers possibilities for other versions of the Tornado. The way the kit is done has some consequences though: it isn’t a 1-2-3 kit, but if you take good care, the end-result will be nothing short of stunning. Revell gives this release a skill level of 5 (the highest) and I do believe they got that one right. So take your time and follow the instructions.
 The long  vertical tail is seen here thin but with plenty of  surface detail
 ...As are the wing pivots
 The pointy nose cone and horizontal tail surfaces
 Instrument panel is detailed enough - but add the decals to it to give it more detail. Wheel wells have internal piping detail.
The cockpit has about 20 parts. Reasonable, considering each ejection seat has 5 parts. I like the level of detail of the cockpit, although it’ll probably take just a few weeks for the AM guys to introduce super-detailed sets. 
 The cockpit tub - good as it is but a little more detail could make it much better still
Next in the construction is one of the great features of this kit: air intake ducts right up to the turbine. Forget the troubles you’ve had with other Tornado kits – this one has what Tornado aficionados have been hoping for.
The fuselage is built up out of 6 main parts. Most of them are rather 2-dimensional, so accurate gluing is very important.  During construction, you have to test-fit everything to make sure the parts align the way they should.
Lots of two sided shapes make up the fuselage of this bird..
More seams ont he top rear fuselage - when this gets built we will let you know how much tolerance there is..
 You can build the air brakes in an open position too and in this area, Revell delivers great detail as well. The engine exhausts are very nicely done, but Revell also provides the possibility to build the thrust reversers in a closed position; it’s a cool option, but I believe this is only possible when the jet  has just landed and the pilot wants to stop his machine in like 100 meters.

The biggest treat of this kit is the wings. About the cleanest panel lines you can imagine, 47 parts of pure detail… the engineering is just a little piece of art if you ask me.
Another thing that I think is very nice in this kit is the detail of the canopy. The framing alone counts 8 parts! There is a large suite of external stores are a recce pod, large fuel tanks, electronic pods and a pair of Sidewinders.
Revell offers the kit with just one marking and it really is a colourful one, designed by Sylvain of Syhart Decal. This very talented, young French decal designer is known for high quality decals and designs, and this livery is right up his alley. Printing looks very impressive too. I have to say: I would have liked the addition of another, more ‘normal’ marking, but I’m sure many companies will provide us with an enormous choice of about every imaginable Tornado.
To conclude: in the last couple of years, I have been amazed by the quality of many kits. Model brands are providing us with some of the best models, with regards to engineering and detail. This Revell Tornado is one of those magnificent kits. For me, the retail prize of this Tornado makes the kit simply amazing. 

 It’s a complex aircraft, so it’s a complex kit, but for it’s price, everyone should get one. What am I saying? Get two or three! Truly a contender for ‘kit of the year’ if you ask me, but hey, that’s just my opinion!

Nicolas Deboeck

Many thanks to Revell for the sample. It will not be left unbuilt !
For details visit or

Here is the kit built op by the modellers at Revell - it's an interesting and very nice looking scheme in this boxing