Sunday, April 12

Fantastic Fouga – AvantGarde Model Kits’ latest model inside out…

The new 48th scale Avantgaurde Models Fouga CM.170 Magister is a nice looking new kit that has the option of a fully clear side fuselage so you can see the kit from the inside out. Nic is going to make this little baby but he thought he would give us a look of it before he makes it up. So let’s take a look at what’s in the kit in today’s news…

Fouga CM.170 Magister
1/48th scale
Kit No: 88004
Kit type: injection moulded multimedia
Sprues: 6 styrene + 2 clear + 28 white metal parts + 46 Photo etch parts
Part Count: 285 plastic parts
Product Link.

Full build in Pt II of this review

The Fouga Magister is probably one of the most elegant jet trainers ever designed. It’s a small aircraft with two tiny jet engines, wide wings and the very typical V-shaped tail. And even though it is small, it gives a pretty impressive show when flown by an experienced pilot.
Only months after Kinetic released a 1/48 scale Fouga Magister, here’s AvantGarde Model Kits with a completely new version of this sleek trainer. Let me start in a rather a-typical way by giving you my conclusion about this kit: it is an extremely detailed model. It isn’t an “I’m-gonna-build-a-Fouga-over-the-weekend” kind of model, but in the hands of a modeller with a couple kits under his belt, this AMK release on first impressions looks like a gem when you first set eyes on it. It has a full interior structure, some of the most impressive injection moulded details I’ve ever seen and from the looks of it, seems to be very accurate.
The kit has a lot of parts: over 350 parts in all, which for such a small aircraft it’s a very high count. This is because the entire internal structure can be made and displayed open if you like in a “dissection-like” manner. For those modellers that want to show off the internal parts, the kit comes with a clear fuselage, next to the regular one.
The kit comes with an entire (extra) sprue of clear parts. It contains the fuselage, cockpit, air intakes, exhausts, etc which enables the inside out look if you want to make it like that.
The level of detail is stunning. Look at the fuselage end with the tail wheel and raised rivets.
The cockpit of this kit needs little or no extra detail as the tub is well detailed, as are the side panels.
The cockpit consists of 38 parts – a lot – so you are going to have quite a bit of work with it, but it will end up very nice. You have to stay focused though; even though you have seatbelts on the photo etch  fret, they are not mentioned in the instructions…
Pretty much like Zoukei-Mura kits, the entire structure is provided in this kit: the primary gas tank, the secondary gas tank, electronic bay, pressure bay, both engines, air intakes, … the whole internal structures seems to be included. IT is hard to tell because we have never seen the whole side of the aircraft open. It is a great option to have if you want to display the entire aircraft.
Some parts, such as the main intake-wing strut are provided in white metal parts. These parts are very nicely done and come in a protective little box that made me think it was an iPhone or something well packaged…
To be clear: this AMK kit provides whatever you need to build a model of the Fouga Magister in maintenance… like this:
The engines are each built up out of 10 parts. That’s a lot considering that the finished engine is only about 3 cm long…
Each part of this kit is highly detailed and nicely moulded. I found no flash on any of the sprues. It’s the kind of kit that you want to start building the moment that you open the box. The kit also provides several options: open panels, different style of wingtip tanks, optional guns in the nose, …
Ideal for any diorama that involves the Fouga Magister… like this Belgian one that made a wheels-up landing.
On to the wings: ow yesss… the gear bays are fantastically detailed – you just want to get them painted and see how a wash will bring out all those details. There are some ejection marks in there though so some carving and filling will be needed.
The top side of the wings can be seen in this photo, as well as the V-tail parts. These show lots of rivets, which is odd, because all the photos I’ve seen of the real aircraft don’t show those rivets.
See the V-tail of this Irish Fouga Magister? No rivets. For the kit I’ll build, these rivets will have to go. Just some simple sanding and they will dissapear easily enough.! I wonder why AMK Models got those rivets on the tail. Maybe some models had them?
Here’s the wing again – the part below it is one of the four V-tail parts. Lot’s of rivetzzzz.
Every little detail is carefully mastered: here is the nose landing gear and the access panel for the electronic bay.
The clear parts are very thin and see through. They need to be handled with care so that the details in the cockpit will be clearly seen.
I think that photo-etched parts are always a nice touch in a kit and these look a real plus for the kit. You’ve got hinges for the landing gear doors, the speedbreaks on the wings and some panels. Just make sure that you don’t forget about the seatbelts; even though they aren’t in the instructions.
AMK Models provides decals for 5 aircraft:
-       - A German camouflaged aircraft from Flugzeugfurerschule A, code AA-117
-      - A silver Belgian Air Force aircraft, code MT-24
-       - A silver Belgian Air Force aircraft, special markings for the final flight of the Fouga Magister, code MT-35
-        - A blue-white & red aircraft of the aerobatic team Patrouille de France
-        an overall red Belgian Air Force machine, code MT-48
The Fouga Magister was known as the Whistling Turtle and the last one to fly with the Belgian Air Force had a special nose art that is nicely represented in the decals:
Here’s the real Belgian aircraft in service:
So, there it is: for a new company, this Fouga Magister from AvantGarde Model Kits in 1/48 is darn impressive. I think that for what you get in the box, the price is more than fair and although it will keep you busy for a while, it will build into a very nice scaled replica of the aircraft. We’ve already started building a couple of them and we’ll make sure to show you how they go together! It’s true: this is one for the more experienced modeller, but it sure is one I can recommend.
We got our copy from Au 16e Escadron, Belgium’s leading model shop.

Nicolas Deboeck
Our thanks to Au16e Escadron for providing us with a kit and the paint for it!
Thanks to Mike of the shop and AvantGarde Model Kits for sending us this kit!