Monday, June 22

Grappling with a Gripen - Building Revell’s 1/72 little Swedish jet.

Revell has a great collection of 1/72 modern jets. The Phantom, Tornado and F-16 are some of the very the best you’ll find. Recently, Revell released yet another jet in this scale: the Saab Gripen. François, our all-round modeller builds the kit out of the box for us.

Review build: Saab JAS-39C Gripen
Revell of Germany
Kit# 04999
1/72nd Scale
Number of parts: 116
Decal set with markings for 2 aircraft:
- JAS-39C Gripen – 211Sqn Czech Air Force “Tigermeet 2014”
- JAS-39C Gripen – F17 Swedish Air Force at Nellis AFB, Red Flag 2013
Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For details visit

François picked the Tigermeet bird, with a spectacular design on the vertical tail and on the canards. It was one of the coolest designs of the meet!
 The griffon's tail
Right, let’s get started! There’s just over 100 parts in this kit, which is a lot for such a small kit. It is just 20 cm long and a little over 12 cm wide. And like with all kits, François started with the cockpit. This is a nice little cockpit that doesn’t take too much time to paint. François added some straps to the seat.
The fuselage is built up out of 4 parts, so lining them up needs to be done with care. Go to fast and you’ll need a little putty to get it right. When the finished cockpit is placed in the fuselage, François noticed a gap at the back. This needed to be attended to in a later stage.
The assembly of the fuselage, wings and air intakes needs a little adjusting. There was a little flash on the outer areas of the wings, which is unusual with a new tool kit. A second copy of the kit that we bought in our LHS had no flash at all, so I goes we were unlucky with our first kit.
Adjusting the upper fuselage resulted in a slight misalignment on the lower fuselage. Even though this area won’t be seen, it meant that some more was to be done.
Some putty on upper and lower fuselage ensured a smooth joint between the fuselage and wing parts.
With the work on the fuselage done, François gave the kit a little layer of paint to check for flaws. After this, he gave the entire kit some primer.
Convinced that everything look right, François got his airbrush out to start the painting. In order get some depth to the tiny kit, the panel lines got some pre-shading.
The first layer to go on is Revell Aqua Color n° 43 Mittelgrau. Like always, this goes quite easily. Basically, it takes longer to clean the airbrush than to paint the kit...
The lighter grey areas of the camouflage are sprayed with a mix of Mittelgrau and White. This is also used to liven up the fuselage by giving some panels a lighter shade.
Some extra weathering was done with differet shades and finally with Tamiya smoke before a final layer of gloss varnish was applied, prior to the decals being placed.
Decal time! The most spectacular decal is the very nicely printed tail decal with the tiger/skull.
The canards are adorned with the left and right part of a skull. These decals are very nicely designed and printed by Revell. François had no difficulty with the decals; they could be handled easily on the model and set nicely into lines and shapes.
Now, all the little details and weapons went onto the Gripen. She started to look pretty good by now!
Drop tanks, recce pod on the centreline, AMRAAMs and Sidewinders went on.
So, there you have it: one Gripen done! A little kit of a nice looking modern jet!
Nice little thing, let’s make a couple of extra photos...
And here is the same photo on a background as a simple mock up
This new Revell kit didn’t get a lot of attention so far, but it really is a nice addition to the company’s wonderful range of modern day jet fighters. It is not the easiest one, but neither is their F-16 or Tornado and still, they are probably the best around. The breakdown of the kit makes me wonder when the two-seat version of the Gripen will be available...
You need to take care when building this kit but take your time and dry-fit everything before you glue the parts and you will have a great looking 1/72 kit. The Gripen has flown in a lot of colourful liveries, so after market companies will probably give you an even wider choice of decals.  

Good job Revell!

Francois Laloux

Thanks to Revell of Germany for sending this kit for us to review and build - Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For details visit