Friday, July 3

Ravishing Red Devil - Corentin builds AMK’s 1/48 scale Fouga Magister

A few weeks ago, we presented you with a review of the latest kit of AvantGarde Model Kits,the Fouga Magister in 1/48th scale. We found it to be a lovely kit, with a lot internal details, so we were curious on how it would build. Corentin, the newest member of our “Belgian Connection” came into action!

Fouga CM.170 Magister
Avantguarde Models

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.

In-box review of this kit on TMN

The Fouga Magister is a tiny aircraft and so is its cockpit. The Fouga doesn’t have any ejection seats; in case of an inflight emergency, the pilot had to fly on its back after which the canopies were jettisoned and he and his back-seater dropped out of the aircraft...

The kit cockpit is very nice indeed ...
... but even so, Corentin added quite a lot of detail to it, especially all the wiring to the instument panels.
The kit comes with all internal structure and engines. And even though they are very nice for such tiny little things, they received some extra wiring.
AMK offers the possibility to build the structure of the little jet and has provided open panels to do this according to the actual maintenance panels. So, Corentin added detail to these parts as well.
As it turned out, and having some reference material close by, it became clear quite a bit of detail could be added. But even when doing this, the fit of the kit is very impressive.
The area above the jet air intake isn’t provided in the kit, so this part was cut and the details scratched. It isn’t a very complex thing to do, but it sure ads a lot of interest to this area.
With all the extra detailling done, the parts got a layer of primer to make painting them afterwards a little easier.
The cockpit of the aircraft is painted black, which makes it not easy to see all the details. Some careful dry-brushing helps though.
With the cockpit, internal parts and engine painted, Corentin got ready to assemble the larger parts of the kit.
The nose wheel of the fouga is placed on a metal frame in front of the cockpit. It’s quite a simple aircraft, actually. The cockpit wall got some wiring before this part of the kit got constructed.
All the exposed wiring does have a very nice effect of some realism indeed..
Constructing the kit went very straightforward. It confirmed what we thought: this is a very good fitting kit. The fuselage-wing joint was very good as well, as was the tail-section.
Before we continue this build, I have to own up to something. In the initial review, I mentioned that the V-tail has quite a lot of prominent raised rivets on it. All of the aircraft I saw didn’t have those rivets, so that’s what I wrote. After the review went online, Sio of AMK Models contacted me explaining that some of the initial Fougas that were build, actually have rivets on the V-tail. So, there you have it: the kit is accurate on this part too. So, when you build a particular Fouga, check you references to see if it needs the rivets or not.

Here’s a picture Sio sent me: Thanks for putting me straight, Sio!
With the construction done, it was time to get the kit ready for painting. First, Corentin cleaned it thoroughly with a paintbrush and soapy water.
In the 1970’s six Belgian Fouga’s formed a display team called “Red Devils”. They were painted bright red all over, with the Belgian red-yellow-black colours on the V-tail and underside of the wings. This colourful livery inspired Corentin; fortunately, AMK provided the decals for it in the box.
After a layer of red, the wings and V-tails were masked for the other colours. Once this was dry, the landing gear bays were masked and painted.
Some gloss varnish prepared the kit for the decals. These turned out to be flawless. And easy to use. The kit really started to take shape now and Corentin was ready to unmask the canopy and panels.
With the decals in place, a light wash made done. The aircraft of the “Red Devils” were kept quite clean, so this was done rather subtle.
The sub-assemblies, like the landing gear and engine were painted and weathered too.
 Because the model was to be in a little diorama; some stands and racks were scratched from sprue - and they were quite effective at little to no cost..
Time to unmask everything and glue the details to it... looking good!
The seats and canopy are ready to be placed into position.
The kit is looking very convincing when finished and the open panels look very much in proportion to the rest of the kit.
For the base, a brick-road was selected. On some Belgian bases of the 1970’s those were used, so this gave the scene just that little extra realism. To liven it up, some beaten up yellow marks were applied.
And then AMK’s Fouga Magister was done. And what a great kit it turned out to be. There is a lot of work involved because of all the internal structure that needs to be built, but it is worth all the effort that you put into it.
So this kit builds as well as it looks. Fit is fantastic, it is well detailed, but as with so many kits, you can always add details. This really is a kit that can be recommended. At the moment this kit is without any doubt the best Fouga Magister available in any scale. The result speaks for itself!
We can’t wait to see what AMK has planned for us next. We have learned that the brand is preparing a Mig 31 and even an F-14 Tomcat in this scale and if these two kits will be of the same quality as this Fouga, well than those will be simply spectacular! With those two planned releases, they tackle some very impressive aircraft. So far, with the Fouga, Delphin and Kfir, AMK picked rather small aircraft, so it will be interesting to see how those two will go.
We like to thank AMK Models and Au 16e Escadron in Brussels for providing us with a sample of this Fouga Magister. 
And thanks to Sio for correcting me with regards to the V-tail rivets!

Kit: Corentin Haubruge
Photos: Corentin Haubruge and Guillaume Friart
Text: Nicolas Deboeck

Thanks to AMK Models for this kit and to Au 16 Escadron model shop in Brussels.