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First Look Review
Panavia Tornado GR.4/4A
Panavia Tornado GR.4/4A
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by: Andy Brazier [ BETHEYN ]

Originally published on:

The Panavia Tornado GR.Mk 4 was the UK’s primary ground attack platform and also fulfils an important reconnaissance role.
The aircraft conducts attack missions against planned targets, armed reconnaissance against targets of opportunity and close air support (CAS) for ground forces, typically under the control of a Joint Terminal Attack Controller (JTAC).
For attacks against pre-planned targets the Tornado GR4 usually employs GPS/laser-guided bombs from the Paveway family, or the Storm Shadow cruise missile, the latter fired from considerable stand-off ranges. In the armed reconnaissance and CAS roles, Tornado normally carries a mix of Paveway IV and Dual-Mode Seeker Brimstone, combined with a Litening III targeting pod, and in addition to the internal 27mm gun. This gives the crew an unparalleled array of options to engage targets with the most appropriate weapon, achieving the desired result with minimum, if any, collateral damage.
The Tornado GR4 was officially retired from Royal Air Force service on 1 April 2019, the 101st anniversary of the force.
The final flight of an RAF Tornado was carried out by Tornado GR4 ZA463 (the oldest remaining Tornado in the fleet) on 14 March 2019 over RAF Marham during the disbandment parade of No. IX (B) Squadron and No. 31 Squadron.

Decals and markings
Fantasy Printshop produce thier own decals under the Euro Decals name, and have released this set in not only 1/72nd, reviewed here but also in 1/32nd and 1/48th, which have been reviewed by Rowan Baylis and can be found here, and here.

The "Tonka" has a huge tail to display tail art on, and three of the five marking options are for aircraft that were on display at air shows and flypasts and feature special schemes on the tail. The other two schemes are for combat and evaluation aircraft, so you can build and display, fully armed aircraft or clean.

All the aircraft are painted overall in Medium Sea Grey. The GR.4, ZA461, sports a Cherry Red with Gloss Roundel Blue edging to the tail. ZA405 has a striking Black, White and Green striped tail and features the squadrons fox's head. ZA412 of the famous 617 Squadron has a Matt Black Tail and has the tail decorated in special markings for the 70th Anniversary of the Dams raid.
The other two schemes are only in the Medium Sea Grey, with the RAF's 41(R) Test and Evaluation Squadron aircraft based at RAF Coningsby, and the GR.4 of an aircraft that served in Operation Ellamy, which was the 2011 military intervention in Libya.

The decals are beautifully printed with the colour registration spot on, and very little carrier film.
As Rowan has already stated in his reviews the Fox's head is fantastically reproduced even in this small scale, and is quite remarkable how it was printed so well, with several colours in such a small area. Likewise the hind's head for the XV Squadron with the wings either side is also a work of art, and excellently reproduced.
Scheme 1 has the “old style” roundels and have the red dot as a separate decal, so care and a good eye will need to be used to line it up centrally.

The great thing about this set is that all five aircraft can be displayed as thier is enough roundels for each scheme. No particular make of 1/72nd Tornado is mentioned so the decals should fit any manufacturers kit of the GR.4. No stencils are supplied in this set so the kits stencil decals need to be used, or failing that Euro Decals do produce a set of stencils, found here.

The marking options are as follows -
1GR.4, ZA461, XV(R) Sqn, RAF Lossiemouth, 2015, Wing Commander's aircraft
2GR.4A, ZA405, 12 Sqn, RAF Lossiemouth, 2015, Wing Commander's aircraft
3GR.4, ZA542, 31 Sqn, 021, Giola del Colle, Italy, 2011, Operation Ellamy
4GA.4, ZA560, 41(R) TES Sqn, EB-Q, RAF Coningsby, 2017
5GR.4, ZA412, 617 Sqn, RAF Lossiemouth, 2013/4, Wing Commander's aircraft

The instructions are printed on two A4 size sheets folded in half.
All the schemes are shown in top, bottom, left and right profiles.
Paints are matched to BS, FS, Humbrol, Xtracolour, Xtracrylix and Lifecolor paints, as well as the name of the colour.

A great set of decals which are fantastically printed and of which three schemes are very colourful. At £8.95 you can't really go wrong as five aircraft can be decaled with this set, which does save having four schemes left over.

Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE.
Highs: Well printed, interesting and colourful schemes.
Lows: None really.
Verdict: A great set of decals for three special schemes for the "Tonka", with two warbirds also supplied. Great value for money.
  Scale: 1:72
  Mfg. ID: ED-72117
  Suggested Retail: £8.95
  Related Link: Panavia Tornado GR.4/4A
  PUBLISHED: Jun 23, 2019
  NATIONALITY: United Kingdom

Our Thanks to Euro Decals!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Andy Brazier (betheyn)

I started modelling in the 70's with my Dad building Airfix aircraft kits. The memory of my Dad and I building and painting a Avro Lancaster on the kitchen table will always be with me. I then found a friend who enjoyed building models, and between us I think we built the entire range of 1/72 Airfi...

Copyright ©2021 text by Andy Brazier [ BETHEYN ]. All rights reserved.



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