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Ajeet Mk.I
"Indian Light Fighter"

Special Hobby, 1/72 scale

S u m m a r y :

Catalogue Number:

Special Hobby Kit No. SH72370 – Ajeet Mk.I "Indian Light Fighter"

Scale:

1/72

Contents & Media

101 parts in grey coloured plastic, 4 clear injected parts, markings for 4 aircraft, instruction booklet.

Price:

337Kc plus postage available online from Special Hobby's web store.

£13.60 EU Price (£11.33 Export Price) plus shipping available online from Hannants

Review Type:

First Look (reissue with new parts).

Advantages:

Accurate outline; crisply moulded plastic parts; nicely printed decal sheet with options for 4 different aircraft with minimal carrier film and perfect register. Clear instructions.

Disadvantages:

Some minor flash is evident needing cleaning up. Limited release kit so will need some test fitting to ensure a good fit.

Conclusions:

Special Hobby has reissued their original 2015 kit with extra parts for the Indian Ajeet version of the Gnat. It appears to be accurate and easy to build kit of a well-known modern jet subject.

Reviewed by David Couche


HyperScale is proudly sponsored by Squadron.com

Background

 

The HAL Ajeet (Invincible or Unconquerable) was a jet-powered fighter aircraft developed and manufactured by Indian aerospace manufacturer Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). It was operated by the Indian Air Force (IAF) between 1977 and 1991.

The Ajeet is a derivative of the British Folland Gnat light fighter aircraft. The Gnat, which had been procured in large numbers for the IAF and produced under license by HAL, had acquitted itself favourably during its Indian service, including in active combat roles during multiple conflicts with the neighbouring nation of Pakistan, including the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965 and the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971. As such, the IAF had a positive attitude towards the type, despite observing shortcomings in maintainability and some subsystems, thus, during 1972, the service issued a requirement calling for the development of an upgraded and more capable variant of the Gnat, leading to the development of the Ajeet by HAL.

 

 

In the design phase of the Ajeet, HAL redesigned several aspects of the aircraft while seeking to improve both the reliability and effectiveness of several subsystems, such as the avionics and hydraulic systems. The adoption of a wet wing expanded the fighter's internal fuel capacity and freed-up several underwing hardpoints for other purposes, effectively increasing both the range and payload capability of the aircraft.

On 6 March 1975, the first of two Ajeet prototypes, producing via the conversion of the final two licence-produced Gnat fighters, conducted its maiden flight. The satisfactory performance of these prototypes contributed to the issuing of a production order for the Ajeet. On 30 September 1976, the first production aircraft performed its maiden flight.

Introduced to service during the following year, the Ajeet had a relatively brief and unremarkable service life, equipping only a single IAF squadron and being withdrawn from service during 1991. HAL produced 89 of these aircraft.

 

 

FirstLook

 

The Special Hobby kit brings the re-issued but improved with new parts kit from the 2015 original release. The end opening flimsy box contains 3 grey injection moulded styrene sprues accompanied by one with clear parts. The moulding detail itself is quite crisp with recessed panel lines and raised details as required. There is a small amount of flash exhibited, mainly on some of the smaller parts and will need cleaning up before continuing to build. Mould marks are not too pronounced, which for a limited run kit is quite reasonable.

 

  • Special Hobby Kit No. SH72370  Ajeet Mk.I "Indian Light Fighter" Review by David Couche: Image
  • Special Hobby Kit No. SH72370  Ajeet Mk.I "Indian Light Fighter" Review by David Couche: Image
  • Special Hobby Kit No. SH72370  Ajeet Mk.I "Indian Light Fighter" Review by David Couche: Image
  • Special Hobby Kit No. SH72370  Ajeet Mk.I "Indian Light Fighter" Review by David Couche: Image
  • Special Hobby Kit No. SH72370  Ajeet Mk.I "Indian Light Fighter" Review by David Couche: Image
  • Special Hobby Kit No. SH72370  Ajeet Mk.I "Indian Light Fighter" Review by David Couche: Image
  • Special Hobby Kit No. SH72370  Ajeet Mk.I "Indian Light Fighter" Review by David Couche: Image
  • Special Hobby Kit No. SH72370  Ajeet Mk.I "Indian Light Fighter" Review by David Couche: Image
  • Special Hobby Kit No. SH72370  Ajeet Mk.I "Indian Light Fighter" Review by David Couche: Image
  • Special Hobby Kit No. SH72370  Ajeet Mk.I "Indian Light Fighter" Review by David Couche: Image
  • Special Hobby Kit No. SH72370  Ajeet Mk.I "Indian Light Fighter" Review by David Couche: Image
  • Special Hobby Kit No. SH72370  Ajeet Mk.I "Indian Light Fighter" Review by David Couche: Image
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The kit doesn’t have a huge parts count and will assemble quite quickly once the cockpit are is completed. As with all limited run kits, care and patience must be used to ensure a good fit before gluing. The sprue gates are also quite restrained and should not offer too much of a clean up problem. There is a sheet with decal markings for 4 different schemes and a good set of instructions.

And now, onto a more detailed looks at the sprues.


 

Sprue A

 

 

This sprue has 31 parts of the kit on it, of which 14, which are mainly missile armaments, are not used with this version. Here we have the wing sections, the fuselage halves, tail planes and rudder. The panel lines are recessed with restrained depth but lovely detail.


 

Sprue B

 

 

With a parts count of 38, with 7 not for use on this version, Sprue C delivers us cockpit parts, a variety of nose cone halves which are used in various combinations for the 4 different aircraft of the schemes, so select your scheme and make sure you build the version correctly. This sprue also has the wing pylons, exhaust tubes and alternative rocket pod noses. Detail on the parts is a mix of recessed and raised as needed and exhibits good detail.


 

Sprue C

 

 

This sprue has 32 parts of which 4 can go straight to the spares box. This sprue is basically all armament and drop tanks. Again detail is good but the parts will need the flash to be cleaned up.


 

Clear Sprue

 

 

The clear sprue has 4 parts of lovely and clear canopies with a choice of a single piece closed version or a 2 piece open one. Plastic, whilst very clear, may be considered a little thick but you risk damaging the quality by trying to thin is appropriately.  On this sprue are 2 parts that create the gunsight and reflector in the cockpit.


 

Instructions & Markings

 

 

The instruction booklet is a glossy booklet of 8, just under, A4 sized pages folded with B&W and colour diagrams that clearly illustrate the build sequence. The A6 sized decal sheets is crisply printed by Cartograf, so you just know they’ll behave in their application and appear to be in good register.

 



Markings are provided for four airframes:

  1. HAL Ajeet, E1997, No. 2 Squadron "Winged Arrows", Indian Air Force, 1980s.

  2. Hindustan Gnat, IE1083, No. 23 Squadron, Indian Air Force, 1965s.

  3. Hindustan Gnat, E256, Operational Conversion Unit, Indian Air Force.

  4. HAL Ajeet, E2024 "Murali", No. 2 Squadron "Winged Arrows", Indian Air Force, 1980s.

 

 

Conclusion

 

This kit certainly looks as if it will build quickly into a neat model with a little TLC by the average modeller. A must for those interested the either versions of the Gnat or aircraft of the Indian Airforce. This kit certainly looks the quality to recommend to my fellow modellers.

Thanks to Special Hobby for the review sample.


Review Text & Images Copyright © 2019 by David Couche
Page Created 29 May, 2019
Last updated 29 May, 2019

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