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Super Etendard

by Luis Felipe Herrera S.


Super Etendard


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The Dassault-Breguet Super Etendard is a French single-seat land and carrier-based attack and strike aircraft. It is armed with two 30 mm DEFA 552A cannon in the underside of the forward fuselage (just below the air intakes) and up to 2100 kg of disposable stores carried on five hardpoints, one under the fuselage and two under each wing.

The Super Etendard was developed in the early 1970s on the basis of the Etendard IVM. It was intended to replace Etendards IVP and F-8Es.

The Super Etendard first flew in October 1974 and in comparison with its predecessor has much improved avionics (including search rather than ranging radar), a more powerful SNECMA Atar 8K-50 turbofan engine and considerably enhanced aerodynamics, replacing aircraft of the 11F, 14F (disbanded in July 1991) and 17F Flotilles.



By the time the Falklands War began in 1982, Argentina had received five Super Etendards. These made their operational debut when they sank HMS Sheffield following the destruction of the ship Atlantic Conveyor using the deadly AM-39 Exocet missile on both occasions.

Super-Etendards operate from the CV Foch, NAS Landivisiau and soon from CVN Charles de Gaulle under the in the form of the 11F and 17F squadrons. It was also also used by Iraq and they attacked many Iranian tankers with their AM-39 Exocet. This aircraft has also taken part in the Lebanese, Yugoslavian and Kosovo wars.



Heller's 1/48 Scale Super Entendard


The kit is Hellerís 1/48 scale, kit 80420. It is moulded in light gray plastic. This plastic is a little soft but cuts and sands pretty well. It features nice recessed panel lines. The sprues have a tiny amount of flash, they contain approximately 120 gray parts and 5 clear ones.

Decals are for two versions. One is a French version camouflaged in two tones of gray, and the other an Argentinian bird painted in dark gray over white. The decals are typical Heller, lots of clear film residue and a little bit out or register, one good thing is that it comes full of stencilling.

The kit features the following options: One Exocet missile, a drop tank and a buddy pack, you can build it with the flaps in the extended or retracted position, wing tips folded / extended, arrestor hook, speed brakes open or closed, canopy open/closed, refueling probe.





I wanted to build this aircraft straight from the box so I didnít go into any modifications or extra detailing other than adding maskinf tape seatbelts.

Construction starts with the nose wheel, which is a good representation of the real one, then came the ejection seat this one is a bit soft on details, the only addition I did to the aircraft was on this particular item, I added masking tape seatbelts, then gave it a wash with Pelikan drawing ink and then drybrushed with the base colors.

Next came all the external stores and the main landing gear, they were built without problems I only used a very small ammount of putty in the tip of the tanks.



This area does not have much detail The cockpit tub comes in just one part then you add the control stick and front panel, they were assembled as per instructions ans painted.The cockpit was weathered with Sepia Pelikan drawing ink, then drybrushed with black and a dark gray to highlight corners and then sprayed with matt varnish to kill the gloss of the ink.


Fuselage and Wings

The fuselage comes in two parts that sandwiches the lower part of the wing, cockpit and burner can. Theres a bit of a problem here, after test fitting I concluded that the inner plates of the intakes required a bit of trimming so they could fit in. The front part of the fuselage (where the two halves meet around the cockpit and the engine intake area) needed a lot of sanding (probably because of the lead weights I placed inside)and rescribing the lost details.



Wing to fuselage fit is very good, the only place which requieres attention are the wing tips and the flaps.
Another problem I came up with was that the ejection seat was too tall to place the canopy closed so it needed a bit of trimming in the lower part of the seat. Then I noticed that the canopy was a bit short and that placing it in the closed position would leave a gap about 2 or 3mm, so what I did was thatI filled this gap with various applications of white glue.



Painting and Decals


I chose to build the French version as I intended to enter this kit in a local show which was sponsored by the French Embassy.

Anyway, the model was painted using Model Master and Humbrol enamels after preshading of the panel lines, they were airbrushed freehand through a Paasche VL airbrush. The radar cone was masked and painted matt black and the ring where it meets the fuselage silver. Then the model was covered with a coat of Testorís Glosscote as a base for the decals. Decals were applied next, they had to be trimmed to get rid of the excess clear film, they were applied using the Aeromasterís system (Aeroset/sol).

After they all snuggled down the panel lines the model received another coat of Testors Glosscote.



Finishing Touches


The model was weathered with drawing ink to accent the panel lines and to make the very subtle staining of the airframe, the technique I use goes like this: After decaling and a coat of clear gloss I start filling each of the panel lines with sepia drawing ink straight from the bottle, wait until its dry, then take a wet cotton swab or an old t shirt and wipe the aircraft in the direction of the airflow, this process stains the entire airframe while accenting panel lines.

Landing gear was attached, also the external stores, the main wheel covers were sanded to thin the because they are extremely thick. The speed brakes were attached in the open position and the tail hook down.





This kit is not the aircraft you see every day at contest tables or online galleries, so it was quite a change from building WWII Luftwaffe airplanes. Besides the fit problems and getting accustomed to the type of plastic, I recommend this kit to the intermediate-advanced modeler, with a set of new decals and some cockpit enhancements the kit can be turned into a really good one!. I really enjoyed building it and look forward into building another.

The kit took a 2nd place in the OOB 1/48 scale jets category and took a recognition from the French Embassy in Caracas, Venezuela.





  • Various pictures on the web.

  • French Fleet Air Arm - http://frenchnavy.free.fr/

  • World Air Power Journal Ė Encyclopedia of World Military Aircraft (Airtime Publishing)



Additional Images


Text, Images and Model Copyright © 2002 by Luis Felipe Herrera S.
Page Created 19 March, 2002
Last Updated 04 June, 2007

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