Preview by A. Sklarski
AMK (Avantgarde) Models 1/72 scale Aero L-29
The Aero (Aero Vodochody) L-29 Delfín (Dolphin) is a military jet trainer aircraft. The L-29 was Czechoslovakia's first locally designed and built jet aircraft. The L-29 was a popular jet trainer for Warsaw Pact Air Forces since the 1960s. First flying in early 1959 it began filling a need for a piston engine trainer replacement. The aircraft was a simple light and easy to build 2 place single engine jet, capable of operating from rough fields it was sturdy and reliable, production lasted until 1974 over 3600 were built. Safe and easy to fly the L-29 was used by many Air Forces and currently operates as a popular warbird today.
AMK has just released new tool 1/72 scale state-of-the-art injection molded kit of the type, AMK Avantgarde Model Kits worked with Aero Vodochody Aerospace a.s. (TM) to make this the most accurate and comprehensively detailed L-29 kit available on the market. AMK have Aero Vodochody's official endorsement for shape and measurements and with their permission have used their logo on the kit box. Aero was instrumental in their support of the quality and engineering of this kit every step of the way and it reflects, Aero Vodochody should be proud of this offering. Having released a 1/48 scale offering in the past the new 1/72 kit more than pays respect to its larger scale predecessor. The kit comes in a sturdy top opening colorful box. Included are 5 separately bagged sprues, a PE fret, decals and instruction sheet. The instructions are map-fold style and have full color painting guides for 5 different marking options, including a colorful Aeroclub of Kharkiv ship that is a brilliant silvery white and blues. Some may find the color painting guides to be printed a bit small. Markings are also included for Czechoslovakian AF, USSR AF, Egypt AF, and East German AF.
Those being familiar with the company’s products won’t be disappointed with the moldings offered here, molded if dark grey medium soft plastic that cuts and sands easily. The clear parts and crisp, clear and thin. The kit is a neatly scaled down version of the 1/48 kit, featuring finely recessed panel lines and rivet detail, that should look fine under a few coats of finish. The cockpit is well appointed with details however no belts are molded on the ejection seats or provided as PE items so you will have to replicate them with foil tape or aftermarket items. The decals are thin, glossy and in perfect register. Instrument decals are provided for the cockpit. If the decals are anything like on the MiG-31 series of kits then they will go on fine and respond well to popular setting solutions such as Solvaset.
The kit scales out exactly in specifications I found on the internet, it measures 150mm in length and 35 feet 5 inches with my CTT 1/72 scale rule, the real aircraft being shown as 35 feet 5 and a half inches, I’ll chalk up the half an inch to the width of the pencil line. Span is dead on at 143mm or 33 feet 9 inches, right on spec. I have had the pleasure to be around a real L-29 at an airshow and it certainly captures the look of the real machine. AMK have got the lines and feel just right. Coming off of building AMK’s MiG-31 this little L-29 looks to be every bit as finely engineered as the company’s other late offerings. AMK have another excellent release with their new 1/72 Aero L-29, I look forward to building it and displaying alongside my Cold War East Bloc aircraft!
Thanks to AMK for the review sample.