Back in the 80ies a lot of German Luftwaffe and Marineflieger squadrons celebrated their anniversaries by painting one of their aircraft in bright colors. In Germany these brightly colored birds are called "Kolibri's". The results varied from downright awful to quite pretty looking with even some true works of art.
Advanced Strike Training Squadron JaBo G.43, based at Oldenburg, celebrated its
25th anniversary in 1984 by painting one of their Alpha Jets (Werke nr. 0044, 40+44)
in a very attractive scheme. When I saw an in-flight picture of this vividly painted
Alpha Jet in the German aviation magazine Flug Revue (nr.12/1985), I knew I
just had to do an Alpha Jet model in that very color scheme.
An additional picture can be found in the book 'Fighter Meet' by C.J. van Gent (Airlife Publ. ISBN 1-85310-198-2). I copied this picture here.
A brief description of this JaBo G.43 color scheme with some color pictures and a useful set of 1/72nd scale drawings can be found in the German magazine Modell Fan nr.5/1986. These drawings also contain details and dimensions of the special emblems painted on belly and tailfin and of most of the service markings.
I started off with a Revell Germany rebox (kit nr.4334) of Fujimi's Alpha Jet.
The Fujimi Alpha Jet kit has some weird flaws, but it comes with a beautiful set of decals that is also included in this Revell release.
I ended up using only the service markings of the decal set.
Major flaws in the kit are:
Another thing to keep in mind is that in most Alpha Jet kits, including this one, the wing pylons come molded together with the flap guides. If you don't want to fit the pylons, be sure to cut the triangular flap guides off of the rear end
of each pylon and fit the guides to the wings.
The gun pod covers up most of the missing concave shape of the center fuselage so I only corrected the part forward of the pod.
During final assembly I noticed that the main landing gear legs were not strong enough to hold the weight of the aircraft, causing the legs to bend and the wheels to pick up a lot of negative camber (the wheels should be nearly vertical) but it was too late to do anything about that. This may have contributed to the 4mm by which I had to shorten the nose leg to get the model to sit right.
After fixing all the flaws, I sprayed on a base coat of Tamiya Acrylic flat white and
mixed the blue (RAL 5012) out of Polly-S PF30 and PF31. The other colors used for the wings and tail planes were also by Polly-S
with Revell 46 NATO Olive (RAL 7013) for the upper halves of the drop tanks.
The armoured center section of the windshield was painted clear blue using an old unstirred bottle of Pactra X-13 Metallic Blue enamel, taking care not to pick up any metallic particles on the brush. After that the same paint was stirred properly and used to paint the body of the ejection seat.
The landing gear was painted with Humbrol 56 Aluminum with Humbrol 11 Silver details and the gun barrel with Pactra enamel XF-56 Gun Metal.
In the meantime, Heller released their Alpha Jet kit with a set of decals for this very
aircraft, thereby solving my problem of finding the one-off emblems for lower fuselage and tailfin.
The twist with the aircraft as depicted here is that it was used on ground attack training missions whilst wearing this scheme, hence the olive green drop tanks and the gun pod. The drop tanks have the lower halves painted blue instead of the usual gray and the gun pod is blue overall.
The triangular flap guides are painted black (inboard guides) or red (outboard guides) whilst the wing pylons are blue overall.
If you want to do an Alpha Jet in this color scheme too, save yourself a lot of
work and find the Heller kit (cat. nr. 80205) but beware: the red and black color patches on the decals for the lower wings (nrs 10 and 11) have been reversed !
The Heller painting guide (which was based on the Modell Fan drawings) shows the colors right, but you have to paint the red and black patches yourself to get the scheme right.
Date finished: May 4, 1993.
|upper fuselage||RAL 9001 White||Tamiya XF-2 Flat White|
|flying surfaces||RAL 1007 Yellow||Polly S PF40 Yellow|
|flying surfaces||RAL 3000 Red||Polly S PF20 Fire Red|
|flying surfaces||RAL 9011 Black||Polly S PF10 Night Black|
|(lower) fuselage||RAL 5012 Light Blue||2x Polly S PF30 Blue + 7x PF31 Sea Blue|
|upper halves drop tanks||RAL 7013 Olive||Revell 46 NATO Oliv|
|canopy frames||gray putty||Humbrol 64 Matt Light Gray|
|armoured windshield||clear blue||Pactra enamel X-13 Metallic Blue (not stirred)|
|ejection seat||blue metallic||Pactra enamel X-13 Metallic Blue|
|landing gear legs||aluminum||Humbrol 56 Aluminum|
|engine exhausts and gun barrel||metallic gray||Pactra enamel XF-56 Gun Metal|
|tires and intake walkways||--||Humbrol 32 Matt Dark Gray|
|intake leading edges||Semi-Gloss Black||Humbrol 85 Coal Black|
|overall clear coat||--||Polly-S PF70 Gloss Finish|
|accentuated recesses||--||drawing pencil (0,3mm HB)|