1/72 Italeri SEPECAT Jaguar-IM

Gallery Article by Sherbir on Jan 26 2019

  Indian Republic day 

 

      

Conversion: Italeri 1/72 scale SEPECAT Jaguar GR.1 to Jaguar-IM (Maritime version) of the Indian Air Force

I picked up this kit to create an IAF Jaguar-IS initially, but half way through the cockpit construction an idea hit my mind and the conversion to a Jaguar-IM (the Maritime attack version) seemed to be an idea worth exploring.

The IAF uses a large force of roughly 120 Jaguar deep penetration strike aircraft. The Jaguar-IS is basically the same air-frame as the GR.1A so the Italeri kit was much suited for the purpose. 6 sqn. IAF is tasked with the Maritime attack role and uses Jaguar-IM as the primary strike aircraft. The difference between the Jaguar-IS and Jaguar-IM is in the nose.

The "IS" has the original platypus or duck nose of the GR.1 while the "IM" version is the same GR.1 but with a pointed tip conical nose to house the Agave radar. Well externally that's about it. The rest of the changes are in some antennae and avionics to be able to operate the Sea Eagle anti-shipping missile system.

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The build:
The cockpit was quite detailed and with a bit of work and playing around with some colors, the cockpit detail can be really enhanced as you can see in the pictures.

Thankfully the nose is in 2 pieces on the sprue; the front duck nose and the rear section leading to the canopy windscreen.  I made use of a few detailed reference pictures to see how the nose of the Jaguar IM looked.

I used Fevicryl MouldIt 2-part epoxy putty to construct the roughly 2cm extra nose length by continuously and delicately shaping the nose while the putty was still soft. Once I was satisfied with the general shape of the nose cone, I left it to air dry and set. Once the putty had dried off, I began grafting the nose to shape it. This whole process itself took almost 8-10 hours of work with continuous shaping and monitoring for alignment while using progressive dry and wet sanding with a 100-220-400-600-1200 grit sandpapers.

Once the nose was shaped, the rest of the fuselage was built as per the instructions and the model quickly took the shape of the Jaguar-IM.

A little mention here is that the build quality was not very good. Though the parts of this kit fit well but there were nearly 36 places which had to be filled and sanded smooth before any further work could be taken up. I used ComFill automotive filler to fill all these gaps and progressively wet sanded and smoothed with 220-400-600-1200 grit sandpapers.

The painting:
I then primed with 4S black primer as I wanted to weather the aircraft as per a reference picture I had.

I began painting the IAF Tipnis Grey. This color was created by a mix-n-match of Fevicryl Black, White and Leaf Green paints. The painting was quick and easy since it was all in a single color and was completed in a single sitting of 3-4 hours.

I made a mistake while detailing the black antennae on the leading edges of the wings, horizontal stabilizers and ventral fins. I made them way too wide. I had to then erase all of this and try again, this time masking off a much thinner area.

Once the paint had dried off, I tried my hand at a bit of post shading of the panel lines with Fevicryl black to give the aircraft a worn out look. I then gloss coated the model and began decalling with the "Bright Spark" set of IAF decals which I had available with me. Plus this was the first time I also tried my hand at printing my own decals and S.Nos. I printed the tail number JM257 for the vertical stabilizer and the wing undersides. The rest of the decals used were the ones supplied with the kit.

The weathering:
I weathered it to give it a used and worn out look. I used the Camlin set of soft pastels with water and a bit of dish-washing liquid to create a dark wash and added it liberally to the model. This dried off in about 15mins and then I manipulated the weathering with a paper towel and further cleaned with a cotton cue-tip.

I used the kit supplied drop tanks, the Sea Eagle anti-ship missile from a previously made Harrier kit and two 1000-lb bombs to give it that lethal look.

The final result is what you see in the pictures...its not perfect and its not the best, but I am not an expert. I enjoyed the journey of reconstructing the nose and achieved the intended result of converting it successfully to a Maritime version of the Jaguar (not many models of which have been made till date).

In the end its all about the enjoyment and I am happy with what I achieved.

So on this Republic Day, I sign off and leave you to enjoy the article and the pictures. Salute to the service of this workhorse of the IAF's maritime attack fleet. 

Cheers from India.

Vande Mataram "Sherbir"

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Photos and text by Sherbir