1/144 Revell Tornado ECR & IDS

Preview by John King III on July 17 2008



1/144th scale seems to be on the rise.  So, I thought that I would provide you all with a preview of the newly tooled 1/144th Revell of Germany Tornado ECR (#04048) and IDS (#04030) kits.  Both kits are now a couple years old, having a copyright of 2006.  However, Squadron.com recently had these kits on sale for $3.49 a piece!  So, since I enjoy 1/144th and German aircraft, I ordered a couple.  Each kit consists of two colored sprues and one clear sprue containing the canopy.  The ECR kit also includes a small sprue that includes parts specific to the ECR.  The IDS is molded in green and the ECR is molded in gray.  Essentially, one could build an IDS out of the ECR boxing, but could not build an ECR out of the IDS boxing.  The IDS kit consists of 58 pieces and the ECR consists of 63 pieces. 

Click on images below to see larger images




Both kits have gorgeous panel lines and the detail overall has to be seen to be appreciated.  The kits come with a cockpit tub with two seats, instrument panels, and control sticks, which is very adequate for the scale.  The cockpit could be made better with the addition of some instrument panel decals, which the newest boxing of the IDS includes—I'll touch on this a little later.  There is some wheel well detail and the landing gear is very crisply molded. 

The weapons are superb and one will need to be very careful when removing them from the sprues, as the missiles are very petite.  Ordinance for the IDS includes two drop tanks, two Sidewinders, a BOZ 101 flare and chaff dispenser pod, and a Cerberus CIII ECM pod.  The ECR includes all of those plus two AGM-88 HARMs.

The canopy, which is crystal clear, can only be modeled in the closed position.  Also, the speed brakes are only molded in the closed position.  However, the landing gear can be modeled closed or open, but no pilot figures are included.  The wings can be positioned in any degree of sweep, but the pylons do not move once attached to the wings.   The refueling probe can be built in either opened or closed position.

Decals for both kits are in perfect register and color.  The decals for the ECR boxing cover two planes:  a German AF Tigermeet of JaboG 32 (Fighter Wing 32) from 1994 (this is the one on the box art) and a line bird also from JaboG 32 of the German AF in 2004.  The decals cover all the tiger stripes except for those that go over the refueling probe; these have to be painted on.

The decals for the IDS kit have an interesting story.  The boxing from 2006 (the first boxing and the one pictured here) includes decals for a German Navy Tornado in the Solo-Display of MFG 2 during the 2002 year (the box art) and a standard German AF IDS of JaboG 31 from 2003.  Remember when I said the newest boxing of the IDS has instrument decals?  Well, Revell of Germany released another boxing of the IDS in 2007 with different decals.  Instead of the German Navy IDS, the decals in the 2007 boxing include another German AF IDS in Tigermeet markings of AG51 (Reconnaissance Air Wing 51) during 2002 along with the same decals as the 2006 boxing for the JaboG 31 IDS.  The interesting thing is that both IDS boxings are numbered 04030!  So, if you want to build a German Navy IDS, I’d suggest you get one soon before the only IDS available is the 2007 boxing.

All-in-all, these are great little Tornados.  These are a vast improvement over any other 1/144th Tornado.  With the quality of Revell’s new kits, I would be willing to say that these will be easy builds.  Revell lists these kits as skill level 3.  If you like the Tornado and want to expand your 1/144th range, I highly recommend these kits.


Photos and text © by John King III