1/72 SAAB J29A/B  Tunnan model kit

Product # TA7201

Product Article by Steve Bamford on Dec 2 2013



This is the third model kit offering from Tarangus and with each release I get more excited when I open the box.


In the aftermath of the second world war, it was decided that the Swedish Air Force would be an all jet fleet.  Engineers from Saab had gotten their hands on some German research material regarding swept wings and it was soon decided that the new jet fighter for the Swedish Air Force would be a swept wing jet.

The bulky Ghost engine gave the aircraft its round shape, which earned it the nickname "FlygrandeTunnan" ("The Flying barrel" in English).  It first flew in 1948, piloted by Bob Moore, a former RAF pilot, who after the first flight said "On the ground an ugly ducking, but in the air a swift!"  The Saab J29 Tunnan was the first European fighter which could match the F-86 Sabre and the MiG-15 in performance.  The Tunnan stayed in service until the early 1970's.  The last years it served as a target tug.  It was also exported to Austria.  A total of 661 Tunnans were produced between 1950 and 1956.

The J 29A and J 29B only differed in the Internal fuel volume, had a non-afterburning engine and a wing that lacked the saw tooth of the later versions.  The J 29B also seved with the Swedish Air Force unit that was sent to the Congo in the 1960's. 


Click on images below to see larger images

This is a limited run kit from a small manufacturer, but Tarangus does step up the game with resin parts for the ejection seat, main wheel wells and exhaust cone and gun sight to improve the level of detail for the finished model. 

The first thing that caught my eye was the very fine recessed panel lines...they are fine and not deep or wide, so they look right and once painted, they should look perfect.

The next area that always catches my eye is the cockpit.....and here I was pleasantly surprised.  The instrument panel is a surprisingly well detailed unit that should paint up very nicely with it's recessed and raised detail.  No instrument decals are provided, so the modeller will have to decide if they want to do anything in that area with aftermarket options.  The ejection seat doesn't have seatbelts, so you have the option of ignoring that issue or adding scratchbuilt masking tape seat belts or some aftermarket photo etch seatbelts.  The canopy is a 2 part injection molded affair that can be posed open permitting you to see your added cockpit detail.  You do get 1 cockpit sidewall that is well detailed. 

The kit comes with a pylon under each wing with drop tanks.

As this is a Swedish aircraft, you do get a plain Swedish jet as well as a a Swedish jet with black stripes and the third choice is a UN jet.  This 3 different aircraft include :

  • SAAB J29A/B  Tunnan F13 red M- s/n 29303 - F13 wing in Norrkoping with large black stripes.
  • SAAB J29A/B  Tunnan F22 white G - s/n 29440 - F22 wing, Swedish UN forces in Kongo
  • SAAB J29A/B  Tunnan F8 yellow J - s/n 29368 - F8 wing at Barkarby in Stockholm

The 8 pages of instructions are easy to follow and full of well drawn ling drawings.

The detail on this kit would be very respectable for 1/48, but considering this is 1/72.....I think overall they did a wonderful job.  Tarangus continues to offer some great model kits of Swedish jets and I eagerly await their next release.

A list of retailers that carry this model kit can be found on the Tarangus website.

I would like to thank Tarangus for providing me with this product sample.

Steve Bamford

Click on images below to see larger images


Photos and text by Steve Bamford