On The Bench

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Eurofighter Typhoon EF-2000
Italeri (2610)
Scale: 1:48
Started: Apr 2002
Finished: Sep 2002
Link to: Finished Model Photos
The 1:48 Italeri Eurofighter Typhoon, built with an additional Eduard Photoetch set, Airwaves MB Mk.16 resin ejection seat, Hasegawa GBU-16 1000lb bombs, AMRAAM Line TIALD pod, custom resin wing store pylons + assorted scratch built details.

This kit was released prior to the Eurofighter entering service and hence it's really only useful for building any of the development airframes used by the partner countries. I chose to model the British DA2 from British Aerospace (BAE).

Most Italeri kits from this era featured poor fit, questionable accuracy and vague instructions. However, with a little extra work in the cockpit/wheel wells and correcting the general poor fit, this kit builds up into a nice model.

This kit has now been superceded in every way by the newer Revell boxings especially if you want to build an operataional 1:48 EF-2000.
Having had little experience with Italeri kits, I thought it would be a good idea to do some extensive dry fitting. This proved to be time well spent as the next several photos will show Here we see the very poor fit of the fuselage to the somewhat complex intake sections. When it came time glue all this, it required some serious clamping
The airbrake also had quite large gaps which needed to be filled with plasticcard prior to assembly and gluing I decided early on that I wanted to add quite a bit of detail to the base Italeri kit. Here we see the flaperons have been removed and because the join line on the upper and lower wing parts did not line up, I needed build out the lower part with plastic card (which can be seen here as the white strip). Research also showed that the location of the two provided pylons on each wing was slightly incorrect so I filled the grossly oversized locating holes and opted instead for brass wire re-enforcing. Eventually I added two additional pylons on each wing (a total of four) with resin copies of the kit pylons
Here the separated flaperons have been cleaned up and their leading edges dressed with plasticard. Super glue is ideal glue for this task as it dries very quickly (especially when accelerated with kicker) Here we see the full set of flaperons, inner and outer. These have been separated from each other as reference showed they sag to different positions when the A/C is powered down.
The kit supplied AAMRAMs are not too bad. As mentioned above, I wanted to install four pylons per wing and this meant fabricating an additional two per wing. This was done by making resin copies of the kit pylons and modifying them (ie shortening and reshaping). Here you can see the kit AAMRAM being test fitted to its new resin pylon The kit undercarriage scissor links are quite basic. A simple method to spruce these up is to drill them out
As I was using the Eduard PE set, many of the details not provided in the kit could be enhanced. Here we see the kit nose gear door (bottom) and a replacement door (top) that I have created using 15thou card and the Eduard PE part. It was far easier using a fresh section of card than removing the raised detail from the kit part in order to fit the PE Likewise, the main gear doors needed some simple detailing. The overscale kit detailing has been removed and new scratchbuilt detail added from card to the door on the left
Strips of 10 x 20 thou evergreen have been used to add some much needed detail to the Italeri wheel wells. I'm sure its not exactly true to life, but its not meant to be. What I'm after here is to make the model look 'busy' and hence more realistic. Here is a closeup of the card that had to be added to the lower section of the wing join once the flaperons are cut out. The gap is around 80 thou (1.5mm). Not something I could ignore
Another general shot of the main wheel well detailing. Various shapes and sizes are used to create the impression of detail. Whilst its nice to make it as accurate as possible (if you have good photos), I try these days not to get too hung up on it A good example of the many uses I put brass wire to. Here I have drilled a 10thou hole into the side of the gear doors (yes, very steady hand is required) into which I glued the brass wire. This is then used to attach the doors to the model. Also note that I have used plastic card discs to fill the ejection pin marks on the innder surface of the door
Here we see the Eduard PE instrument panel. As I was making a model of the BAE prototype (DA2), the panel as supplied by Eduard was not correct. At the time, DA2 did not have three MFD's fitted, but only two, with traditional analog backup instruments fitted in the port MFD position. To simulate this I have cut away the left MFD from the Eduard part and later replaced it with plastic card and decals To simulate the many vents and exhaust ports on the Eurofighter, I used various sized plastic tubes and brass sheet. Using the "sprue" from old PE sets is a good source of brass sheet. This picture shows the view inside the port side fuselage half
Seen here from the outside, the port fuselage half shows how the plastic tube and assorted PE sheet and mesh combines to add more detail to the model. Also worthy of note are the horrid Italeri rivets. These are eventually all removed by filling with super glue (yes, very tedious) The PE set provided a more accurately detailed part for the inner (upper) surface of the main intake lip. This has been attached with super (CA) glue
The dual sided intake itself requires quite a bit of careful sanding and filling to ensure a smooth curve and fit Here we see the final loadout for the wing pylons (minus the outboard AIM-9's). Its worth noting the inner most pylon (those with the GBU's) and the AAMRAM pylons are cast from resin (remember the kit only provided two pylons per wing)
The inspiration for my choice of weapons loadout came from this shot on www.eurofighter.com. As the Eurofighter in RAF service will use the TIALD pod, I obtained the AMMRAM Line resin item (48004). This would be attached to the port forward fuselage mount in place of an AMRAAM
Another kit part that benefits from some simple detailing is the exhaust nozzles. Here we see progress being made on detailing the inner petals Each of the three undercarriage units received a liberal dose of card, wire and PE detail
As is nearly always the case, I spend most of my efforts on the cockpit area. Lets face it, as a model is almost always viewed from above, its the bit most people see (and look for). Here I have completely scratchbuilt (as the Eduard PE set provided nothing) the detail behind the cockpit. This is based on photos (the best I could source at the time) and my educated guess. Its worth noting the replacement sills in the actual cockpit itself. Italeri have a habit of overscaling most things and its amazing how more realistic a 10thou part looks compared to a 25thou item Another very visible part of the upper model is the interior section of the canopy. Again I have built this from scratch using sketchy photos and best guess
A distinctive feature of the Eurofighter is the placement of the APU exhaust on the port wing root. Again, Italeri attempt benefits from some TLC in the form of filling and re-shaping. Addition of exhaust louvres from brass sheet help to complete the look. Also note the rescribed access panel on the upper fuselage. This was necessary to give the the correct shape and position This shot show to good effect the placement of the 4 underwing pylons. Clearly visible due to their cream colour are the resin copies I made to supplement the kit parts
A good shot of the completed dropped flaperons. It was a lot of work, but I believe it adds a great to the realism of the completed model Eduard provides the afterburner rings for placement inside the exhaust as well as some parts for detailing the brake chute housing (seen here as white plastic tube)
This shot shows how the windscreen has been faired into the fuselage with Milliput and then masked using Tamiya tape The final photo shows another angle of the wing pylons. Its obvious from this angle how the resin copies are based on the kit parts, and also how they have been shortened and re-shaped to suit the purpose here