Hasegawa 1/72 Sepecat Jaguar IM
Hasegawa's Jaguar Gr.1/A kit provides the option to make the SEPECAT Jaguar International in the ground attack/strike , or "IS", configuration. However, a bit of putty and judicious use of the hobby knife can convert the standard Jaguar Gr.1 to the Indian Air Force's unique Jaguar IM (International Maritime) aircraft.
I choose to build JM252 of the Indian Air Force's No. 6, Dragons, squadron based in Pune. The Jaguar IM has a similar external configuration to the Jaguar Gr.1 or IS except for the Agave radar, which gives it a unique nose profile. When equipped with a BAe Sea Eagle AShM to fulfill its maritime strike role, the Jaguar IM can launch action against ship-borne threats to India's maritime assets.
The Pavla Martin Baker Mk9 ejection seat compared with the Kit supplied seatThe kit was completed pretty much out of the box, with the exception of a Pavla Martin Baker Mk9 ejection seat (the difference is amazing) and a Sea Eagles missile. The modification of the Hasegawa kit to the IM version began with the removal of several blade antennas from the wings and fuselage, and the removal of the fins on the kit's Jaguar "S" tail below the RWR antennae. Unlike the British Jaguars, the Indian Jaguars do not sport many of these antennae and fins.
The biggest modification involved the nose. Thankfully, the kit comes with a separate nose section (so that one can make either a Jaguar A, S, IS or, in my case, IM).
Therefore, putty was added in layers to the standard Jaguar S nose, built-up to the desired shape, and sanded to look as close as possible to the IM's.
Line drawings of the IM in Scale Aviation Modeller's October 2001 issue were very helpful. Finally, the conversion was complete with the addition of a Sea Eagle AShM swiped from Hasegawa's Sea Harrier FRS Mk. 1 kit.
Indian Air Force Jaguar IMs sported a British-style two-tone medium and dark sea grey wrap-around pattern until a few years ago, when it was replaced by the boring all-grey radar-absorbing scheme. I elected to use the wrap-around scheme because the squadron insignia is absent in the all-grey scheme. Frankly, I wanted to do a model with the beautiful No. 6 Dragon squadron insignia.
I found the reference photos more useful than Hasegawa's painting guide. For example, the Indian Air Force IM's have black wing, tail, tail wing, antennae, and ventral fin edges. In addition, there is a protective black panel fore of the tail. For the wrap-around colors I settled on the darker color being a blend of dark sea grey and intermediate blue (Model Master). The lighter color was a combination of light camouflage grey and medium grey. Weathering was modest with the fuselage receiving a wash of chalk and soapy water to bring out the nice panel lines. After recoating the decals with Future(r), I sealed the model with Testor's Lacquer Flat Coat (except for the nose, which was left in semi-gloss).
The kit decals are very nice and provide excellent stenciling for one complete British or French aircraft. For the Indian Air Force markings, Mike Grant has printed beautiful decals for the JM252 and JM257 aircrafts of the Dragons. I added some self-made decals including the two dozen "No Step" warnings, the protective black panel just fore of the tail, and some white warning markings to complete the stenciling. Decal-police will notice an error, which I caught only after completing the model. If you are thinking of doing an Indian Air Force Jaguar, write me and I'll point it out so you can avoid the same mistake. A nice photo of JM252 with a Sea Eagle can be found on http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/IAF/Aircraft/Missiles/index.html
I finished the build with a training round of the Sea Eagle AShM, which is attached to a modified centerline pylon. While under-wing fuel tanks are common Jaguar issue on sorties, the kit did not include any. I also omitted the kit-supplied Matra Magic air-to-air missiles because these are absent in photos of aircraft carrying the Sea Eagle. The training rounds of the Sea Eagles in Indian Air Force service have a yellow-on-dark sea grey scheme. I masked the tiny missile and airbrushed Tamiya's dark sea grey on a base coat of enamel yellow. The stenciling on the Sea Eagles was done with home made decals.
All in all, this was a nice kit and an enjoyable build.
Photos and text © by Rupesh Santoshi
Size: 16 items