by: Adie Roberts [ ]
BackgroundThe Breguet Br.1050 Alizé (French: "Tradewind") was a French Carrier- based anti submarine aircraft. It was developed in the 1950s, based loosely on the second Prototype Breguet Vultur attack aircraft which had been modified into the Breguet Br.965 Épaulard anti-submarine warfare aircraft.
The prototype Alizé first flew on 6 October 1956. It was exhibited at the Paris Air Show at Paris Le Bourget Airport in May 1957.
In total their were 89 examples built between of the Alize between 1957 and 1962 including two preproduction types. 75 production aircraft were acquired by the Aeronavale with initial service delivery in March 1959. The Alizé went into operation on the carriers Arromanches, Clemenceau and Foch and were also used in shore-based training. 12 were acquired by the Indian Navy initially but in the end 17 examples were aquired, which hints that they bought five used aircraft from the Aéronavale. The Indian Navy operated the Alizé from shore bases and from the light carrier Vikrant The Alizé was used for reconnaissance and patrol during India's 1961 invasion of Portuguese controlled Goa and was also used for ASW patrol during the Indo-Pakistani war 1971 during which one Alizé was shot down by a Pakistan Air force F- 104 Starfighter It was also instrumental in taking out many Gunboats during the war. The Aéronavale provided the Alizé with a series of upgrades. A modernization program performed in the early 1980s refitted 28 of the aircraft to the Br.1050M standard, featuring improved Thomson-CSF Iguane radar as used on the Atlantique NG ocean-patrol aircraft, new OMEGA radio navigation gear, and a new ARAR 12 radar and radio location ("electronic support measures / ESM") system. Another upgrade program in the early 1990s fitted 24 of these aircraft with a new decoy system; a microcomputer-based data processing system; a datalink system; and other new avionics. Later in the decade, they were also fitted with the Thomson-CSF TTD Optronique Chlio forward-looking infrared (FLIR) imaging sensor. Despite the upgrades, by this time the Alizé was clearly not up to the task of hunting modern nuclear submarines, and so it was tasked with ocean surface patrol. As late as 1997, the Aéronavale was still operating 24 examples for surface patrol, though they were clearly on their way out by then. The Alizé was used operationally during the Nato air campaign against Yugoslavia over Kosovo in the spring of 1999 with the aircraft flying off the carrier Foch.The last Alizé was finally withdrawn from service in 2000 with the retirement of the Foch.
In The BoxWith FRROM's boxing of this naval plane you have five light grey sprue, one clear sprue, one decal sheet and one instruction booklet.
On opening the packet, and this being the first time I have ever seen a FRROM kit myself. I have to say I was quite pleasantly surprised at how crisp the plastic was.
The first sprue that I picked up the very first thing that caught my eye was the crisp engraved panel lines which really emphasized the detail bringing out some of the fine inspection panels where you could access such things as avionics, after a few minutes of dribbling around the said detail on the fuselage, I did notice that there were no numbers to identify the parts ! I immediately grabbed the instruction booklet to find that in fact that the parts are numbered, but in the booklet with the first two pages showing the sprues and labelling them sprue A, B,C, D and Cp and having numbers printed on those two pages that corresponded to the parts you had to use. So now after that initial fright I went back to the sprue to have a closer look at the plane, now despite the good level of detail on the kit there is no locating pins for helping in placing parts together. So I cut of the two halves of fuselage and tested fitted them together it fitted quite well but would need some filling and sanding down once you have got both halves fitted properly together. This however could be difficult for a younger or inexperienced modeller. Looking around the rest of the first sprue or sprue A is the ray dome rear tail wings and rudder all with again good level of engraved panel lines. The floor plan does have some detail to it namely foot peddles and slight raised area. Some structure panels for the two halves of the fuselage interior and strengthening. There is some slight flash and injector pin marks on the fuselage which should be hidden once the fuselage is together.
Sprue B was the main wings again with the same level of detail, out lined ailerons which are OK. The sink marks on the underside of the upper wing and injector pin marks should again not be seen once you have got the wings together, again I have to say the wings need a bit of work to hold together.
Sprue C holds a lot of detail from the cockpit including three seats for the pilot, navigator and radar operator some cockpit instruments some of this even though very small in detail I have to say is quite good giving you a sense of dials and control surfaces also good detail on the radar operators panel and navigation has good detail Ariel ordinance pylons.
Sprue D has some of the best detail on it including more cockpit details an arrestor hook, propellers. Some of the detail I have to say for such a small scale plane was to say the least great I kept looking at radar panels and other instrument panels thinking I am quite looking forward to the challenge of building this kit (which I have to admit is not my scale usually) The undercarriage legs were ok, exhaust and wheels quite good. The wheels have some good detail in the middle but no tread on the tyres some structural parts included on this sprue there is some slight flash on here nothing to problematic apart from one of the cockpit instrument panels that has some very tiny parts very thin with flash on them.
Sprue E is mainly the different ordinance payload and pylons with which to attach them these include AS.12 missile which again looks good and like the real thing. Matra F2 rocket pod and Hvar 5in.l 127mm rockets all with a good level of detail.
Sprue Cp is the last sprue and the clear one I have looked long and hard at these to see if I could see any flaws but apart from a and I do mean tiny amount of flash. Very visible clear outlines showing the frame work.
Instructions and Decals The instruction booklet looks very colourful with a nice piece of history about the Breguet 1050 Alize ALM on the front of it with a profile picture of the plane above
Page 2 & 3 is the sprue plan showing what should be on the each sprue and giving each part a number to help when building. You will notice that some of the parts on the sprue are universal and not required for the ALM version these being crossed out. It also has the symbols for you to be able to follow in the instructions and also a paint guide by Gunze.
Page 4 & 5 is the start of the build page 4 has steps 1 to 9 step 1 is the floor for the cockpit which follows on all the way through the page and onto step 9 placing of the seats and cockpit accessories, exhausts more control panels and attaching the front wheel well and placing the cockpit now finished in to place. Page 5 steps 10 to 16 starts with some of the glazing radar dome and placing it in the recess areas in the fuselage the final step is placing the front wheel well and front panel for the cockpit and finally placing weight in the front and joining the two fuselage halves together.
Page 6 & 7 on page 6 is steps 17 to 21 starting with the joining of the upper and lower halves of the wing the undercarriage wheels and ordinance pod final part is the fixing of the completed wings to the fuselage. Page 7 Steps 22 to 25 starts with the tail wings and rudder, adding detail to the front of the fuselage. Then moving on to the internal structure to the undercarriage on the underneath of the wings. Finally building the undercarriage itself on both sides.
Page 8 & 9 on page 8 Steps 26 and 27 starts with us building the undercarriage doors and placing in the open position levers for the flaps and ailerons, arrestor hook with could be down or seated up depending on your preference and ends with the Propellers and the top glazing of the cockpit. Page 9 we see Steps 28 and 29 which starts with the pylons being fitted on the bottom of the wings for the ordinance some minor detail again to the fuselage. 29 Now this is where you have to decide as to what version you want to do A, B, or C as these have different Ariel arrangements different parts once you have decided it is pretty much straight forward from there.
There is a separate single sheet the same shiny colourful as the instruction booklet shows what ordinance you have and how to put it together and where to fit it.
Page 10 is for the camo version A Breguet 1050 Alizé ALM Nr 42 Flottille 6F High visibility livery Nimes-Garons end of 1981 and gives you the colour profile with a guide to the colours used this is a nice bright blue top and white bottom.
Page 11 is for camo Version B Breguet 1050 Alizé ALM No 41 de la Flottille 4F aboard Clemenceau carrier during the Fambeau mission Summer 1997 this is a two tone grey scheme.
Page 12 is for camo version C Breguet 1050 Alizé ALM Nr55, Flottille 4F from 1989 to 1996 This is a much darker two tone grey scheme
Decals are for the three different versions and are clean and clear but a little heavy on the carrier film but that said it is not drastic
A nice touch from this company is a separate sheet of normal printed paper telling you of a mistake in the colour version for A on page 10 saying basically the blue needs to be brighter and also the white
Also on page 11 and 12 camos B and C individual numbers 17 and 16 should be put under ? however it is not clear what they want you to do and literally says what I have written
ConclusionHaving never seen a FRROM kit before in my life. I was, I have to say already pre -imagining it to be no where near the standard that you find in some manufacturers kits. However I found on opening the box and looking at the very nice detail that I was very pleasantly surprised. So apologies FRROM, it is actually a stunning kit especially being in the smaller scale that I would not normally make. I will be looking out for more from FRROM kits in the future. Like all kits there will be some people who will find fault in it but for the average modeller I am sure they will find this a lovely kit to build.
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