Platz have returned to the existing manga world of Yukikaze for their latest release - the FF3-31MR/B Super Sylph. While the design is clearly linked with the Mave, the Super Sylph is a fair bit larger and has some interesting unique features.
The kit arrives in an attractive top-opening box with the sprues and decals bagged separately for protection. The Super Sylph comprises:
95 x grey styrene parts
1 x clear styrene canopy
A 2-part clear stand
Decals for one colour scheme
The parts are beautifully moulded without any flash or sink marks. Unlike the highly polished Mave kit, the surface finish on the Super Sylph is more silky with neatly engraved panel lines. These are a little more prominent than on the earlier kit, but this should make masking easier as some of the quite complex colour divisions need to follow the panel lines. Typically for the aircraft in Yukikaze, the Super Sylph features flowing, almost organic, contours throughout the airframe and moulding limitations means breaking down items like the jet intakes and engine pods into multiple parts. While the fit is pretty good, I still recommend spending a little time spent adjusting parts as you go to get as smooth a look as possible, without resorting to filler later.
A few details
The cockpits are integrally moulded tubs, but you do get a pair of tiny figures if you want to display the aircraft in flight.
A large under-belly TARPS pod can be modelled retracted or lowered, and this features a massive "swing fin". The latter should definitely be painted before assembly (as I've realised too late!), to allow the multi-colour pattern to be masked easily.
The landing gear is nicely handled for this scale, with separate retracting arms and crisp detail on the wheels, and the kit offers the option for modelling it retracted.
The Super Sylph carries an impressive battery of stores, with either AAM-III missiles or what appear to be drop tanks mounted on the sides of the engine pods, and a choice of twin-mounted AAM-V, AAM-VII or AAM-IIIs on underwing racks.
Instructions and decals
The assembly guide is written almost entirely in Japanese, but the diagrams are clear and straightforward. Colours are keyed to most details and these are for Gunze Paints, with FS equivalents where appropriate.
The exterior painting guide is a shaded monochrome diagram, which I have to say is a bit too dark and lacking in contrast to be easy to make out the colour divisions. This is the only weak area of the kit in my opinion. Fortunately, colour profiles and photos of a completed model are available on Platz's website
The decals are custom-printed by Cartograf and they are excellent, as usual. The registration is pin-sharp and the minimal carrier film is crystal clear. As well as the main markings and serials, the sheet includes a quite comprehensive set of stencils.
Platz's Super Sylph is a cleverly engineered kit that should look great when finished. I like the inclusion of a stand to model the aircraft in flight - this is one aircraft that really needs to be seen in flight to fully display its radical lines. Recommended.
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