L-39ZO Weekend Edition

Published: May 24th, 2012     
Box Art
Box Art
Reviewed by: 
Phil Pignataro, IPMS# 17254
Scale: 1/72
Company: Eduard
Price: $16.95
Product / Stock #: 7416

This elegant looking jet trainer has been in service with numerous air forces for many years and has even become a common sight at "warbird" fly-ins. Several years ago, Eduard released an exquisite little model of this trainer. Their latest version is the "Weekend Edition," a more basic boxing of their "Original," "Dual Combo," or "Profipak" releases. To meet the "weekend" criteria, this kit has no photo-etched frets, resin pieces, masks, or decals for multiple marking options. What you get instead is the all-plastic, basic kit with decals for one scheme: the Libyan Air Force Academy circa 1985. Included in the box are 56 pieces molded in tan plastic, six pieces of clear parts, a decal sheet with lots of stencil/data markings, and a six page instruction booklet. All the pieces are crisply molded with excellent surface detail. The decals are on register with the instrument panel renditions among the best I've seen in this scale. The "dual combo" version of this kit has been previous reviewed for IPMS/USA by Jim Pearsall. His was a thorough review and it provided me with some useful hints. I did my best to finish this model in one weekend, but missed the time by a little - well actually, by a lot. More on that later. 

Even without resin and photo-etched pieces, the cockpit detail is excellent for the scale. The instrument panel decals really bring this area to life. I added masking tape belts to the seats which, like their resin counterparts in the other Eduard versions, needed a little sanding to fit. I also had to trim the front instrument panel and glare shield to fit the cockpit opening. Though not mentioned in the instructions, I added some weight to the nose to make sure the nose wheel stayed on the ground. Construction proceeded smoothly with the exception of the intakes and wing assembly. My sample needed sanding and filler to get a decent joint between the intakes and the fuselage. Also, the wing assembly didn't fit easily into the fuselage opening. I recommend careful dry-fitting here as the seams under the intakes are difficult to fill. Having consulted the internet for reference pictures, I decided to leave off the gun pack under the fuselage and the "rocket-looking" stores under the wings since I didn't see them on any of the photos. I also left off all the "fiddly bits" (landing gear, doors, pitot tubes, etc.) at this point to facilitate painting.

The instructions call for Gunze Sangyo paints, which I used with two exceptions. The recommended "Sail Color" looked too light to me, so I substituted Tamiya's "Desert Yellow", XF-59. Likewise, I felt the recommendation for Gunze's "Yellow" didn't look correct, so I substituted their H24, "Orange Yellow."  By the way, at this point, I was already into the build for three and a half weekends. I sprayed the camouflage pattern freehand with my Renegade Krome airbrush and was pleased with the result. As I mentioned earlier, the decals are eye-catching and quite extensive for such a small subject. The smaller stencil/data decals tend to roll up, so I had to flood many of them with water to get them to lay flat. The instructions show their locations, but I suggest checking photographs too. I attached the canopy parts last with white glue. These fit perfectly and were crystal clear.

Overall, I had a relatively smooth build, with a couple of self-induced challenges. Since the kit took me over a month of evenings and weekends to complete, I think I took the "Weekend Edition" label too literally.  This was a thoroughly enjoyable build, however.  Eduard has produced an exquisite kit for those who don't want to spend the time with extra detailing parts, yet end up with a good looking model. Given the myriad marking options and their different camouflage schemes, I'm sure I'll build more of these L-39s.  My thanks to Eduard for providing the sample and to IPMS/USA for the opportunity to review it.

  • Finished model
    Finished model
  • Finished model
    Finished model
  • Finished model
    Finished model
  • Finished model
    Finished model

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