AN/ALQ-131 (shallow) ECM pod

Published: June 26th, 2018     
Product Image
package
Reviewed by: 
Paul Brown, IPMS# 24085
Scale: 1:72
Company: Eduard
Price: $9.95
Product / Stock #: 672 162

The AN/ALQ-131 electronic countermeasures pod is used by the US Air Force, the Air National Guard and several US allies since the 80's. The pod is a modular design that can be configured to address a variety of threats. It is cleared for use on the F-4, F-5, F-16, F-111, A-10, F-15 and C-130.

This set depicts the shallow version of the ALQ-131 pod, often seen on the centerline pylon of USAF F-16s or an outer wing pylon of the A-10. I was also able to find a photo online of one mounted under the forward fuselage of an Australian F-111. The set is very straightforward consisting of the pod, two mounting lugs and a decal sheet.

The castings were very crisp with just the slightest hint of flash between the lower blade antenna on the nose and the main body of the pod, which was easily taken care of with a sharp knife. Take care in separating the mounting lugs from the pour stub as they are very tiny and prone to uncommanded flight. I ran them over a piece of sandpaper taped to a sheet of glass to smooth and level out the cut I made removing them. I used a sharp razor saw to remove the pod itself from the pour stub as well and then cleaned up the stub attachment points with a fine sanding stick.

The next step is to decide what you are going to hang the pod on so that you can locate where to put the mounting lugs. The instructions depict the lugs being attached at certain spots, so I glued them there, only to find out that when I went to mount the pod on my chosen kit, the holes in the pylon were in different spots, necessitating popping one of the lugs off, moving it and then regluing it in place.

Eduard includes markings for two shallow pods, both in USAF service. One is overall olive drab and the other is mostly olive drab with the lower pan painted FS 36375. As I was also constructing the ALQ-131 deep pod at the same time, I elected to go with the overall olive drab scheme. Once the pod had been airbrushed Tamiya olive drab; I painted the mounting lugs steel and painted the silver band around the nose and the black and silver connection points on the top of the pod. A couple of coats of Future prepared me for decaling. As there are only 8 decals, this step went very quickly. As always, the decals worked wonderfully with Micro/Super Set & Sol, lying down nicely with no silvering. A coat of clear flat and I was finished. Interestingly, Eduard's decal sheet covers both this set and 672163 (the deep version of the pod) and since there are so few (and tiny) decals on each pod, so you will have extras for your decal box. If you wanted to depict an Australian pod or one mounted on F-16s of other countries, you may need to do a bit of research to see what the markings on those pods look like, as the set's decals all have a "USAF" legend to go on the pod.

This is a very nice set from Eduard and really looks the part. I mounted it on a Hasegawa F-16C I built recently. Highly recommended.

Thank you to Eduard for the sample and to IPMS/USA for letting me review it.

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