Trumpeter 1/72 Xian FBC-1 Flying Leopard
You're not going to believe that a model company based in China isn't
going to feature some of that nation's latest aircraft are you? The Xian
FBC-1 (JH-7) Flying Leopard is no surprise as this machine is one of the
many indigenous combat aircraft under development in that country. Intended
as a strike aircraft in the Panavia Tornado and Su-24 class, the FBC-1
combines the distinguishing features of two other notable strike aircraft:
the intakes and twin engines of the Jaguar with the fuselage and wings
of the Mirage F.1.
Molded in Trumpeter signature light gray styrene, this kit is comprised
of four parts trees, plus an addition tree of clear parts. Another Trumpeter
signature is also present in this kit, ejector pin marks that will need
to be cleaned up. These are present in the cockpit tub, wheel wells, gear
doors, etc. Assembly appears to be straightforward with a simple layout
and positionable horizontal stabs, rudders, ailerons and flaps, plus a
full loadout of external weaponry to round out the model.
When I opened the box, I was a little surprised at the fuselage. While
I am no expert on contemporary Chinese combat aircraft, I thought the
fuselage looked a little short in length against the graceful lines depicted
on the box art. A quick check on the internet revealed that the FBC-1
has a fuselage length of 21 meters (though some sites claim around 22
meters), or translated into 1/72 scale, about 11.5". A quick check
of with my handy ruler reveals a length of only 10.5". No wonder
it looks a little stubby. Markings are included with optional numbers
to represent any number of aircraft in the inventory.
After discovering the short fuselage, I didn't have the heart to check
other dimensions. Nevertheless, this kit represents an unusual subject
that with a little work, would build into a unique addition to the scale
My sincere thanks to Stevens International for this review sample!