Special Hobby’s 1:72 scale duo combo set contains one kit of the single seat AJ 37 and one kit of the SK 37. The AJ 37 kit contains 127 injection molded parts on five sprues along with 20 clear parts on one clear sprue. The decal sheet provides markings for the following three airframes:
- AJ 37, 7-62, s/n 37062, F7 Wing, Såtenäs, 1990s
- AJ 37, 7-22, s/n 37022, F7 Wing, Såtenäs, 1973
- AJ 37, 15-10, s/n 37051, F15 Wing, Söderhamn, 1978
The kit of the two-seat SK 37 contains 130 injection molded parts on six sprues along with 20 clear parts on one clear sprue. The decal sheet provides markings for the following three airframes:
- SK 37, 7-65, s/n 37805, F7 Wing, Såtenäs, 1973
- SK 37, 15-62, s/n 37808, F15 Wing, Söderhamn, 1996
- SK 37, 7-11, s/n 37808, F7 Wing, Såtenäs, 1974
Strengths: The 1:72 scale Viggen from Tarangus/Special Hobby does not simply a represent purely scaled-down version of their 1:48 scale kits. Instead, it is (logically) a simplification of the larger “template” of both the single and two-seat versions from which both kits draw upon. If you have the 1:48 scale kits, you’ll see a very similar parts design and breakdown (such as the very nice single-piece upper nose and forward fuselage), but there are overall fewer parts and less complex assemblies in this kit.
Still, what’s here is very good for 1:72 scale. Since both kits share about 98% of the same parts, the comments here apply to both of them. The surface details are all really well engraved (though a bit simplified, considering the general lack of fastener and rivet details; the same shortcoming affects their 1:48 scale Viggens as well). Full intake ducts are provided – a nice touch, especially for 1:72 scale. There’s the option to build the canopies open or closed, upper and lower speed brakes extended or retracted, and the ram air turbine (RAT) deployed or retracted. The engine exhaust petals can also be built open or closed. The forward canard flaps can be glued in as either neutral or dropped. Most of the time when the jet sat on the ground with the power off, these canard flaps were indeed dropped. There are parts for two external fuel tanks.
The SK 37 features a new sprue (Sprue I) which contains a new forward upper fuselage half with the two cockpits. Other parts in the kit not used in the single seat issue of the AJ 37 come into play here such as the additional cockpit tub, ejection seat, and canopy.
The markings options are great. They span what I’d call ‘representative’ options for both jets: variations on the famous geometric disruptive camouflage scheme to earlier natural metal Viggens. Cartograf printed the decals and they look great, as usual. Lots of detailed maintenance stencils are also included.
Besides the bundled duo-kit combo, the other immense draw of this set is the book. Duke Hawkins’s Saab AJ 37 Viggen: Flying with the Swedish Air Force is outstanding. This is the HMH Publications volume that provides an exceptional scale modeler’s reference of the Viggen across the single- and two-seat variants (including the EW and recce versions). The book is 84 pages long and contains over 200 photos. Production quality is excellent. Detailed reference images span cockpits, ejection seats, landing gear, gear wells, and external airframe details. There is also a lot of really high-quality photography of the jet in action. It is top-notch bravo-zulu work by Hawkins and HMH.
Weaknesses: Only a few considerations here. The surface details are a bit simplified as noted above, and gear well detail is again really pretty simple. I also found myself wishing there were more external stores options in the box and the option of separate control surfaces (flaps, rudder).