AN/ALQ-131 (deep) ECM pod
The AN/ALQ-131 electronic countermeasures pod is used by the US Air Force, the Air National Guard and several US allies. 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 deep version of the ALQ-131 pod, often seen on an outer wing pylon of an A-10 or sometimes a C-130. The set is very straightforward consisting of the pod, two mounting lugs and a decal sheet.
The castings were very crisp with no flash anywhere. Take care in separating the mounting lugs from the pour stub as they are very tiny and prone to launching themselves into the unknown (I am still looking for one of them). I ran the bottom of the surviving lug over a piece of sandpaper taped to a sheet of glass to smooth and level out the cut I made removing it. I used a sharp razor saw to remove the pod itself from the pour stub as well and then cleaned up the 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, which would be wonderful if kit manufacturers had standardized the placement of their mounting slots, but as this has not yet happened, and as I was short one lug, I left the survivor off until I decide what to mount it on and then finish that build.
Eduard includes markings for two deep pods, both in USAF service. One is overall white and the other is olive drab with gunship grey (FS 36118) antenna housings. As I was also constructing the ALQ-131 shallow pod at the same time and it was overall olive drab, I elected to go with the overall white pod. Once the pod had been airbrushed Tamiya flat white; I painted the mounting lug steel and painted the silver band around the nose and the black and silver connection point on the top of the pod. A couple of coats of Future prepared me for decaling. As there are only 6 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 672162 (the shallow version of the pod) and since there are just a few tiny decals on each pod, you will have extras for your decal box. I was not able to find any photos of the deep pod on anything other than US aircraft, so since each set of decals has a “USAF” legend to go on the pod, if you find a photograph of a deep pod on another country’s jet, you may need to modify the decals a little bit.
This is a very nice set from Eduard and really looks the part. Highly recommended.
Thank you to Eduard for the sample and to IPMS/USA for letting me review it.