Aires and Quickboost (a division of Aires) continue to provide us modelers with very nicely detailed additions to many new and older kits that can greatly enhance the final appearance of the build.
This installment will look at the Quickboost replacement pitot for the fairly new 1/48 Kitty Hawk Saab Jas-39 Gripen (kit #KH80117).
This replacement pitot tube, with associated nose cone tip, is a very simple, two piece addition to the excellent Kitty Hawk Gripen. Quick Boost is kind enough to supply two complete pitot assemblies, just in case something goes wrong on the first try.
Assembly is straightforward, though some attention must be paid to the bottom of the nose cone cap. There is a D-tab molded in here that will fit into the kit nose cone. If you cut the cap from the casting gate without looking carefully, this tab can be missed and then alignment isn’t as simple. I did this with the kit part and made sure to not repeat the error with the resin pieces. Once the cone cap and pitot tube are removed from the casting gate, a small drop of super glue or epoxy is all that’s needed to join these two parts into one. There is a pin on the tube and a small hole in the cap that match up very nicely. A little care with the alignment is all that’s needed to get this done.
The final assembly is to attach the cap to the nose cone. Again, if you didn’t cut off the alignment tab, this is a very simple process. The edges of the cap align very nicely with the plastic kit part and need little to no filler to complete the process.
In hindsight, it might have been easier to attach the cap cone to the nose cone, do any fill work (putty, sand, etc) and then add the pitot tube itself. This method would minimize potential damage and probably allow easier alignment of the tube.
A direct comparison of the Kitty Hawk kit pitot and the Quick Boost pitot show little direct difference in detailing, both looking quite sharp. The advantage with the Quick Boost replacement is that the tube itself is quite straight while the kit part is a little bent (but should be able to be straightened), and there is no mold seam to remove from the resin cast parts while the injection molded part does have some seam line to remove.
Overall this set is an easy way to spice up an already cool aircraft. A big thanks to Aires/Quickboost and IPMS USA for supplying the review sample and allowing me to enhance my Saab JAS-39 build!