Roland, thanks for joining.
In certain ways this kit is really good - the overall fuselage shape is accurate, the armament is correct for the Bombcat version. Another great feature is the swing-wing mechanism, strengthened by metal parts and screws - once top and bottom of fuselage is assembled you have a sturdy and reliable swing mechanics. And metal landing gear parts to support this large jet. And nice decals.
However, there are other serious issues with the kit, like decals for cockpit instruments, raised panel lines on almost all surfaces, fictitious panel lines at the front of the fuselage. The fit of major sub-assemblies is really bad. It requires a lot of dry fitting, and filling and sanding afterwards. Many details are lost to sanding, so the fuselage really needs a full rescribe in order to look good. I already started rescribing the part between the vertical tails.
This kit is for those who want to do some "dirty" work and improve their skills. I have a quality that I'd better work on a crap kit and complete it as best and as clean as possible. Considering a modeller enjoys this kind of build, it's still hard to recommend the kit - the kit and Eduard cockpit PE (decals for instruments in the kit) cost about 200$ with shipping costs. So in conclusion, I'd build one of these for sports and improvement, but after that I'd just get Trumpeter versions - Tamiya is simply asking too much $$$ for the level of quality that's in the box.
Thanks for the group build link. I'll go check it out. It's almost the middle of the year, not sure if I'll finish the kit this year
27. May, 10:18