The Tornado has been kitted many times even at 1/144 scale, but most kits have issues.
The LS kit also has some issues, however it is the only 1/144 scale Tornado kit that captures the shape of the nose correctly.
Even the otherwise superb Revell 2006 1/144 kit has a nose that is too sleek, despite this the Revell 2006 kit would be my first choice for doing another 1/144 scale production Tornado IDS.
Turning the LS kit into a production version requires some work as the kit started out as a faithful representation of a prototype version. Later LS (and ARII/MicroAce) releases were retooled slightly (base of the tail fin modified to production style), but most differences between prototype and production versions remain.
The kit I used is an original old 1/144 LS kit (kit nr.J12, cat.nr.A118, 'Panavia 200' prototype version) which I modified to RAF GR.1 standard, fitted fuselage 'shoulder' pylons, Sidewinder launch rails and a laser pod and added some details:
|Part nrs:||Part Name||Modifications:|
|1 + 2||Fuselage halves||
Scribe a thin line depicting the edge between the nose cone and the 'mini skirt'.|
Sand off the two wire bays under the belly.
Add intake scoop to the lower starboard fuselage.
Open gun muzzles (0,3mm drill).
Add sticks and headrests (from scratch) to cockpits (colors: interior: light gray; seat: black; seat straps: olive; instrument panels: light gray with black panels and details).
Add laser pod (from scratch) below nose if required.
Cut off pitot tube, cut a small grove in both nose cone halves to accept a steel pitot tube (Note slight downward angle of pitot tube).
Add location holes for fuselage pylons, if required. These pylons can be made out of strips of 0.4mm thick plasticard, the centerline pylon is 25.5mm long and 1.5mm tall, the shoulder pylons are 35.5mm long and 1.5mm tall.
Put about 5gr of weight in the nose.
After gluing fuselage halves and air intakes (7,8) together, reshape top of intakes using filler.
|3 + 4||Left and right wings||Glue in a fixed position to be able to fill the gaps in the fuselage behind the wings.|
When fixing the wings in the fully extended position, one could consider extending flaps, slats and the Krüger flaps in the wing roots.
|5 L+R||Left and right tailerons||Cut down outer section of leading edge (between scribed line and tip).|
|6||Tail fin||Fill rudder hinge lines (using CA or 'dissolved plastic' and let it cure for a long time) and rescribe lines at locations indicated on drawing below (rudder chord should be 5.5mm at top and 7.5mm at base).|
Add horizontal blade antennae.
Add a thick piece of plasticard to extend the fin between the rudder and the exhaust pipes.
Open air intake at the front by drilling two small holes to form an '8' (about 0,5mm deep). Use sharp, pointed knife blade to turn '8' into '0' shaped hole (fill hole with flat black paint).
Reduce thickness of fin behind heat exchange outlets.
|10||Nose landing gear||Reduce width of the nose wheel track to 2.2mm by reducing the width of bogie and axle.|
Drill 0,3 mm hole through axle and insert thin piece of steel wire.
|11 + 12||Nose wheels||Cut off ring on inner side of each wheel and drill 0,3mm hole to accept steel axle.|
|14 + 15||Main landing gear||Reduce height by cutting 1,5 mm from oleo legs to reduce nose-down sit of the plane.|
Drill hole through the lower part of each leg before cutting oleo's. Afterwards, insert a piece of copper wire for added strength.
|16||Main wheels||Slightly reduce width from the inner side.|
|17||Inside wing pylons||Add plasticard to correct shape, the pylons should be 4.0mm tall.|
Add Sidewinder launch rails (from scratch) if required.
|19||Exhaust pipes||Remove location tags, note slight upward angle of exhaust pipes.|
|22||Canopy||Add strips of plasticard to the sides to increase height of canopy. The top of the canopy should line up with the fuselage spine.
Carefully sand off all vertical framing and polish canopy with a suitable polish (such as 'Tamiya Rubbing Compound' or 'Bare Metal Plastic Polish').|
The distance between the forward and the center frame should be 9.0mm.
New frame lines will look better if just painted on the glass instead of being raised lines.
Note: All later releases of this kit except the original LS releases contain a revised canopy, of which the front windshield glass has to be sanded flat. Also with the revised canopy, some minor shape corrections might improve overall appearance, refer to scale drawings.
As a final touch I added some small blade antennae to the top and bottom of the nose and probes out of thin metal wire to the sides of the forward fuselage.
The finished model depicts Tornado GR.1 ZA450 'EC' of 15 Sqn. RAF Germany, based at Laarbruch 1985.
Markings are a combination of LS and Revell decals with some hand painted items.
Date finished: April 21, 1995.
Note that Revell released at least 5 different 1/144 Tornado kits over the years.
The 2006 release was from all new tooling, scaled down from Revells impressive 1/72 kit and is by far the best 1/144 scale Tornado kit available.
The 2006 kit can be told apart from the older ones by the parts count on the side of the box (58 parts or more).
The following Revell releases are known to contain the 2006 kit: