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J-20 Chinese Stealth Fighter

Dragon’s 1/144th scale
J-20 Chinese Stealth Fighter
By Valentin “I’m not here” Bueno

Check Out Club Meeting: September 2011 Meeting

Featured In: September 2011 Newsletter


Dragon wins the race to be the first to release a kit of the new Chinese Stealth fighter. Anigrand came in second with a resin kit in 1/72 scale, Trumpeter came in third with their kit in 1/72 scale in mid September and Zvesda will release their kit in 1/72 scale later this year or early next year.

Dragon’s kit in 1/144th scale is very simple with very few parts. I decided to do most of the kit assembly at my desk at work. Odd I know, but I have to do something to unwind while I wait for the bus. I have a small set of tools at my desk just for this situation.

J-20 Chinese Stealth Fighter

The parts, box and tools at my office desk

J-20 Chinese Stealth Fighter

Is this illegal?

I added my two cents worth just to make sure the model wasn’t a tail dragger. The kit assembled very quickly, just two sessions at my desk (including sanding of the seams) and it was time to take the little bugger home for painting.

Any Color As Long As It’s Black

With only the prototype flying, and not being in the mood to create a fictional camo job, I painted my J-20 in NATO black. Since this kit has no panel lines, a flat black plane would look very boring, so I added some fictional panel lines in pencil.

J-20 Chinese Stealth Fighter

I applied the few decals from the kit as well as a few 1/72 scale stencils from my stash. I needed something to break up the pond of blackness, right? A blast of Tamiya Flat clear and all my pencil lines dissappeared. Great. So I redid the pencil lines and used Tamiya’s weathering set A (you know, those things that look like a woman’s makeup set) and used the white color to add some shading to the panel lines. I used a post-it note to mask the line and added the white make-up stuff to the surface leaving a nicely shaded line. Now the model looked a whole lot better.

Final Screw Up

I then added all the landing gear, landing gear doors and exhaust cones to the model. I painted the cockpit RLM 76 with a black instrument coaming and steel colored headrest. The last thing I needed to add was the canopy, and wouldn’t you know, it didn’t fit. I scraped it down and added Tamiya Extra Thin glue to soften up the plastic and no go. The canopy stood proud of its intended location. I’ll just say that the canopy is hinged at the front and in the process of opening up. That’s my lie and I am sticking to it.

A proper Stealth fighter should look like this…

Another view of the model in flight.

J-20 Chinese Stealth Fighter

Dragon’s J-20 in flight.

J-20 Chinese Stealth Fighter

All done, note the “opening canopy”.

J-20 Chinese Stealth Fighter

Overhead view.

It’s nice to have finished another model for the year. I’ll be looking forward to my next 1/144th scale kit form Dragon, the Stealth Helicopter!

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