L’Arsenal 1/400
French Breguet Type 1050 Alize Aircraft upgrade set
40 mm guns
Reviewed by Felix Bustelo
Both the French and the British developed their own carrier-based antisubmarine warfare (ASW) aircraft in the postwar period. The French Breguet Type 1050 Alize provided over 40 years of service to the French Navy's air arm as a carrier-based antisubmarine warfare (ASW) aircraft. The Alize was also used for over two decades by the Indian Navy.  This turboprop aircraft had a crew of three: the pilot was seated in front on the right, the radar operator in front on the left, and the sensor operator sat sideways behind them.

The internal weapons bay could accommodate a homing torpedo or depth charges, and underwing stores pylons could carry bombs, depth charges, rockets, or missiles. Typical underwing stores included 68-millimeter rocket pods, or AS-12 wire-guided antiship missiles.   The Alize had a maximum speed of 295 MPH, with a service ceiling of 20,500 feet and an endurance of over 5 hours.

A total of 89 examples of the Alize were built between 1957 and 1962, of which the Aeronavale acquired 75.  The Alize went into operation on the carriers Clemenceau and Foch, and were also used in shore-based training. A dozen Alizes were acquired by the Indian Navy, operating them from shore bases and the light carrier Vikrant.

The Aeronavale provided the Alize with a series of upgrades over the decades.  By the 1990’s, despite the upgrades, it was clear that the Alize was not up to the task of hunting modern nuclear submarines, and it was tasked with ocean surface patrol.  As late as 1997, the Aeronavale was still operating 24 examples for surface patrol, though they were clearly on their way out by then. The Alize was used operationally during the NATO air campaign against Serbia over Kosovo in the spring of 1999, with the aircraft flying off the carrier FOCH. The last Alize was finally withdrawn from service in 2000 with the retirement of the FOCH. 

This new addition to the L’Arsenal line of 1/400 scale resin and photoetch aircraft provides parts to build a total of 5 Alizes.  The fuselage and wings are cast as a single part.  Two sprues of 5 main landing gear wheels are done in resin. The casting is very well done, with a great level of detail.  Casting film needs to be trimmed of f of the main aircraft parts and some minor sanding and clean up is required. The small photoetch set provides the four-bladed propellers, the main landing gear struts and the nose landing gear struts and wheels.  The main landing gear assemblies are a combination of the photoetch struts and the resin wheels.  Locator holes are present on the underside of the aircraft for placement of the struts. Click images
to enlarge
click to enlarge

The assembly instructions are provided on a small insert in the ziplock bag in which the parts are packaged.  The brief instructions are written in French but the blowup diagram clearly shows the placement of the photoetch and resin parts. French roundels and markings are available on a separate decal sheet (Item # AC 400-08).
L’Arsenal’s Alize set is a fantastic upgrade and will make a fine replacement of the Heller kit versions.  These will look great on the flight decks of your Arromanches, Foch or Clemenceau models.  I would like to extend my thanks to Jacques Druel for providing this review sample. Click the logo on the right to visit their website.

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