LíArsenal 1/400
French Super Etendard Aircraft upgrade set
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Reviewed by Felix Bustelo
The Super Etendard is a carrier-based single-seat strike fighter first introduced into service in 1978. It is an updated version of the Etendard IV M, which was the first naval aircraft developed by Dassault and made its maiden flight 21st May 1958. The main modifications made to older version of the fighter jet include updating of the weapons system through the installation (a first for a French production aircraft) of a modern navigation and combat management system. The prototype Super Etendard made its maiden flight October 28, 1974. 

The French Navy commissioned the plane for the first time in 1977 and as many as 71 aircraft were in service on the aircraft carriers Foch and Clemenceau.  Fourteen Super Etendards, armed with Exocet missiles and flown by Argentinean pilots, proved the jetís combat effectiveness during the Falklands War with Britain in 1982. 

The Super-Etendard will continue to serve on the Charles de Gaulle until they are fully replaced by the naval version of the multi-role combat aircraft Rafale by 2010.

LíArsenal offers a growing line of 1/400 scale resin and photoetch aircraft and the Super Etendard has been added to that catalog.   This upgrade provides parts to build a total of 5 aircraft.  The Super Etendardís fuselage and main wings are finely cast as one part.  The main and nose landing gear wheels are also superbly cast in resin.  The small photoetch set provides the stabilizer wings and the main and nose landing gear struts.  The 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
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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.  The painting instructions dictate a camouflage pattern of light and medium gray and a black radome.  French roundels and markings are available on a separate decal sheet (Item # AC 400-08).
LíArsenalís Super Etendard set is a fantastic set and will make a fine replacement of the Heller kit versions.  These will look great on the flight decks of your Charles de Gaulle, 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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