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New Review: M346 Advanced Fighter Trainer

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This is the first injection-molded 1/48 kit of the M346 Advanced Fighter Trainer, which first flew in 2004. It is currently used by the air forces of Italy, Israel, Poland and Singapore. It was originally a joint venture between Aermacchi and Yakovlev, and you can definitely see the similarity to the Yak-130 Russian trainer.

The kit is molded in a medium gray plastic and contains just over 270 parts. The molding is truly top notch, which is one of the hallmarks of the new Gold range of kits from Kinetic. This was the first kit produced in their new manufacturing facility. There is a small photo etch (PE) fret that contains seatbelts, the HUD frames, rearview mirrors for the inside of the canopy, various vents on the fuselage, and the small winglets. The clear parts are very nicely done with two different options for the canopy: one with the explosive cord molded into it and the other without. And happily the canopies do not have a seam running down the middle! Hooray!

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