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JetMads 1/32 C-21A, U-36A, Learjet 35 kit #302101


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Jet Model Aircraft Design Studio, usually referred to as JetMads, is an extremely high end, almost exclusive in house manufacturer of unique aviation subjects in 32 and probably a bit of 48, as well. They are planning a Neptune and B-47 in 48, FYI. Plus, a CF-100 Canuck in 1/32.
So JetMad’s has given us their latest limited edition project, a USAF/JASDF Bombardier Learjet 35. 
The kit itself is a very limited release, with only 500 kits being produced, and each kit being individually numbered.

I don’t think it’s necessary to get into the history of Bill Lear’s groundbreaking little business jet, but I think it’s safe to say that Lear’s jets revolutionized the private jet industry, and only for the better. Just the term “Learjet” brings high roller thoughts to mind.

But Lear’s little jets interested military minds as well, as the idea of cushy VIP transports for high ranking Officers and dignitaries was bound to take hold. Plus, operating a small jet is a lot more economical than full size military transports. The jets also found themselves multitasking, it was used by Finland as a short range AWACS aircraft, with full Listening Post conversions, and a full suite of ECM jammers.  
Japan’s Maritime Self Defense Force bought 6 to use as transports and fighter pilot target  trainers, with a missile seeker simulator along with a radar, avionics, firing training assessment devices, an ejector pylon, a special communications system, a target towing system and a jammer system. Of course, those birds are quite different than the standard Lear.

 

 The Model:
If you are unfamiliar with JetMads, they are a Turkish Company that burst on the scene a few years ago unsinkable a combination of 3D Print technology and resin casting to provide the modeling community with some extremely unique and very exclusive kits.  Their last kit was the extremely popular SAAB Viggen in 1/32 scale which sold out in literally a week. 
 Their latest offering, the Lear 35, is offered in 6 USAF VIP transport schemes, and a single scheme for a very interesting JMSDF U-36A ECM trainer jet.  
For those of you who like camo pattern clothes, Finland operated their aircraft in a full camo scheme, and also in low visibility grey. Finnish decals are not offered in the kit, so you’ll need to either roll your own or buy aftermarket.

 The kit itself arrives in an amazingly sturdy, multi piece, full color box, with not only a beautiful photo of a C-21 in a hangar, but also on the sides, a profile of the C-21A and the U-36A. 
When you lift the box top off, you are greeted with more full color prints on a retainer sheet that tucks neatly into the sides of the box. This retainer keeps parts from jumping out of their slots….

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When we lift the retainer sheet, we’re greeted with yet more color photos of the real birds…

Once we lift that up and away, we simply stop, gawk, and stare down in awe. 
We are greeted with what I consider to be the finest kit packing job ever offered by any kit manufacturer. Ever. Every single component is inserted into a custom cut high end foam shipping cradle. All small parts are grouped together and are given protective plastic end covers, which slot into the holes in the container cushion and stabilize literally everything from even thinking about moving. 

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The Instruction booklet is a full color glossy production and quite amazing in itself. We also are given a massive decal sheet, which, at first glance, appear in register and well printed. I didn’t remove the decals from their protected cover, but I will in the near future. 
We are also given a very tiny roll of crass looking wire. 

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The Resin Parts:

First glance literally takes your breath away. Resin casting is superb, and parts are cast in a beautiful white resin, and no warps are obvious, and bubbles are a non event.  JetMads is VERY careful with their work, and if anything, are harder on themselves than they need to be.  Sometimes, they physically hold up production because a batch of parts isn’t 100% flawless. Then, they literally spend weeks fixing the issue before production is allowed to proceed. For those of us patiently waiting for our kits, it can get tedious, but if you reserved and paid for your kit(s), JetMads keeps in constant contact with regular updates through email.  Think the exact opposite of Wingnut, who built drama on “what will be the next release”.

So let’s have a look at what’s in the box, starting with the engines. The fan detail is the best I’ve ever seen without using brass.  
The thrust reverser buckets are nicely detailed, although I expect some AMS folks will give it even more.

 

 

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The engine parts are nicely done, and the front bypass fans are simply exquisite  

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The reverser buckets show a bit of flash, and will need to be cleaned up a bit.  The marks are discoloration in the resin, not surface scars  

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The wings, tailcone, and flying surfaces are beautifully cast in white resin. Solid mounting tabs are cast into the wing roots as well. Notice the oversized plates the parts are attached to?  That’s one of JetMads secrets. The parts are almost impossible to damage in transit. 

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Nicely molded fin, although the inspection covers seem a bit overdone  some filling and rescribing might be the order of the day  

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Again with the inspection covers. A bit overdone, but easily enough toned down.

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The windscreen is absolutely beautifully cast in crystal clear resin. It’s SO clear, you could get away without a Future dip, seriously. Side windows are exactly the same. 

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The Printed Parts:

Here’s where it gets interesting.  JetMads makes the main fuselage in 3 sections. The nose with cockpit, the main cabin with center section, and a resin tailcone. 
The main tube and nose fit together flawlessly. The tailcone is right there as well, but JetMads provides an oversized lit on the resin tailcone, so you can trim it for a perfect slip fit. Mine is a few swipes of a sanding stick away from perfection. 
JetMads provides nice, deep male and female joins for all the assemblies.
No butt joints and reinforcing with steel wire here, y’all.  It all slots together nicely.

Now, I’m going to point out one potential concern for everyone here.
Learjets are usually not finished in camo or matte schemes.  
Most Lears, including these, are finished in a high gloss presentation scheme as befitting an aircraft with this much built in class and style.

The nature of 3D printing is that parts are created in thin layers of deposited resin.  
All 3D printed products do have a very slight roughness to the surface from the printing process.  As a result, you will may want to spend some time prepping the fuselage exterior to receive it’s high gloss white.

Printed resin IS notoriously hard, but can be sanded with a bit of elbow grease. And being that the Lear’s exterior is pretty much devoid of rivet lines, lap joints, and other stuff. Sanding the surface won’t be a big deal, I reckon.
Some builders use a very thin skim of automotive high build primer, and sand it back down from there. 
The fuselage nose does have panel lines for the luggage compartments, and the instructions show you where in case you sand them away.  They are there printed on the nose,  but are vague. Consider them a guide to proper scribing.


A few inspection panel gaps on the tailcone seem a bit deep and wide, as in “Matchbox deep” if you get my meaning, but a skim of filler and a rescribe will fix that. There are only a few, so it’s not a huge deal.  
However, as JetMads is an exclusive high end manufacturer, ummmm, c’mon guys, you can do better.  
 

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Be prepared to sand the nose smooth, then rescribe the two nose hatches.

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Between these two pics, the fuselage grain can be seen to good effect. The light amplifies the severity of the surface, but in person, although not quite this serious, it’s still disconcerting.

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Again, overdone inspection hatch covers. Fill and rescribe  

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The fuselage spewed forth these parts, which I took for interior parts. Learjet comfy cushy chairs are provided for the interior as well.  
The instrument panel looks amazing!  Individual decals are provided for the panel as well

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Check out the exquisitely printed seatbelts.  Caution is warranted here, as thin printed parts are notoriously fragile. Easy does it, no ham fists needed here  

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The panel appears crisp to me. The previous Viggen release was vague enough as to have someone offer a cast resin aftermarket replacement.
 

Small Parts:

Most small parts come attached to their damage proof shipping racks. The only way to damage these in transit is to back over them with a big diesel transport. 

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Some translucent parts are included for lights, etc.

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I’m going to leave the texture in place on the glare shield.  Us modelers usually go to extreme lengths to simulate what JetMads gave us for free 🤣
 

Instruction Booklet:

We are presented with a beautifully printed, glossy 8.5 x 11 book featuring full isometric drawings that leave little to chance.

Like every build of this caliber, though, you will do well to check your references as to the proper antenna locations for the prototype you’re modeling from.  So much can be lost by one simple antenna in the wrong spot.

I have read that the JMSDF U-36A lacks the correct interior, so you may need to check your references. They were crammed with electronics and given their nature, no real references are available. Some generic locations of work stations can be assumed from pictures from the exterior, so proceed with caution. 

The instructions clearly show the different versions, and they are shown by the flag of the respective Nation’s birds  

There is a great diagram that shows which windows to install solid inserts and putty over the seams, and which ones to insert glass. 

 

 

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Cockpit construction is shown in some detail.

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This nose section diagram will help in scribing and riveting the nose area.

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Static wick locations are provided as well. Little details such as these really bring a jet to life .

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A short history of the type, given in English, and a list of color call outs with Tamiya paint codes will help.  Remember to check your references.  It may change aircraft to aircraft.

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The heavily modified Japanese version is quite colorful and certainly unique.  A the ventral radome and external antennae are all provided, along with the unique wingtip pods in place of the standard fuel tanks.

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The US versions are all in the USAF VIP scheme  These are strictly Civilian Lear 35A’s dressed in military clothes.  A civilian aircraft is easily achieved simply by building the US version and applying your own markings. With over 700 Lear 35s produced, there are plenty of choices out there. 

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JetMads provides a handy reference as to the differences between a civilian  35A compared to the dedicated military U-36A.  Pay close attention here, but also check references, as your particular version may have slight differences.
 

Decals:

I am not an expert on the military Lear 35 applications,  but we have a boatload of options here. The decals are by Cartograph in Italy, so as can be expected, they are very nicely done and in register, with vibrant colors and multiple options.

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Final Thoughts:

This is a model of an aircraft I can safely say that nobody more than a few people ever wished it would come in 32. 
Even me. When it was announced, I was kinda Ho-hum.  But then I got to thinking…. Japan and many others use these and similar models of off the shelf Lears for VIP transport and ECM work… Now, I’m thrilled it’s here.  
If YOU ever want a JetMads kit, you need to get on the site and watch for registration to open. Then reserve your kit. Once the kit reaches production, you’ll be asked for your payment. 
These kits sell out in literally less than a week, so watch the website.

This kit is a mixed bag for me. Nothing drastic, but simply because of the nature of Printing, there is clean up to do on the big parts. Nothing big, just sand till smooth, then finish.  The tailcone looks like the battle of the Somme, with all the trenches…. But that’s not a huge deal. Quickly fixable.

This will build up nicely given a bit of TLC, and the very nature of this kit means it is not meant for newcomers to the hobby, although with the correct care and attention, anyone can build it.

But I digress.  I highly HIGHLY recommend JetMads kits, assuming you can reserve one in time, like off the beaten past subjects, and are willing to do some surface prep and rescribing of parts on the major printed components.

Here are a few reference pics I pulled of the web. For reference only. 
That Finnish version looks extremely interesting! 
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Great review Ernie!!

I`m expecting the X-3... but i confess i didnt like the look of the 3D fuselage for the price you pay for these kind of limited kits.

 

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33 minutes ago, Fran said:

Great review Ernie!!

I`m expecting the X-3... but i confess i didnt like the look of the 3D fuselage for the price you pay for these kind of limited kits.

 

I agree with the fuselage texture..  it has that texture that’ll need to be removed.  Such is life with printed parts, I guess? I’m not knowledgeable enough on the process to make an intelligent comment.  I do have some printed parts from other manufacturers, and they showed no ill effects under traditional military style paints.  Gloss coats would be a different story. 

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Just for kicks, I pulled out the main fuselage tube and spent about 2 minutes on a wide open area with a 220 sanding stick.  
The result was uplifting, to day the least. 
My opinion is this: document the panel and rivet lines, of which there are very, very few, and hit it with a quick leveling pass of the 220 stick, being careful not to hit the few raised details. Then give it a quick shot of high build automotive primer/surfacer, knock it down with fine grit, then rescribe.  That should be quick and easy, from what I see here.

I feel much less concerned than last night. What you see here is the result of less than 30 seconds work.

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I also did a quick look into a main gear well.  I haven’t cleaned the stubs yet, but it looks like we have plenty to work with. Similar detail to the Fisher Panther series of jets. 

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Great review Ernie. I have their Viggen and hope to build that one day. 

Maybe a coat of Mr Surfacer 1000 to fill in the striations?

I wonder if there's markings in the kit for the one from Capricorn 1.

 

 

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3 hours ago, BlrwestSiR said:

Great review Ernie. I have their Viggen and hope to build that one day. 

Maybe a coat of Mr Surfacer 1000 to fill in the striations?

I wonder if there's markings in the kit for the one from Capricorn 1.

 

 

Thanks Carl. Reviews aren’t really my strong point, but someone’s gotta do them, and I try to be 100% objective. 
Quite honestly, I expected more refinement from a $300 kit, but I also understand the limitations of current Print technology. Maybe resin would have been a better choice for the main fuselage? 
Mr Surfacer 1000 might be a bit lightweight, but 500 might dent it.  I’m a fan of automotive primer simply because it sticks like glue to resins. 
I wouldn’t be hard as worried about the fuselage texture if the Lear 35 had a military paint scheme like the Viggen. Surface marks don’t show on the Viggen like they do here  

As far as the decals, I’m not sure. I tried to take a picture of all the tail markings, so have a close look.

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Thanks Ernie. 

I agree with you... it`s probably an easy fix thing to do.. but however, it shouldn`t happen in a model kit that cost 300$...

And the problem is notthe 3D Print technologie.

I talked with a friend that is a 3D expertise and have a 3D print business and he told me, after see the images, that the fuselage was printed at 0,05 microns definition when it should be printed in 0,02 microns.

The difference? The printing time. More the double it!! 

Being 500 pieces, of that side, probably could take them more than 6 months to make in 0.02 microns.

 

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4 hours ago, Fran said:

Thanks Ernie. 

I agree with you... it`s probably an easy fix thing to do.. but however, it shouldn`t happen in a model kit tat cost 300$...

And the problem is notthe 3D Print technologie.

I talked with a friend thatis a 3D expertise and have a 3D print business and he told me, after see the images, that the fuselage was printed at 0,05 microns definition when it should be printed in 0,02 microns.

The difference? The printing time. More the double it!! 

Being 500 pieces, of that side, probably could take them more than 6 months to make in 0.02 microns.

 

So it was a time saving thing.. OK.

In that case, I’d say polyurethane resin would have been a much better option than waiting 6 months to do 500 of those. 
 

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6 hours ago, Clunkmeister said:

So it was a time saving thing.. OK.

In that case, I’d say polyurethane resin would have been a much better option than waiting 6 months to do 500 of those. 
 

probably it would much better but probably much more costly that 3D... 

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Nice look inside one of these kits. Thanks Ernie. 
 

My best friends step son just completed Army flight school for helicopters down at Ft. Rucker.  Upon completion of the course, he was reassigned back to school for fixed wing.  He pulled the golden ticket!  He’ll spend his career flying around dignitaries and will probably never have to wear standard issue camo again. 
 

Right now they are in the Gulfstream but the Army is transitioning to the Bombardier real soon.  He’s actually getting sent to Canada to start his training, so it sounds like he’s getting one of the first new ones in the fleet. 

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12 hours ago, ScottsGT said:

Nice look inside one of these kits. Thanks Ernie. 
 

My best friends step son just completed Army flight school for helicopters down at Ft. Rucker.  Upon completion of the course, he was reassigned back to school for fixed wing.  He pulled the golden ticket!  He’ll spend his career flying around dignitaries and will probably never have to wear standard issue camo again. 
 

Right now they are in the Gulfstream but the Army is transitioning to the Bombardier real soon.  He’s actually getting sent to Canada to start his training, so it sounds like he’s getting one of the first new ones in the fleet. 

Are they getting the Bombardier Globals?  That’s probably the most capable executive jet in the world today. The biggest Gulfstream and Falcons are no slouch either, but the Globals are the cat’s ass.

That’s a dream ticket for an Army pilot.  99.999% of Army pilots go rotary. Matter of fact, I’ve been told that every Army pilot is a helicopter pilot first, and anything else is a bonus.  He’s one lucky kid. Keeps him out of Blackhawks at least, where he’d simply be one of multiple thousands of pilots. 

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10 hours ago, Clunkmeister said:

Are they getting the Bombardier Globals?  That’s probably the most capable executive jet in the world today. The biggest Gulfstream and Falcons are no slouch either, but the Globals are the cat’s ass.

That’s a dream ticket for an Army pilot.  99.999% of Army pilots go rotary. Matter of fact, I’ve been told that every Army pilot is a helicopter pilot first, and anything else is a bonus.  He’s one lucky kid. Keeps him out of Blackhawks at least, where he’d simply be one of multiple thousands of pilots. 

I’ll have to actually talk with him next time I see him. His step dad is the kind that doesn’t pick up on details too much. I think I am wrong on what he’s training to fly right now. Dad told me yesterday it’s a King Air not the Gulfstream.  
I think what got him the golden ticket is when he went to command and requested a new training partner. His was from the Middle East and was taking unnecessary risks trying to be a cowboy.  Apparently Rucker is a NATO training base and not just US Army.  But they saw how safety conscious he was. 

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15 minutes ago, ScottsGT said:

I’ll have to actually talk with him next time I see him. His step dad is the kind that doesn’t pick up on details too much. I think I am wrong on what he’s training to fly right now. Dad told me yesterday it’s a King Air not the Gulfstream.  
I think what got him the golden ticket is when he went to command and requested a new training partner. His was from the Middle East and was taking unnecessary risks trying to be a cowboy.  Apparently Rucker is a NATO training base and not just US Army.  But they saw how safety conscious he was. 

Either way, King Airs are a great ticket as well.  Fixed wing is fixed with. And, not to be a cynic, buuuut,… civilian job prospects are many times greater as a fixed wing pilot than for chopper jocks. 
And yeah, when the lead is flying, being a cowboy is a good thing. On a routine haul to a secure LZ, not so much. 

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