In-Box Review
Saab AJ 37 Viggen
Tamiya Saab AJ 37 Viggen 1/100
  • Tamiya Saab Viggen

by: Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]

Tamiya, during my early modeling days of the early 1970's, had a substantial line of 1/100 modern jets and helicopters: The 1/100 Scale Mini-Jet Series. As the standard for scales sorted itself out, 1/100 fell to the onslaught of 1/72. However, Tamiya's line were quite impressive for the time, featuring predominately recessed panel lines and the good fit Tamiya would be known for. The scale is about 30% smaller than 1/72, compact yet generally able to retain as much detail as 1/72 offers. The scale goes well with ship modelers' 1/96 and railroading TT (1/100 through 1/120) scales. It converts easily in both metric and Imperial system. But this scale never really took off to the extent that it was envisaged, probably more due to the fact that 1/72 had by that time taken a stranglehold on the hobby. Subject availability is not very high, though Accurate Miniatures, Revell, Takara, Faller, et al.,have some excellent 1/100 kits.
Saab followed up the success of their unique Draken (Dragon) with their equally unique Viggen (Thunderbolt, as in Thor's hammer.) Very powerful, very flexible and capable, first rate performance with state-of-the-art equipment, able to operate from underground bunkers off a mere 500m of roadway, the Viggen was a match for any Third Generation jet fighters. Viggen models are popular for these reasons, as well as for their unique splinter camouflage.
The Model
Tamiya's Viggen comprises a clear canopy and 53 silver parts. Parts are provided to build it gear-up or down. A clear display stand is provided.

The model seems to be based on the first production models.

No flash mars these parts, nor did I find sinkholes. Mold marks mar mainly unnoticeable parts. Most of the parts are crisp. However some parts, such as the fins of the missiles, are soft, i.e., round. Most of the parts are rather thick.

The canopy is very clear.

My experience with these kits is that the fit is good. These are not todays Tamiya fall-together fit, but not a problem.

The decals are basic, options for two aircraft. My experience with these decals has been outstanding.
A respectable kit of an excellent fighter in a unique scale.
Highs: Satisfying scale, recessed panel lines.
Lows: Limited weapons load, thick gear doors, no interior detail.
Verdict: These are delightful little kits. I have yet to build a new 1/144 aeroplane so I can not compare them, but these are as nice as many pre-CAD 1/72 kits.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:100
  Mfg. ID: 60011
  Suggested Retail: $16.50
  PUBLISHED: Sep 08, 2008

About Frederick Boucher (JPTRR)

I'm a professional pilot with a degree in art. My first model was an AMT semi dump truck. Then Monogram's Lunar Lander right after the lunar landing. Next, Revell's 1/32 Bf-109G...cried havoc and released the dogs of modeling! My interests--if built before 1900, or after 1955, then I proba...

Copyright 2021 text by Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of AeroScale. All rights reserved.


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  • Tamiya Saab Viggen
  • Tamiya Saab Viggen
  • Tamiya Saab Viggen
  • Tamiya Saab Viggen
  • Tamiya Saab Viggen
  • Tamiya Saab Viggen
  • Tamiya Saab Viggen