Saab J 35 Draken by Fly Model (1:33)

Publisher: Fly Model
Subject: Saab J 35 Draken
Model Number: 093
Designer: Unknown
Year Issued: Unknown
Format: 11.75" x 16.5" sheets
My Source: Hobby Factory
My Cost: 4.95 USD
Scale: 1:33
Parts: 590 (not confirmed)
Construction Style: Butt glued cylinders converted to connecting strip
Upgrades: AeroGlass canopy and Gomix wheels
Prototype: Unknown

Fly Model released this kit sometime around the turn of the century, with graphics that predate CAD/CAM model design. Some graphics look very good, like the national insignia and large numbers on the wings. Other markings look less convincing, such as the stripping around airbrake covers and smaller unit insignia. The model does not include complete stenciling, nor markings on the armament. All panels bear a single solid color, with no fountain fills or shadow effects. Colors inside the cockpit area are particularly unconvincing.

Despite these limitations, the model builds up into a very convincing representation of the prototype. Butt glued cylinders make up the entire fuselage, but for my build I eliminated every second bulkhead and used connecting strips instead. Wing root bulkheads protrude from the main bulkheads, somewhat complicating fuselage construction. You must wrap each fuselage skin around the corresponding bulkhead while leaving the root extensions exposed. This makes alignment more difficult than usual. In addition, I found it necessary to increase or decrease the diameter of some fuselage segments. Watch very carefully to make sure that the fuselage remains true as you assemble each segment. The inner wing root formers must line up correctly or the inner wings will come out twisted in the next phase of construction.

Towards the rear of the aircraft, you may build simple inserts for the 4 airbrakes. I added these inserts after joining that airbrake segment to the fuselage but before adding the corresponding bulkhead. You will also need to cut out 4 small intake vents around the middle of the plane. These look straight into the fuselage, so I blanked off each one with some black cardstock.

The very nose of the aircraft includes the cockpit and forward landing gear well. I buried 5 US pennies just aft of the cockpit to keep the finished model off its tail. Overall, everything in this area fit well.

After forming the fuselage, additional spars fill out the wing roots. Heavy cardboard formers completely surround each rear wheel well. I added even more bracing to anchor the landing gear struts and test fit the connections. Note that I did not actually attach the rear landing gear until much later--I just made sure the wire would not punch through the top of the wing. With all internal parts situated, I finished the wing roots by adding the corrresponding skins. Again, be very careful to keep the wings true, front to rear.

For the outer wing panels, I found it necessary to trim back most of the formers. I also made sure that the former making up the rear of each wingtip blended with the corresponding part on the inner wing.

The tail assembles easily enough, but Fly Model does not include a part for the bulbous housing at the top! I made one by wrapping copy paper around a piece of wire and painting it Gunship Gray. (In hindsight, I would use Dark Ghost Gray instead.)

For the canopy, I used a vacuformed hood from AeroGlass. The canopy frame from the kit did not fit, so I added a small extension to each side, lengthening the whole assembly. The final result turned out pretty good. Note that the rear canopy piece does not perfectly match the curvature of the AeroGlass hood, leaving a small gap.

The landing gear and airbrake parts fit quite well. I used Gomix wheels painted with black acrylic paint. The kit does not include the yellow and black stripped pitot on the nose, so I made one using typing paper and wire colored with markers.

Taking into account the age of this kit, I turns out very good. If Fly Model ever reissues the model, I would like to see more detail in the cockpit, parts for the two missing assemblies (pitot and tail), better overall graphics, and markings for a different plane. I would like to stress this last point to all card model designers and publishers. When reprinting a kit, give it different markings so that those who built the original can have another go at it!.

I recommend this model to intermediate or advanced builders who still enjoy older kits.




You can find more pictures of this model at


Oh come on! Not even one pic of how it turned out? :D Very nice review though.
cgutzmer said:
That is really nice! How long did it take you?

I estimate, under optimum circumstances, it takes me 3 minutes per part to assemble a card model, plus some overhead before I start and in the final stages. As part complexity goes up, and fit quality goes down, the time increases. The Draken required some extra work in the fuselage and wings, and the fabrication of two parts, so the multiplier should be higher. For the basic calculation, 590 x 3 / 60 = 29.5 hours. Fudging for other factors--40 to 45 hours.



Jul 28, 2004
Are you ready? Standby, here it comes...Wow! That's paper??!!
Or words to that effect from everyone that I have shown the pictures. Good job. :)

Rick Thomson

Aug 21, 2005
Rastatt, Germany
tjchung said:
Beautiful model of a cool plane. Can't believe the real one was designed in the '50's!

The sharpest looking planes were all designed in the 30's, 40's and 50's imo.

With the exception of the F-16 and the Eurofighter I can't really think of a fighter built since then that really spins my wheels.

But then again this is a purely subjective pov, I understand that some people actually like the Wobbling Goblin (F-117).


Dec 27, 2005
Great job! I love the huge variety of airplane modelling subjects that turn up here. Always something new and interesting. Hope you'll continue to share your work with us!:-D