kf 21 1

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Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) KF-21 Boramae

Model: KF-21 indigeous fighter
Brand: Academy #12585
Scale: 1/72
Number of parts: approx. 100
New model: yes, not yet available in the Netherlands (March 2024)
Price: expected to be approximately Euro 20,- in the Netherlands


The South Korean Air Force has a large fleet of F-4 Phantoms and F-5 E fighter aircraft and these have been in need of replacement for years. That is why the South Korean government commissioned the Korean Aviation Consortium (KAI) in 2001 to develop a new KF-X aircraft. This is now referred to as the KF-21 with the name Boramae. It must fly faster than MACH 2 and be able to perform a multitude of tasks. It looks a bit like an American F-22. Indonesia has also shown interest and cooperates in the development. The first flight of the KF-21 was in July 2022 and development of this complex aircraft is still ongoing. In the meantime, a number of prototypes are flying. It is unclear whether this aircraft will be a success but is also intended to further develop the Korean aviation industry.


The model
Academy from South Korea released a snap-tite model in 1/72 scale at the end of 2023. It can be clicked together, although some plastic glue seems to be needed here and there. The model also appears to have been released for promotion purposes.

The kit consists of about 100 parts in gray plastic in 2 large injection molded sprues as well as a small injection molded sprue with fuel tanks. A transparent cockpit canopy in one piece is provided. Included is even a large black display stand to show the plastic model. But fortunately, parts for the undercarriage are also supplied though a bit simplified. The overall kit detailing is not disappointing although the engraved panel lines are a bit too deep. The undercarriage gear bays are quite bare and also the cockpit as well as the ejection seat could use some detail. Drill open the canon hole and set some wash in the grills.

The real KF-21 has no internal bomb bay, the missile armament is carried under the fuselage. This is also the case with this model, which also includes some simple missiles, a kind of FLIR pod and fuel tanks in the kit. There are deep air ducts and deep exhaust pipes in the fuselage. The jet exhausts themselves are somewhat simply modeled. There are loose wing slats and flaps included, but they must be mounted neutrally horizontally.

This model does not come with decals, but a kind of sticker sheet for 4 prototype schemes. This is something we see sometimes in Academy kits. This is a pity for the model builder, as the stickers are rather thick (see notes below). The kit instructions are clear but entirely in Korean with some limited English texts and the colours are not indicated. It appears that the KF-21 has a base colour Federal Standard FS36320 with a nose in FS36270 but that is not clear.


A nice model though a bit simplified. And it is of course not clear what the later KF-21 production aircraft will look like. If you add some detail yourself, you can certainly make something nice out of it. It may be a good idea to use the snap-tite pins to a limited extent when building as glueing will give a better result. Scale accuracy cannot be assessed, but it appears that Academy used actual KAI data. The prototypes can be made, for the first prototype add a specific test pitot tube.


Reviewer: Meindert de Vreeze

Some aftermarket sets are available from Def.Model 3D printed for the landing gear, exhausts. Tori Factory has a few decal sheets. 

And.... me/ myself home re-designed KF-21 decals for this kit as an alternative to the kit stickers sheet. If you are interested in a decal sheet, check out my decals web page here…



  • kf-21-1
  • kf-21-2
  • kf-21-3
  • kf-21-4
  • kf-21-5
  • kf-21-6
  • kf-21-7


this review was published March 14, 2024  (c) Copyright IPMS Nederland