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Project Notes

#672 J-20

Building the Trumpeter 1:144 kit of the Chengdu J-20 fifth-generation fighter of the PLAAF (no electronics here, just a great little kit)



The Chengdu J-20 (成都飞机工业集团的歼20) is the third operational fifth-generation fighter stealth fighter aircraft after the F-22 and F-35.

It is currently in service with the People’s Liberation Army Air Force

The Kit

Trumpeter have 5 different kits of the J-20 at the moment in 1:48, 1:72 and 1:144. This is the 1:144 kit which is a cheap but fantastic buy - brilliant detail and a relatively easy build although in-flight conversion wasn’t really anticipated by the kit.

Paint Scheme

Feature Color Recommended Paint Used
camo 1     70.989 Sky Grey
camo 2     70.870 Medium Sea Grey
camo 3     70.992 Neutral Grey
exhaust     77.701 Aluminium

Build Log

The kit details are very good for the scale. In-flight conversion wasn’t really anticipated by the kit, but not too difficult.


Cockpit details are just great:


No 1:144 pilot figures on hand so I made a quick-and-dirty stand-in from spare sprue!


Behind the scenes with the in-flight base. Getting cotton wool to look like realistic clouds is tiring.


成都飞机工业集团的歼20 Caught in-flight, the “Mighty Dragon” Chengdu J-20.. this is the Trumpeter 1:144 kit - fantastic detail, though it took a bit of conversion to get it nicely wheels-up .. including a hand-carved pilot!

#scalemodel #plaaf #1144scale






Just remounted in a picture frame, and it’s now hanging on my “wall of flight”😁




Credits and References

Project Source on GitHub Project Gallery Return to the LEAP Catalog

This page is a web-friendly rendering of my project notes shared in the LEAP GitHub repository.

LEAP is just my personal collection of projects. Two main themes have emerged in recent years, sometimes combined:

  • electronics - usually involving an Arduino or other microprocessor in one way or another. Some are full-blown projects, while many are trivial breadboard experiments, intended to learn and explore something interesting
  • scale modelling - I caught the bug after deciding to build a Harrier during covid to demonstrate an electronic jet engine simulation. Let the fun begin..
To be honest, I haven't quite figured out if these two interests belong in the same GitHub repo or not. But for now - they are all here!

Projects are often inspired by things found wild on the net, or ideas from the many great electronics and scale modelling podcasts and YouTube channels. Feel free to borrow liberally, and if you spot any issues do let me know (or send a PR!). See the individual projects for credits where due.