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Found 558 results

  1. Bell P-400 Airacobra Hasegawa 1:48 The Bell P-400/ Airacobra I was the export version of the P-39 Airacobra, originally developed in response to a French order of 30 March 1940 for 170 aircraft. Unfortunately delivery of these aircraft was not due to start until October 1940, after the fall of France. The original order was taken over by Great Britain, and was later expanded to a total of 675 aircraft by orders for 205 and then 300 extra aircraft. Only after these orders had been placed did Christopher Clarkson become the first British pilot to fly the Airacobra (30 December 1940), and the shortcomings of the Airacobra would not become clear until a number of P-39Cs reached Britain during 1941. The P-400 was armed with one Hispano-Suiza Mk 404 (M1) 20mm cannon in the nose. The four .30in machine guns in the wings were replaced with British standard .303in guns. The P-400 entered British service as the Airacobra I, after a brief spell when it was known as the Caribou. Before entering RAF service the Airacobra received a great deal of positive publicity, but when it arrived in Britain the lack of high altitude performance soon became clear, and the type only ever equipped one front line squadron (No. 601 “City of London” squadron). The aircraft was soon withdrawn from RAF service. The entire production run of 675 aircraft was still completed. Around 200 of these aircraft were sent from Britain to the Soviet Union in some of the earliest of the Arctic convoys, although only around 150 of these aircraft arrived safely in northern Russia. They would become the first of thousands of Airacobra that would play a major part in the air war on the Eastern Front. The remaining aircraft were taken over by the USAAF, and a number of them found their way west into the Pacific, taking part in the fighting on New Guinea and Guadalcanal. The Model Whilst this is another re-release with just a change of decals it still looks to be a very nice kit. The parts, in grey styrene, are all well moulded with no signs of flash, only a few moulding pips and sprue thin sprue gates. The moulded details are finely done with recessed panel lines in conjunction with raised areas where appropriate. There is plenty of interior detail, although there is always room for additional detail should the modeller so wish. From research the fit is very good although it’s always wise to dry fit first to see if there any problem areas. The build starts with the very detailed cockpit. This consists of the floor, propshaft and tunnel, auxiliary panel, trim wheel, joystick, rear bulkhead, seat support, seat, and rear shelf. On the fuselage sides, the throttle quadrant and clear ports are fitted. The instrument panel comprises of the main panel, rudder pedals, pedal recesses, gun sight and rear breech blocks of the upper machine guns, the instruments are recessed with finely detailed dials, which will require some careful painting and dry brushing to bring out. The completed cockpit assembly is then fitted to one fuselage side and the fuselage closed up, but not before 15g of ballast is inserted in the nose area. The lower wing is fitted with the radiators, oil coolers and lower wing gun cartridge chutes. The two upper wings can then be attached and the assembly fitted to the fuselage, as are the two single piece horizontal tailplanes. The moulded wing and tail lights can be removed and replaced with the provided clear parts should the modeller wish. Turning the model upright the upper forward decking is fitted with the two machine gun muzzles and attached to the fuselage. The propeller is made up of a separate hub, propeller and hub; this can then be attached to the fuselage. Two wing machine gun parts are then fitted to their wing positions, whilst the exhaust stubs are fitted to their respective positions on either side of the centre fuselage. These can be left off until painting is complete. The undercarriage is constructed next. The nosewheel is in two halves which slots into the oleo yoke followed by the scissor link and front bay door. The assembly is then fitted to the front bay along with the actuating jack and retraction arms. The main undercarriage units consist of the main oleos, wheels, outer hubs and undercarriage doors. The completed assemblies are then fitted to their respective positions. The inner main doors and the front bay doors are then fitted, as are their respective retraction jacks. The rest of the build concentrates on the fitting of the smaller parts such as the 20mm cannon muzzle, pitot probe, radiator/oil cooler doors, landing light, and the optional bomb or drop tank with their respective braces. The final parts are the one piece canopy and the two doors. The doors are clear parts, but both have very nicely detailed interior cards and will need to be painted before fitting along with adding the decal placards. Decals The decal sheet is quite comprehensive giving two options, with both aircraft from the 80th Fighter Squadron of the 8th Fighter Group U.S. Army Air Force. Naturally both aircraft sport distinctive sharks teeth, although one is in Olive Drab over Neutral Grey, the other is in Dark Earth, Dark Green over Sky. The decals are very nicely printed, in good register and slightly matt. In addition to the main insignia, there is a full set of stencils. Conclusion I really like this aircraft and Hasegawa have done a nice job in reproducing it in my favourite scale. Yes, it has been released before with other decals, but that’s not really a problem as it’s a great kit. Recommended Amerang Hasegawa Review sample courtesy of UK distributors for
  2. Nakajima A6M2-N Type 2 Fighter Seaplane Hasegawa 1:48 Japan was the only nation to produce and deliver into service float-equipped single-seat interceptor fighter seaplanes (the British Spitfire float adaptation did not progress beyond the experimental stage). When in 1940 the Japanese navy initiated the design of a new interceptor seaplane (the Kawanishi N1K1 Kyofu, or 'Rex'), the need was also expressed for a stopgap aircraft and the Nakajima Company was instructed in February 1941 to develop a float-equipped version of the excellent Mitsubishi A6M2 Zero naval interceptor. As evidence of Japan's long-standing plans for territorial expansion through the Pacific, it had been recognized that in the inevitable 'island-hopping' war there would be few ready-made air bases from which to provide air cover during the occupation of the smaller islands, and that the construction of runways would be impractical. Although equipped with almost a dozen aircraft-carriers, the Japanese would be unable to use them in support of every single island invasion. After removing the wheel landing gear and fairing over the wheel wells of a standard A6M2, Nakajima mounted a large float under the fuselage by means of a forward-raked central pylon and a pair of V-struts below the cockpit; two cantilever stabilizing floats were also mounted under the wings. The standard Zero gun armament was retained, and the first prototype was flown on 7 December 1941, the day on which the Japanese navy attacked Pearl Harbour. Entering production as the Nakajima A6M2-N and codenamed 'Rufe' by the Allies, the new fighter still displayed a creditable performance, being first issued to the Yokohama Kokutai and deployed to Tulagi in the Solomons where the Japanese had first landed during the Battle of the Coral Sea. However, almost all the 'Rufes' were destroyed in a strike on the seaplane base by 15 Grumman F4Fs from USS Wasp on 7 August 1942. Better success attended the 'Rufes' which fought in the later Aleutian campaign, but losses soared as soon as American fighter strength could be built up. During the final year of the war, when American heavy bombers and naval aircraft opened their great attacks on the Japanese homeland, 'Rufes' of the Otsu Kokutai, based on Lake Biwa, were thrown into the battle as interceptors in defence of Central Honshu but suffered very heavy losses. Total production of 'Rufe' amounted to 327 before being halted in September 1943. The Model The kit, the third re-issue, comes in a very attractive box, that Hasegawa seem to be very good at, with an artists representation of the aircraft in flight. Inside, the main sprues of grey styrene are all contained in a single poly bag, which, whilst not the best way of protecting the parts there doesn’t seem to be any noticeable damage. Fortunately the clear parts are contained in a separate bag. The parts are very well moulded, with no sign of flash and only a few moulding pips. It appears that since the real thing is based on a A6M Zero, Hasegawa have used their Zero to be the basis of this model. This means that there are quite a few spare parts, such as the lower wing, engine crankcase, undercarriage, drop tank and numerous smaller items. The build naturally starts with the cockpit, which is very nicely detailed, with the floor, fuselage sides, rear bulkhead, seat, rudder pedals, and joystick. The instrument panel has raised detail, but the dials are each provided as separate decals, which, with a blob of Kleer or gloss varnish will make them look quite realistic. Onto the panel the breaches of the fuselage guns are attached along with the gun sight. The completed assembly is then sandwiched between the fuselage halves as they’re joined together. The upper forward fuselage decking is then fitted, along with the machine gun muzzles. The construction of the engine is next. This is built up with the rear exhaust ring, the two banks of cylinders and the crankcase at the front, complete with pushrods. The engine is then attached to the front fuselage and covered by the one piece cowling onto which the two exhausts are attached. At this point the two single piece horizontal tailplanes are fitted. Before fitting the wing parts together, the holes for the bomb racks, if desired, need to be opened up. The instructions also say that the trim tab recessed panel lines, and a couple of other panel lines need to be filled on the upper wings. With the two upper parts attached to the single piece lower section the separate, clear navigation lights can be attached, along with what look like horn balances. The completed wing assembly is then attached to the fuselage. The two halves of the main floats are joined together with, according to the instructions, 16g of ballast in the nose section. The two, two piece wing floats are also assembled. The floats are then attached to their respective positions on the lower wing and fuselage, the main float, along with its support struts and boarding ladder. If the bombs are to be fitted and these are constructed of the bomb racks, crutch plates and the two piece bomb halves with separate horizontal fins. Once complete these can be attached to the lower wings. To complete the aircraft, the propeller, made up of separate hub, blades and spinner, is attached and the three piece canopy is fitted along with the aerial mast, which passes through the rear Perspex. TO complete the model there is a very nice dolly for the aircraft to sit on, this is made up of the main horizontal beams, support cradles, suspension mounting, axels and main wheels. The aircraft can then be posed on the dolly. Decals The decal sheet is nicely printed, in good register. Along with the standard Japanese markings there are the individual instruments and identification numbers for four aircraft from the Yokosuka Flying Group. Conclusion No matter that the kit has been released before it is still an interesting subject and will build into a very nice model. I imagine it will be subject to severe weathering for those that like that sort of thing, but that’s up to the individual modeller. Recommended. Amerang Hasegawa Review sample courtesy of UK distributors for
  3. F-14A Tomcat ‘VF-211 Fighting Checkmates’ 1:72 Hasegawa Limited Edition The Tomcat doesn’t need much of an introduction and as well as its popularity in aviation communities, it was immortalised in the film ‘Top Gun’ which I suspect did more for US Naval recruitment than any advertising campaign could ever achieve! First going into deployment in 1974 to replace the F-4 Phantom as the US Navy’s air superiority fighter, it remained in that role until finally being retired in 2006. Although primarily in the air defence / intercept role, in the 90’s it was upgraded to operate in the ground attack role increasing its versatility significantly and providing a stop gap until the F/A-18’s replaced it. The F-14 has been involved in combat operations on many occasions. As well as a hugely successful service in the Iranian Air force, with the US Navy, it’s also fought in the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts where, although one was lost to an SA-2 SAM, none have been lost in air-air combat, quite an incredible feat. That said, it’s service has been scarred by over 150 accidental losses whilst operating at sea. Throughout it’s life, the F-14 was continually upgraded, the most notable improvements being uprated engines, improved radar and avionics. The kit The kit included in this pack is the same plastic as the recently reviewed Iranian Tomcat review I did, so rather than repeat myself, I’ve included a link to that review: HERE Note, unfortunately, no weapons are included in the set. The instructions recommend the purchase of Hasegawa Weapons set III. The decals VF-211 operated the Tomcat from 1975 to 2005. In the 30 year service, they operated off the carriers USS Constellation, Ranger, Kitty Hawk, Nimitz, John C Stennis and Enterprise. In 2002, the squadron flew 1250 sorties in just three weeks in support of Operation Anaconda where they dropped around 50 tons of ordnance in the ground attack role. They retired from service with VF-211 at NAS Oceana. Included are two of VF-211’s colourful schemes: 161856 aboard USS Constellation 1997 with the striking red / green tail emblems and chequered fins 161856 aboard USS Constellation 1998 with alternative emblems and red/white chequered fins As expected, the decals are sharp in print and register, although a slight difference in the position of the red cockpit 'cheat line' is evident when comparing the two sides against the main black colour (the low vis ones are fine). A large selection of cockpit panel decals are included if you prefer this method of detailing your cockpits too. A suitable but not over the top set of stencils make up the sheet. Conclusion It’s good to see Hasegawa releasing kits with alternative decal options. As covered in the Iranian Tomcat review, it is indeed a superb kit, although disappointing that you have to purchase weapons separately. Review sample courtesy of UK distributors for
  4. Hasegawa 1/48th Ki-43II 'Oscar' from the CBI Theatre Lovely kit, let down by the decals which simply didn't want to work - in the end I only used the 2 tail numbers and masked and sprayed the rest. Nice bit of stress relief after the problem with the trumpeter harrier . Build thread is available here Peter
  5. After the dissappointment with the harrier I started with a quick Oscar - typical Hasegawa nice details with simple construction. Started with the pit, you can't see a lot of it once it's in place though Then assembled the rest of the airframe, all goes together really simply. Then engine paints up nicely too Peter
  6. Focke-Wulf Fw190A-9 - 1:48 Hasegawa

    Focke-Wulf Fw190A-9 1:48 Hasegawa The FW-190 doesn’t need much of an introduction. It became legendary as the back bone of the Luftwaffe fighter force operating in parallel with the Bf109 and was also developed into an effective strike aircraft heavily used on the Eastern Front. The A-9 version was the ultimate A model building on the performance capabilities that the A-8 had already introduced using methanol-water injection (MW-50). It was planned to be powered by a significantly more powerful powerplant, the BMW 801F with an output of 2400hp, but lack of these engines meant that the 801S engine was used pushing out a still impressive 2000hp. Visual changes on the A-9 included a longer nose housing a larger armoured oil tank in the intake ring, a 14 blade fan instead on the normal 12 blade fan behind the prop, a broader chord wooden prop (on some aircraft, many still used the normal metal prop and BMW reverted back to the 12 blade fan due to power consumption) and a blown canopy that was introduced mid production on the A-8 version with modified armoured head rest. With production starting in autumn of 1944, output proceeded alongside the more widely produced A-8. The kit With several FW-190 kits on the market there is some interesting reading as to the comparisons of each, the three main kits being Tamiya, Hasegawa and Eduard. The Hasegawa kits offer the most accurate in shape and also benefit from being quite straight forwards in construction compared to the Eduard kits. The differences unique to the A-9 are addressed well in this kit as I’ll pick up shortly. So, let’s start with the packaging. The box artwork seen above is a vivid painting of a JG301 machine which operated from Stendal airfield near Berlin. On opening the box, the contents are mostly quite familiar, 4 light grey sprues, a clear sprue, a set of black polycaps. Two white metal parts are also included to deal with the options unique to the A-9. First impressions are...well this is a thing of beauty! No flash, no sink marks and beautiful moulding quality. A total of 82 parts are included, though some of them aren’t used as the base kit is presumably the A-8. The cockpit is built around a moulded tub. Separate main and side panels are included with good moulded in detail that will come out well after paint and suitable wash. The seat is nicely detailed, though does lack any seatbelts which is a little unfortunate. The cockpit simply and traditionally gets sandwiched inside the fuselage halves. Surface detail on the exterior is beautifully done. Recessed panel lines are quite reserved and look good for it. Unlike the Eduard kit, there are no lines of rivets on the fuselage surface, I guess whether this is good or bad will be personal choice. The vents behind the engine are displayed in the open position on the Hasegawa kit which as opposed to being closed, hence flush on the Tamiya / Eduard kits. Rather quickly, with the fuselage stitched up and cockpit inserted, attention moves to the gear bay. Some lovely detailing gives the bays the desired busy look. The gear bay assembly is then fixed to the inside of the lower wing section. Take note at this stage to open the holes up for the drop tank centre pylon. The wings and tail feathers are another straight forwards assembly step. As with the fuselage surfaces, recessed panel lines beautifully adorn the exterior. All movable surfaces are fixed in position, fortunately or unfortunately, depending on your point of view. At first, I thought the ribbing effect on the moveable surfaces looked incorrect, in particular as the rudder textures look quite different to the Tamiya kit which represents the sagging fabric effect. However after looking at pictures of the real thing, they look fine, if perhaps a little heavy in depth. The engine cowling parts are on the main sprues leading me to believe that it is an A-8 sized cowling. I believe that the A-9 cowling was 30mm longer than the A-8 due to the larger oil tank but not knowing the overall dimensions, I’m unable to confirm the accuracy of it so be aware that there may be a slight error here (bare in mind 30mm is less than 1mm in 48th scale). I believe that due to excessive power consumption, the 14 blade fan on the A-9 was replaced by the original 12 blade unit at some point and who knows, possibly retrofitted in the field. Hasegawa have included a white metal 14 blade as well as the original 12 blade fan on the sprues, so if accuracy is important to you, some research may be necessary to find out what fan was used on your aircraft. A white metal replacement prop is included representing the wider chord (350mm) wooden prop that was used on some aircraft, however many retained the earlier narrower chord metal props which is included on the sprues, so again, best to see what you can unearth about the aircraft you intend to build. The engine is well detailed, but quite simple in construction. Unfortunately, there is little to be seen of this lovely detail once the fan is in position. The undercarriage is stunningly replicated. I believe the stance of the Hasegawa kit is the most accurate (although my old Tamiya kit looks fine to me!). Detailing on the gear & gear doors gives great scale representation, very thing plastic where necessary. Both types of canopy and armoured head rests are included in the set, however I believe the A-9 all had the blown type. Due to the more complex curvature of the blown part, there does seem to be more distortion when looking through it compared to the original faired part, but certainly nothing to lose sleep over, they are very well moulded. Construction finishes with the various sticky out bits, MG 151 cannon, two in each wing, pitot, various aerials, centre line pylon with drop tank and wing tip nav lights. The Decals Decals are provided for two A-9 schemes although in the instructions, it shows one of them using the earlier faired canopy type as oppose to the blown type. Perhaps someone can shed more light on this? Both aircraft were heavily engaged in intercepting allied bombers. On the decal sheet are stencils, placards, instruments and obviously the aircraft markings. Register and colour looks spot on. There are three types of swastika on the sheet although only one type is referred to in the instructions (vaguely due to them being blanked out). Looking at pictures and artwork on the net, I’d recommend doing some research as to the correct type for your build. A quick search for photographs indicates that JG301 (photo of actual aircraft) had all black ones, where as JG4 had black with white borders. Aircraft included: 6./JG301 (Red 22) based at Stendal April 1945 Stab/JG4 (<1-+-) based at Babenhausen 1945 Conclusion The Hasegawa FW190A is regarded as the most accurate kit in quarter scale and the A-9 particulars are captured in the pack with additional parts. It is however more expensive than it's competition, particularly when you consider that the Eduard A-9 Profipack has a number or extras such as etch and canopy masks within the price. The design of the Hasegawa kit makes for ease of construction and the quality of moulding is superb. The only thing lacking in my opinion is seat belts to make a visually complete model, but that can be easily rectified. The blown cockpit on the A-9 makes for a different look if you've got earlier versions on your shelf and want to add some variety. Review sample courtesy of UK distributors for
  7. This is the second of my non-adversary A-4 Skyhawks (the first being an A-4M). It is the Hasegawa 1/48 kit, and the decals are from a Victory Productions sheet. Jens
  8. This is the second of my many adversary TA-4s. It has been a WIP for a long time but I finished it last week. And with its "sister": Jens
  9. Airbus A320, Peach Airlines 1:200 Injection Moulded airliner from Hasegawa The Airbus A320 first flew in 1987, and was designed and built by the European aircraft company Airbus. Airbus is a consortium of European aircraft manufacturing companies that came together to compete with the big American airliner builders like Boeing. The A320 is a narrow body short to medium range airliner and was the first airliner to use fly by wire controls and a side stick, think computer joy stick, over a traditional Yoke control, the A320 family is available with a choice of two engines, the CFM56 or the IAE V2500. The A320 aircraft has been shrunk in length to produce a smaller A318 and A319 models, and lengthened to produce a bigger A321. Some detailed photos of the Airbus A320 can be seen here to help with your builds. Various kits have been made of the A320 family, with Revell doing them all in 1:144 and Hasegawa have produced some in 1:200. Hasegawa have recently added a new version to the line up with a Peach A320. Peach, not to be confused with a short lived UK operator, is biased in Japan at Kansai International Airport and was formed in 2011. Peach is a low cost airline and it has an all A320 fleet of 7 aircraft with a further 10 on order. They serve both domestic Japanese routes along with destinations in Hong Kong, South Korea and Taiwan. The fuselage comes in the usual 2 halves and has some engraved detail in the surface, that looks fine and to scale. The various antennas and lumps moulded into the parts, a bulkhead is on another sprue and a metal bolt is included that screws in to form the nose weight. You will need to decide if you want to use the included stand or put the aircraft on its wheels before closing the fuselage as a section will need cutting out and a plug inserting for the stand at this point. The fuselage is moulded in white and there are no clear parts in the kit, the windows are decals on the decal sheet. The stand is cast in a clear Smokey plastic and also shown is the bolt for the nose weight. The wings and tail stabs come on a light grey moulded sprue, they have engraved flap and slat detail on the surface. The lower inner wing is a separate part with the join falling under the engine pylon so the join will be less visible, and there is some basic detail in the main gear bays in the wings. The wings have a nice shape with thin trailing edges. The flap tracks will need gluing on and they are on the sprue with the engine parts. The engine cases are in 2 halves each with a front and rear fans to add to detail the CFM engines. The fans have nice moulded detail that will look great with some paint and a wash over the blades The final sprue contains the undercarriage, and despite its small size the parts are well detailed. The winglets will need a moulding pip removing carefully as the parts are small and delicate, but the size and shape looks good to my eye. Finally you get the bulkhead that need gluing inside the fuselage and you can see the hole for the bolt. The bolt screws in nicely without needing force and it don’t deform the part. I would use a spot of superglue to hold it securely in place. The decals come on a nice sheet and included enough numbers to reproduce any of the aircraft in the Peach fleet. The colours look good against photos I’ve seen on the internet. You will need to mix paints to match the decals, and detail on the ratios is given for paints in the Hobby Colour or Mr Colour paint ranges. You will need to paint the fuselage in white first then carefully mask off for the purple paint work. If you can copy and enlarge the instruction by 80% that will give you a guide for the complex curves. Various stencils are included on the decal sheet along with the aircrafts windows and doors. Conclusion This is a nice kit that looks an accurate shape. The livery is unusual and the two tone purple will make a colourful addition to the cabinet. Review sample courtesy of UK distributors for
  10. Hasegawa 1/72 F-16DJ

    Hi Folks, This is my first attempt at finishing a military model kit in several years. Yep, it's a grey, grey and grey modern jet but it's not one often seen in this scale. I usually prefer to build cars, bikes and surreal kit-bashed WHIF's but like most of us big kids, a loud fast jet gets your attention from time to time. A growing 'stash' of aircraft kits isn't helping either... The kit is OOTB, decals and all. The age of the moulds as well as modelling the kit in flight did test my patience somewhat but I'm happy with the end result. I only have two (totally wrong) 'military' shades of grey and the terrible MDF stand base is temporary. A link to the build thread: http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234935097-172-f-16dj-getting-back-into-the-groove/#entry1245210 It's a bit long winded with nothing but the obvious stated but it forms a part of my 'extra curricular' portfolio while I'm at College. Thanks for looking, Lee. (Edited for line spacing, I needed to print this out...)
  11. F-86D Sabre Dog "Shark Teeth" Hasegawa 1:72 In 1948 following an intelligence warning concerning Soviet long range bombers the USAF was prompted to accelerate the development of an all-weather interceptor to protect the US. This interceptor was to be based around the new 2.75 Mighty Mouse Folding Fin Aerial Rocket (FFAR). It was felt at the time that a salvo of such rockets would be more effective against a large bomber formation than cannon fire. These were fitted to the F-86D in a ventral tray which extended under the airframe. North American designed the interceptor around their already successful F-86A, although the D model only actually had a 25% commonality of parts with other F-86 variants. It had a larger/wider fuselage, a larger afterburning engine, a clamshell canopy; and a nose radome hosing an AN-APG-36 all weather radar. The prototype (then called the YF-95) first flew on 22/12/49 becoming the first night fighter with only a single a crew member and a single for the USAF. The Kit This kit from Hasegawa has been around for a while yet but is still the best F-86D in 1/72.The kit represents the later model F-86D with the parachute housing. The moulds are starting to show their age a bit as there is a lot of flash on some of the parts, that being aid its great to see the kit being re-released as its been hard to find of late. Construction of the kit follows the usual steps starting with the cockpit. This is not as detailed as some F-86 kits with the base of the ejection seat being moulded into the cockpit tub. Following this you need to make and add the intake, and exhaust to the fuselage before closing it up. No mention is made of having to add any nose weight, however its pretty sure this will be needed. With the fuselage complete its time to add the wings. These are conventionally moulded with the slats as deeper panel lines. Hasegawa missed a trick here, the aircraft is rarely seen on the ground with the slats retracted and the kit would have been so much better had this feature been included in the kit. Following this, it just remains to add all the detail parts to the airframe. The undercarriage is very nice, as its close to scale thickness care must be taken at this stage. If wanted a complete tray of the mighty mouse rockets can be built a placed under the fuselage in the down position for the tray. drop tanks are two halved but the fins are provided as separate parts which will enable the seam to be removed without any trouble. Hasegawa have done a credible job in moulding the rear vortex generators, some additional ones are provided for above the tailplane which the modeller will have to apply themselves. The canopy is very clear and you can see the antenna lines moulded into the plasic which is good. Decals Decals are provided for two US aircraft from The 498th Fighter Intercept Squadron which feature the Sharks Teeth as the boxing would suggest. The first is FU-866, this aircraft has "Kings Queen" on the side and a crown. The second is FU-997, unlike the first aircraft this hs the "US AIR FORCE" titles on the side. This second aircraft has wing stripes, plus the character "BIG VIV" on the side. I am not sure who she was, or whether she appreciated being on the side of this F-86! The decals appear well printed and not as thick as some of Hasegawa's normal offerings. The tail and tank decals come as two parts, they can be applied as a whole; or painted and the individual decals applied separately. The same can not be said for the canopy decals as you only get the complete sets with the white stars not being supplied as a separate. Conclusion Its great to see this kit out on release again from hasegawa, despite some flash showing on the parts, this is not great problem for the modeller; overall recomended. Review sample courtesy of UK distributors for
  12. Hello, Here is my next project after the VFA-102 Super Hornet. I will use this boxing I am still unsure as to which markings I will apply but I will probably go for the "normal" markings as seen here or here rather than the flashy markings seem here Quite irritatingly Hasegawa provides the old-style ECS and ACS when both aircraft have the new-style items... The old style ECS provided in the box: Fortunately I received last week this AMAZING reference book: as well as this excellent item from RES-IM: so making the new ECS should not be so much of a problem. The ACS will be scratch-built. More coming soon... Arnaud
  13. N.Y.K Line Heian Maru 1:350 History As with her sister ship Hikawa Maru, Heian Maru is a Japanese ocean liner that was built for the Nippon Yusen KK line by the Yokohama Dock Company. She was laid down as a 11,616-ton passenger-cargo liner by the Osaka Iron Works and made her maiden voyage from Hong Kong for Seattle, Washington. She is one of three sister ships. She and her sister ships were named after important Shinto shrines, the other being Hie Maru. From 1935 she was in service on the NYK (Japan Mail) Line's Kobe to Seattle route via Nagoya, Shimidzu, Yokohama and Vancouver. In August 1941 she made her last voyage, in ballast, from Seattle to Yokohama. In October 1941 she was requisitioned by the Imperial Japanese navy, (IJN). Later that month she was registered as a prospective submarine tender in the Yokosuka Naval District. The conversion was carried out at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries’ shipyard at Kobe. Four 6-inch (152-mm) 41st Year Type single mount guns, one 3.5 m range finder, two Type 93 dual 13-mm machine guns and one 1100-mm diameter and one 900-mm diameter search lights are fitted. A degaussing cable (anti-magnetic mine device) is also fitted. The conversion was completed at the end of December she completed conversion. Thereafter, HEIAN MARU was assigned to Vice Admiral Shimizu Mitsumi's (former CO of 3rd China Expeditionary Fleet) Sixth Fleet (Submarines) in Rear Admiral Sato Tsutomus’ SubRon 1, Combined Fleet, based at Kwajalein. On the 31st December she sailed from Kobe and arrived in Kwajalein on the 8th January 1942. After sailing from Harbour to harbour refuelling and re-arming numerous submarines, landing troops and Rabaul and from 1942 to 1944, she was finally caught by carrier aircraft on 18th February 1944 and badly damaged to the point of the crew having to abandon ship. The next day Avenger aircraft, off USS Bunker Hill, hit her with a torpedo, after which she capsized and now rest in 110ft of water of Dublon Island. The Model The kit comes in the usual, attractive, top opening box from Hasegawa, with an artistic interpretation of the ship at sea. The kit is basically the same as the Hikawa Maru released last year, but with additional parts for this ships armament and other small details. On opening the box the two hull halves, which are mounted on a cardboard insert along with a large poster which also acts as the painting guide. Removing the hull insert reveals 10 sprues of grey styrene and one of clear. As is usual for Hasegawa the parts are nicely moulded with crisp detail with quite a few moulding pips on the parts, although there is a small amount of flash at the sprue junctions. Construction starts with the two hull parts being joined together with 7 internal bulkhead parts adding considerably to the strength of the structure. Whilst the propshaft fairings, props and rudder are fitted later in the instructions, I would probably fit them at this point to help with painting before the rest of the build commences. Next to be fitted are the 3 cargo deck and the raised foredeck with its bulkhead. The promenade deck is built up with the superstructure parts, which are again nicely strengthened with internal bracing. Once complete this sub-assembly is added to the hull. At this point the myriad of deck pieces can be added, these include items such as ventilators, winches, bollards, cleats and the anchors. The 13mm and 152mm guns are also built up and fitted to their respective positions. The stern castle is built up next followed by the boat deck. The bridge section of the superstructure is next to constructed, with some nice internal details such as the ships wheel, binnacles, signal lamps and transparencies for the windows. The final section of superstructure is the boat deckhouse with the funnel, more ventilators, winches and fan trunking housings. The rest of the build consists making up the ships lifeboats and attaching them, with their associated davits to the boat deck, followed by the many masts and derrick arms all of which will require some careful rigging combined with some research as to how and where the cables are fitted, as this information isn’t given in the instructions. The completed model can be displayed on the two nice pedestals provided. Etch In addition to the plastic parts there is a small sheet of etched parts which replace some of the solid plastic parts to make them more realistic. There are also some railings, gun platforms, and searchlight towers make up the majority of the parts. The landing craft and 12m launch receive new cradles, rudders, propellers, steering wheels, liferings, steering position railings and a ramp for the landing craft. A nice touch is the template to fit the boats cradles in the correct positions. Decals The well printed decal sheet provides the modeller with the ships name for the stern and bows, along with depth markers, various flags and the markings for the numerous liferings, which makes a change from having to paint them. All the decals appear in good register and density. There is also a sheet of sticky label type flags with a couple of pennants which are actually quite useful in that they would be easy to attach to their respective halliards. Conclusion This is a very nice kit, just a shame that there isn’t an option to build it as a waterline model without some major surgery as it would be good for a diorama with some I class subs alongside. My other criticism would be that Hasegawa have kept their wooden deck and two etch sets out of the main kit to be sold separately, but at least this kit does have some etched parts and the modeller can now get a wooden deck from another source. Other than that, I can really recommend this kit Review sample courtesy of UK distributors for
  14. Saab RF-35 ‘Recon Draken’ 1:72 Hasegawa The need to replace the Sabb J29 Tunnan goes back as far as 1949 when the Swedish Air Force required a high performance all weather interceptor that could operate from public road ways. It was key that the aircraft had a good rate of climb to altitude due to the intercept capability. With the basic concept of fitting the biggest engine into the smallest airframe, the challenge with such designs is always how to cram all the equipment into such a small space. Lockheed achieved performance with their Starfighter by having an incredibly small wing to reduce drag, but that brought with it obvious operational handling challenges. Led by Erik Bratt, the design team at Saab were drawn towards the double delta shape which created a high internal airframe capacity but low thickness to chord ratio, critical for high performance. The less swept outer wing sections were much thinner but gave the necessary characteristics to enable good low speed handling without too much sacrifice in top end. After scale trials in an aircraft called LillDraken (Little Dragon), the first Draken took to the air in 1955 with the J-35A being ordered into production in 1956. Initial deliveries of the J-35 were received by the Swedish Air Force in 1960 using a license built RR Avon as the power plant. Evolution of the Draken introduced more powerful engines with better avionics and weapon capabilities. In all 640 J-35’s were produced between 1955 and 1974 with the last retiring from military service in 2005. It served operationally with 4 nations; Austria, Denmark, Finland and of course Sweden and the US also took delivery of 6 aircraft for use with the National Test Pilot School. A capability that I found really amazing was that the Draken was able to perform the Cobra manoeuvre, testament to its design. The RF-35 was a highly modified export aircraft produced for Denmark as part of the Saab 35XD programme. Key improvements were greater internal fuel load, cameras in the nose, new avionics & cockpit, arrestor hook, modified outer wings to carry weapons and stronger undercarriage. 20 of these aircraft were produced. The kit This is the kit that’s been around for many years but has some extra parts to convert it into the RF-35. Supplied in Hasegawa’s usual boxing format, you get a mere 65 pieces of light grey plastic on 4 standard sprues with an addition one containing the conversion parts. The quality in summary is very typical of Hasegawa approach. Beautifully detailed exterior surfaces but bland cockpit interior that leaves a great opportunity to improve. There is some small amounts of flash present in places and a few minor sink marks such as on the wing leading edge near the intakes but these will be quite easy to deal with. With 65 parts, assembly isn’t going to take too long. It starts with the cockpit. A basic seat and panel goes into the tub. There’s no switch detail in here, only the decals to add detail. The assembled tub fits to the lower fuselage with the upper half fitting over the top. There’s no intake trunking unfortunately, however the intakes are rather small so provided you paint the interior in a dark colour, it shouldn’t be too noticeable. As mentioned, the detail on the exterior is very nicely done. Fine recessed panel lines supplemented by an array of panel openings make for an interesting finish which after a wash should look rather splendid. With the basic fuselage now done, the outer wings, exhaust section and rear cockpit fairing are added as well as the intakes. The plastic thickness on the intake openings is very thin giving good scale accuracy. The instructions do included a reminder to fit a 5g nose weight before fitting the camera equipped nose cone. The wing tips of the RF-35 are different than the standard wings, so you need to carefully cut the existing wing tips off and replace them with the new ones supplied. The detail in the extra conversion parts is consistent with the kit parts Unfortunately, the only provisions included are two drop tanks; although there are four additional hard points that you can make use of if you have something suitable in the spares box. The canopy is provided as a separate part from the windscreen giving you the opportunity to have it open. The parts are quite thin with minimal distortion. The decals The aircraft modelled in this kit are AR-117 and AR-109 which served with the Danish Air Force. AR-117 now resides in the USA with a civilian registration whilst AR-109 has also survived the scrap heap being in storage. The AR-117 livery included in this kit has quite a funny story behind it. Call sign ‘Dynamite 6-1’ has an unofficial paint scheme that was painted by the pilots of 729 Sqn over night in a shelter in celebration of Denmark’s win over Uruguay in the 1986 football world cup. The second is AR-109 as it was in 1987 wearing a more typical overall green scheme but with a red ribbon across it. I haven’t been able to get any more information as to why this scheme was applied. Conclusion This is a pleasant little kit. The exterior is very nicely detailed and looks to be a straight forward build for any ability. It's generally believed to be quite an accurate kit in terms of shape. Having looked at the price on the kit, I suspect this will hurt sales somewhat, particularly as the detail in the cockpit is sparse and you may need to spend more money to bring this up to your standard. I believe that Revell did a release of the Hasegawa J-35E several years ago and Pavla do an RF-35 conversion including a resin cockpit, so if you can get hold of these along with some suitable decals, you may be able to save some money if you really need to have an RF-35 in your collection. Amerang Hasegawa Review sample courtesy of UK distributors for
  15. Harrier AV-8B II Plus - MM7224 / 1-19, GRUPAER "The Wolves", Marina Militare, Spring 2012 (1/48th scale Hasegawa kit) The latest model (build #14) in my Harrier Project is an AV-8B II Plus of the "The Wolves", Gruppo Supporto Aerei Imbarcati (GRUPAER) (Planes Embarked Group, Italian Navy). Although it was in the plan, I decided to bring it forward after following SaintsPhil's build of the same variant and service operator. Not a case of "anything Phil can do...", but "you don't see any for ages, and then two come along at once!" was my thinking. The following ramblings are probably of most interest only to Harrier fans ... This is the standard Hasegawa AV-8B II Plus 1/48th scale kit, not the specific Italian Navy aircraft boxing which is now an eBay rarity. I therefore had to source the decals separately - the other variation in the box, the AIM-120 missiles, I did not require. Other items sourced outside of the box include the pilot, the two undercarriage bays and a Paveway (GBU-12). I purchased the undercarriage bays a while back and thought I may as well use them. As it seems a waste to install them and not really see them for a "dispersal" staging, I decided to go for broke and show the aircraft after take-off with the undercarriage partly retracted. They're still not easily visible, of course, but now serve more of a purpose. It may just be me, but I found the Aires undercarriage bays required a lot of work to get them to fit - the front bay sides are very thin as a result. This approach also required all the intake auxillary doors to be opened (much fun) with the internals of the intakes adjusted to create the rears for the door areas. The flaps were dropped. The main flaps required some simple plasticard additions to their front and some work is required to all of the fairings under the wing. There are a few reference photos to be had from the web showing the sequence of undercarriage retraction, so I think I have it right. I left the ailerons neutral, though I perhaps should have dropped these a tad as well? The rest of the construction is the usual Hasegawa Harrier model stuff. This boxing was a reasonable all round fit - no sleepless nights over the LERX fit, etc. She's brush painted of course, using Life colour's acrylics: Dark Gull Grey (FS36231) for the upper surface camouflage and Dark Compass Grey (FS36320) for the undersides. On the real aircraft the paints are very close in tone and shade, making them almost indistinguishable in some areas, particularly when weathered. Note the Hasegawa instructions have the upper surface colour in a straight line under the wings, but it in fact follows the HTPS scheme (official) and curves up after the front nozzles and back down level with the flaps. I chose to do the radome in the upper surface colour but without a Klear coating, leaving it the same colour and tone as the original paint. Likewise the wing leading edges. it's a subtle difference like the real radome variations. Now, the decals ... GRUPAER was founded in February 1991 when they started to work up at the USMC Cherry Point base in preparation for the receipt of their first Harriers (TAV-8B IIs) on 7 June 1991. It wasn't until April 1994 that they received their first (of 16) AV-8B II Plus aircraft. In October 2011, "The Wolves" commemorated twenty years of existence and also 30,000 hours of flying. An AV-8B II Plus, MM.7224 / 1-19, the last Harrier the Marina Militare Italiana received (and the last new-build AV-8B II Plus ever made?), was specially painted in a one-off wolf tail scheme and "30.000" hours logo to mark the event. Having seen the photographs of the result, I couldn't resist having a go at it. With significant help from a fellow member of the West Middlesex Scale Model Club, we produced the necessary decals and printed them on an inkjet printer. I used a set of the Tauro decals and some of the Modelfriends decals in combination with some odds and ends from the spares box to complete the markings. It's not strictly accurate, colour-wise, but close enough for me as a scratch effort and a Harrier nut! Several coats of Klear sealed the paints ready for the decals. Weathering (limited as depicted after recent application of the scheme) from Tamiya and rounded off with a spray of Humbrol matt varnish to seal before a final coat of brushed Vallejo matt varnish. Still awake? For me, this build was quite a challenge. However, I'm pleased with the result, even if there is a fair bit of artistic licence applied. Here's how she turned out ... Comments, critique and suggestions for improvement are welcome as ever.
  16. P-47 Egg Plane Hasegawa - ?? Scale The Republic P-47 Thunderbolt was the Largest heaviest, and most expensive single piston engined aircraft used in WWII. When the airframe was combined with the massive Pratt & Whitney R-2800 Double Wasp engine, eight 50 Calibre machine guns, ammunition & fuel it weighed in at over 8 tons. Republic designer Alexander Kartveli designed the P-47 as a successor to the P-35.......hang on do your really want to read all this for an Egg plane? These are supposed to be fun, not serious! right? Having a bad time at the model desk? unfinished builds piling up? research on the left hand grommit for the Fairey Fluff Catcher getting you down? Advanced Modellers Syndrome (AMS) setting in? If so then you need some FUN injecting back into your plastic modelling. Hasegawa have Eggactly the prescription for this in the form of their Egg Plane Series. I am not sure who dreamed up the idea of the Eggplane at Hasegawa, or how they had the courage to present it to the company. However I suspect that Hasegawa have ended up selling quite a few of these models over the years. Who would have thought aircraft models basically modelled after an egg would do so well. The Kit The kit comes on two small sprues of grey plastic, and one small clear sprue for the canopy. Parts are well moulded with only a trace of flash here and there. Construction is fairly simple. The "cockpit" is placed inside the two fuselage half's then they are closed up. Then the engine casting is attached to the front. Following this the one piece main wings, tail planes and engine cowling are added. Finally landing gear and underwing bombs are added. Decals A small but well printed decal sheet comes with the kit. This offers two choices of scheme for you Egg 47. 1. Overall silver/BMF coded FT L. Egg craft has a yellow tail stripe and full underside invasion stripes. 2. Olive Drab over Grey scheme, number 54. This aircraft has yellow wing and tail plane stripes. Conclusion Want a break from modelling and a little bit of fun then you really should build one of these, if not this eggact one then Haswgawa do a whole range of these (should that be free range?). On a more serious note (I know, sorry) these kits could be a great vehicle to introduce children to the hobby. Review sample courtesy of UK distributors for
  17. F/A-18F Super Hornet ‘VFA-32 Swordsmen’ 1:72 Hasegawa Developed from the successful f-18 earlier derivatives, the single seat ‘E’ and two seat ‘F’ versions are despite looking very similar, quite different aircraft. Primarily designed to replace the Tomcat as a multi-role fighter, the E/F models have in fact replaced the F-14, A-6 Intruder, S-3 Viking with the G model replacing the EA-6B Prowler. Having such a simplified line up brings about obvious benefits for a fleet that has to be maintained whilst at sea. The ‘Super’ Hornet is about 20% larger than the original Hornet, nearly 7 tons heavier at maximum load and has about 35% more power throughout most of its flight envelope to cope with all that extra weight. Due to more internal fuel, it has about 40% greater range than its legacy too. One of the most noticeable changes was the new square intakes. These were redesigned to significantly lower the aircrafts head on radar signature. This together with redesign of other features both to reduce signature and to be able to better cope with ballistic damage make the Super Hornet much more survivable in combat operations. Initially, avionics were largely based on the legacy Hornet, but advances in technology have meant that the current aircraft differ significantly to the earlier machines. This includes a quadruplex digital fly by wire system and control system that can correct for battle damage. The latest radar is the APG-79 which allows simultaneous attack of both air and ground targets. This together with various defensive countermeasures, night vision goggles and FLIR all add to the aircrafts combat ability and survivability. VF-32 ‘Swordsmen’ of which this kit is represented previously operated the F-14 Tomcat where they were famed for downing two Libyan Mig-23 Floggers in 1989 during a routine patrol. They first went on tour aboard USS Harry S Truman using their new Super Hornets being deployed to the Persian Gulf in 2007. Although not by VF-32, the Super hornet has been used in combat against the Taliban as far back as 2006. The kit Having reviewed the Revell kit recently, I thought it would be a good opportunity to have a good look at both together to see how they compare. The Hasegawa kit comes in the usual top opening box with ten light grey sprues and a rather complex clear one to protect the canopy and wind screen. Total part count is 121 compared to 97 in the Revell kit, although this isn’t something to determine quality either way. So let’s get into the detail. Flash presence in the kit is neglible as are sink marks, but there are ejector pin marks in various places which I'll pick up throughout the review. Of course, this isn't the first release of the F/A-18F by Hasegawa, they have released several with different schemes previously. As with most kits, building starts with the cockpit. The detail in the cockpit is very simple with no panel detail, the intention by Hasegawa is to use the decals provided to add the panel detail. Revell in comparison has some rather pleasant moulded detail and give you the choice of either using this or decals. The Hasegawa seats are equally lacking in detail. If you decide to have the canopy closed, this lack of detail might be acceptable, however if you prefer to show off all your hard work in the pit, you may want to look at some aftermarket options such as resin or etch. With the cockpit assembly done, it fits between the two nose section halves mounted on the separate nose wheel bay. Exterior detail on the fuselage is superb. The panel lines are finely done and the rivets where applied are pin sharp which from completed builds I’ve seen come out really well after a panel wash. Hasegawa in my opinion have done a better job here than Revell in that many of the panel lines on the revel kit have rivets running alongside them, but the combined effect looks over done in comparison. Prior to joining the top and bottom main fuselage halves, an assembly is fitted into the rear end that includes rear engine faces and soft poly caps that the tail planes push into later in the build. The nose section is then mounted to the main fuselage section followed by the intakes. One let down with the Hasegawa kit that’s widely known is the lack if intake trunking. The intakes are blanked off inside quite near to the front and with much larger intakes than the legacy Hornet, this will be noticeable. Revell excels here as they provide deep trunking in their kit. panel, engine rear faces & pylons Cockpit tub Panel Seat... The main wheel and nose wheel bays are very nicely detailed. The detail is different than Revells rendition and I believe it will be personal opinion as to what people may prefer as both kits look good. The undercarriage detail is very good too and quite substantial although the doors themselves lack any great detail on the inner surfaces and have several ejector pin marks. Furthermore, the door arrangement is quite complex, so if creating an in-flight model, it would be more fiddly to achieve. Revell get round this by having the doors for each bay moulded as one that you cut up to have the gear lowered. The wheels have good detail in them although all the tyres have ejector pin marks in them which will need a tidy up. The wings attach at the wing roots on this kit where as Revell have them attaching at the wing fold point. Detail on the wings carries the same quality as the fuselage in terms of panel detail refinement. The burner cans are slightly better than the Revell ones, being sharper in presentation and thinner at the edges. The tail planes are fitted without gluing into the holes where polycaps were previously fitted inside. This method allows the position of them to be adjusted at any time which is a clever idea that only Hasegawa seem to have adopted on a large scale. Tail & gear doors Payload pylons are included for 4 stations on each wing including the wing tips and a centre line position as well as the FLIR on port intake. Payload includes three fuel tanks, 2 x AMRAAMS, 2 x sidewinders and the FLIR pod. It would have been good to see more weapons options included to create further value. The canopy and windscreen are crisp and free from distortion, again typical Hasegawa quality here. There is a slight seam along the centre of the canopy which you may prefer to polish out. The canopy can be positioned in the open position with the parts included too. I've removed the parts from the sprue as it was the only way I could get a good photo of them that wasn't obscured by the sprue itself. The decals The decal sheet has over 130 individual decals with stunning artwork for the Swordsmen scheme. Detail is crisp, vivid and perfectly in register. The high vis tail decals are supplied in two forms, one with the black background already on, the other as just the markings to apply to a black painted surface. The sheet also includes decals for the weapons. Schemes included: Aircraft 166661 – VFA-32 CAG, US Navy 2010 (high vis scheme) Aircraft 166793 – VFA-32, CO, US Navy (low vis scheme) Conclusion On the whole, this is a very nice kit, however has two main draw backs in comparison with the Revell kit; the lack of cockpit detail and blanked off intake trunks. Exterior detail looks sharper than its rival, but the kit also carries a higher retail price, so I can only recommend doing your homework to determine which kit is right for you given budget, skill and feature benefits. Amerang Hasegawa Review sample courtesy of UK distributors for
  18. Hasegawa 1:48 Nakajima Ki-44 Shoki

    Nakajima Ki-44 Shoki, (Tojo) 70th Flight Regiment Hasegawa 1:48 The Nakajima Ki-44 Shoki (Demon) was an unusual fighter by Japanese standards, with high speed and a good rate of climb emphasised at the expense of manoeuvrability. Work on the Ki-44 began in 1938, at almost the same time as the Ki-43. The Japanese Army Air Force decided that it needed two types of fighters - the manoeuvrable dog-fighter for normal use and a defensive interceptor for use against high flying enemy bombers. As a result Nakajima were asked to design a fighter that could reach 13,120ft in 5 minutes, with a top speed of 373mph at that altitude, and armed with two 12.7mm and two 7.7mm machine guns. The Ki-44 was a low-wing monoplane, with short stubby wings. The wings had a straight leading edge but a tapering trailing edge. The fuselage was circular near the engine but narrow and flat-sided near the tail, a design that helped to improve its stability in the air. The aircraft carried two guns in the wings and two in the upper fuselage. The first prototype Ki-44 (serial number 4401) was completed in the summer of 1940, and was rather heavier than expected. The new aircraft handled well, but its performance was not quite good enough. A series of modifications were tried out on the three prototypes, and eventually a top speed of 389mph at 13,120ft was achieved (although with all guns removed). With the guns installed the aircraft was expected to reach 360mph, and the new design was accepted by the Japanese army. Compared to the Ki-43 the new aircraft was heavier, slightly shorter and had a 4ft narrower wingspan. As a result the Ki-44 had a higher wing loading than the Ki-43, and was thus less manoeuvrable, but its top speed and rate of climb were both better. The Ki-44 entered production as the Army Type 2 Single-Seat Fighter Model 1, and a total of 1,225 were built by the time production ended late in 1944. The Model Another kit that Hasegawa have released before with different marking this doesn't alter the fact that its a nice kti of a sharp looking aircraft. Arriving in the standard Hasegawa style of top opening box with stylish representation of the aircraft on the front, the five full sprues and two sub-sprues of grey styrene are well protected in poly bags, as is the clear sprue, although thankfully separately. The slightly glossy styrene is up to the usual standard with the slightest amount of flash and a few moulding pips. The clear parts arent as clear as some Ive seen recently and there appears to be a fair amount of distortion on the main canopy and side screens on the alternate front canopies. Whether this will be sorted after a dip in aqua gloss or Future, Im not sure, but it certainly wouldnt do any harm in trying. The cockpit is quite well detailed, and whilst there is some detail within the main undercarriage bays they could do further enhancement with some lead/copper wire for pipework. Its not a complicated kit by any standards and even just looking through the box it should be quite a fun build. Construction starts with the pilot office, as is normal. The front bulkhead has a main and a sub instrument panel attached either side of which the breeches of the upper cowling machine guns are glued into place. The panels have moulded detail which will need to be removed if the supplied decals are to be used instead of careful painting. The completed bulkhead assembly is then fitted to the cockpit floor along with the rudder pedals, joystick, rear frame, seat support and seat. The completed bulkhead can now be fitted into one fuselage half with the nose wheel bay attached to the rear. With the addition of a control box to the starboard side and the throttle quadrant to the port, the fuselage can now be closed up. At this point the engine, consisting of front and rear cylinder banks, prop shaft ferrule and crank case and the propeller, with separate blades, backplate and spinner can be assembled. The engine may have extra detail added, but there is not a lot visible once the cowling has been fitted. The wings, one piece lower and two uppers are glued together and fitted to the fuselage assembly along with the single piece horizontal tailplanes and forward upper fuselage panel. The previously completed engine is then attached to the fuselage once the collector ring and exhausts have been fitted. The single piece cowling is then fitted, followed by the prop assembly. The main undercarriage, consisting of single piece un-weighted wheels are fitted to the axles of the oleos, onto which the scissor links are also added, as are the undercarriage doors, these can then be glued into place with their associated inner doors, actuators, tail wheel and its bay doors. The optional auxiliary tanks can also be built. These are made of two front halves and a single piece rear section to which the front and rear struts are fitted along with the re-fuelling cap. Once complete these too can be fitted to the main aircraft assembly. There are several unidentifiable parts fitted just aft of the undercarriage bays which look like auxiliary doors of some kind. The two part oil cooler is attached to the join between the cowling and fuselage. The final parts to be added are the wing machine gun barrels, pitot probe, aerial mast and landing lamp glass. The sliding canopy is the same for both options out of the box, with the option of having either a windscreen and telescope sight through it or solid windscreen and gyro gunsight. Decals The decals provided give options of two aircraft from the same regiment, the 70th Flight Regiment, one flown by Major Atsuyuki Sakado, June 1945, the other flown by Sgt Sadao Miyazawa, February 1945. As mentioned above there are decals provided for the instrument panels. There are also decals given for the anti-glare panels around the cockpit and the yellow identification markings on the fronts of each wing, but these may be painted if desired. There does appear to be some sort of glossy residue on most of the decals which may cause problems when soaking, otherwise they are clearly printed, with good opacity and density. Conclusion This is a rather nice kit of a good looking aircraft. As stated earlier, not complex or difficult kit, but it looks like it will build into a lovely looking model. Although both options are painted in overall aluminium, there is enough colours in the markings to lift them out of the ordinary. Recommended Amerang Hasegawa Review sample courtesy of UK distributors for
  19. Hasegawa 1:48 Kawaskai Ki-45 Toryu

    Kawasaki Ki-45Kai Hei Toryu Manchurian Air Corps Hasegawa 1:48 In 1937 the Japanese Army issued a requirement for a two engine fighter. The specifications were for a fighter that could go 340 mph at 10,000', operate from 6,500' to 16,250', and cruise for 4 hours and 40 minutes at 220 mph. Mitsubishi and Nakajima also submitted designs as well, but the Nakajima was selected. Kawasaki submitted the Ki-38 which would later become the Ki-45. In January 1939 a prototype with two Bristol Mercury engines was first flown. Later aircraft had the Nakajima Ha-25 radials installed. The prototype didn't meet specifications mostly due to the engines. In late 1939 test flights were stopped while Kawasaki rectified the problems. This modified design became the Ki-45 KAI, with KAI meaning "modified. The Ki-45 was initially used as a long-range bomber escort. The 84th Independent Flight Wing (Dokuritsu Hikō Chutai) used them in June 1942 in attacks on Guilin, where they encountered, but were no match for Curtiss P-40s flown by the Flying Tigers. In September of the same year, they met P-40s over Hanoi with similar results. It became clear that the Ki-45 could not hold its own against single-engine fighters in aerial combat. It was subsequently deployed in several theaters in the roles of interception, attack (anti-ground as well as anti-shipping) and fleet defense. Its greatest strength turned out to be as an anti-bomber interceptor, as was the case of the Bf 110 in Europe. In New Guinea, the JAAF used the aircraft in an anti-ship role, where the Ki-45 was heavily armed with one 37 mm (1.46 in) and two 20 mm cannons and could carry two 250 kg (550 lb) bombs on hard points under the wings. 1,675 Ki-45s of all versions were produced during the war. By the spring of 1945, the advent of American carrier-based fighters and Iwo Jima-based P-51s escorting B-29s over the skies of Japan brought the Ki-45's career to an end. Three Ki-45s fell into communist Chinese hands after World War II. Unlike most captured Japanese aircraft that were employed in the training role, the three Ki-45s were assigned to the 1st Squadron of the Combat Flying Group in March 1949 and were used in combat missions. These aircraft were retired in the early 1950s. The Model This model has been re-issued a number of times now with differing decals as the Hasegawa way of doing things. That said it still looks a very nice kit. Inside the standard Hasegawa style top opening box, on which a pictorial representation of the aircraft in Manchurian Air Corps colours is depicted. On opening the box the modeller is confronted with several poly bags containing the seven sprues of grey styrene and one sprue of clear parts. The mouldings are very clean and flash free, with small moulding pips on some of the more complex parts, perhaps more worryingly there are quite a few on the clear parts. Admittedly they are on the canopy frames, but care should be taken when removing. There is very finely moulded recessed and raised detail where required and both the cockpit and undercarriage bays come pretty well detailed, although there is still plenty for modellers to add extra should they wish. The clear parts are nice and clear although a dip in Aqua Gloss or Future wouldnt go amiss. There are some ejector pin marks on the rear and centre canopies, which would be a problem if they werent mostly concealed by a coat of paint. The instructions, in a multi folded sheet are really clear to read, with the identification of parts in Japanese and English. The build begins with the two seat cockpit; the multi level floor of which includes spars for the wings is fitted out with the pilots seat, pilots and co-pilots instrument panels, side consoles, joystick, rudder pedals and rear bulkhead. The instrument panel and consoles have raised detail for those who like to paint their panels or decals for those who dont, in which case the raised detail has to be removed first. The fuselage sides are then detailed with internal panels for the rear cockpit and control boxes for the front. The completed cockpit is then sandwiched between the fuselage halves along with the co-pilots seat. The forward bulkhead is then added, along with the cannon trough on the belly of the aircraft. The modeller has the option of painting the rear ident light and the warning light on the fuselage top or removing the plastic and using the clear parts provided. The completed fuselage can now be put aside as the construction moves onto the engine nacelles and wings. The nacelles comprise of inner and outer halves, with the outer fronts separate. Internally they have a rear bulkhead and oil cooler exhausts fitted before closing up. The completed nacelles are then attached to the wings, once the upper and lower halves have been glued together. At this point the nose halves are also glued together and the underside clear part fitted. The fuselage, wing and nose sub-assemblies are now brought together, along with the single piece horizontal tailplanes to build the main aircraft structure. The port wing is fitted with the landing light glass and pitot probe. The engines are built up using the one piece cylinder bank, crankcase, oil cooler ring and the cowling halves. The engines are not particularly detailed and could do with tarting up a bit, but how much is up to the modeller, bearing in mind that not much will be visible once the cowlings are fitted. The complete assemblies are then fitted to the nacelles, but not before the three piece oil cooler intake and the two piece exhausts are attached to the front bulkhead of the nacelle. On the underside of the wings, between the nacelles, two fuel coolers are fitted, along with the cannon, with alternative muzzles, retractable foothold and signal light which are attached to the lower fuselage. Each main undercarriage is made up of the main legs, separate scissor links, two piece tyres, with separate inner and outer hubs, retraction jack and support arms. With these positioned in the nacelle bays the undercarriage doors can be attached. The tailwheel consisting of a one piece oleo/wheel arrangement and separate scissor link, is glued into place. The propellers have separate hubs and spinners and once assembled they can be attached to the prop shafts. The final stage of the build is the fitting of the gun sight, aerial mast and canopies, for which there are separate parts depending on whether the cockpits are to displayed open or closed. Decals The decals are provided for two aircraft, both of which were flown by the 3rd Squadron, Manchurian Air Corps. They are well printed, in good register and density. Conclusion Whilst this aircraft has be re-released a number of times, its still a good looking aircraft and the Manchurian insignia makes it look quite different. I havent tried for fit, but Im sure its pretty good as Ive not read of any problems when researching for this review. The detail may not be up to the latest releases, but theres more than enough for the average modeller. If anyone mentions the prices of recent releases by Hasegawa they will be taken outside and shot. Amerang Hasegawa Review sample courtesy of UK distributors for
  20. This is an entry for the Bf109 STGB, which I finished on Christmas Eve. I wasn't sure if posting GB entries in the normal RFI forum was the done thing, but I see a number of other finished STGB entries have appeared here too in the last few weeks, so I thought I'd give the pics an airing here too. Apologies to those who have already seen this - it's deja vu all over again. It gives me something to do whilst waiting for the next Group Build... This is 99% OOB, the only addition is some PE seatbelts from Lion Roar. The kit fell together pretty well, the cowling was a bit fiddly but the rest was straightforward. Paints are all airbrushed Tamiya, various homebrew mixes. Top coat was Klear mixed with a bit of Tamiya flat base. Light weathering added with a silver pencil. cheers, Chris
  21. Mitsubishi A6M2a Zero Type 11 Combo 1:72 Hasegawa The Mitsubishi A6M Type 0 which became more infamously known simply as the 'Zero' entered operational service in 1940 as a replacement for the A5m which its self only entered service in 1937. The brief was to design an aircraft that had to make use of available engines which was a limiting factor at that time with outputs of sub 1000hp. To meet the need for a high performance long range fighter, the solution was to keep weight to an absolute minimum. This was partly achieved through a clever design using a new light weight alloy, but also by sacrificing armour for the engine and crew as well as self sealing tanks. First going into combat against Chinese Polikarpov I-15s and I-16s, considerable success was achieved. On the first encounter, 13 aircraft were shot down without loss. Its success lay in its incredible manoeuvrability and range of about 1600 miles. The design had a low wing loading which heavily contributed to these characteristics as well as helping in its role of carrier based fighter for take off and landing. Early combat with US naval fighters enhanced its fearful reputation even further as it heavily outclassed its rivals in the Pacific. The balance began to shift in 1943 as new allied aircraft and better tactics began to appear where as the Zero became restricted by engine performance and lack of armour. Even the later variants only had engines of around 1100hp in comparison to engines delivering 2000hp in the US Navy line up. Allied pilots had learned not to 'mix' it with the zero's, instead they fought on their terms using tactics like the 'boom and zoom' where they would dive to make a high speed passing attack then climb to safety using the high energy they'd collected on the way down. US naval fighters of the time such as the Hellcat benefitted from more powerful engines allowing them to carrier plenty of armour. This armour often allowed the aircraft to take considerable punishment from Zero's and still get its pilot back. Although the zero remained in service and production until 1945, more capable aircraft had begun to replace it. By the war's end, around 11,000 aircraft had been built which had accounted for around 1500 US aircraft lost in combat. The kit When it comes to 1/72 Zero's, it's not surprising given its fame that there are several kits on the market. As well as the old Heller kits, Tamiya, Academy and Airfix have rivals on the market with the Airfix introducing a brand new kit recently. The kits contained in this pack aren't new moulds, they date back quite a few years. The artwork leaves you under no confusion as to what you might find in the box. On removing the lid you're presented with two packs, each containing one model kit. Each kit is supplied on 4 light grey sprues and of course a clear one. First impressions are good. Very little flash is evident, although there is some small amounts such as on one of the wing tips, but certainly nothing to give concern. Panel lines are recessed and very refined, in my opinion much better than the new Airfix kit which are much more pronounced and out of scale. The design of the kit is quite traditional, the fuselage being supplied in two halves with a one piece lower wing and individual upper wings. The control surfaces are moulded integrally to the wings and tail surfaces as is the tail wheel. Assembly starts with the cockpit. Typically Hasegawa, detail here is 'acceptable'. Compared to the cockpit detailing we've come to expect from companies like Eduard there is certainly plenty of room for improvement. There is a basic seat, rear bulkhead, floor, panel and control stick. If this bothers you, some additional detail to the panel and side walls as well as seatbelts might be an option to consider either through scratchbuilding or aftermarket if this leaves you underwhelmed. The cockpit is sandwiched between the fuselage halves and the nose gun panel fitted over the instrument panel once closed up. The wings are then mounted to the fuselage. The wheel wells are nicely detailed for the scale, although are quite shallow. The engine too is elegantly detailed with two separate banks of cylinders that need to be attached then the gearbox unit mounted to the front. The cowling is supplied on its own fret and moulded in one piece which is useful ensuring that you're not left with a seam to hide. The carburettor intake and exhausts are then mounted to this part to complete the nacelle unit. Taking a photo of the cowling was quite difficult due to the fret mounted around it in an unusual way. There is some flash and a fret cross member to remove from inside the cowling, so care should be taken in doing this to prevent any damage. The undercarriage legs and doors are excellent. The doors are very thin with some detail on both interior and exterior surfaces. Unfortunately the wheels have some protruding ejector pin marks on the tyres which will need to be sanded off which will be a delicate operation. The propeller comes with a hub, backplate and three individual blades that need to be fitted in place. The kit comes supplied with a long range belly tank typically used on long range missions. The canopy moulding is excellent for the scale, very thin and hardly any distortion. My only criticism here is the lack of an option to have an open cockpit. If you do prefer to have your cockpit open, an aftermarket option would be the solution. The decals Now here is a review of two halves. The decals themselves look very good. The print is very sharp and finely registered. Some stencil details are included to give the exterior some interest too. I am however disappointed at the options available. You have choice of a grey scheme with blue bands or a grey scheme with blue and white bands (see the box top shown at the top of the review). Four aircraft options are included as listed below, however I have come to expect somewhat more options included in my kits, particularly where two are included in the pack. At the very least, it would of been good to have some contrasting schemes included, particularly as this pack isn't placed at the budget end of the range. Decals are provided for the following: 14th Naval Group 1940: '9-182', '9-172' 12th Naval Group 1940 '3-163' and 1941 '3-183' Conclusion Well, this is certainly a good kit. It gives a good scale representation with some finely recessed panel lines and enough detail to give a pleasing build out of the box with typical Hasegawa quality. An open cockpit option and somewhat different decal option would of been a nice addition, however these are all available from the aftermarket if it's important to you. Out of the box by comparison, the new Airfix kit benefits from cockpit detail which is lacking in this kit, but the panel lines in Hasegawas representation are much more reserved looking much better in this scale. With two kits provided, you could build a pleasing little diorama of the two together which is something I'm considering with these. UK distributors for
  22. 1/72 RAAF F/A-18A Hornet

    Just finished this one over the weekend litterally for the ACTSMS Blitz Build. It is the old Hasegawa kit build more or less OOB. I only added the LEX fences. Decals are from a PD sheet. The kit decals were useless so I have to add a few more like slime lights, etc. I also found that the PD data stencils were all printed the light grey of the paint scheme so any placed on the lower fuselage disappeared into the paintwork. The scheme is for the 77SQN 50th Anniversary in 1992. Here are the finished pictures
  23. Last night I spent a good four hours in front of my spray booth. The victim was another of my adversary Skyhawks. This adversary Scooter is supposed to end up as TA-4F BuNo 156491 in these colours: http://a4skyhawk.org...Munzenmaier.jpg Decals are from Afterburner Decals, and the paint is FS16375, FS16251 and FS35237 (all from Xtracolor). SOP, i.e. pre-shading followed by all three colours free-hand. The last two colours acted perfectly so I don't have to touch up the demarcation lines. Jens
  24. Seen in the IPMS Germany online pictures at Nuremberg 2012 1/72 Typhoon by Hasegawa - release 3rd quarter 2012 Source: http://www.ipmsdeuts...r_VH/index.html V.P.
  25. I got a little carried away when painting a couple of adversary Scooters last night. It turned out to be a 4+ hours painting session. Some canopy frames got a shot of black so I also pre-shaded my A-4F Super Fox. One thing led to another so I ended up painting all three colours on this Skyhawk. This is what it's supposed to look like: http://www.airfighte...91dfb_afpix.jpg This is how it looked at 2 a.m. after having all three colours applied: It's painted FS30140, FS13531 and FS10219 accordingly, the two latter from Xtracolor. The small tan dots are intentional btw. As you can see I will have to refine the demarcation lines on this one too. Jens