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  1. Aichi D3A1 Type 99 (Val) 1:48 Hasegawa History The Aichi D3A, (Val) was a World War II carrier-borne dive bomber of the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN). It was the primary dive bomber in the Imperial Japanese Navy, and participated in almost all actions, including the attack on Pearl Harbor. The Aichi D3A was the first Japanese aircraft to bomb American targets in World War II, commencing with Pearl Harbor and U.S. bases in the Philippines, such as Clark Air Force Base. During the course of the Second World War, the Val dive bomber sank more Allied warships than any other Axis aircraft. In December 1939, the Navy ordered the aircraft as the Navy Type 99 Carrier Bomber Model 11. The production models featured slightly smaller wings and increased power in the form of the 746 kW (1,000 hp) Kinsei 43 or 798 kW (1,070 hp) Kinsei 44. The directional instability problem was finally cured with the fitting of a long dorsal fin, and the aircraft actually became highly maneuverable. Armament was two forward-firing 7.7 mm (.303 in) Type 97 machine guns, and one flexible 7.7 mm (.303 in) Type 92 machine gun in the rear cockpit for defence. Normal bomb load was a single 250 kg (550 lb) bomb carried under the fuselage, which was swung out under the propeller on release by a trapeze. Two additional 60 kg (130 lb) bombs could be carried on wing racks located under each wing outboard of the dive brakes. The D3A1 commenced carrier qualification trials aboard the Akagi and Kaga during 1940, while a small number of aircraft made their combat debut from land bases over China. Starting with the attack on Pearl Harbor, the D3A1 took part in all major Japanese carrier operations in the first 10 months of the war. They achieved their first major success against the Royal Navy during their Indian Ocean raid in April 1942. Val dive bombers scored over 80% hits with their bombs during attacks on two heavy cruisers and an aircraft carrier during the operation. During the course of the war, Val dive bombers had to frequently combine their attacks upon enemy warships with the IJN Kate torpedo bomber; consequently enemy vessels were often sunk by a combination strike of bombs and torpedoes. However, there were occasions when just the Vals would make the attacks, or at least score the sinking hits. Discounting the Pearl Harbor strike, which also used the Nakajima B5N used for level bombing and torpedo attacks, Val dive bombers were credited with sinking the following Allied warships. The Model Originally released in 2002 this kit has been re-released several times since, with new decals each time. This release is the same, with decals for the Indian Ocean Raid. Inside the attractively printed box are the six sprues of grey styrene and one of clear, along with a small sprue of four poly caps. The mouldings are standing the test of time well, with no sign of flash or imperfections other than quite a few moulding pips on the smaller parts, although being only twelve years old, so they should. Details are nicely moulded, including finely engraved panel lines and slightly deeper lines where necessary. The instructions aren’t quite as clear as some of Hasegawas other re-releases, particularly for the cockpit assembly, but with a bit of care it should all go together ok. The build with the construction of the forward cockpit bulkhead and the fitting of the upper machine gun breeches to said bulkhead, along with the instrument panel which has raised details, yet the decal that is meant to be used on it looks like it wouldn’t settle down that easily over them. The modeller can either remove the details on the panel or carefully remove each instrument from the decal and place them with the raised areas finishing them off with a drop of your favourite clear varnish. The side walls are populated with detailed parts, with spare magazines for the rear machine gun, throttle lever, additional instruments and one of the two optional bomb sights fitted to the starboard side, whilst the port side is fitted with additional spare machine gun magazines and mid brace tube. The cockpit floor is the fitted out with the mid bulkhead, pilots seat, joystick, rudder pedals, and the complex rear gunners seat assembly made up of the seat, three machine gun support tubes, cross tube and machine gun, which can be posed either in the firing position or stowed on the gunners left hand side, next to his seat. The cockpit tub is then assembled from the sub assemblies of the floor, instrument panel, port and starboard side walls plus the rear bulkhead and the whole lot sandwiched between the fuselage halves as they are closed up. The centre console, with central compass, interior bracing and additional instrument for the gunner are then attached between the pilot and gunner positions. Next it’s on with the wings, which consist of a single piece lower wing and two upper panels. Ensure that you open up the holes in the lower wing if you wish to fit the bombs. The completed wing is then attached to the fuselage along with the two single piece horizontal tailplanes. The single piece engine is fitted with a poly cap and finished off with the fitting of the gearbox cover. The cowling is assembled from two halves and a separate nose section. There are two types of bomb included, the large 250kg which is mounted on the centreline and the two 60kg bombs fitted to pylons on the outer wings. Each bomb comes in multiple parts including pylons, sway braces, fins and the trapeze mechanism for the 250kg bomb. The main wheels are simple fixed affairs and are made of inner and outer spats into which the single piece wheels are fitted. With all the sub-assemblies built up they can be fitted to the aircraft. Before fitting the engine thought, there are the two separate exhaust stacks that need to be attached on the underside of the firewall. Additionally, there are a pair of dive brakes, landing lamp, aileron trim tab linkages, arrestor hook, tailwheel and arrestor cable guard attached. The single piece three bladed prop fitted with a two part hub assembly then slid into place, to be held by the poly cap previously fitted to the engine assembly. Finally the pitot probe, clear navigation light parts and canopy/canopies are attached, with the option of multiple open panels or single piece closed arrangement, each with the aerial mast fixed on the centre section fixed part. Decals The decals provide markings for four aircraft, each of which took part in the Indian Ocean raid. Aichi D3A1 EI-238 flying from Shokaku Aichi D3A1 EII-203 flying from Zuikaku Aichi D3A1 AI-203 flying from Akagi Aichi D3A1 AI-206 also flying from Akagi As usual, the decals are well printed with good opacity and in register. There is little or no sign of carrier film, with the exception of the horizontal tailplane stripes on which the film is very noticeable. A good coat of gloss varnish and some good setting and softening solution will go a long way to get rid of any silvering in this area, or you may want to discard them are paint them instead. Conclusion Even though it’s another re-release, it’s good to see the Val out again as it is an important part of Japanese Naval Aviation history. There is nothing difficult in the build, in fact some areas are perhaps a little simplified, particularly the engine. Certainly the interior will require a good bit of detail painting to bring it all out, but the simple colour schemes mean that this would make a nice weekend build without any AM getting in the way and will look good in any collection. Highly recommend. Review sample courtesy of UK distributors for
  2. Bought these quite recently as I have a soft spot for the Hurricane but wanted to do something different than BoB. Hoping to make a start this weekend. Whilst there's some additional goodies that will find their way in to the builds, the main goal is to have some relatively simple sanity builds with the focus being on the paintwork and weathering rather than being crammed with every detail imaginable. To prevent Troy from telling me off , I've started to sand the panels on the sides which should have the corrugated form right across the join. Only done one side of one kit so far using a round file. Wasn't brilliant, but hope to improve for the others. Wasn't a disaster either!
  3. Hi everybody, here I present my currently finished RF-4E, built of Hasegawa J.A.S.F.D (07230) kit. I used addiionally Aires pilot seats, Hi Decal Line decals, Master tubes and probes, Steel Scorpion "Remove before flight" pendants (correct word?..) and Eduard painting masks. I finished my Phantom in Iranian markings: 62nd TFS, 61st TFW, Islamic Iranian Air Force (IRIAF), TFB.6, Bushehr, 1985. Thanx to Arkady72 for stencil decals! Model was paited using Lifecolor, Tamiya and Mr Hobby acrylics and Mr. Hobby and Model Master metalizers. I hope you enjoy!
  4. Kawasaki Ki-100-I Koh (Tony) 1:48 Hasegawa History Originally powered by a Kawasaki Ha-140 inline engine and designated the Ki-61 the aircraft was redesigned in October 1944 to be fitted with a Mitsubishi Ha-112 twin row radial engine and re-designated the Ki-100. The ability to fit a wide radial into a narrow fuselage came from studying an imported Fw-190. At first, there were problems with the aircraft now being found to be very tail-heavy, but the removal of a large lead counterbalance, which had been placed in the Ki-61-II-KAI's rear fuselage to balance the increasingly heavy Ha-140 engine, restored the center of gravity (cg). As a result, on 1 February 1945, the new model was flown for the first time. Without the need for the heavy coolant radiator and other fittings required for a liquid-cooled engine, the Ki-100 was 329 kg (725 lb) lighter than the Ki-61-II, reducing the wing loading from 189 kg/m² (38.8 lb/ft²) to 175 kg/m² (35.8 lb/ft²). This had an immediate positive effect on the flight characteristics, enhancing landing and takeoff qualities as well as imparting increased manoeuvrability and a tighter turning circle. The army general staff was amazed by the flight characteristics of the plane, which surpassed the Hien's in all but maximum speed (degraded by a maximum of 29 km/h [18 mph] by the larger area of the radial engine's front cowling), and the model was ordered to be put in production as the Army Fighter Type 5. The company's name was Ki-100-1-Ko. All of the airframes were remanufactured from Ki-61-II Kai and Ki-61-III airframes; the integral engine mount/cowling side panel was cut off the fuselage and a tubular steel engine mount was bolted to the firewall/bulkhead. Many of the redundant fittings from the liquid-cooled engine, such as the ventral radiator shutter actuator, were still kept. The first 271 aircraft, or Ki-100-1-Ko, with the raised "razorback" rear fuselage were rolled out of the factory between March and June 1945. A further 118 Ki-100 I-Otsu were built with a cut-down rear fuselage and new rear-view canopy from May through to the end of July 1945. This version also featured a modified oil cooler under the engine in a more streamlined fairing. The engine was reliable in contrast to the mechanical nightmares of the Nakajima Ki-84, Kawasaki Ki-61, and Kawanishi N1K-J that kept many aircraft grounded. Although slow in level flight for 1945, unlike most Japanese fighters, the Ki-100 could dive with P-51 Mustangs and hold the speed on pullout. Two problems which hampered the effective employment of Japanese fighters towards the end of the war were unreliable electrical systems; that of the Ki-100 were less problematic than most other aircraft types, although the fuse-boxes caused problems; and poor radio communications, which was generic throughout the war. The armament was two fuselage-mounted 20 mm Ho-5 cannons, each with 200 rpg. These were complemented by two wing-mounted 12.7 mm (.50 in) Ho-103 machine guns with 250 rpg. Army units to be equipped with this model included the following Sentai: 5th, 17th, 18th, 20th, 59th, 111th, 112th, 200th and 244th and the 81st Independent Fighter Company. Along with the previously named Army air units, pilots were trained through the Akeno and Hitachi (Mito) Army Flying Schools. Many of the Akeno and Hitachi instructors, who were often seconded from operational units, flew combat missions (this deployment was a notable spreading out of the very few fighters that were operational, but many of these wings were only partially re-equipped). The Ki-100 made its combat debut on the night of 9 March 1945 and suffered its first loss on 7 April 1945, when a Ki-100 flown by Master Sergeant Yasuo Hiema of the 18th Sentai was shot down by a B-29 after "attacking the formation again and again". Allied aircrews soon realised that they were facing a formidable new fighter. Although far fewer Ki-100s were available than the Ki-84s, it was perceived to be one of the most important fighters in the inventory. However, during interception of the high-flying B-29s (the B-29 raids soon became low-level missions) the new Japanese fighters struggled as the Ha-112-II engine performance decreased at high altitudes. The most effective way to attack the Superfortress was by making very dangerous head-on attacks, changing their approach path as they neared the bombers. A failure while attempting this was deadly, because of the concentration of defensive fire from the bombers. In this type of combat, the Navy's Mitsubishi J2M Raiden was superior. An overall assessment of the effectiveness of the Ki-100 rated it highly in agility, and a well-handled Ki-100 was able to outmanoeuvre any American fighter, including the formidable P-51D Mustangs and the P-47N Thunderbolts which were escorting the B-29 raids over Japan by that time, and was comparable in speed, especially at medium altitudes. In the hands of an experienced pilot, the Ki-100 was a deadly opponent and, together with the Army's Ki-84 and the Navy's Kawanishi N1K-J, the only other Japanese fighters being able to defeat the latest Allied types. The Model The original version of this kit was released in 1996 but other than the 1999 release of the re-tooled version with the cut down rear fuselage there isn’t any other information on the provenance of the moulds. But, judging on the simple nature of the build it looks to date from the original. That said, if this kit is from the original moulds then they are holding up very well. There is no sign of flash or sink marks and only a few moulding pips. On the inside of each wing tip there are a number of small nodules which will need removing to ensure a good fit. The six sprues of grey styrene and three sprues of clear are very well moulded with finely reproduced panel lines and fasteners. The styrene does appear to be rather soft, so be gentle when sanding and filing. The instructions are well printed, clear and easy to read. The build takes place over twelve operations and looks fairly straight forward. The build begins with the cockpit, which consists of the floor, seat back, seat bucket, seat adjustment lever, rudder pedals, and front bulkhead. Before the cockpit can be fitted to the fuselage, the two side walls need to be installed, along with the hydraulic valve control box, (most parts are actually labelled in the instructions), on the port side wall. With these and the cockpit fitted the instrument panel, with associated decal is fitted to the underside of the coaming. Also fitted at this stage are the upper cannon barrels, exhausts, oil cooler intake, single piece engine cylinders, and gearbox cover. The fuselage halves can then be closed up. To complete the fuselage the cowling nose ring and cannon troughs are attached. The single piece lower wing and two upper wing sections are joined together, after which they can be fitted to the fuselage, along with the horizontal tail planes. Each main undercarriage is made up of a single piece oleo, including the scissor link, single piece main wheel/tyre and the outer bay door. Also constructed at this point are the two drop tanks, each made up of two halves and the pylon. With the model on its back the main undercarriage can be fitted along with the inner bay doors and their associated retraction links, single piece tail wheel, belly fairing, drop tanks and oil cooler exhaust door. The final parts to be attached are the three piece propeller, consisting of the three bladed prop, back plate and spinner, the rear decking after of the cockpit, including radio and headrest, single piece canopy, aerial, pitot probe and landing light cover. Other than painting, the build is complete. Decals The Hasegawa printed decals look pretty good, although perhaps a tad thick, so will need some softener and setting solution to get them to bed down properly. Register is good as in the opacity, and there isn’t much in the way of carrier film. Two aircraft are depicted on the decals, both flying with the 59th Flight Regiment, aircraft No 47 and aircraft No. 153 Conclusion I’ve usually chosen the Ki-61 as one of my favourite Japanese aircraft and didn’t realise the Ki-100 was derived from it. That said it’s a good looking aircraft and will look great next to the inline engined variant. It isn’t a complex kit by any stretch of the imagination, but with a nice paint job, it will look good in any collection. Recommended Review sample courtesy of UK distributors for
  5. Focke Wulf Fw190F-8 1:48 Hasegawa History Arguably one of the best fighters of the time, the Fw 190 was widely used during the Second World War. A total of over 20,000 were produced, including some 6,000 fighter-bomber variants. The 190 remained in production from 1941 until the end of the war, going through multiple redesigns. The Fw.190 made a name for itself as a true Luftwaffe workhorse and was used in a wide variety of roles, including a high-altitude interceptor (especially the Fw.190D), escort fighter, fighter-bomber and night fighter. When the Fw 190 started flying operationally over France in August 1941, it quickly proved itself to be superior in all but turn radius to the Royal Air Force's main front-line fighter, the Spitfire Mk. V. The 190 wrested air superiority away from the RAF until the introduction of the vastly improved Spitfire Mk. IX in July 1942 restored qualitative parity. The Fw 190 made its air combat debut on the Eastern Front in November/December 1942; though Soviet pilots considered the Bf 109 the greater threat, the Fw 190 made a significant impact. The fighter and its pilots proved just as capable as the Bf 109 in aerial combat, and in the opinion of German pilots who flew both, provided increased firepower and manoeuvrability at low to medium altitude. The Fw 190 became the backbone of the Jagdwaffe, along with the Bf 109. On the Eastern Front, and was versatile enough to use in Schlachtgeschwader (Battle Wings or Strike Wings), specialised ground attack units which achieved much success against Soviet ground forces. As an interceptor, the Fw 190 underwent improvements to make it effective at high altitude, enabling it to maintain relatively equal with its Allied opponents. The Fw 190A series performance decreased at high altitudes (usually 6,000 m (20,000 ft) and above), which reduced its effectiveness as a high-altitude interceptor, but this problem was mostly rectified in later models, particularly in the Junkers Jumo 213 inline-engine Focke Wulf Fw 190D series, which was introduced in September 1944. In spite of its successes, it never entirely replaced the Bf 109. The Fw.19 F-8 was the most mass-produced variant of the Fw.190F series, based on the Fw.190A-8. The Fw 190 F-8 differed from the A-8 model in having a slightly modified injector on the compressor which allowed for increased performance at lower altitudes for several minutes. The F-8 was also fitted with the improved FuG 16 ZS radio unit, which provided much better communication with ground combat units. Armament of the Fw 190 F-8 was two 20 mm MG 151/20 cannon in the wing roots and two 13 mm (.51 in) MG 131 machine guns above the engine. According to Ministry of Aviation acceptance reports, at least 3,400 F-8s were built, and probably several hundred more were built in December 1944 and from February to May 1945. Dozens of F-8s served as various test beds for anti-tank armament, including the WGr.28 280 mm air-to-ground missile, probably based on the projectiles from the Nbw 41 heavy ground-barrage rocket system, and the 88 mm (3.46 in) Panzerschreck 2 rockets, Panzerblitz 1 and R4M rockets. The Model Originally released in 2011 this kit has now been reboxed by Hasegawa, this time with a new set of decals and a different weapon load. The box artwork shows this well with a representation of the aircraft banking to port with the large bomb on its centreline. The styrene inside the box is of the usual Hasegawa fare, nicely moulded with fine panels lines, no sign of flash and only a few moulding pips on the seven grey sprues of varying sizes and one sprue of clear styrene. Instructions are not as clear as some of their kits but are certainly usable. Spread over thirteen operations, the build begins with the cockpit which consists of the tub, with the rear decking integrally moulded, separate seat, side consoles, rudder pedals, and joystick. The instrument panel requires the details to be sanded away so that the instrument decal can be applied. Alternatively you could use the individual decals found on the Airscale products, and keep the surface details. Seatbelts are not provided so these will have to be sourced from elsewhere or assembled out of Tamiya tape. With the cockpit completed it can be affixed to one side of the fuselage, along with the trim wheel on the starboard fuselage side wall, after which the fuselage can be closed up. The main undercarriage bays are made up of the front wing spare face, wheel wells and central bracing structure. The bay assembly is then glued into position on the single piece lower wing. The upper wing sections are then fitted to the lower wing, the machine gun bulges are then fitted to the their respective positions on the upper wings, followed by the upper nose decking and horizontal tailplanes. With the fuselage almost complete, it’s on to the engine and cowling. The cowling consists of upper and lower sections, two side pieces, front section and an internal intake part. Putting the completed cowling assembly to one side, construction of the engine can begin. The valve rods are attached to the combined cylinder banks/bulkhead. There is not much in the way of detail for the cylinders, but to be honest there won’t be anything seen once the cowling has been fitted. With e valve rods in place, the gearbox back plate is fitted to the front of the engine, followed by the gearbox, into which a poly retaining part has been added, followed by the fan disc. The completed engine is then attached to the forward fuselage, along with the exhaust pipes on either side and finished off with the cowling.. With the fuselage upside down, the undercarriage can be attached. Each main undercarriage assembly is made up of the main oleo, separate scissor link single piece wheels and gear bar door. The tail wheel also has a separate single piece wheel which is attached to the tail wheel oleo and supporting structure and finished off with the attachment of the other side of the wheel yoke. The main undercarriage assemblies, once fitted into position are completed with the attachment of a retraction jack for each leg. Additional parts fitted at this point include the wing root gun barrels, boarding step, outer wing panels, and the centreline bomb rack which is made up out of two front halves, a single piece rear section and completed with the fitting of the four crutch pads. The bomb itself is assembled from the two nose halves, two tail halves, two separate fins and the tail ring. Part of the lowest fin needs to have a section removed to give the required ground clearance. The bomb can then be fitted to the carrier. The final sub-assemblies of the build are the propeller, (consisting of the single piece propeller, back plate and spinner), optional styles of canopy with alternative armour plate supporting structure, three piece gunsight, and windscreen which can then all be fitted to the model. Lastly the pitot probe and wing tip nav lights are attached, Decals The decal sheet is very well printed by Hasegawa themselves, in good register, nicely opaque and slightly glossy. Surprisingly full swastikas are included, so I don’t think this kit will be on sale in Germany, although they are placed on the sheet in such a way as to be easily removed. The are full stencils for one aircraft and the option of two aircraft markings. Fw-190F-8 A3+18 11./KG200 March 1945, RLM74 and RLM 75 over RLM 76, with RLM75 mottle on the fuselage sides. Fw-190F-8 A3+LV 11./KG200 1945, RLM74 and RLM 75 over RLM76 with no mottling. Conclusion This is another nice re-release from Hasegawa and well up to their usual standards. The detail is very nice straight out of the box, and apart from the addition of seatbelts shouldn’t really need anything else. The unusual fin arrangement of the 1000kg bomb makes it a little more interesting and will make a nice addition to any collection. Recommended Review sample courtesy of UK distributors for
  6. Hi All, This was a two year long odyssey, most of which was finished in the month of January. The build thread with its woeful photos is HERE. This is the best model kit I've ever had the pleasure of building. Practically flawless fit, beautiful mouldings and clever, well-designed construction with sensible instructions and build progression. Well worth the £130-odd quid the kit retails at. I also used the three Hasegawa PE sets, which help you realise exactly what quality PE is, quite a lot better than even the mighty WEM/GMM manage to produce. I paid £80 for the kit, and the same for the PE and still think it's a bargain! The Agano-class of four ships were meant to replace the otherwise-needed Tenryu, Sendai and Nagara-class of interwar-built light cruisers in the destroyer leader role. Although fast and fine-looking ships, they were barely better armed than a Kagero-class destroyer with just six 6-in guns and a light AA armament of two twin 3-in and four 25mm mounts as built. Their strength was their speed, heavy torpedo armament and aircraft handling facilities featuring two "Jake" floatplanes. Of the four built, only one survived the war - Agano fell prey to US submarines as did her sister Noshiro. Yahagi escorted the Yamato on her final kamikaze sortie in April 1945, joining her at the bottom of the Pacific. Sakawa was captured intact and used for repatriation of troops until being expended as a target in the Bikini atomic tests in 1946. All photos as ever credit to IPMS Farnborough, taken by the ever-patient Chris Bradley! Happy to answer any questions etc, Al
  7. Next in the cabinet is the Erich Harmann’s Bf109G-6 in temporary winter camo. The kit is the well known Hasegawa JT48 and is actually quite good. I added some Eduard parts for the cockpit, wheel bays and flaps. Painting was done the original way. I started with the standard mottled scheme and over sprayed it with the temporary winter scheme. The nose Tulip was also sprayed instead using the decals. During the process I ruined the Erla Haube and I had to order a complete new kit for this item alone, Luckily there is also a classic hood included in the kit so I can still build a new Bf109G-14. Thanks for watching.
  8. Mitsubishi J2M3 Raiden, (Jack) 1:32 Hasegawa History The J2M was designed by Jiro Horikoshi, creator of the A6M Zero to meet the 14-Shi (14th year of the Showa reign, or 1939) official specification. It was to be a strictly local-defence interceptor, intended to counter the threat of high-altitude bomber raids, and thus relied on speed, climb performance, and armament at the expense of manoeuvrability. The J2M was a sleek, but stubby craft with its over-sized Mitsubishi Kasei engine buried behind a long cowling, cooled by an intake fan and connected to the propeller with an extension shaft. Pilot visibility was poor, but a domed canopy introduced later in production partially alleviated this concern. Teething development problems stemming from the Kasei engine, unreliable propeller pitch change mechanism and the main undercarriage members led to a slowdown in production. A continual set of modifications resulted in new variants being introduced with the ultimate high-altitude variant, the J2M4 Model 34 flying for the first time in August 1944. It had a 1,420 hp Kasei 23c engine equipped with a turbo supercharger (mounted in the side of the fuselage just behind the engine) that allowed the rated power to be maintained up to 30,000 ft. Two upward-aimed, oblique-firing (aimed at seventy degrees) twenty mm cannons, mounted in the German Schräge Musik style, were fitted behind the cockpit with the four wing cannons retained. Unresolved difficulties with the turbo supercharger caused the project to be terminated after only two experimental J2M4s were built. The first few produced J2M2s were delivered to the development units in December 1942 but severe problems were encountered with the engines. Trials and improvements took almost a year and the first batch of the serial built J2M2 Model 11 was delivered to 381st Kokutai in December 1943. Parallel with the J2M2, production of the J2M3 Raiden Model 21 started. The first J2M3s appeared in October 1943 but deliveries to combat units started at the beginning of February 1944. The Raiden made its combat debut in June 1944 during the Battle of the Philippine Sea. Several J2Ms operated from Guam and Saipan and a small number of aircraft were deployed to the Philippines. Later, some J2Ms were based in chosen airfields for defending these areas and fighting against Soviet Naval Aviation units. Primarily designed to defend against the Boeing B-29 Superfortress, the lack of a turbocharger handicapped the aircraft at high altitude. However, its four-cannon armament supplied effective firepower and the use of dive and zoom tactics allowed it to score occasionally. Insufficient numbers and the American switch to night bombing in March 1945 limited its effectiveness. Two captured J2Ms were U.S. Technical Air Intelligence Command (TAIC) tested using 92 octane fuel plus methanol, with the J2M2 (Jack11) achieving a speed of 655 km/h (407 mph) at 5,520 m (17,400 ft), and J2M3 (Jack21) achieving a speed of 671 km/h (417 mph) at 4,980 m (16,600 ft). The Model This kit was originally released in 2011 as one of Hasegawas 70th anniversary release schedule. This version is released as a limited edition with the markings of aircraft from the 302nd Flying Group. Since the moulds are still fairly new there is no sign of wear, so no flash and only one or two moulding pips too. The moulding is very nicely done, with fine recessed panel lines and fastener details as we’ve come to expect from Hasegawa. There are eight sprues of grey styrene and three of clear plus four vinyl retainers. The instructions are relatively clear and easy to read, in an A4 sized booklet format. The build starts with the cockpit and the instrument panel, which is attached to the forward bulkhead has moulded instrument bezels, but uses four blocks of decals for the faces. Depending on how these settle it might be an idea to fit each face separately, much like using an Airscale set. A drop of Aqua gloss or Kleer can be used to seal the decals, with the added advantage of drying to look like the instrument glass. The seat bucket is fitted with a support arm each side whilst the rear bulkhead is adorned with the seat adjustment bracket, adjustment handle, headrest and rear armoured plate. The radio set is assembled from four parts and fitted to the rear shelf, which is then attached to the rear of the bulkhead, with the seat assembly attached to the front. The sidewalls have well defined details moulded onto them and this is enhanced with additional parts and decals. The cockpit floor is fitted with the a console on the port side which also has a couple of smaller parts fitted, followed by the throttle lever on the port side floor, rudder pedals, joystick, undercarriage and flap levers on the starboard floor. The sub-assemblies are then fitted together, creating the sturdy cockpit structure. There are two parts that look like harness attachments fitted one per side of the headrest support structure, but the harness will need to be sourced from an aftermarket company as it is not included in the kit. What the kit does include is a very well moulded multi part pilot, with front and rear torso, separate legs and arms, including an alternative right arm plus three styles of head, one with a mask and oxygen hose, one with the leather helmet open and one with the helmet fastened up. Fitted with the separate parachute pack and after a careful painting session it will make a nice addition to the completed model no matter what flying state it is in. If you’re not going to use the pilot then Hasegawa have provided a separate seat cushion to be fitted. With the cockpit and pilot assembled it’s onto the fuselage. There are five bulkheads of various sizes and shapes to be fitted to the starboard side followed by the cockpit assembly. Inside the port fuselage a square hole has to be opened up and a lever assembly passed through, I believe this may be a canopy opening lever and only used on two of the aircraft options. The fuselage can then be closed up. The wing assembly begins with the assembly of the front spar, rear bulkhead and adjoining structure. This is then attached to the single piece lower wing section with the spar just aft of the wheel wells. There is also a block to be attached between the well bays and two strengthening spars attached to the outer sections of the wing. Before fitting the upper wing sections it should be decided whether the external fuel tank is going to be used or not as the flashed over holes will need to be opened up in the lower wing. On the insides of the upper wing sections the gun troughs also need opening up. The upper wings can now be attached to the lower wing and two clear parts, which I presume are some form of formation lighting are fitted to the top of each upper wing. The fuselage assembly is attached to the wing assembly, whilst the two part horizontal tailplanes are attached to the rear fuselage. The gun barrels, gun fairings, pitot probe and clear navigation lights are now attached. Next up is the assembly of the main undercarriage, each made up of the main oleo, two part scissor link, two part tyre, poly retainer, inner and outer hubs and main bay door. The inner doors are attached to the fuselage with their associated retraction linkages while the outer doors are fitted to the outer edge of the bay adjacent to the oleo attachment. The tail wheel, tail cone and a pair of lower wing panels are attached, followed by the main undercarriage assemblies. The optional drop tank consists of two halves with separate horizontal tail fins. Once complete it can be attached to the aircraft, between the undercarriage bays. With the main structure complete it’s on with the powerplant. Firstly the modeller will need to decide which of the two types of propeller blades to use, either the standard type or the high performance type. Each of the separate blades are then fitted to the hub and enclosed with the spinner, while to the rear a locating propshaft is attached. The cowling is then completed with an air intake fitted to underside of the single piece cowling and two blanks to be fitted to the upper machine gun trough. The internal structure is then assembled from the ducting, fixed stator with poly retainer fitted and rotating fan blades. This structure is fitted to the inside of the cowling. The engine is made up of the front and rear cylinder banks, two sets of valve rods at the front plus the intake and exhaust manifolds to the rear. The completed engine is then attached to the fuselage followed by the cowling and finally the propeller. The build continues with the attachment of a clear “armoured windscreen” and support structure to the upper decking between the cockpit and the cowling, plus optional Type 4 or Type 98 gun sight. The main windscreen is fitted out with a pair of grab handles, and then fitted to the front of the cockpit once the upper deck assembly has been attached. The two separate gun bay panels for the upper wings are fitted followed by the aerial and side window support structure, side windows, and canopy, and that is the build complete. Decals The quite large decal sheet provides markings for three aircraft, each of the 302nd Fighter Group. the colour schemes are the same for each aircraft and only the serial numbers changed and the 1st option having a yellow band around the rear fuselage. The decals are all nicely printed, in good register and with very little carrier film, even around the instrument blocks. While the decals appear to have been gloss once they seem to have lost the gloss coat and are now quite matt. They should settle well though on a good gloss coat with suitable setting and softening solutions. followed by a coat of gloss varnish followed by a coat of matt varnish. Conclusion I’ve always liked the Raiden, and this is very nice looking kit of a great looking aircraft. This will also make for a good alternative to the complex ZM release and also a fair bit cheaper. If you are going to comment on this review, please don’t bang on about Hasegawa pricing, as this one is actually quite reasonable. The detail is superb out of the box, but if you want to go the extra mile then the usual companies already have aftermarket parts for this kit. So if you fancy having a Raiden in your collection you can’t really go wrong with this one. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of UK distributors for
  9. A pair of the finest Japanese sports cars -- either one you'd love to own, but only one costs the best part of a million dollars. Both excellent-looking curbside Hasegawa kits. Tamiya spray for the bodies: Racing White and Maroon (actually chestnut brown...) They're quite hard to photograph together, since the camera likes to assume that the Toyota is white (it's actually pale cream), and exposing for both dark brown and almost white in the same image is taxing, especially in artificial light. Wheels in Zero Paints graphite grey with bright silver highlights. The tyre tread diameter is the same, but the 240Z has much smaller wheels/deeper tyres... The interiors are under way, but they are both a symphony in blacks... though the 2000GT has some rather cool rosewood veneer highlights... bestest, M.
  10. Lightning F.6 11 Sqn RAF Binbrook 1976 Yes, I know I should have just got on with that new Airfix Lightning, but this one had been in the pending pile for so many years that I just had to finish it. This is the Hasegawa / Frog / Revell F6 kit which I rescribed. I also fitted a new forward belly tank with guns so that I could use the big 11 Sqn fin badge from the Xtradecal sheet which was designed for F3s. Probably like most of us I have a few more Frog F6 kits in the attic and even though Airfix have now surpassed those old kits (thankyou, thankyou, thankyou Airfix) I'm sure I will still use a few from time to time because they are just pure nostalgia! XR773 / D was in the static park at the 1976 IAT at Greenham Common so I used one of my old slides to finish it. Alclad over polished Halfords grey primer (polished with toothpaste and elbow grease) and then a few brushed coats of Klear to give that grey / aluminium look and to ensure the decals went down well
  11. Finally got this done. This is the first Hasegawa Lanc I've built, and on the whole, it's pretty good. The landing gear design is a bit naff with a separate parts joining the two main legs which kept breaking throughout the build and the canopy needed the escape panel moving. Built using the CMK surfaces set which gives ailerons, flaps and complete tail feathers with separate parts and the Pavla replacement radiator intakes. The squadron codes are a bit low, and also a little small in height looking at photographs. It was painted using Gunze dark earth lightened with white and Tamiya XF81 dark green also lightened with white. The under surfaces were predominantly Tamiya sky grey with a bit of blue grey and white mixed in. The build thread is here Thanks to Chrisrope for donating a tail wheel from an airfix kit as the Hasegawa one is far too big, cheers mate It represents PD131 serving with 15 Sqn in 1946. This aircraft formerly served with 617Sqn. Anyway, hope you like it. Thanks for looking, Neil
  12. ASF-X Shinden II "Kei Nagase Color" Hasegawa 1:72 Limited Edition In 2008 Taiga Heavy Industries was commissioned by the Ministry of Defence to begin developing the ASF-X. In 2014 the CTOL ASF-X-10 prototype 40-8011 made its maiden flight. After an additional year of testing it was formally accepted by the Ministry of Defence. 40-8011 as a test aircraft had problems with its electrical system, and structural cracking. Data from this was fed into the second prototype. In 2016 the second STOVL ASF-X-02 60-8002 was accepted by the Ministry of Defence and subjected to additional testing. Ultimately two of each prototype participated in in research and development programme. By this time the design showed every promise of living up to its proud name "Shinden II" According to legend the "Kei Nagase Color" paint scheme has its origins in the pre-development of the aircraft, when experiments were being undertaken for painting the airframe with a special stealth paint. Masking of reinforcement points resulted in a black and orange appearance which test pilot Kei Nagase found very appealing. In response mechanics later painted the units aircraft in this scheme. Source Ace Combat in the skies, ASCII Media works. Ace Combat Ace Combat is a Japanese hybrid arcade-simulation flight action video game published by the Namco Bandai Games company. Most games take place in fictionalised worlds loosely based on real life location, events and even wars. These games have been released on many different gaming platforms from 1996 up till the present. Over the years in Japan typical aircraft model kits have been detailed after aircraft used in the games. Hasegawa tapped into this market in 2000 with the issues of some 1.144 resin model kits, and has continued to do so ever since, as they have done so with the Idolmaster series as well, giving them another outlet for plastic model kits. The Kit On opening the box you are greeted by the two main fuselage halves and an additional 5 sprues all in a dark grey plastic. A large clear sprue for the stand, and a small clear sprue for the canopy. The quality of all parts is top notch as you would expect from Hasegawa. Detail is a mix of fine panel lines, and raised detail where it is needed. There is no flash evident any where. Construction starts with adding all the internal detail to the lower fuselage half. Engines and the vectored thrust nozzle are made up and added (the vectored flight nozzle can be positioned in normal or STOVL flight modes). The air intake is then made up and added to the top fuselage half. The tail units must be added at this stage, care must be taken with glue as these are designed to move. Once these are added the fuselage can then be closed up. If you are going to add under wing stores then its important to open up the holes before closing up the fuselage. Following the the wing tips are added. Two different parts are provided depending on whether you wish to model the aircraft in normal or STOVL flight. The cockpit is moulded into the upper fuselage but you still have to add an instrument panel, ejection seat and pilot figure (if you want). Following this landing gear can be added, and the gear doors positioned. These are also designed to be positioned closed if you are doing your model in flight, however you will need to remove the mounting tabs. The last thing to do is to add the underwing stores if you are using them. There are six pylons which you can fill with all air-2-air missles or a combination of missiles and rocket pods. Six missiles (which look like AMMRAM's) and four rocket pods are provided. Canopy The canopy for this kit is a one part affair. It is clear and crisp with no distortions. As well as the canopy the kit contains a large clear sprue which is stand should the modeller wish to display the model "in flight". This is a welcome addition to the kit and I hope Hasegawa include it in more. In a break from normal tradition the slot for the stand is cut in the model, and if you are not using the stand then a blanking plate is provided. Decals One of the stars of this kit is the massive decal sheet which just about fills the bottom of the box. The aircraft features a two tone paint scheme similar in many ways to the F-22 and F-35 minus the orange! The second shade of grey and orange are all provided as decal. Care will be needed with the larger ones, and outline decals as the inside is not all clear decal film; though this will help prevent large scale silvering. The decals are well printed and with care and the appropriate setting solutions should look very good when finished. Conclusion While there may not be as much excitement outside of Japan for these kits, they are excellent models and can be recommended if you want to build something different. As the part count if fairly low and the subject somewhat different from the norm this might be an ideal kit to get for a younger modeller to encourage them. Review sample courtesy of UK distributors for
  13. Kit: Hasegawa 1:32 ‘Nowotny’ edition. Paint: All Tamiya & Lifecolour acrylics. MIG weathering pigments (wheels & tyres). Decals: Eagle Cals, MicroScale & kit. Extras: Eduard ‘Zoom’ set. Cut & dropped elevators. Cut & repositioned tail wheel & rudder. Brake lines from various gauges of fuse wire. Master MG17 barrels (not in photo). Focke-Wulf Fw190A-5 5 Staffel I/JG54 Operation ‘Zitadelle’ Summer 1943 ….and we’re done. Thoroughly enjoyed this project. Kit went together with the minimum of fuss. Camouflage came-out exactly as it looked in my head before I began, something that doesn’t happen too often. Especially happy with the weathering on the underside and the way the MIG pigments settled in to the main wheels & tyres giving a dry/dusty ‘feel’. Built for the ‘Battle of Kursk’ Campaign/Group Build on www.modelersalliance.com . As ever happy to take any questions, criticism and comments. Thanks for taking the time to look, I’m off now to start decaling my TF-104…. That’s going to keep me busy for a while !! Ian
  14. Hello, just a quick question, does anyone know why this kit has a choice of two keel inserts? The second, unused, one appears to be thinner and lacks the lumps and bumps of the other one. Cheers, Andrew
  15. Well I am calling this one done. First completion in quite a few months and first for the year. It was started last year for a club Dambuster build. AJ-N, also known as ED912 had two RAAF Crew: Pilot Officer Leslie Gordon Knight, the pilot Flight Sergeant Robert George Thomas Kellow the Wireless operator. The club display was based around Australians in the raid and the aircraft they flew. ED912 attacked the Eder dam between 01:30 and 02:00 (17/05/43) and was the third aircraft to attack the dam. It performed one dummy run then went in for his final attack, the Upkeep hit the dam perfectly and breached it . The codeword "DINGHY" for a breach in the Eder was relayed to Harris, Wallis and Cochrane at Grantham.
  16. Finally got round to starting this after picking it up at one of the shows this year for £29. So, the plan... To do one of the day schemes as a change! CMK surfaces set (ordered) - use the flaps lowered and possibly the tail parts slightly off neutral. Pavla larger intakes if they are correct for this aircraft????? Eduard zoom set for cockpit Correct the escape hatch position on the canopy and use Eduard masks As well as the questions I've posted in the WWII section, got some questions for those that have built the Hase kit... Has anyone used the CMK control surfaces set - if so, any advice? Anything to watch out for the Hase kit in general? Have you fitted the wings after painting or before? Quite fancy fitting the wings at the end to ease access. Shrouded / unshrouded exhausts? Treaded or untreaded tyres? Here's where I'm up to so far. Made some seatbelts and arm rests for the pilots seat, strangely, the Eduard Zoom set doesn't have the seatbelts included. Also filled the side windows which were omitted on later aircraft. A few need a bit more filling to hide them. Cheers
  17. This is my second completion for the year. It is the Idolmaster boxing of the 1/48 Hasegawa F/A-18F Super Hornet. This is the first 1/48 kit I completed in about 10 years. It was nice to build something with parts I could see I built it pretty much OOB. I had a few fit issues and I think they were my own making. I used after market decals from Southern Sky. These were original issue from a few years ago with only roundels, tail flashes and numbers. The later sheets are more comprehensive. I also used the Steel Beach ECS pipes to make it look more RAAF. The weapons are from a Hasegawa weapons set, I used 3 GBU-16s and an ACMI pod to mix it up a bit with the kit supplied AIM-9X and AIM-120. I started this one just before Christmas and built it for my son who is currently under going training in the RAAF. He hopes to work on Super Hornets when he finishes his training later this year. On to the pictures....
  18. Hi all! Here's my premier natural metal finished aircraft - one of many I hope! Really enjoyed this, even though it took much longer than it should. A few 'improvements': - Airwaves PE cockpit bits/oil cooler flaps (there was lots more but it was inaccurate or unusable) - Aires gunbay - Engine wired with copper speaker cable strands and fuse wire - Cowl flaps separated and actuating rods added (bit out of scale but hey) - Curtiss prop from a Tamiya kit - Brake wires from fuse wire of various sizes, and in the wheel bay. - Tail wheel door rams from fuse wire Finish is alclad white aluminium with some bits duraluminium and Humbrol metalcote. I preshaded individual panels with alclad gloss black to simulate stressed skin. Tamiya acrylic for the gear/gun bays and Humbrol enamel (all the rest). Decals are Superscale and weren't much cop, too shiny and colours much too bright. I ended up stripping off the stars and bars and replacing with kit decals, the rest got a dust of Humbrol satin. I left this aircraft lightly weathered as it was a non-combat plane, only used by Kepner to monitor his air forces. It would have been kept pretty smart, besides the usual English mud on the wheels! Comments and criticism please! Chris
  19. Happy New Year all! Mrs Card kindly got this one off my wishlist for a Chrimble prezzie. Wanted to do it as never built a Hasegawa before and everyone (surely?) has a Warhawk in their collection. Anyway - progress so far. Just using a phone camera, so pics not great, but I hope it's all bearable... Box & most of the sprues: Cockpit & radiator: Went together well - it's one of those 'test fit the whole thing' before touching the glue jobbies. Nearly screwed the seat mounting up, but spotted my mistake just in time. Used the instrument-only decals - there are decals with background and instruments supplied as well. Sight was painted later. Dirtied up the radiator prior to fitting with some weathering powders. Test fit & actual build of fuselage halves: Some filling & sanding needed (mostly fixing my overenthusiastic sprue mark sanding): Added tail unit - I like the linkages between the control surfaces - wondering whether to highlight them when painting: Built the wings - again, nice fit after some testing: Airframe built - some gaps but I have filler and new tools to fill with. This is nearly as far as I've got... Just added some underside paraphernalia: Now starting the basic paint job - underside colour is causing a bit of a headache. Says 'Neutral Gray' in the destructions - Tamiya's Neutral and Light Greys are far too dark for my eye - going for Humbrol's US Gull Grey. We'll see how it pans out. Cheers Si M...
  20. Stuflyer

    Bl***y Tornado

    I have NEVER given up on a kit before. Ever. Not once. I have built some of the worst vac forms imaginable, and wrestled with warped resin in the middle of the night with a deadline looming. But THIS? More specifically: the Airwaves wing set. I have had three sets of the things and every one has drooped. I have tried heating them and re setting them, but the flaps and slats wrinkle when you do this, no matter how carefully you do it. And you can't reset them afterwards. My latest plan was to cut the open areas from the wings and install them in the Hase wings a la a paragon conversion kit. Nope: there don't seem to be any undrooped ones in existence. Every set I have seen is bent, so, reluctantly and finally, I give up. I'll get the Revell 1/48 kit and save myself a LOT of gyp. It will cost less than the wings I have bought for this thing, let alone the eduard set... Mojo lost. It's in the bin. Right, as you were, I just needed to vent a little :-)
  21. Hi all, Here's the last build of the year. Hasegawa kit, eduard zoom etched brass, Eagle strike decals, Tamiya paint. Cheers and Merry Christmas! FF
  22. The end of WW2 pretty much saw most of the empires of the world fall and the Dutch East Indies was no different. Fueled by 3 years of occupation by the Japanese, who actively encouraged nationalistic sentiments, Indonesia declared independence just two days after the Japanese surrender on August 15th. The result would be a rather nasty conflict that was rather unflattering for the Dutch, who eventually recognised Indonesian Independence in December 1949. There were many Japanese aircraft left in Indonesia at the end of the war and as many as possible were quickly snapped up by Indonesian forces, who managed to gather a surprising amount of serviceable equipment. In early 1946, Dutch intellegence reported 14 Ki-61's were operational with a further 4 unserviceable aircraft, but it is thought that 6 aircraft were acquired with only 1 serviceable. The Dutch called the Ki 61 'Mustang Jepang'; Japanese Mustang. They would have been a formidable opponent for a Dutch Kittyhawk, less so for the Mustangs. Aside from a period water colour painting upon which my model is based, this is all the information known of these aircraft.
  23. Hi, here's a few pics of the current wip, hoping to get this done by years end! Hasegawa kit, tamiya paint, Eagle Strike decals. Thanks for looking. FF
  24. Hi, "There are many like it, but this one is mine". The Hornet in 1/48 is prehaps not the rarest object out there This one is a Finnish Air Force F-18C, HN-431 from HLLv 21. The build is inspired by two pictures of HN-431 taken on a highway strip in Lusi 2011 that I have found on the net (link and link). It is Hasegawa OOB except for decals and Sidewinders. This is a bird that has been sitting on my workbench for quite some time, actually over a year. However, finally finished and Ready for Inspection, so thank's for looking Cheers! /Fred
  25. Fuji T-1A/B "Old fashion" Hasegawa 1:72 - Double Boxing Limited Edition. The Fuji T-1 has the distinction of being Japans first indigenous jet powered training aircraft. Fuji Heavy Industries is a major Japanese corporation better known now for its Subaru vehicles. Its roots trace back to the Nakajima Aircraft Company which was broken up post WWII. They are still heavily involved in Aerospace. The T-1 was developed as an intermediate jet trainer. Much of what went into the T-1 was learnt from the licensed manufacture and operation by Japan of the F-86 sabre. This has lead to it being considered a 2 seat F-86 but in reality nothing was interchangeable between the two. Like a lot of trainers it had the capability to carry some ordnance and was used for some tactical training. The original T-1A was powered by a licensed Bristol Siddeley Orpheus engine. 46 T-1As were built. Later a T-1B was built with an Ishikawajima-Harima J3 engine fitted. 20 T-1Bs were built. The first T-1 flew in January of 1953 and they were retired in March of 2006 being replaced by the T-4. The Kit The Fuji T-1 kit has been around for a while, the first one I built was in a Hales box so that dates it to pretty far back. The kit has been updated at least once as far as I can tell with new parts for the cockpit. I also notice that the original boxing included a plastic FUJI T-1 plaque to display in front of your completed model, this has now been removed which is a shame. Hasegawa have re-released this kit in various boxings over the years, the last one I know of was for the retirement of the T-1. The parts count for the whole kit is fairly low with all parts on two fairly small sprues with an additional small sprue for the drop tanks. Construction starts with cockpit. 2 fairly generic seats are provided with instrument panels and control columns. The rudder pedals are moulded onto the floor and instrument panel details are provided as decals. Once the cockpit is completed this is placed inside the fuselage adding the intake and exhaust. Neither of these is very deep and are blanked off so at least you can not see through the model. Once the fuselage is closed up the wings are added. The lower wing is one part crossing the bottom of the fuselage with the top wings being added. Following this the the tailplanes, landing gear and tanks are added. Given the age of the kit there is no detail at all in the gear bays. Finally the canopy is added. Canopy The canopy Is very clear despite the old moulds the canopy has held up well, and can be posed in either the open or closed position. Decals Decals are provided for 3 aircraft in the kit. 857 Air Proving Group JASDF - As on Box Art 808 13th FTW JASDF (Overall white aircraft) 812 13th FTW JASDF (Overall white with large red panels) The decals look glossy and in register, they also do appear thinner than hasegawa decals in the past. All of the dayglo areas for the aircraft are provided as decals if te modeller does not want to paint these areas. Hasegawa now also seem to be able to print white not that horrible cream colour of the past. Conclusion Overall recommended for Japanese aircraft fans or if you fancy building something different. In the words of a famous TV Show here is one I built earlier. Review sample courtesy of UK distributors for
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