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  1. 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
  2. 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.
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. 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.
  12. 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
  13. Finished this morning with the last little bits. Hasegawa F-4E kit with Sky decals, painted with Gunze Aqueous and Alclad. Used a Quickboost Skyhawk refuelling probe and some plastic tubing to make the refuelling probe. Good fun, apart from the stencil hell. The build thread is available here Peter
  14. I have started painting my third adversary TA-4F/J (so far). It wil be finished as #13 in a scheme that looks a bit like used on the Japanese RF-4E; http://a4skyhawk.org...lay/154657i.jpg It's a standard Hasegawa TA-4J built OOB. After adding the last major bits today I pre-shaded it, followed by the tan (Xtracolor FS10219) and the Euro I green (Xtracolor FS14092). The last green will be a Model Master green (FS34097), and since it's flat (and thus drying faster) I will wait until the first two colours have dried before applying it. I don't want the paint to crack. Today's first progress: As usual camo is done freehand. The decals will come from the Classic Airframes TA-4J. The CA painting guide is not entirely correct so I'm primarily using reference pictures to determine the pattern. My two previous TA-4F/Js: I am also working on five other TA-4F/Js, an A-4E, an A-4F Super Fox, an A-4K and an A-4M. All TA-4s and the A-4E/F will also be adversaries. Jens
  15. After the He-111 something i've been planning for a while - due to an administrative error, I ended up with 2 Hasegawa F-4E's when I really only wanted one, so I got some Sky Decals to do it as an IDF one. However i've also got some resin seats, and a quickboost refuelling probe for an A-4 Skyhawk to make the refulling probe that's permanently deployed for IDF Phantoms. And the decals Work starts as is normal with the cockpit - started painting up the cockpit Peter
  16. Pretty well there - beautiful kit to build - hopefully to be published in a future edition of Military in Scale: Iain
  17. Hasegawa have announced a new tooling of the Eurofighter Typhoon, which some of you may already have heard about, but we now know when it's coming, and that the initial production run will include a bonus display stand. No further details on that aspect of it, but it should prove handy, I'm sure. Decals include RAF No.3(F) SQuadron, coded QO-H, and Luftwaffe JG74, and there will be 195 parts in the box - quite a high part count for a 1:72, which bodes well. This looks to be the boxtop picture, culled straight from Hasegawa's website. I'll be interested to see how it compares to the Revell kit in the same scale, as I always thought it had room for improvement on the detail. It should be in the shops here around October time, allowing for the vagaries of the slow boat from Japan getting here on time, which gives you plenty of time to put one or more on your Christmas wish list. Modern jet fans rejoice While we're on the subject - on a related note, a new Dual-combo boxing of the Hasegawa Jaguar GR.1A/T.2A is being released at the same time, with parts for two kits, one of each mark in the box, and decals for a 1A of 16 Squadron, coded XX965 in 2010, and a T.2A of 6 Squadron, coded XX141 in 2009. A good month for RAF lovers
  18. Hi! I took outdoor picture of my Hien. This one was done last year. This is the limited edition from Hasegawa, with a white metal pilot. This was my first time with Alclad. The green spots are airbrushed by hand. Thanks for watching! Bye
  19. Greetings all. Going to attempt something out of the ordinary for me - Ive been doing so much military stuff I just fancied a change. I decided I want to do a Virgin Atlantic 747-400, in the 2010 livery - I rode "Mustang Sally" I believe when my wife and I went on honeymoon to Orlando, so thought that would be a great model to do! I dont know ANYTHING about civil stuff so this is going to be a fun build for me, Im not going for accuracy just something that will look nice on the shelf So here goes, popped off to TAHS the other weekend and pick up one of these: 1/144 Seemed a bit big for my gaff so I went for the 1/200. Kit seems nice, bummer about the raised panels, so they are coming off. Im going to build a lighting circuit for this also - would be cool to have it in flight and blinking away - any of you guys have some good references as to the light sequences and positions on a 747? more soon!
  20. Hasegawa is to reissue its 1/48th Lockheed F-104G Starfighter in the highly modified German Control Configured Vehicle (CCV) version. Source: http://www.hobby-show.info/tokyo2011/images/0464.jpg V.P.
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