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Found 989 results

  1. Apart from paying through the teeth with Hasegawa weapons sets, are there any other supplies out there that members have come across of decent quality and price? I appreciate there are AM alternatives for the odd specific weapon etc, but was thinking more along the lines of a mulitple boxing. I'm trying to resist £20 for Weapons Set D! cheers
  2. Once again something simple Work starts with the cockpit, and building up all the internal components and getting the fuselage closed up. Peter
  3. Hello Phantom Phans (sorry...), the masters for the resin parts of my upcoming F-4 canopy inserts have just been finished (looking at the pictures, they need a dusting though): The top one is for Academy, the bottom one for Hasegawa kits. Please ignore those spreader bars at the front - they will go once the parts are nested in their casting blocks. Getting this right will be a challenge, but hopefully my plan works out. There will be a PE set to go with them, a first draft of which has been sent to the etch company for making test pieces. Next up on the bench will be the A3D wheel well set for the Trumpeter kit. Cheers Jeffrey
  4. This is my completed 1/48 Hasegawa Fw 190A-5, of Walter Nowotny when in JG54 'Grunhertz'. I used the Hasegawa 'Priller' A-5 kit and some of the decals from the Eduard ProfiPack to make Nowotny's mount. I used a combination of Humbrol, Xtracolour and White Ensign Models enamels, some Eduard seatbelts and Master Brass gunbarrels. I drilled out the spar behind the armour headrest to run the antenna wire down (not as convincingly as Mal's Sturmbock build!) and used a strand of hair for the antenna wire (reacts well to CA and is flexible). I also added the 'gear down' indicators above the wing, made from some toothbrush bristles cut down and painted red. On to the pictures. Need to fill the antenna hole in the yellow theatre band... Wing cross (port ) looks off centre, it's just the camera.
  5. This is my other Fw 190, the Fw 190A-9 of JG.301 which was found abandoned/captured at Bad Langensalza at the war end. I used the Hasegawa 1/48 kit, and combined some of the painting advice from the Eduard ProfiPack instructions. As with the A-5, I used Eduard seatbelts, Master Brass barrels and added hair antenna and toothbrush bristle 'gear down' indicators on the wings. Paints used were enamels, Humbrol, Xtracolour and White Ensign Models. I used the kit decals which I succesfully 'nuked' with MicroSol - it worked well. A nice kit to build, I made life hard for myself, but I'm happy with the result.
  6. Hey, why finish a stalled build when you can start a new one? Or two?! Got these delightful Wurgers to build, both in beautiful 1/48 scale. I'm going to do the FW190A-5 as Nowotny's two-tone green steed while in JG54 Grunhertz, and the A-9 as per the box art on the Hasegawa kit. I've not got a lot of space or time at the moment, so I was going to go pretty much as basic as possible, but then decided to add a little here and a little there... Fuselages Couldn't help adding the canopy emergency jettison lever, fashioned from a strip of Swann Morton blade foil, twisted and glued in place. Kit IP and seat, simple drybrushing. I will add Eduard PE belts later as they are the only thing really lacking with this kit. Cockpit, added the pedal straps and map folder strap from thin slivers of tape. The engine gear housing and the troublesome push rods. These simply pinged off the central piece when I was removing them from the sprue, so I hand drilled out mountings for some copper wire. Pain in the rear. I tried, hopelessly, to paint the BMW sign on the bottom of the gear housing... Any comebacks critiques or advice welcome!
  7. Hovering with the “Flying Nightmares”, VMA-513 Harrier AV-8B II Plus, 165006 / WF01, VMA-513, USMC (Hasegawa 1/48th) The latest model in my Harrier build project (#19, 1 to go, can I/you believe it?) is the Harrier AV-8B II Plus variant flown by the United States Marine Corps (USMC). Now forming the backbone of the USMC Harrier fleet, the first AV-8B II Plus was delivered in March 1993. 165006 was delivered in October 1995 and was the last of the new-build Harriers delivered to the USMC, the remaining AV-8B II Plus aircraft were “remanufactured” AV-8B II aircraft that were withdrawn from service to be pushed through the remanufacturing process. In all, the USMC received 27 new builds and 74 remanufactured AV-8B II Plus Harriers. VMA-513, the “Flying Nightmares” disbanded in July 2013 as part of the transition to the F-35B. This build uses the Hasegawa kit plastic straight from the box, with just the addition of two resin Mk.83 unguided bombs. The model shows the aircraft when she was flown as the VMA-513 Unit Commander’s mount WF/01 in the Harrier Tactical Paint Scheme of Dark Compass Grey (FS36118) saddle and Dark Gull Grey (FS36231) over Dark Compass Grey (FS36320), circa 2009. She is brush painted with Lifecolor’s acrylics and I used the kit decals. The model is weathered using Tamiya powders, artist pastels and Zig brushable pens. Vallejo matt varnish was used to flatten the finish. The “saddle” is probably darker than real-life and I’m not convinced of any of the greys used – that Arizona sunshine soon fades the paintwork. The blue tail is a guess as well. What the hell, it’s only a model. This is how it turned out ... All feedback welcome as ever. LAST, but not least, from the production line is the GR.7A flying with the Naval Strike Wing as part of Joint Force Harrier.
  8. Hikawa Maru Hospital Ship 1:350 Hasegawa History Hikawa Maru is a Japanese ocean liner that was built for the Nippon Yusen KK line by the Yokohama Dock Company. She was launched on 30 September 1929, and made her maiden voyage from Kobe to Seattle on 13 May 1930. She is one of three sister ships. The sister ships were named after important Shinto shrines, Hikawa Shrine being located in Saitama. The other two, both lost in the war, were Heian Maru and Hie Maru. The service provided on the ship was famous for combining splendid food and beautiful art deco interiors. She was often referred to as the Queen of the Pacific. Charlie Chaplin and Kano Jigoro (founder of Judo) are amongst the ship's more notable former passengers. In 1941, before Japan's entry to World War II the Hikawa Maru was used by Jewish refugees escaping the Nazis via Japan After Japan's entry to the war Hikawa Maru became a hospital ship, and as a result, she ultimately survived the Allied campaign against the Japanese merchant fleet. After the end of the war she was used by the U.S. for troop repatriation until 1947. Afterwards the Hikawa Maru was returned to Japan and carried cargo between Japan and the US. In 1954 she was taken out of service, but following a refit she returned to carrying passengers across the Pacific. Falling passenger numbers due to the growth of air travel led to the eventual termination of the service in 1960. In 1961 Hikawa Maru became a floating youth hostel and museum permanently berthed at Yokohama. In December 2006 the Hikawa Maru museum was closed and doubts about her future were raised. Happily, NYK Line began the restoration of the Hikawa Maru in August 2007, and the ship was reopened to the public on 25 April 2008, the vessel's 78th birthday. The Model The kit comes in the usual, attractive, top opening box from Hasegawa, with an artistic interpretation of the vessel at sea in her hospital ship paint scheme. On opening the box the two hull halves, which are mounted on a cardboard insert along with a large poster which also acts as the painting guide. Removing the hull insert reveals 10 sprues of white styrene and one of clear. As is usual for Hasegawa the parts are nicely moulded with crisp detail with only a few moulding pips on the parts, although there is a small amount of flash at the sprue junctions. Construction starts with the two hull parts being joined together with 7 internal bulkhead parts adding considerably to the strength of the structure. Whilst the propshaft fairings, props and rudder are fitted later in the instructions, I would probably fit them at this point to help with painting before the rest of the build commences. Next to be fitted are the 3 cargo deck and the raised foredeck with its bulkhead. The promenade deck is built up with the superstructure parts, which are again nicely strengthened with internal bracing. Once complete this sub-assembly is added to the hull. At this point the myriad of deck pieces can be added, these include items such as ventilators, winches, bollards, cleats and the anchors. The stern castle is built up next followed by the boat deck. The bridge section of the superstructure is next to being assembled with some nice internal details such as the ships wheel, binnacles, signal lamps and transparencies for the windows. The final section of superstructure is the boat deckhouse with the funnel, more ventilators, winches and fan trunking housings. The rest of the build consists making up the ships lifeboats and attaching them, with their associated davits to the boat deck, followed by the many masts and derrick arms all of which will require some careful rigging combined with some research as to how and where the cables are fitted, as this information isn’t given in the instructions. This version also includes a smallish etched brass sheet which provides the de-gausing coil which goes round the hull just below the main deck line. Decals The model comes with a very nicely printed decal sheet containing the various red crosses for the role she was converted to. There are also a selection of signal flags, Japanese Ensigns, depth markings, name plates for the bow and stern, and the green stripe that runs down both sides of the hull, complete with openings for the port holes. There are also decals provided for the numerous liferings if you don’t fancy painting them. There is very little carrier film so all should settle down ok with some solutions, they are also nicely opaque and in register. Conclusion Ok, so Hasegawa have now released three versions of this ship, if you include her sister Heian Maru, so they’re really getting the monies worth out of the moulds, but who’s to blame them. At least you won’t have too many spare parts as you would have had the three versions be included in one box. I think she looks great in any guise and as a hospital ship she would certainly make a splash of colour amongst the greys normally found in maritime collections. Although Hasegawa do their own update sets for these ships, Artwox are now releasing wooden decks which will be great. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of UK distributors for
  9. The Harrier Project – 20/20 Vision My last act of self-aggrandisement on BM – a final pointer to my completed Harrier Project for those of you who want to see it. I counted them all up and I counted them all down. Here’s the collection … … and more photos for those that way inclined via this link. So it’s goodbye from them. And it’s goodbye from me. Happy Modelling folks!
  10. Last of the Line – Harrier GR.7A, Naval Strike Wing Harrier GR.7A, ZD411 / 40A, Naval Strike Wing, Joint Force Harrier (Hasegawa 1/48th) The LAST* model in my Harrier build project (#20) is the Harrier GR.7A in the colours of the Naval Strike Wing (800 and 801 NAS combined) within Joint Force Harrier. ZD411 first flew in April 1989 as a GR.5 and was later upgraded to a GR.7. Delivered back to the RAF in May 1993, she remained a GR.7 until withdrawn from service in March 2010, and was the last GR.7 flown operationally by Joint Force Harrier. For a time she flew with the Pegasus 107 engine, hence the “A” designation. ZD411 is depicted here when deployed on HMS Illustrious in July 2009. Although not carrying the CRV-7 pods at that time, these pods were used in training and in operations in the Gulf. And as they were not going to get used on anything else, I decided to fit them!, so there! This is the Hasegawa 1/48th scale Harrier GR Mk.7 “Royal Air Force” kit. The model is straight from the box, with the addition of a resin MB Mk.12 ejection seat, Amraam-line’s extended in-flight refuelling probe, L’Arsenal’s Paveway IV LGBs and Belcher Bits’ 6-shot CRV-7 rocket pods. The model shows the penultimate JFH camouflage scheme for Harriers of Dark Sea Grey over Dark Camouflage Grey, with a liberal sprinkling of replacement Medium Sea Gray panels and flaps, etc. There’s even a bit of primer on the tail fin for good measure – all as a result of a visit to the JUMP line? It is brush painted with Humbrol enamels and I used a combination of kit, third-party and home-made decals. The Hasegawa kit decals largely fell apart – just as well most of them are not relevant to this era of Harrier. I had to use up another MDC as the first disintegrated into 5-10 pieces once on the canopy – they are the worst aspect of the Harrier model IMHO. The model is weathered using Tamiya powders, artist pastels and Zig brushable pens. Vallejo matt varnish was used to finish. I don’t think I saved the best model until last, but this is how it turned out, for richer for poorer ... You can see a few more shots of this model and all the others by clicking on the "My Harrier Project Models" link in my signature. All feedback welcome as ever. LAST*. Well, sort of. The GR3 I’ve used in the collection to-date was one of the pair for my Operation Corporate set. I will replace XZ989 with another GR3 from 233 OCU in due course, but the project brief has technically been met; “one of every single-seat variant that flew operationally with every service operator”. It’s taken just over four years and has made me much more knowledgeable about the Harrier, introduced me to lots of new experiences and people I would not otherwise have had and been a lot of fun. Special mention here to Nick and Colin in particular from the IPMS Harrier SIG – I couldn’t have done this without your help and friendship. I might even have become a better model-maker as a result, but that was a by-product and not an intent – and I was starting from memories of 30 year’s previous! My club colleagues at West Middlesex Scale Model Club might be thinking they’ve seen the last of the Harrier … but will they?
  11. Mitsubishi A6M2b Zero Type 21 ‘Rabaul’ 1:48 Hasegawa History The first A6M1 prototype was completed in March 1939, powered by the 580 kW (780 hp) Mitsubishi Zuisei 13 engine with a two-blade propeller. It first flew on 1 April, and passed testing in a remarkably short period of time. By September, it had already been accepted for navy testing as the A6M1 Type 0 Carrier Fighter, with the only notable change being a switch to a three-bladed propeller to cure a vibration problem. After the delivery of only 65 aircraft by November 1940, a further change was worked into the production lines, which introduced folding wingtips to allow them to fit on aircraft carriers. The resulting Model 21 would become one of the most produced versions early in the war. A feature was the improved range with 520lt wing tank and 320lt drop tank. When the lines switched to updated models, 740 Model 21s had been completed by Mitsubishi, and another 800 by Nakajima. The Model The first Hasegawa A6M2b Type 21 was released in 1996 and has been released at least six times before this one, so they are really getting their monies worth out of the moulds. That said, the medium grey styrene is still well moulded with no flash and only a few moulding pips on the three main sprues, whilst the parts on the clear sprues are still remarkably transparent. There appears to be no sign of any imperfections on the review sample and it looks to be another well designed Hasegawa kit. The details are cleanly moulded and still well defined both internally and externally. Unlike most of the other kits of Japanese aircraft from Hasegawa reviewed recently, this one doesn’t come with a pilot, so the build goes straight to the cockpit. The floor pan is fitted with the joystick, rudder pedals, rear bulkhead and instrument panel. The seat is fitted to a block on the floor and the seat adjustment handle is attached to the rear bulkhead on the starboard side. To the instrument panel the two upper machine gun breeches are attached along with the gunsight. To finish off the cockpit the two side walls are attached with the port side having a separate instrument shelf fitted, thus making an enclosed tub. The completed cockpit tub is then fitted to one half of the fuselage, which is then closed up. The foreward upper fuselage panel is then attached and fitted with the two machine gun barrels. The Sakae engine consists of engine mount, the two cylinder banks and the crankcase with connecting rods. When assembled it is fitted the fuselage and covered with the single piece cowling. The engine exhausts are then attached as are the horizontal tailplanes. The two upper wing sections are glued to the lower single piece item before the aileron trim tab panel lines are filled and sanded as per the instructions. A number of location holes in the lower wing also need filling and the trim tab actuating rods need to be removed. The completed wing is then fitted to the fuselage, followed by the lower engine fairing, with oil cooler, the pilots’ headrest. The separate navigation light lenses are also fitted at this point, as are the aileron control horns. The main undercarriage consists of single piece wheels/tyres, oleo and outer bay doors, which can be left off as these were often removed to save weight. The undercarriage is then fitted into position and the outer doors attached. The single centreline drop tank is made up of two halves, and includes the mounting pylon, which, when joined together can be fitted between the main wheel wells. With the model now standing on its undercarriage the three piece canopy arrangement attached. It is possible to pose the cockpits canopy open and the aerial mast is fitted to the fixed aft section. Lastly, the three individual propeller blades are assembled to the back plate, the spinner is then added and the completed propeller is fitted to the aircraft. The build is now complete. Decals The decals are as well printed as those I’ve seen in previous reviews. Although there seems to be quite a bit more carrier film visible on this sheet, but nothing that a good gloss coat of paint and some Kleer/Future/Aqua Gloss won’t be able to sort out. Opacity is good as is the register. The sheet provides markings for three aircraft, all based in Rabaul the first two are painted in Mitsubishi Green, (more like white, or at least light grey to my eyes), and the last one in Nakajima, (IJN) Green, which at least looks green. They aircraft are:- Tainan Naval Flying Group, Lt. Hideki Shingho, 1942 advanced party Tainan Naval Flying Group, 1942 201st Naval Flying Group, 1943 Conclusion Hasegawa are really on a re-release trip at the moment, but then the kits are still very nice, not only to look at, but also to build. A more cynical mind would like them to actually produce some new moulds, but whilst these ones keep producing nice, easy to build kits, I can see why they keep knocking them out with just a change of decals. The included detail is nice, but there are always areas which can be improved if the modeller so wishes. But for a nice, easy weekend build you might content yourself with just the addition of some seat belts, job done. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of UK distributors for
  12. Hey everyone, Here's my first RFI (and first Tomcat) for this year, Hasegawa's original 1970s-era issue. You can read the WIP here but in summary: Model: Hasegawa JS-134 in 1/72 Build: OOB mostly but the seats & cockpit got some minor tarting up Decals: VF-1 Wolfpack from the later Hasegawa 04039 boxing Paint: White sprayed (Halfords), otherwise brush painted with Revell Acrylics. Future, Pro-Modellers wash, Humbrol Satin varnish She's not perfect, has a few goofs here and there and won't win any awards. But for a 70's kit, I'm really happy with it. Now on to my next Tomcat! Thanks for looking, Dermot
  13. Hi everyone, Haven't posted in what seems like ages - a combination of the Christmas holidays and the recent death of my Mum after a long and dignified battle with Alzheimers. Life is finally getting back to something like normality so have started on my first F-14 for 2014. Yep, I'm going to build just F-14s for this year in a kind of one-man-single-type-group-build way. I don't know why (or how many pints of the blackstuff I had) but it seemed like a good idea at the time in the pub to commemorate the last of Grumman's long line of great Naval fighters - afterall, it is 40 years since the first combat cruise of the Tomcat in 1974. I've got about 6 up in the stash and judging on my build speed (and the complexity of some of the kits), I don't know how many I'll get done! I will also build one for the F-14 GB here on Britmodeller later this year. For some reason, I also thought I should blog about this.......my ramblings are on the link below. So first up, I decided to start with an easy one - the first Hasegawa kit from the early '70s (?) I knew those magazines from my childhood would come in handy some day (that's the DCOS in the background, by the way) The kit was a standout in its day and while newer kits have replaced it, it still looks the part and I'm really looking forward to getting stuck into it.The cockpit and seats are very early-70's though so out with some scrap plastic.... That's all for now. Thanks for looking and enjoy your modelling. Dermot
  14. Junkers Ju-87G-2 Stuka "Rudel" 1:48 Hasegawa History Even before the Battle of Stalingrad, German concern about the large quantity of Soviet mobile armour on the Eastern Front during 1942 resulted in the formation of an experimental air-to-ground anti-tank unit. Tests showed that arming the Junkers Ju87 Stuka with a 37mm cannon under each wing promised the optimal tank-busting weapon. This Ju87 variant was designated the Junkers Ju87G Kanonenvogel (cannon-bird). The Ju87G-2 was developed from the long-wing Ju87D-5 Stuka dive bomber. It was a rugged design powered by a single Junkers Jumo 211J-1 twelve-cylinder liquid-cooled engine. The type displayed outstanding qualities as a tool for precision ground attack. However, in the air the Ju87G-2 was both cumbersome and slow. Defensive armament was limited to 7.9 mm Mauser MG 81Z twin-mounted machine guns at the rear of the large glasshouse canopy. A total of 174 G-2s were built before production of all Ju 87 variants ceased in October 1944. The Ju87G began its career in February 1943 in the battles for the Kuban peninsula in Southern Russia. It was at this time that Oberstleutnant Hans-Ulrich Rudel began tank-busting operations, having recently become the first Luftwaffe pilot to fly 1000 operational missions. Later, in July 1943, Rudel took part in the epic tank battle for the Kursk salient. More than 350 Ju87's participated in these operations, including a handful of production Ju87Gs. Rudel went on to fly no fewer than 2,530 sorties and notched up a total of 2,000 targets destroyed; including 800 vehicles, 519 tanks, 150 artillery pieces, a destroyer, 2 cruisers, the Soviet battleship Marat, 70 landing craft, 4 armoured trains, several bridges and 9 aircraft. Given the shortcomings of the Ju87G in terms of its speed, agility and defensive capability this speaks volumes for the piloting skills of Rudel himself and the marksmanship of his rear gunners. Hans-Ulrich Rudel was the most decorated serviceman of all the fighting arms of the German forces. He was the only recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Golden Oak Leaves, Swords, and Diamonds. Unswervingly dedicated to waging war against the enemies of the Third Reich, Rudel continued in active service following injuries sustained in February 1945 that resulted in a leg amputation. Such was his prowess and notoriety, that the Soviets placed a significant bounty on his head. Wisely deciding to evade capture at Russian hands, in a final act Rudel led three Ju87s and four Focke-Wulf FW 190s westward from Bohemia. He surrendered to U.S. forces, on 8 May 1945. The Model This kit was originally released in 1998 with new parts added to the new tool dating back to 1991. That said, the moulds are obviously wearing well as there is no sign of flash or imperfections, just a number of moulding pips. Detail is finely done with engraved and raised details as required. Construction looks to be pretty straightforward and there doesn’t appear to be any noticeable pitfalls in the build, which if it’s to their usual standard will be a breeze. Construction begins with the two place cockpit, which consists of the pilots’ seat, joystick, centre bulkhead, radio stack, gunners’ seat machine gun mount base, machine gun mount and the twin machine gun itself. The details are quite sparse and could do with the addition of seatbelts at the very least. Each side wall is fitted to their respective fuselage sides before fitting the cockpit assembly and the fuselage being closed up. The engine/front fuselage is made up of two halves, the radiator tub, radiator, and two sets of exhaust stubs. The propeller is, which is assembled from the backplate, three separate blades poly cap holder, poly cap and spinner. This is the then fitted to the engine assembly. The upper coaming and lower fuselage panels are then fitted, followed by the rear fuselage panel, containing separate circular access panel. The wing is then assembled using the single piece lower wing section and the two upper wings, ensuring that the modeller has drilled the correct holes out for the fitting of the gun pods. The flaps and ailerons are moulded integrally, whilst making for a simpler build it would have been nice to have the ability to position them as per the modellers’ wishes. The wing, engine assembly and the two horizontal tailplanes are assembled to the fuselage, in addition to the tailplane end plates and port wing landing light cover. Next up, the two main undercarriage units are constructed, each consisting of the halves for the spats and for the separate the wheels. With the model on its back the undercarriage mounts are fitted, as are the underwing radiator covers, mass balances, pitot probe, and tailplane struts. The 37mm anti-tank guns are made up of two halves, one of which is moulded with the gun barrel. With these put together the two aerodynamic fins are added to each side of the rear pod, whilst the front and rear mounting supports are fitted to the top of each weapon. Are then fitted in to the pre drilled holes in the lower wing. Once the tailwheel has been attached the model can be turned over and the four piece windscreen and canopy can be fitted, with the rear cockpits sliding section attached to its two mounting plates and the aerial mast fitted to the fixed centre section. Decals The decals, printed onto a medium sized sheet look to be well printed, with little sign of carrier film with the exception of the outline crosses and a couple of access panel stencils. The register is good and they appear nicely opaque, including the yellow and white markings. The sheet provides markings for two of Rudel’s’ aircraft one stating it’s from Hungary 1945, which I think is a typo and should really be 1944 as it states he was an Oberleutenant. The other is from his time as Oberst JG2 in Germany May 1945. Swastikas are provided, and, much like the Fw-190 reviewed earlier this year it appears they have been positioned on the sheet in such a way as to be easily removable for the German market. Rudel's Ju87G-2 Kanonenvogel of Schlachtgeschwader 2 (SG 2) "Immelmann" Werk-Nr. 494193 wore standard splinter camouflage of RLM 70/71 black green/dark green on its upper surfaces with RLM 65 light blue undersides. The crosses and swastika were painted in the simplified fashion of the last months of the war. The yellow fuselage band provided a means for rapid identification of Axis machines on the Eastern Front. The tactical yellow "V" marking under the port wing was introduced on aircraft operating over the Hungarian sector and is indicative of Luftflotte 4 machines. The commodore's chevron and bars were painted black with a white border. Conclusion This is yet another welcome re-release and makes for an interesting subject through the pilots impressive war record. The model is a bit simplified when compared to more modern releases, but it has stood the test of time and should be an easy and stress free build. The inclusion of seat belts and perhaps other sundry items could make the cockpit more interesting especially as the canopy is large and clear. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of UK distributors for
  15. Kawasaki T-4 'Blue Impulse 2013' 1:72 Hasegawa - Limted Edition Double Kit Boxing Even though most would associate Kawasaki with the Motorcycles they make, Kawasaki are one of those mega Japanese companies which seem to make everything! They make Ships, Trains, Cars, Motorcycles Engines; and importantly for us Aircraft. The Kawasaki T-4 is know as an Intermediate Jet Trainer. It is used exclusively by the Japanese Air Self Defence Force. The JASDF realised in the late 1970s that they needed to replace their existing Jet Trainers (The Lockheed T-33 & Fuji T-1) with a single type. This aircraft was to be known as the MT-X programme. In 1981 Kawasaki was selected as the main contractor under this programme. It was planned to build 220 aircraft with an in-service date of 1988. Given the requirements of the programme for an advanced two seat trainer it is no shock that the final result looks very similar to other two seat trainers. In total 208 production aircraft were built along with 4 prototypes. Deliveries started in 1988 as per the plan! At least 5 of these aircraft were lost at Matsushima AB during the devastating Tsunami in 2011. Blue Impulse The most visible presence the T-4 makes is that it has been used since 1995 by the Blue Impulse, the Aerobatic Display Team of the Japanese Air Self Defence Force. The Blue Impulse Team were formed in 1960 Flying the then F-86 Sabre, in 1982 they transitioned to the Mitsubishi T-2; and then in 1995 to the Kawasaki T-4. The team currently fly seven T-4s, though only six display at one time. The team aircraft are painted blue and white following previous schemes. They are equipped with a smoke system which can generate white, red, blue and yellow smoke. The Kit The Hasegawa T-4 kit is the only current kit of the T-4 in 1:72 scale, the kit was tooled back in 1989 and has been steadily re-released ever since. This Double boxing has been released with markings for the 2013 Blue Impulse Aerobatic Display Team. Construction starts with the cockpit, you get a basic cockpit tub into which two seats and instrument panels are added along with the control columns. Decals are provided for the instrument panels and side consoles. After adding the cockpit, and the forward gear well the fuselage can be closed up.. The wings (traditional top & bottom construction) can then be joined to the fuselage along with the tail planes and intakes, once this is done the exhausts can be added along with the main and nose landing gear. Finally the modeller can decide to add external tanks if they wish. Blue Impulse aircraft have been seen displaying with and without these tanks. Decals The decals are the star of this re-boxing. Decals are provided to make any two of the Blue Impulse Team. Conclusion This is not a new tool by any means, but neither is it an ancient tooling that is crying out to be replaced. For this scale the detail included in the kit is sufficient for a great many of us, and for the T-4 it is the only game in town in this scale, with little likelihood of a new tooling, given that it is not widely used outside Japan. Overall I would recommend this kit. Review sample courtesy of UK distributors for
  16. 21st Kokusho A6M2-K Zero Fighter Trainer 1:48 Hasegawa History Whilst the Japanese Zero naval fighter is known the world over, it’s not so well known that there was a 2 seat trainer variant. The A6M2-K was designed and built at the 21st Naval Depot at Sasebo Naval Arsenal and was also built at the Hitachi plant in Chiba. The design was based on either a standard Model 21 or Model 22 A6M Zero. The conversion required the front cockpit be moved forward, and the new cockpit for the instructor to be fitted behind. This included a full instrument panel, and full dual controls. The instructor had a full sliding canopy, but the students cockpit was open with only small doors either side to aid accessibility easier. Two strakes were fitted either side of the rear fuselage to assist in spin recovery. The type served as a transitional trainer from the beginning of 1944 and were also utilised as target tugs trailing streamer type targets from pods beneath the outer wings. The A6M2-K used a larger fixed tailwheel than the standard aircraft and also had the outer gear doors removed to save weight. The Model Originally released in 2011this kit is still fairly new so naturally the moulding is very good. The finesse on the details such as rivets and panel lines is very nice indeed. There is no sign of flash and only a few moulding pips, plus no sign of imperfections on the review example. The instructions are well printed, clear and easy to read. Rather unusually the kit comes with two complete fuselages. The first is a single seater, and shares the sprue with the standard engine, cowling and propellers, whilst the second is the twin seater and subject of this build along with the interior required to build the trainer version. In fact you will end up with a lot of parts for the spares box once the kit has been built. The build begins with the assembly of the two pilot figures, each with separate torso, (with head attached), legs and arms. Next up is the cockpit or cockpits in this case. The single piece floor is fitted with a bulkhead, seat, seat supports, rudder pedals, joystick and instrument panel for each pilot. On the trainees’ instrument panel the gunsight and upper machine gun breeches are attached. As is usual with this type of kit from Hasegawa the sidewalls are separate and go to form a cockpit tub when joined to the bulkheads and floor. Before fitting the port sidewall though, two consoles need to be fitted, one for each cockpit. The completed cockpit assembly is then fitted to one half of the fuselage along with the tail wheel bulkhead and single piece tail wheel/oleo. The fuselage is then closed up and the upper forward decking attached and fitted with the machine gun barrels, whilst the rear decking is attached aft of the rear cockpit. The Sakae engine consists of engine mount, the two cylinder banks and the crankcase with connecting rods. When assembled it is fitted the fuselage and covered with the single piece cowling. The engine exhausts are then attached as are the horizontal tailplanes. There are optional tail cones, the normal solid type and an open tubular affair, which looks like it should be part of an anti-spin chute arrangement. The two upper wing sections are glued to the lower single piece item before the aileron trim tab panel lines are filled and sanded as per the instructions. A number of location holes in the lower wing also need filling and the trim tab actuating rods need to be removed. The completed wing is then fitted to the fuselage, followed by the lower engine fairing, with oil cooler, the cockpit role over bars and anti-spin strakes. The separate navigation light lenses are also fitted at this point, as are the aileron control horns. The main undercarriage consists of single piece wheels/tyres, oleo and outer bay doors, which can be left off as these were often removed to save weight. The undercarriage is then fitted into position and the outer doors attached, again these can be left off if required. The target streaming units, which look like rocket launchers in reverse, are made up of the two halves of the tube and capped off either end. They are fitted to the pylon, which is complete with separate sway braces and attached to the outer wings. With the model now standing on its undercarriage the pilots can be fitted and the four piece canopy arrangement attached. It is possible to pose the rear cockpits canopy open and the aerial mast is fitted to the fixed centre section. Lastly, the three individual propeller blades are assembled to the back plate, the spinner is then added and the completed propeller is fitted to the aircraft. Other than painting and decaling, the build is complete. Decals The decals from the latest batch of Japanese aircraft kits from Hasegawa have been pretty good, and it’s no different with this kit. Well printed, with thin carrier film, they are in good register and nicely opaque. Only the walkways on both wings and the identification numbers have any significant visible film, but on a nice glossy finish this shouldn’t silver too much. There are three aircraft for which markings are provided. All are from the Tsukuba Flying Group and both are in the distinctive and very colourful orange and black scheme, and are aircraft numbers 401. 407 and 415. Conclusion This is certainly an oddity I hadn’t heard of before receiving the kit and researching for the review. It will look great amongst a collection of Japanese aircraft, and in such a bright scheme it will certainly stand out. This will make a nice mojo lifter or weekend kit to while the hours away, and should turn out to be a fun build. Highly recommended Review sample courtesy of UK distributors for
  17. McDonnell Douglas F-15I Ra’am 1:48 Hasegawa History The F-15I is operated by the Israeli Air Force where it is known as the Ra'am (Thunder). It is a dual-seat ground attack aircraft powered by two Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-229 engines, and is based on the F-15E. The Ra'am is similar to the F-15E, but features several different avionic systems to meet Israeli requirements. To facilitate night-time strikes, the F-15Is were initially fitted with Sharpshooter targeting pods designed for Israeli F-16s. The Sharpshooter pod was less capable than the LANTIRN pods used on USAF F-15Es; Israel later purchased 30 LANTIRN pods. The F-15Is initially lacked Radar Warning Receivers, thus Israel installed its own electronic warfare equipment, the Elisra SPS-2110, as well as a new central computer and embedded GPS/INS system. All sensors can be slaved to the Display And Sight Helmet, (DASH), helmet-mounted sight, providing both crew members a means of targeting which the F-15E lacks. The F-15I uses the APG-70I radar whose terrain mapping capability can be used to locate targets that are otherwise difficult to spot—e.g., missile batteries, tanks and structures—in adverse conditions such as heavy fog or rain. The radar can detect large airliner-sized targets at 150 nautical miles, and fighter-sized targets at 56 nautical miles, although it has a reduced resolution one-third below the standard USAF APG-70. The Model Unfortunately I can’t find what date that this kit was originally released other than my usual database suggests if could have been as far back as 1991. If that’s the case then the moulds are still in remarkably good condition. The kit comes in a very attractive top opening box with what looks like a photo of a Ra’am in a landing configuration somewhere in Israel. Inside the box is packed with 11 main sprues of light grey styrene, a number of smaller sprues and one of clear styrene. The details, such as the finely engraved panel lines are sharp and crisp. There is no sign of flash or imperfections and only a few moulding pips. There are quite a few parts provided that are destined to go straight into the spares box as, according to the instructions part diagram many aren’t required for this version and are subsequently greyed out. Having gone through the stages in the instructions it doesn’t appear to be overly difficult although some areas of the kit will need to be removed so that the Ra’am specific items can be added. Naturally the build begins with the cockpit, the twin tub is fitted with two sets of rudder pedals and joysticks, which is a bit of a surprise as I hadn’t realised any version of the F-15E was dual control. Anyway, the pilot and RIO instrument panels are fitted once painted. There are no decals provided for either the instrument panels or the side consoles so careful painting will be the order of the day. The two ejection seats, each constructed of the squab/seat back, primary gun and frame, plus the two sides are assembled and each fitted with the seat pan firing handle. The mid coaming and rear cockpit side walls are now attached and the whole assembly is sandwiched between the two halves of the separate nose structure. The kit doesn’t come with any seatbelts so it might be better to replace these with aftermarket items, as even though two pilots are included, only one is seated, the other is posed as if climbing up the access ladder. Each intake is made up of two halves and the intake ramp, which when joined together are attached in position on the upper section of the mid/rear fuselage once the ramp has been fitted. The intake trunking on each side is provided into upper and lower halves and capped off at one end with the engine fan disc. These assemblies are then fitted to the lower halve of the fuselage and the intake lip ramps are attached. Several holes will need to be opened up depending on what stores the modeller is intending to fit. The rear fuselage ECM tips are removed along with the central fairing. Before closing up the fuselage, the two exhaust nozzles are assembled form a rear “dustbin”, with engine exhaust disc pre-moulded, and the exhaust petals, are fitted into position. The rear cockpit fairing is also attached allowing the nose assembly to be joined to the rest of the fuselage. The port and starboard wings are each assembled from the upper section with the lower outer pre-moulded and the separate inner panels. The assembled wings are then attached to the fuselage, along with the single piece horizontal tailplanes, vertical tails and new ECM parts to replace those removed earlier. Each conformal fuel tank is a single moulding, onto which the individual side pylons and single piece, triple hardpoint, long lower pylons are attached, along with their associated crutch pads. Each CFT also has an auxiliary intake fitted. These are then attached to their respective sides of the fuselage and the rear mounted chaff and flare dispensers, plus arrester hook are fitted. Whilst the model is upside down the undercarriage assemblies can be fitted. Each of the main units consist of two piece wheels/tyres, main oleo, retraction jack, plus main and rear undercarriage bay doors, the main sections of which are usually closed. The nose wheel is similar in construction, but with a single piece wheel/tyre, oleo, retraction jack, two nose wheel leg landing lights, main door, (again, usually shut) and rear bay door. With everything else in place the model can be turned right side up and fitted with the airbrake and actuator jack, if the airbrake is to be shown retracted, omit the jack. For the cockpit there is a second mid coaming fitted just behind the pilot’s seat and the rear coaming behind the RIO’s seat. The mid coaming is where the canopy actuator is fitted. Before fitting the windscreen and canopy the HUD glass needs to be attached. The two pitot probes, one on each side of the nose are attached, as is the four piece access ladder and the optional RIO figure, completing the build. The kit comes with a good selection of weapons, which is unusual coming from Hasegawa and there is a nice diagram showing what can be mounted where. Although it’s possible for the aircraft to have three 600 gallon drop tanks fitted, only two are provided. Not too much of a problem as I’m sure it’s the bombs that will be most important to F-15I modellers. The kit comes with:- 2 x 600gal drop tanks 4 x AIM-120C AMRAAM 4 x AIM-7F Sparrow 4 x AIM-9L Sidewinders 12 x Mk20 Rockeye 1 x AN/AAQ-28 Litening pod 1 x AN/AAQ-13 Navigation pod Decals The large decal sheet is covered in small items, with very few of them actually belonging to the unit or national markings. The vast majority are stencils for the aircraft, while the rest are markings and stencils for the weapons. The decals look to be very well printed, being nice and thin, in good register and opaque. The carrier film is virtually nonexistent and really can only be seen in some of the walk/don’t walk decals. The three different styles of Eagle heads are particularly well done. Three aircraft, each from the 69th squadron are given, No’s 235, 250 and No 267. Conclusion This is really my first look at a Hasegawa F-15 and I really liked what I saw. IT may not be the cutting edge of F-15 models, as I’m sure newer releases from other manufacturers are more advanced in features and production methods. This one though looks right, and although I can’t tell what the fit and build is like just by looking in the box, I’d imagine it’d go together without too much fuss, and then the real fun begins with the fabulous Israeli camouflage. It is this which really makes it stand out from the crowd. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of UK distributors for
  18. IJNS Yahagi Hasegawa 1:350 Yahagi was the second of the four vessels completed in the Agano-class of light cruisers, and like other vessels of her class, she was intended for use as the flagship of a destroyer flotilla. Yahagi was completed at Sasebo Navy Yard on 29 December 1943 and was dispatched to Singapore for patrols of Lingga and for training in February 1944. In May, it departed Singapore for Tawi Tawi with the aircraft carriers Taiho, Zuikaku and Shokaku and cruisers Myoko and Haguro. The Battle of the Philippine Sea occurred on 19 June 1944. Yahagi was in Admiral Jisaburo Ozawa's “Force A” to oppose the American Fifth Fleet in a "decisive battle" off Saipan as command ship for DesDiv 10's Asagumo, DesDiv 17's Urakaze, Isokaze and Tanikaze, DesDiv 61's Wakatsuki, Hatsuzuki, Akizuki and Shimotsuki, screening the aircraft carriers. On 19 June 1944 the Mobile Fleet's aircraft attacked USN Task Force 58, but suffer overwhelming aircraft losses in the "Great Mariana's Turkey Shoot". Yahagi and Urakaze rescued 570 crewmen from the carrier Shokaku after it was torpedoed by USS Cavalla. After dry dock and refitting at Kure from late June – early July 1944, Yahagi was fitted with two additional triple-mount Type 96 25 mm AT/AA Gun mounts amidships (bringing its total to 48 barrels) and a Type 13 air-search and a Type 22 surface-search radar set. On 8 July 1944, Yahagi departed Kure with troops, and numerous battleships, cruisers and destroyers to return to Singapore. On 22 October 1944, Yahagi was in the Battle of Leyte Gulf in the Second Section of Force "A" of Vice Admiral Takeo Kurita's First Mobile Striking Force: (Center Force), commanding DesRon 10's DesDiv 2's Kiyoshimo, DesDiv 4's Nowaki and DesDiv 17's Urakaze, Yukikaze, Hamakaze and Isokaze. It is accompanied by battleships Kongo and the Haruna and cruisers Tone, Chikuma, Kumano and Suzuya. During the Battle of the Sibuyan Sea on 24 October 1944, the fleet endures 11 raids by over 250 Task Force 38 carrier aircraft from the USS Enterprise (CV-6), USS Essex (CV-9), USS Intrepid (CV-11), USS Franklin (CV-13), USS Lexington (CV-16) and USS Cabot (CVL-28). Although Japanese battleship Musashi was sunk and Yamato and Nagato were hit, Yahagi was unscathed. Likewise in the Battle off Samar on 25 October 1944, Yahagi fought its way through the battle without damage. On 26 October 1944, Force A was attacked by 80 carrier aircraft off Panay, followed by 30 USAAF B-24 Liberator heavy bombers and an additional 60 carrier-based aircraft. Throughout these attacks Yahagi was not hit and returned to Brunei safely. On 16 November 1944, DesRon 10 was deactivated and Yahagi was assigned as the flagship of Rear Admiral Komura Keizo's new DesRon 2. Yahagi was ordered back to Japan on the same day for refit. It remained in Japanese home waters until March 1945. On 6 April 1945, Yahagi received orders for "Operation Ten-Go", to attack the American invasion force on Okinawa. Yahagi was ordered to accompany Yamato from Tokushima for its final suicide mission against the American fleet. At 1220 on 7 April 1945 the Yamato force was attacked by waves of 386 aircraft (180 fighters, 75 bombers, 131 torpedo planes) from Task Force 58. At 12:46, a torpedo hit Yahagi directly in her engine room, killing the entire engineering room crew and bringing her to a complete stop. Dead in the water, Yahagi was hit by at least six more torpedoes and 12 bombs by succeeding waves of air attacks. Japanese destroyer Isokaze attempted to come to Yahagi's aid but was attacked, heavily damaged, and sank sometime later. Yahagi capsized and sank at 14:05 at 30°47′N 128°08′E taking 445 crewmen with her. Rear Admiral Komura and Captain Tameichi Hara were among the survivors rescued by Hatsushimo and Yukikaze. Her survivors could see the Yamato in the distance, still steaming south as U.S. aircraft continued their attacks. However, in reality, Yamato was only minutes away from sinking. Yahagi was removed from the Navy List on 20 June 1945. The Model The kit comes in the standard Hasegawa style box with a great artists rendition of the Yahagi at sea on the Japanese Navy’s last mission. Inside the two hull parts are mounted on a separate “shelf”, on which there is also a rolled up poster of the cover art. Pulling the shelf out, the modeller is confronted with eleven sprues of grey styrene and one of clear. There is also a nice decal sheet, a sheet of self adhesive flags and a length of metal anchor chain. The parts are beautifully moulded with some exquisite detail, no sign of flash, just quite a few moulding pips, particularly on the smaller parts. Some are on quite fragile pipework which will need some care to remove and clean up. Since the Yahagi is the sister ship to the IJN cruiser Agano, reviewed HERE the majority of the parts are the same as is the build, therefore it seems a little disingenuous to repeat myself here. Suffice it to say that the kit will build into a very nice model. As with the Agano there are several detail sets available from Hasegawa which would have been nicer to have them included as they are rather expensive, but make the model into a real stunner. These sets for the Yahagi are the same as those for the Agano and have also been reviewed on this site HERE The ship can only be built full hull with no option of water lining it without major surgery, which may be a problem for some modellers. Decals The decal sheet provides a full set of insignia for the two aircraft, plus range of markings for the ship. The decals are well printed and in good register. They are slightly matt and should settle down pretty well with softener and setting solution, as experienced on other ship models from Hasegawa. Whilst there are flags included on the decal sheet, there is also a sheet of self adhesive flags which are a lot stronger and will last longer on the completed model. Conclusion Whilst this is almost a complete re-release of the IJNS Agano there are enough parts to make it different. With the ships history, being part of the Last Mission, it will make an interesting addition to any collection. Just a shame that the etch detail sets aren’t included in the box as they really do make a difference. Amerang Hasegawa Review sample courtesy of UK distributors for
  19. Afternoon everyone I've started my next project the rather splendid Hasegawa Hawker Hurricane Mk IIc which I managed to pick up for £17.49 from Modlezone just before they ceased trading. She's going to be built pretty much OOB with only a few additions from Eduard, HGW, Aires, Brengun, Airscale and Eagle strike...scratch the OOB she will have a few additions! So here I am as of now. The cockpit is 85% complete with only the seat belts to be fabricated, a few more additions from the Eduard set and some weathering... I'm sorry the pictures aren't the best. As ever any comments are more than welcome. Yours aye Iain
  20. Kawanishi N1K2-J Shinden-kai (George) 1:32 Hasegawa History The N1K2-J Shinden-kai (George) was a single-seat, all-metal monoplane fighter with a enclosed cockpit. The George holds a unique place in the history of airplane construction. This land-based interceptor was based on the N1K1, which had been designed to support amphibious operations. The first prototype N1K1 (Kyofu) (Mighty Wind) was flown on May 6, 1942, and mass production began in May of 1943. However, when the first seaplanes started to arrive on the front, the situation in the Pacific theatre had changed so that this type of plane was simply no longer needed. Therefore, a land version project of the fighter was developed as a private initiative, based on the Kyofu. Originally it was planned that the only distinction between the two planes was that the Shinden-Kai would have retractable landing gear instead of floats, but it was quickly decided that the engine should be replaced with a more powerful alternative. In addition to having a more powerful engine it was decided to fit a large four bladed propeller. The size of the propeller and the mid-wing arrangement meant that the undercarriage oleos had to be designed to be telescopic, allowing them to take up less space when retracted. The land-based version made its first flight on December 12, 1942. The prototype's private designation was the X1, and in mass production its designation became N1K1-J Shinden (Purple Lightning). Production began in August of 1943. The new fighter proved to be an excellent interceptor. However, its operation was complicated by the frequent failure of its engine, the Homare 21, the complex design of its chassis, and its ineffective brakes. Consequently, the number of the N1K1-J's non-combat losses was very high. The next model of the Shinden was designed to eliminate these shortcomings. The aircraft's redesign began simultaneously with the N1K1-J's military trials. The N1K2-J's first flight was made on December 31, 1943. The production model was designated the Shinden-Kai («Purple Lightning Improved») Model 21 Marine Fighter-Interceptor. The new model, like its predecessor, featured a 14-cylinder air-cooled radial engine, the Nakajima Homare 21 NK9H, with a takeoff power of 1820 hp. It also retained the basic wing construction and armament of the N1K1-J. However, the Shinden-Kai was really a new plane. During the planning phase, special attention was given to ensuring ease of production and, at least to some extent, the use of readily available materials. Unlike its predecessor, this model had a low-wing design which allowed the use of conventional landing gear. The new design was finally rid of the N1K1-J's main operational problems. The shape of the fuselage was completely changed and somewhat lengthened, and the vertical tail fin was completely redesigned. The empty weight of the aircraft was decreased by 240 kilograms. The N1K2-J was armed with 4 Type 99 Model 2, 20mm wing-mounted cannons. The inner pair was provided with 200 rounds of ammunition each and the outer had 250 each (900 rounds in total). On the two pylons suspended underneath its wings, the aircraft could carry two 250-kg type 98 or two 60-kg type 97 bombs. Or, it could carry unguided 60-kg No.27 rockets. In addition, an extra 400-liter fuel tank could be installed under the fuselage. Unfortunately, because its center of gravity was towards the plane's rear, the N1K2-J was somewhat difficult to control, and was usually flown by experienced pilots (especially former Zero pilots) after they underwent retraining. The Model Unusually these days, this kit is a full, brand new tool from Hasegawa and it is up to their usual standards. The attractive box, (with an artists impression of the aircraft flying over puffy clouds, surrounded by a white border on the top), isnt exactly stuffed with styrene, but what is provided is very cleanly moulded, with fine details and with enough detail where it counts to make it a nice model to build. There are nine sprues of medium grey styrene and one of clear, along with four poly caps and decal sheet. The instructions are well printed, very clear and easy to read. The build, which is covered in 17 steps, begins with the included pilot figure. This is a very well moulded multi part assembly, with front and rear torso, separate legs and arms, including alternative styles of head, 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. Next up is 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 gunsight is made up of the support structure, internal armoured glass and two clear reticules. This is then fitted to the top of the instrument panel. The cockpit, which consists of the floor, seat back, seat bucket, seat supports, seat cushion, rudder pedals, four piece radio and side console tops. Before the cockpit can be fitted to the fuselage, the two side walls need to be installed, along with control leavers and a pair of oxygen bottles on either side. The instrument panel, rear bulkhead and sidewalls are assembled to produce a cockpit box structure. The two front sections of the fuselage are glued together with the addition of three bulkheads along their length. There is a panel that needs to be removed from the port side fuselage, just aft of the cockpit opening and the panel lines re-instated, (there is a diagram showing what needs to be done). With the forward fuselage assembled the cockpit tub is slid into position from the bottom. The single piece lower wing is fitted out with the main spar and just in front of that are the two main wheel inner bays. The two upper wing sections are then attached to the lower wing, ensuring that the fragile inner flap race is not damaged, to the top of the upper wing panels are fitted the aileron linkage fairings. Remember to drill out the holes it the drop tanks are to be fitted. The kit comes with separate flaps, which can be posed extended or retracted, depending win which hinge parts you choose. With the wings done, its onto the tail assembly. This consists of the two tail halves, which includes the fin and rudder and the upper and lower halves of each horizontal tailplane, which are attached to the tail once assembled. The mainplanes are then attached to the fuselage, followed by the tailplane assembly, which, due to the solid plug shouldnt cause too many problems with fit and as the join is on a panel line it shouldnt need any filler, but careful fitting will always pay dividends. The main wings are then fitted with the four cannon barrels and the separate clear navigation lights and pitot probe. The main undercarriage consists of the main oleos, separate scissor link, brake pipe and two piece gear bay doors. The tyres are in two halves with separate inner and outer hubs, when assembled these are attached to the oleo axles. With the model on its back there are two cannon bay panels to be fitted, one on each outer wing panel and another on the centreline of the fuselage. The main undercarriage assemblies, retraction jacks, inner bay doors with associated retraction links, single tail wheels are attached, along with two footsteps on the inner wing fairing are also attached. The optionally positioned flaps can now be fitted as can the centreline drop tank, (if fitted), which consists of two halves and separate crutch plates. With the main structure complete its on with the powerplant. For the propeller each of the separate blades are fitted to the hub which is fitted to the backplate and enclosed with the spinner. The cowling is then assembled with the addition of the cooling gill. 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 reduction gearbox, with separate pipework and fastener ring is attached to the front. The completed engine is then attached to the fuselage followed by the cowling and finally the propeller. The build is completed with the attachment of the windscreen, pilots headrest, radio aerial, rear canopy and sliding canopy, with grab handles fitted Decals The decals are printed by Hasegawa themselves and do look very well done. Apart from the aircraft identification numbers there is very little carrier film to be seen. Opacity and register is good and the decals are slightly matt. There is a choice of two aircraft, both in dark green over silver colour schemes and full stencils for one aircraft. These are:- Aircraft No. 343-15 of the 343rd Naval Flying Group, 301st Fighter Squadron, piloted by Squadron Leader Lt. Naoshi Kanno Matsuyama, April 1945 Aircraft No.343-03 of the 343rd Naval Fighter Group, 407th Fighter Squadron, flown by W.O. Kouji Ohara Matsuyama, April 1945 Conclusion This is a lovely looking kit and should build into a very attractive looking model. The detail is there for those who just want to build out of the box, but there is still plenty of scope for superdetailing. The pilot figure is always a nice to have addition, but it would have been nice to have some separate seat belts if he was not to be used. Highly recommended. Usual caveats apply, in that you may comment on the kit, but please leave pricing out of any comments. Review sample courtesy of UK distributors for
  21. Two of Japan's finest ever sports cars, both products of their era, both designed by the same guy, Albrecht Goertz. The 2000GT was a Yamaha proposal which Nissan turned down, and Toyota didn't. The Z-car is Datsun through and through... What a lovely car, and what a great kit... bestest, M.
  22. Nakajima Ki-84 Type 4 Fighter Hayate (Frank) 1:48 Hasegawa History "Forget it - it's a Frank." It is said that this comment was made frequently by USAAF personnel watching radar screens on Okinawa in the closing weeks of the Pacific War. It was customary to watch for a contact to appear and then to scramble P-51 Mustangs to intercept the enemy aircraft. But when the blip was moving so fast that it was inferred to be one of the advanced new Japanese Hayate fighters it would be assumed that the P-51s would stand no chance of catching the intruder. Generally regarded as the best Japanese fighter of World War Two, the Hayate, (Hurricane) was nonetheless not without its problems. Much of its superlative all-round performance stemmed from its extremely advanced direct-injection engine, the Army's first version of the Navy NK9A. Yet this same engine gave constant trouble and demanded skilled maintenance. T. Koyama designed the Ki-84 to greater strength factors than any previous Japanese warplane - yet poor heat-treatment of high-strength steel had the consequence that the landing gears often snapped. Progressive deterioration in quality control meant that pilots never knew how individual aircraft would perform, whether the brakes would work, and even whether - in attempting to intercept B-29 Superfortresses over Japan - they would be able to climb high enough. Despite these problems the Hayate was essentially a superb fighter - a captured Ki-84-1a was to out climb and outmanoeuvre a P-47 Thunderbolt, and a P-51. The first batches were sent to China, where the 22nd. Sentai, when equipped with the new fighter, were able to fly rings around Chennault's 14th Air Force. The 22nd Sentai was later moved to the Philippines, where problems overtook them, with many accidents and shortages and extremely poor serviceability. Frequent bombing of the Musashi engine factory, and the desperate need to conserve raw materials (the shortages resulting primarily from the American submarine blockade) led to various projects and prototypes made of wood or steel. Total production of the Ki-84 still reached 3,514, showing the importance of the design to the Japanese forces. The Model Originally released in 2000 this is another example of Hasegawas superb mould design and upkeep. Inside the very attractive box, with a very nice painting of a Ki84 flying solo above the clouds, are seven sprues of medium grey styrene and one of clear, along with 8 grey and 4 black poly caps. From reading reviews of the day and researching the type, the kit was very well regarded as almost, but not quite the perfect model kit being both accurate and nicely detailed. I see no reason why this has changed with this release, so expect it to be a fun and enjoyable build. There are only nine build sequences in the instructions and as is the norm the build begins with the cockpit. The cockpit floor is fitted out with more levers, apart from the regulation joystick, than seems appropriate for a single seat fighter, but, whatever the real on looks like the seven included in the kit are certainly well represented, also fitted are the centre lower console and rudder pedals. To the now well populated floor the seat is attached, followed by the front and rear bulkheads, instrument panel with decal instruments, upper cannon breeches, and sidewalls, each kitted out with further controls and black boxes pre moulded and in need of some careful detail painting. The completed cockpit is then fitted to one half of the fuselage and with a poly cap in the tail wheel position the fuselage can be closed up. The lower wing is then fitted with five poly caps in the bomb and drop tank positions. The upper wing panels are then attached to eh lower wing, with the landing light fitted to the port side. The wing, single piece horizontal tailplanes and two part rudder are then attached to the fuselage completing the mainframe. The kits gives alternative main wheels, and some research should be carried out as only the later style should be used and the instructions don’t make it clear which is which. The single piece tyres have separate inner and outer hubs, with the inner one fitted with a poly can and the outer one with an unidentifiable part. The completed wheels are then attached to the oleo along with the main gear door. The engine is quite a simple single piece affair, but with the close cowl not much will be seen anyway. The engine is attached to the firewall onto which the multiple exhausts are also attached. The gearbox housing is in three parts, well four if you include the attachment ring and this is fitted to the front of the engine, the gearbox housing also accommodates another poly cap, whilst just above the housing an intake is fitted. The completed engine is the slid into the cowling and attached to the front of the fuselage. There is another intake, in three parts fitted on the centreline at the join where the cowling meets the forward lower fuselage. Flipping the model over the main undercarriage is attached, along with the inner bay doors and their respective retraction actuators, whilst to the rear the tailwheel is slotted into the previously fitted poly cap and finished off with the attachment of the two bay doors. The drop tank crutches, landing light cover, pitot probe, foot step and wing cannon barrels are all fitted along with the three piece oil cooler which is fitted under the starboard wing root. Check the orientation of the cooler as when first released the instructions showed this to be fitted the wrong way round and it cannot be presumed that Hasegawa have changed this. The individual navigation lights above and below each wing tip and either side of the fin are then attached. The three piece drop tanks are then assembled and slotted into position into the poly cap held within the wing. The flaps are separate items and can be posed up or down as per the modellers wishes. Turning the model over onto its wheels the gunsight, four piece head rest are attached before the windscreen, sliding canopy and fixed canopy sections are all fitted. The last operation is the assembly of the propeller, which consists of the single piece four bladed prop, axle pin and spinner; this is then slid into the poly cap within the gearbox housing completely the build. Decals Hasegawas own decals are well printed with very good density/opacity, no sign of carrier film on any of the decals, including the wing walk areas which would normally cause a problem, and in good register. They are slightly matt but thin and should settle down well. The modeller may wish to leave some of the markings off, such as the yellow leading edges and paint them instead. The decals provide markings for two aircraft, both in olive drab over grey-green, these are:- Ki84 No.62 flown by Capt. Shigeru Tsuruta of the Hitachi Flight Training squadron from June 1945. Ki84 No.762 flown by Capt. Yasuro Masaki, of the Hitachi Flight Training squadron from June 1945. Conclusion This is another welcome re-release from Hasegawa, and from reading build reviews from earlier releases it should be a fun and rewarding experience. It should make for a nice weekend build, or one to get the mojo going again after a difficult build of a lay off. Whatever the reason for building, it will be a nice addition to the collection, particularly if you're into Japanese aircraft. Very highly recommended Review sample courtesy of UK distributors for
  23. 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
  24. 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!
  25. 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!
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