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  1. It's been a while since I finished something, so I am happy that I have now put the finishing touches to my Hasegawa 1/48 A-4C Skyhawk. Hasegawa kit, Pavla early Escapac seat and Victory decals. Jens
  2. A Quick build after the tomcat - a Hasegawa P-47D-11 Razorback, with some Sky Decals to avoid the quite old Hasegawa decals. The Hasegawa P-47 is quite nice, but the lower wing being a single piece always leaves a gap. Painted with Tamiya Olive Drab and Neutral Grey, with Gunze for the interior green. Peter
  3. F-86D Sabre Dog 'J.A.S.D.F COMBO' Hasegawa 1:72 In 1948 following an intelligence warning concerning Soviet long range bombers the USAF was prompted to accelerate the development of an all-weather interceptor to protect the US. This interceptor was to be based around the new 2.75 Mighty Mouse Folding Fin Aerial Rocket (FFAR). It was felt at the time that a salvo of such rockets would be more effective against a large bomber formation than cannon fire. These were fitted to the F-86D in a ventral tray which extended under the airframe. North American designed the interceptor around their already successful F-86A, although the D model only actually had a 25% commonality of parts with other F-86 variants. It had a larger/wider fuselage, a larger after burning engine, a clamshell canopy; and a nose radome hosing an AN-APG-36 all weather radar. The prototype (then called the YF-95) first flew on 22/12/49 becoming the first night fighter with only a single a crew member and a single for the USAF. Following WWII Japan was denied any military at all. Following the Self Defence Law of 1954 Japan was able to form a Military for Defence of the Japanese state. The newly formed JASDF wanted to procure 150 F-86Ds from the US. Initially pilots went for training in the US with the first 3 aircraft being handed over in January 1958. In the end Japan only received 122 Sabre dogs, 98 went into service with the remainder being used for part. Part shortages posed a big problem for the JASDF, and in its final days only about 30% of the aircraft were serviceable. 4 squadrons flew the F-86D in JASDF service, 101st, 102nd. 103rd and 105th Hikotai. The Kit This kit from Hasegawa has been around for a while yet but is still the best F-86D in 1/72.The kit represents the later model F-86D with the parachute housing. The moulds are starting to show their age a bit as there is a lot of flash on some of the parts, that being aid its great to see the kit being re-released as its been hard to find of late. Construction of the kit follows the usual steps starting with the cockpit. This is not as detailed as some F-86 kits with the base of the ejection seat being moulded into the cockpit tub. Following this you need to make and add the intake, and exhaust to the fuselage before closing it up. No mention is made of having to add any nose weight, however its pretty sure this will be needed. With the fuselage complete its time to add the wings. These are conventionally moulded with the slats as deeper panel lines. Hasegawa missed a trick here, the aircraft is rarely seen on the ground with the slats retracted and the kit would have been so much better had this feature been included in the kit. Following this, it just remains to add all the detail parts to the airframe. The undercarriage is very nice, as its close to scale thickness care must be taken at this stage. If wanted, a complete tray of the mighty mouse rockets can be built and placed under the fuselage, in the down position. The drop tanks are two halved, but the fins are provided as separate parts which will enable the seam to be removed without any trouble. Hasegawa have done a credible job in moulding the rear vortex generators, some additional ones are provided for above the tailplane which the modeller will have to apply themselves. The canopy is very clear and you can see the antenna lines moulded into the plastic which is good. Decals Decals are included for 101st, 102nd, 103rd & 105th Sqn aircraft of the JASDF. Separate code letters are included to model near enough any code lettered aircraft you want. Conclusion Its great to see this kit out on release again from hasegawa. The double boxing's are a great way of getting more value for your money from Hasegawa; overall recommended. Review sample courtesy of UK distributors for
  4. Gday All Finally managed to finish one!! Poor effort I reckon considering we are almost in June, anyway, this is the Hasegawa 48 scale Hurricane IIC converted to MkIV standard with an old SAM publications resin set, which a friend cleaned up and recast for me (thanks Eric) The set consisted of radiator, rockets, rails and blast plates. Other than that I have added ultra cast wheels and exhausts. Brake lines made from cpper wire, which I see in one pic I have missed with the paintbrush! Decals from an old Almark sheet which was simply awful with the decals refusing to lay down. I have not added serial or codes until I can authenticate a combination from 20 SQN. all comments welcome, Thanks for looking Bruce
  5. Here is my VeeDub beach buggy converted from the 1:24 Hasegawa Kubelwagen. It has been shortened as per a 1:1 buggy and has had some custom seats from a Golf added, all pink as my Daughter chose the Tamiya Pink/ Gold for the body and the anodised pink for the chassis. Not sure on the seat colours but, Hey, I'm not the boss! Anyway piccys! SONY DSC by richellis1978, on Flickr SONY DSC by richellis1978, on Flickr SONY DSC by richellis1978, on Flickr SONY DSC by richellis1978, on Flickr SONY DSC by richellis1978, on Flickr SONY DSC by richellis1978, on Flickr It has a real alloy exhaust from Detail Master, and there are some etch feet foot pedal covers in there too! I need a replacement exhaust and some seat belts to add when I see some ones that will suit.
  6. F-15C Eagle ‘57th Fighter Intercept Squadron’ 1:72 Hasegawa Limited Edition The F-15 has earned its place in aviation history for its air combat ability. Proven in action with the Israeli Air force against Syrian counter parts and US Air force against Iraqi and Yugoslav fighters, it’s record of over 80 kills without loss in air-to-air combat demonstrates the lessons learned over Vietnam were taken on board by McDonnell Douglas in full. Despite being of a previous generation dating back to the 1970’s, it still a formidable fighter today along side newer 21st century aircraft. The twin fin, twin engine design not only gives incredible thrust-to-weight ratio and combat manoeuvrability, but high ability to survive damage as demonstrated by one aircraft that returned to base and landed with just one wing after a training sortie! With a maximum speed of mach 2.5 and a climb rate of 30,000ft in just 60 seconds, it still makes it a great card to have in your Top Trumps hand some 40 years on! The kit I recently reviewed the F-15C kit so rather than write another review of repetitive nature on the same kit, I’ll refer you to the link : HERE As seems to be the trend with Hasegawa, no weapons are included in the set. The instructions recommend the purchase of Hasegawa Weapons set V. What is included in this version is an extra sprue that holds the conformal fuel tanks that run along the side of the intakes below the wings. These are simply single piece additional parts to the original kit. This sprue is taken from the F-15E kit (Sprue 'F') which also includes two Lantirn pods to add to your spares box. The decals For commercial reasons, Hasegawa’s business model has many ‘limited edition’ releases of the same kit packaged with different decals and let’s face it, this rather suits modellers too! This release includes decals for aircraft of the 57th FIS. Two options are included, however one of them is included in the previous kit that I reviewed as linked above. It would of been nice to see two entirely unique options to differentiate this kit in its entirety. The 57th acquired its new F-15C’s in 1985 operating in Iceland. In 1993, the squadron was re-designated 57th fighter Squadron until it was deactivated in 1995. The two 57th FIS schemes are: Aircraft 80-0033 – USAF Iceland 1987 Aircraft 80-0052 – USAF Iceland 1992 Not the fault of Hasegawa, more the USAF, the decal sheet is rather bland such was the livery options typical on Eagle squadrons. Aircraft markings are rather monotone. The detail in the decals is however far from inferior. The squadron emblems for example are about 7mm across containing 4 colours and incredibly precise. Register and sharpness is superb. Included on the sheet are 110 individual decals including the two schemes, cockpit panel decals, formation lights and a huge selection of stencils to keep you out of mischief! Conclusion It would of been good to have two unique decal options to differentiate this kit from the previous one I reviewed and I believe that for the premium price Hasegawa kits sell for, they should include weapons, but them issues aside, this really is a beautiful kit and I praise the business model of ‘Limited Edition’ releases. Review sample courtesy of UK distributors forUK distributors for
  7. This build was done in honor of the 70th anniversary of 617 squadron. Recently finished up the 1/72 Hasegawa Tornado. It was brought to my attention that the missiles I used for "Sea Eagles" are in fact NOT Sea Eagles, but a similar weapon. I will eventually pull these off and modify them to look more like the real thing, but for now "close enough for government work" will suffice. The kit was mostly OOB with markings from modeldecal. As this was a german boxing, I had to pull the skyshadow and BOZ pods from other kits. Wing-sweep bladders were made from tamiya tape. I added probe covers using sheet styrene. The RBF tags and intake covers are painted tinfoil. I hope you guys enjoy seeing it as much as I enjoyed building it! Thanks for looking, comments and criticisms welcome! Next I will be building the Revell 1/72 Dambusters Lancaster to set opposite of it!
  8. Hi guys, This is what I was up to with my RAAF F-111 build. New IP as the kit is a decal only. Intake trunking Cut the pilots canopy open to show off the work inside. New throttles...actually the kit doesn't have any to replace. All dressed up and ready for the canopy. Will have these... ...hanging off these Main wheel well...the central ducting has been repainted black as the red is incorrect...thanks Pappy. Over wing seal from Tamiya tape. Verlinden boarding ladder Primed First round of colour went down over the weekend. Gunze Acrylics thinned with Mr Color Lacquer thinner....nice and smoooze! Touch ups have since been applied but I'm really happy with how the paint went down. Such a shame to have them gone. I'd always look skywards whenever the distant rumble of a TF-30 shook the landscape around Ippy. Hope you like her. Cheers Mick
  9. F-14A ‘High Visibility’ 1:72 Hasegawa (alternative tooling) As a kid, I was inspired by the brightly painted Tomcats, needless to say, I went on to build the Airfix kit with the fantastic hi-vis ‘Wolfpack’ scheme that’s hard to beat on the big cat. At a time in the early 70’s when most aircraft were limited to AIM-7 and AIM-9 missiles (or similar in range), here came a beast that could carry 6 missiles capable of travelling more than half way across England to destroy its target in the guise of the AIM-54 Phoenix. Whilst the shape of the Tomcat is engrained in the mind of most aviation enthusiasts, it resulted from a series of wind tunnel tests on no less than 2000 configurations to meet the demanding requirements for a supersonic carrier borne interceptor. A single seat concept looked very similar to the Mig 29. Whilst in economical terms, the F/A-18 needed to replace the F-14, I’m sure that I’m not alone in feeling that the world lost one of its most loved and iconic aircraft except for the few still flying with the Iranian Air Force when the US Navy finally retired the last of its fleet in 2006. The kit We’ve been busy recently with F-14A Tomcat releases from Hasegawa. My initial plan was to review this together with the ‘Fighting Checkmates’ release, however when I opened the box, I was met by a little confusion! Being a bit slow, I couldn’t figure out why the ‘Checkmates’ box was overflowing with plastic whilst this one was quite reserved, so I dug in a little further to investigate. What became obvious is that this is the older tooling kit with raised panel lines and much less detail than the newer tooled versions. This is reflected in a parts count of just 100 as oppose to 191 pieces. So on first comments, this sounds quite disappointing, but the more I looked into it, the more I changed my opinion. Whilst the newer tooling kit is without doubt a fantastic kit, it’s not the easiest kit to build due to its complexity. Nor does it have the weapons included, nor can you rotate the wings. This kit has all those features as well as a lower price tag which I believe gives it a different target market and that’s a good thing. Unfortunately, without some research, it’s not that obvious what tooling comes in what boxes apart from the price difference, so this review is quite useful !!!! Assembly starts with the cockpit in a most traditional way. Detail in here is very sparse, the only option for the panels is in decal form. That said, I’ve seen less detailed seats on Hasegawa kits so these aren’t too bad with separate seat cushions. The cockpit tub is located on top of the separate nose wheel bay which then gets sandwiched between the nose section halves. As I mentioned, the surface detail is raised rather than recessed like the newer tool, but it’s very finely done indeed. Attention next goes to the main fuselage and wings. The wings are simple in design without separate slats or flaps, but feature the mechanism to allow you to swing the wings once assembled. The wings mesh with each other once sealed between the top and bottom fuselage halves. If you want to have the mighty Phoenix loadout installed (and why wouldn’t you?), don’t forget to open up the required holes in the lower fuselage. The intakes are well designed offering full length interiors right up to the well formed compressor fans. I’ve read previous reviews on this kit that report a lot of flash, but this has very little, in fact nothing worth noting. The undercarriage is very well done with good detail in the legs and wheel hubs. Unlike the newer tooling, there isn’t the option of the compressed nose wheel option. The undercarriage doors are lacking in detail and have ejector marks on most of them which will need a tickle with a sanding stick. If you want your exhausts open or closed, you’re in luck here! Both options are included, so you can build whatever configuration you want. The canopy and windscreen are very thin hence free from any noticeable distortion. Unlike the newer kit parts, there is no seam down the centre of the canopy either. If I was to be critical, the windscreen looks to be a little too wide in profile towards the front each side of the armoured windscreen but the canopy has the slight double hump evident on the real thing. Before you fit the canopy, you get two great little pilots that you may want to fit. The real pleasure of this kit is the inclusion of the classic big vat weapon loads. You get the 6 Phoenix missiles, 4 Sparrow and two Sidewinders. Again, they have the raised detail in common with the kit, but the fins are very thin and certainly aren’t bad. You can of course buy the separate weapons pack, but I’d be very happy with what is included. Be aware that if fitting the drop tanks, they are sided. The decals The earlier kits were known to have ‘off’ white decals. The decals included in this box are of no such thing, ‘ice’ white is a good description of what we have here. The detail in the decals is very sharp with excellent register. From a visual inspection, I can’t find any criticism of the sheet. As well as the liveries, a good set of cockpit instruments, stencils, formation lights, anti-slip plates and weapon decals are present. Two excellent and classic liveries are included: Aircraft 160660 – VF-111 ‘Sundowners’ – sadly lost 1992 Aircraft 160391 – VF-84 ‘Jolly Rogers’ Conclusion This kit is as you’d expect a lower standard that the later offering, but for less experienced or young modellers is probably a much better kit to purchase. Whilst it lacks the recessed panel lines and wealth of detail, it still builds up into a great kit with almost half the parts count that still manages to include a full compliment of weapons for approximately half the price. It also manages to avoid some of the minor draw backs of the later kit such as a seam down the centre of the canopy and ejector pin marks on the nose wheel tyres. Despite my initial let down when I first examined the kit, I’m left feeling rather fond of my new cat. If like me, you get those periods of modellers block, this could be just the remedy you need in your medicine cupboard! Review sample courtesy of UK distributors for
  10. Bell P-400 Airacobra Hasegawa 1:48 The Bell P-400/ Airacobra I was the export version of the P-39 Airacobra, originally developed in response to a French order of 30 March 1940 for 170 aircraft. Unfortunately delivery of these aircraft was not due to start until October 1940, after the fall of France. The original order was taken over by Great Britain, and was later expanded to a total of 675 aircraft by orders for 205 and then 300 extra aircraft. Only after these orders had been placed did Christopher Clarkson become the first British pilot to fly the Airacobra (30 December 1940), and the shortcomings of the Airacobra would not become clear until a number of P-39Cs reached Britain during 1941. The P-400 was armed with one Hispano-Suiza Mk 404 (M1) 20mm cannon in the nose. The four .30in machine guns in the wings were replaced with British standard .303in guns. The P-400 entered British service as the Airacobra I, after a brief spell when it was known as the Caribou. Before entering RAF service the Airacobra received a great deal of positive publicity, but when it arrived in Britain the lack of high altitude performance soon became clear, and the type only ever equipped one front line squadron (No. 601 “City of London” squadron). The aircraft was soon withdrawn from RAF service. The entire production run of 675 aircraft was still completed. Around 200 of these aircraft were sent from Britain to the Soviet Union in some of the earliest of the Arctic convoys, although only around 150 of these aircraft arrived safely in northern Russia. They would become the first of thousands of Airacobra that would play a major part in the air war on the Eastern Front. The remaining aircraft were taken over by the USAAF, and a number of them found their way west into the Pacific, taking part in the fighting on New Guinea and Guadalcanal. The Model Whilst this is another re-release with just a change of decals it still looks to be a very nice kit. The parts, in grey styrene, are all well moulded with no signs of flash, only a few moulding pips and sprue thin sprue gates. The moulded details are finely done with recessed panel lines in conjunction with raised areas where appropriate. There is plenty of interior detail, although there is always room for additional detail should the modeller so wish. From research the fit is very good although it’s always wise to dry fit first to see if there any problem areas. The build starts with the very detailed cockpit. This consists of the floor, propshaft and tunnel, auxiliary panel, trim wheel, joystick, rear bulkhead, seat support, seat, and rear shelf. On the fuselage sides, the throttle quadrant and clear ports are fitted. The instrument panel comprises of the main panel, rudder pedals, pedal recesses, gun sight and rear breech blocks of the upper machine guns, the instruments are recessed with finely detailed dials, which will require some careful painting and dry brushing to bring out. The completed cockpit assembly is then fitted to one fuselage side and the fuselage closed up, but not before 15g of ballast is inserted in the nose area. The lower wing is fitted with the radiators, oil coolers and lower wing gun cartridge chutes. The two upper wings can then be attached and the assembly fitted to the fuselage, as are the two single piece horizontal tailplanes. The moulded wing and tail lights can be removed and replaced with the provided clear parts should the modeller wish. Turning the model upright the upper forward decking is fitted with the two machine gun muzzles and attached to the fuselage. The propeller is made up of a separate hub, propeller and hub; this can then be attached to the fuselage. Two wing machine gun parts are then fitted to their wing positions, whilst the exhaust stubs are fitted to their respective positions on either side of the centre fuselage. These can be left off until painting is complete. The undercarriage is constructed next. The nosewheel is in two halves which slots into the oleo yoke followed by the scissor link and front bay door. The assembly is then fitted to the front bay along with the actuating jack and retraction arms. The main undercarriage units consist of the main oleos, wheels, outer hubs and undercarriage doors. The completed assemblies are then fitted to their respective positions. The inner main doors and the front bay doors are then fitted, as are their respective retraction jacks. The rest of the build concentrates on the fitting of the smaller parts such as the 20mm cannon muzzle, pitot probe, radiator/oil cooler doors, landing light, and the optional bomb or drop tank with their respective braces. The final parts are the one piece canopy and the two doors. The doors are clear parts, but both have very nicely detailed interior cards and will need to be painted before fitting along with adding the decal placards. Decals The decal sheet is quite comprehensive giving two options, with both aircraft from the 80th Fighter Squadron of the 8th Fighter Group U.S. Army Air Force. Naturally both aircraft sport distinctive sharks teeth, although one is in Olive Drab over Neutral Grey, the other is in Dark Earth, Dark Green over Sky. The decals are very nicely printed, in good register and slightly matt. In addition to the main insignia, there is a full set of stencils. Conclusion I really like this aircraft and Hasegawa have done a nice job in reproducing it in my favourite scale. Yes, it has been released before with other decals, but that’s not really a problem as it’s a great kit. Recommended Amerang Hasegawa Review sample courtesy of UK distributors for
  11. Nakajima A6M2-N Type 2 Fighter Seaplane Hasegawa 1:48 Japan was the only nation to produce and deliver into service float-equipped single-seat interceptor fighter seaplanes (the British Spitfire float adaptation did not progress beyond the experimental stage). When in 1940 the Japanese navy initiated the design of a new interceptor seaplane (the Kawanishi N1K1 Kyofu, or 'Rex'), the need was also expressed for a stopgap aircraft and the Nakajima Company was instructed in February 1941 to develop a float-equipped version of the excellent Mitsubishi A6M2 Zero naval interceptor. As evidence of Japan's long-standing plans for territorial expansion through the Pacific, it had been recognized that in the inevitable 'island-hopping' war there would be few ready-made air bases from which to provide air cover during the occupation of the smaller islands, and that the construction of runways would be impractical. Although equipped with almost a dozen aircraft-carriers, the Japanese would be unable to use them in support of every single island invasion. After removing the wheel landing gear and fairing over the wheel wells of a standard A6M2, Nakajima mounted a large float under the fuselage by means of a forward-raked central pylon and a pair of V-struts below the cockpit; two cantilever stabilizing floats were also mounted under the wings. The standard Zero gun armament was retained, and the first prototype was flown on 7 December 1941, the day on which the Japanese navy attacked Pearl Harbour. Entering production as the Nakajima A6M2-N and codenamed 'Rufe' by the Allies, the new fighter still displayed a creditable performance, being first issued to the Yokohama Kokutai and deployed to Tulagi in the Solomons where the Japanese had first landed during the Battle of the Coral Sea. However, almost all the 'Rufes' were destroyed in a strike on the seaplane base by 15 Grumman F4Fs from USS Wasp on 7 August 1942. Better success attended the 'Rufes' which fought in the later Aleutian campaign, but losses soared as soon as American fighter strength could be built up. During the final year of the war, when American heavy bombers and naval aircraft opened their great attacks on the Japanese homeland, 'Rufes' of the Otsu Kokutai, based on Lake Biwa, were thrown into the battle as interceptors in defence of Central Honshu but suffered very heavy losses. Total production of 'Rufe' amounted to 327 before being halted in September 1943. The Model The kit, the third re-issue, comes in a very attractive box, that Hasegawa seem to be very good at, with an artists representation of the aircraft in flight. Inside, the main sprues of grey styrene are all contained in a single poly bag, which, whilst not the best way of protecting the parts there doesn’t seem to be any noticeable damage. Fortunately the clear parts are contained in a separate bag. The parts are very well moulded, with no sign of flash and only a few moulding pips. It appears that since the real thing is based on a A6M Zero, Hasegawa have used their Zero to be the basis of this model. This means that there are quite a few spare parts, such as the lower wing, engine crankcase, undercarriage, drop tank and numerous smaller items. The build naturally starts with the cockpit, which is very nicely detailed, with the floor, fuselage sides, rear bulkhead, seat, rudder pedals, and joystick. The instrument panel has raised detail, but the dials are each provided as separate decals, which, with a blob of Kleer or gloss varnish will make them look quite realistic. Onto the panel the breaches of the fuselage guns are attached along with the gun sight. The completed assembly is then sandwiched between the fuselage halves as they’re joined together. The upper forward fuselage decking is then fitted, along with the machine gun muzzles. The construction of the engine is next. This is built up with the rear exhaust ring, the two banks of cylinders and the crankcase at the front, complete with pushrods. The engine is then attached to the front fuselage and covered by the one piece cowling onto which the two exhausts are attached. At this point the two single piece horizontal tailplanes are fitted. Before fitting the wing parts together, the holes for the bomb racks, if desired, need to be opened up. The instructions also say that the trim tab recessed panel lines, and a couple of other panel lines need to be filled on the upper wings. With the two upper parts attached to the single piece lower section the separate, clear navigation lights can be attached, along with what look like horn balances. The completed wing assembly is then attached to the fuselage. The two halves of the main floats are joined together with, according to the instructions, 16g of ballast in the nose section. The two, two piece wing floats are also assembled. The floats are then attached to their respective positions on the lower wing and fuselage, the main float, along with its support struts and boarding ladder. If the bombs are to be fitted and these are constructed of the bomb racks, crutch plates and the two piece bomb halves with separate horizontal fins. Once complete these can be attached to the lower wings. To complete the aircraft, the propeller, made up of separate hub, blades and spinner, is attached and the three piece canopy is fitted along with the aerial mast, which passes through the rear Perspex. TO complete the model there is a very nice dolly for the aircraft to sit on, this is made up of the main horizontal beams, support cradles, suspension mounting, axels and main wheels. The aircraft can then be posed on the dolly. Decals The decal sheet is nicely printed, in good register. Along with the standard Japanese markings there are the individual instruments and identification numbers for four aircraft from the Yokosuka Flying Group. Conclusion No matter that the kit has been released before it is still an interesting subject and will build into a very nice model. I imagine it will be subject to severe weathering for those that like that sort of thing, but that’s up to the individual modeller. Recommended. Amerang Hasegawa Review sample courtesy of UK distributors for
  12. F-14A Tomcat ‘VF-211 Fighting Checkmates’ 1:72 Hasegawa Limited Edition The Tomcat doesn’t need much of an introduction and as well as its popularity in aviation communities, it was immortalised in the film ‘Top Gun’ which I suspect did more for US Naval recruitment than any advertising campaign could ever achieve! First going into deployment in 1974 to replace the F-4 Phantom as the US Navy’s air superiority fighter, it remained in that role until finally being retired in 2006. Although primarily in the air defence / intercept role, in the 90’s it was upgraded to operate in the ground attack role increasing its versatility significantly and providing a stop gap until the F/A-18’s replaced it. The F-14 has been involved in combat operations on many occasions. As well as a hugely successful service in the Iranian Air force, with the US Navy, it’s also fought in the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts where, although one was lost to an SA-2 SAM, none have been lost in air-air combat, quite an incredible feat. That said, it’s service has been scarred by over 150 accidental losses whilst operating at sea. Throughout it’s life, the F-14 was continually upgraded, the most notable improvements being uprated engines, improved radar and avionics. The kit The kit included in this pack is the same plastic as the recently reviewed Iranian Tomcat review I did, so rather than repeat myself, I’ve included a link to that review: HERE Note, unfortunately, no weapons are included in the set. The instructions recommend the purchase of Hasegawa Weapons set III. The decals VF-211 operated the Tomcat from 1975 to 2005. In the 30 year service, they operated off the carriers USS Constellation, Ranger, Kitty Hawk, Nimitz, John C Stennis and Enterprise. In 2002, the squadron flew 1250 sorties in just three weeks in support of Operation Anaconda where they dropped around 50 tons of ordnance in the ground attack role. They retired from service with VF-211 at NAS Oceana. Included are two of VF-211’s colourful schemes: 161856 aboard USS Constellation 1997 with the striking red / green tail emblems and chequered fins 161856 aboard USS Constellation 1998 with alternative emblems and red/white chequered fins As expected, the decals are sharp in print and register, although a slight difference in the position of the red cockpit 'cheat line' is evident when comparing the two sides against the main black colour (the low vis ones are fine). A large selection of cockpit panel decals are included if you prefer this method of detailing your cockpits too. A suitable but not over the top set of stencils make up the sheet. Conclusion It’s good to see Hasegawa releasing kits with alternative decal options. As covered in the Iranian Tomcat review, it is indeed a superb kit, although disappointing that you have to purchase weapons separately. Review sample courtesy of UK distributors for
  13. Hasegawa 1/48th Ki-43II 'Oscar' from the CBI Theatre Lovely kit, let down by the decals which simply didn't want to work - in the end I only used the 2 tail numbers and masked and sprayed the rest. Nice bit of stress relief after the problem with the trumpeter harrier . Build thread is available here Peter
  14. After the dissappointment with the harrier I started with a quick Oscar - typical Hasegawa nice details with simple construction. Started with the pit, you can't see a lot of it once it's in place though Then assembled the rest of the airframe, all goes together really simply. Then engine paints up nicely too Peter
  15. Focke-Wulf Fw190A-9 1:48 Hasegawa The FW-190 doesn’t need much of an introduction. It became legendary as the back bone of the Luftwaffe fighter force operating in parallel with the Bf109 and was also developed into an effective strike aircraft heavily used on the Eastern Front. The A-9 version was the ultimate A model building on the performance capabilities that the A-8 had already introduced using methanol-water injection (MW-50). It was planned to be powered by a significantly more powerful powerplant, the BMW 801F with an output of 2400hp, but lack of these engines meant that the 801S engine was used pushing out a still impressive 2000hp. Visual changes on the A-9 included a longer nose housing a larger armoured oil tank in the intake ring, a 14 blade fan instead on the normal 12 blade fan behind the prop, a broader chord wooden prop (on some aircraft, many still used the normal metal prop and BMW reverted back to the 12 blade fan due to power consumption) and a blown canopy that was introduced mid production on the A-8 version with modified armoured head rest. With production starting in autumn of 1944, output proceeded alongside the more widely produced A-8. The kit With several FW-190 kits on the market there is some interesting reading as to the comparisons of each, the three main kits being Tamiya, Hasegawa and Eduard. The Hasegawa kits offer the most accurate in shape and also benefit from being quite straight forwards in construction compared to the Eduard kits. The differences unique to the A-9 are addressed well in this kit as I’ll pick up shortly. So, let’s start with the packaging. The box artwork seen above is a vivid painting of a JG301 machine which operated from Stendal airfield near Berlin. On opening the box, the contents are mostly quite familiar, 4 light grey sprues, a clear sprue, a set of black polycaps. Two white metal parts are also included to deal with the options unique to the A-9. First impressions are...well this is a thing of beauty! No flash, no sink marks and beautiful moulding quality. A total of 82 parts are included, though some of them aren’t used as the base kit is presumably the A-8. The cockpit is built around a moulded tub. Separate main and side panels are included with good moulded in detail that will come out well after paint and suitable wash. The seat is nicely detailed, though does lack any seatbelts which is a little unfortunate. The cockpit simply and traditionally gets sandwiched inside the fuselage halves. Surface detail on the exterior is beautifully done. Recessed panel lines are quite reserved and look good for it. Unlike the Eduard kit, there are no lines of rivets on the fuselage surface, I guess whether this is good or bad will be personal choice. The vents behind the engine are displayed in the open position on the Hasegawa kit which as opposed to being closed, hence flush on the Tamiya / Eduard kits. Rather quickly, with the fuselage stitched up and cockpit inserted, attention moves to the gear bay. Some lovely detailing gives the bays the desired busy look. The gear bay assembly is then fixed to the inside of the lower wing section. Take note at this stage to open the holes up for the drop tank centre pylon. The wings and tail feathers are another straight forwards assembly step. As with the fuselage surfaces, recessed panel lines beautifully adorn the exterior. All movable surfaces are fixed in position, fortunately or unfortunately, depending on your point of view. At first, I thought the ribbing effect on the moveable surfaces looked incorrect, in particular as the rudder textures look quite different to the Tamiya kit which represents the sagging fabric effect. However after looking at pictures of the real thing, they look fine, if perhaps a little heavy in depth. The engine cowling parts are on the main sprues leading me to believe that it is an A-8 sized cowling. I believe that the A-9 cowling was 30mm longer than the A-8 due to the larger oil tank but not knowing the overall dimensions, I’m unable to confirm the accuracy of it so be aware that there may be a slight error here (bare in mind 30mm is less than 1mm in 48th scale). I believe that due to excessive power consumption, the 14 blade fan on the A-9 was replaced by the original 12 blade unit at some point and who knows, possibly retrofitted in the field. Hasegawa have included a white metal 14 blade as well as the original 12 blade fan on the sprues, so if accuracy is important to you, some research may be necessary to find out what fan was used on your aircraft. A white metal replacement prop is included representing the wider chord (350mm) wooden prop that was used on some aircraft, however many retained the earlier narrower chord metal props which is included on the sprues, so again, best to see what you can unearth about the aircraft you intend to build. The engine is well detailed, but quite simple in construction. Unfortunately, there is little to be seen of this lovely detail once the fan is in position. The undercarriage is stunningly replicated. I believe the stance of the Hasegawa kit is the most accurate (although my old Tamiya kit looks fine to me!). Detailing on the gear & gear doors gives great scale representation, very thing plastic where necessary. Both types of canopy and armoured head rests are included in the set, however I believe the A-9 all had the blown type. Due to the more complex curvature of the blown part, there does seem to be more distortion when looking through it compared to the original faired part, but certainly nothing to lose sleep over, they are very well moulded. Construction finishes with the various sticky out bits, MG 151 cannon, two in each wing, pitot, various aerials, centre line pylon with drop tank and wing tip nav lights. The Decals Decals are provided for two A-9 schemes although in the instructions, it shows one of them using the earlier faired canopy type as oppose to the blown type. Perhaps someone can shed more light on this? Both aircraft were heavily engaged in intercepting allied bombers. On the decal sheet are stencils, placards, instruments and obviously the aircraft markings. Register and colour looks spot on. There are three types of swastika on the sheet although only one type is referred to in the instructions (vaguely due to them being blanked out). Looking at pictures and artwork on the net, I’d recommend doing some research as to the correct type for your build. A quick search for photographs indicates that JG301 (photo of actual aircraft) had all black ones, where as JG4 had black with white borders. Aircraft included: 6./JG301 (Red 22) based at Stendal April 1945 Stab/JG4 (<1-+-) based at Babenhausen 1945 Conclusion The Hasegawa FW190A is regarded as the most accurate kit in quarter scale and the A-9 particulars are captured in the pack with additional parts. It is however more expensive than it's competition, particularly when you consider that the Eduard A-9 Profipack has a number or extras such as etch and canopy masks within the price. The design of the Hasegawa kit makes for ease of construction and the quality of moulding is superb. The only thing lacking in my opinion is seat belts to make a visually complete model, but that can be easily rectified. The blown cockpit on the A-9 makes for a different look if you've got earlier versions on your shelf and want to add some variety. Review sample courtesy of UK distributors for
  16. This is the second of my non-adversary A-4 Skyhawks (the first being an A-4M). It is the Hasegawa 1/48 kit, and the decals are from a Victory Productions sheet. Jens
  17. This is the second of my many adversary TA-4s. It has been a WIP for a long time but I finished it last week. And with its "sister": Jens
  18. Airbus A320, Peach Airlines 1:200 Injection Moulded airliner from Hasegawa The Airbus A320 first flew in 1987, and was designed and built by the European aircraft company Airbus. Airbus is a consortium of European aircraft manufacturing companies that came together to compete with the big American airliner builders like Boeing. The A320 is a narrow body short to medium range airliner and was the first airliner to use fly by wire controls and a side stick, think computer joy stick, over a traditional Yoke control, the A320 family is available with a choice of two engines, the CFM56 or the IAE V2500. The A320 aircraft has been shrunk in length to produce a smaller A318 and A319 models, and lengthened to produce a bigger A321. Some detailed photos of the Airbus A320 can be seen here to help with your builds. Various kits have been made of the A320 family, with Revell doing them all in 1:144 and Hasegawa have produced some in 1:200. Hasegawa have recently added a new version to the line up with a Peach A320. Peach, not to be confused with a short lived UK operator, is biased in Japan at Kansai International Airport and was formed in 2011. Peach is a low cost airline and it has an all A320 fleet of 7 aircraft with a further 10 on order. They serve both domestic Japanese routes along with destinations in Hong Kong, South Korea and Taiwan. The fuselage comes in the usual 2 halves and has some engraved detail in the surface, that looks fine and to scale. The various antennas and lumps moulded into the parts, a bulkhead is on another sprue and a metal bolt is included that screws in to form the nose weight. You will need to decide if you want to use the included stand or put the aircraft on its wheels before closing the fuselage as a section will need cutting out and a plug inserting for the stand at this point. The fuselage is moulded in white and there are no clear parts in the kit, the windows are decals on the decal sheet. The stand is cast in a clear Smokey plastic and also shown is the bolt for the nose weight. The wings and tail stabs come on a light grey moulded sprue, they have engraved flap and slat detail on the surface. The lower inner wing is a separate part with the join falling under the engine pylon so the join will be less visible, and there is some basic detail in the main gear bays in the wings. The wings have a nice shape with thin trailing edges. The flap tracks will need gluing on and they are on the sprue with the engine parts. The engine cases are in 2 halves each with a front and rear fans to add to detail the CFM engines. The fans have nice moulded detail that will look great with some paint and a wash over the blades The final sprue contains the undercarriage, and despite its small size the parts are well detailed. The winglets will need a moulding pip removing carefully as the parts are small and delicate, but the size and shape looks good to my eye. Finally you get the bulkhead that need gluing inside the fuselage and you can see the hole for the bolt. The bolt screws in nicely without needing force and it don’t deform the part. I would use a spot of superglue to hold it securely in place. The decals come on a nice sheet and included enough numbers to reproduce any of the aircraft in the Peach fleet. The colours look good against photos I’ve seen on the internet. You will need to mix paints to match the decals, and detail on the ratios is given for paints in the Hobby Colour or Mr Colour paint ranges. You will need to paint the fuselage in white first then carefully mask off for the purple paint work. If you can copy and enlarge the instruction by 80% that will give you a guide for the complex curves. Various stencils are included on the decal sheet along with the aircrafts windows and doors. Conclusion This is a nice kit that looks an accurate shape. The livery is unusual and the two tone purple will make a colourful addition to the cabinet. Review sample courtesy of UK distributors for
  19. Hi Folks, This is my first attempt at finishing a military model kit in several years. Yep, it's a grey, grey and grey modern jet but it's not one often seen in this scale. I usually prefer to build cars, bikes and surreal kit-bashed WHIF's but like most of us big kids, a loud fast jet gets your attention from time to time. A growing 'stash' of aircraft kits isn't helping either... The kit is OOTB, decals and all. The age of the moulds as well as modelling the kit in flight did test my patience somewhat but I'm happy with the end result. I only have two (totally wrong) 'military' shades of grey and the terrible MDF stand base is temporary. A link to the build thread: http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234935097-172-f-16dj-getting-back-into-the-groove/#entry1245210 It's a bit long winded with nothing but the obvious stated but it forms a part of my 'extra curricular' portfolio while I'm at College. Thanks for looking, Lee. (Edited for line spacing, I needed to print this out...)
  20. F-86D Sabre Dog "Shark Teeth" Hasegawa 1:72 In 1948 following an intelligence warning concerning Soviet long range bombers the USAF was prompted to accelerate the development of an all-weather interceptor to protect the US. This interceptor was to be based around the new 2.75 Mighty Mouse Folding Fin Aerial Rocket (FFAR). It was felt at the time that a salvo of such rockets would be more effective against a large bomber formation than cannon fire. These were fitted to the F-86D in a ventral tray which extended under the airframe. North American designed the interceptor around their already successful F-86A, although the D model only actually had a 25% commonality of parts with other F-86 variants. It had a larger/wider fuselage, a larger afterburning engine, a clamshell canopy; and a nose radome hosing an AN-APG-36 all weather radar. The prototype (then called the YF-95) first flew on 22/12/49 becoming the first night fighter with only a single a crew member and a single for the USAF. The Kit This kit from Hasegawa has been around for a while yet but is still the best F-86D in 1/72.The kit represents the later model F-86D with the parachute housing. The moulds are starting to show their age a bit as there is a lot of flash on some of the parts, that being aid its great to see the kit being re-released as its been hard to find of late. Construction of the kit follows the usual steps starting with the cockpit. This is not as detailed as some F-86 kits with the base of the ejection seat being moulded into the cockpit tub. Following this you need to make and add the intake, and exhaust to the fuselage before closing it up. No mention is made of having to add any nose weight, however its pretty sure this will be needed. With the fuselage complete its time to add the wings. These are conventionally moulded with the slats as deeper panel lines. Hasegawa missed a trick here, the aircraft is rarely seen on the ground with the slats retracted and the kit would have been so much better had this feature been included in the kit. Following this, it just remains to add all the detail parts to the airframe. The undercarriage is very nice, as its close to scale thickness care must be taken at this stage. If wanted a complete tray of the mighty mouse rockets can be built a placed under the fuselage in the down position for the tray. drop tanks are two halved but the fins are provided as separate parts which will enable the seam to be removed without any trouble. Hasegawa have done a credible job in moulding the rear vortex generators, some additional ones are provided for above the tailplane which the modeller will have to apply themselves. The canopy is very clear and you can see the antenna lines moulded into the plasic which is good. Decals Decals are provided for two US aircraft from The 498th Fighter Intercept Squadron which feature the Sharks Teeth as the boxing would suggest. The first is FU-866, this aircraft has "Kings Queen" on the side and a crown. The second is FU-997, unlike the first aircraft this hs the "US AIR FORCE" titles on the side. This second aircraft has wing stripes, plus the character "BIG VIV" on the side. I am not sure who she was, or whether she appreciated being on the side of this F-86! The decals appear well printed and not as thick as some of Hasegawa's normal offerings. The tail and tank decals come as two parts, they can be applied as a whole; or painted and the individual decals applied separately. The same can not be said for the canopy decals as you only get the complete sets with the white stars not being supplied as a separate. Conclusion Its great to see this kit out on release again from hasegawa, despite some flash showing on the parts, this is not great problem for the modeller; overall recomended. Review sample courtesy of UK distributors for
  21. Hello, Here is my next project after the VFA-102 Super Hornet. I will use this boxing I am still unsure as to which markings I will apply but I will probably go for the "normal" markings as seen here or here rather than the flashy markings seem here Quite irritatingly Hasegawa provides the old-style ECS and ACS when both aircraft have the new-style items... The old style ECS provided in the box: Fortunately I received last week this AMAZING reference book: as well as this excellent item from RES-IM: so making the new ECS should not be so much of a problem. The ACS will be scratch-built. More coming soon... Arnaud
  22. N.Y.K Line Heian Maru 1:350 History As with her sister ship Hikawa Maru, Heian Maru is a Japanese ocean liner that was built for the Nippon Yusen KK line by the Yokohama Dock Company. She was laid down as a 11,616-ton passenger-cargo liner by the Osaka Iron Works and made her maiden voyage from Hong Kong for Seattle, Washington. She is one of three sister ships. She and her sister ships were named after important Shinto shrines, the other being Hie Maru. From 1935 she was in service on the NYK (Japan Mail) Line's Kobe to Seattle route via Nagoya, Shimidzu, Yokohama and Vancouver. In August 1941 she made her last voyage, in ballast, from Seattle to Yokohama. In October 1941 she was requisitioned by the Imperial Japanese navy, (IJN). Later that month she was registered as a prospective submarine tender in the Yokosuka Naval District. The conversion was carried out at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries’ shipyard at Kobe. Four 6-inch (152-mm) 41st Year Type single mount guns, one 3.5 m range finder, two Type 93 dual 13-mm machine guns and one 1100-mm diameter and one 900-mm diameter search lights are fitted. A degaussing cable (anti-magnetic mine device) is also fitted. The conversion was completed at the end of December she completed conversion. Thereafter, HEIAN MARU was assigned to Vice Admiral Shimizu Mitsumi's (former CO of 3rd China Expeditionary Fleet) Sixth Fleet (Submarines) in Rear Admiral Sato Tsutomus’ SubRon 1, Combined Fleet, based at Kwajalein. On the 31st December she sailed from Kobe and arrived in Kwajalein on the 8th January 1942. After sailing from Harbour to harbour refuelling and re-arming numerous submarines, landing troops and Rabaul and from 1942 to 1944, she was finally caught by carrier aircraft on 18th February 1944 and badly damaged to the point of the crew having to abandon ship. The next day Avenger aircraft, off USS Bunker Hill, hit her with a torpedo, after which she capsized and now rest in 110ft of water of Dublon Island. The Model The kit comes in the usual, attractive, top opening box from Hasegawa, with an artistic interpretation of the ship at sea. The kit is basically the same as the Hikawa Maru released last year, but with additional parts for this ships armament and other small details. On opening the box the two hull halves, which are mounted on a cardboard insert along with a large poster which also acts as the painting guide. Removing the hull insert reveals 10 sprues of grey styrene and one of clear. As is usual for Hasegawa the parts are nicely moulded with crisp detail with quite a few moulding pips on the parts, although there is a small amount of flash at the sprue junctions. Construction starts with the two hull parts being joined together with 7 internal bulkhead parts adding considerably to the strength of the structure. Whilst the propshaft fairings, props and rudder are fitted later in the instructions, I would probably fit them at this point to help with painting before the rest of the build commences. Next to be fitted are the 3 cargo deck and the raised foredeck with its bulkhead. The promenade deck is built up with the superstructure parts, which are again nicely strengthened with internal bracing. Once complete this sub-assembly is added to the hull. At this point the myriad of deck pieces can be added, these include items such as ventilators, winches, bollards, cleats and the anchors. The 13mm and 152mm guns are also built up and fitted to their respective positions. The stern castle is built up next followed by the boat deck. The bridge section of the superstructure is next to constructed, with some nice internal details such as the ships wheel, binnacles, signal lamps and transparencies for the windows. The final section of superstructure is the boat deckhouse with the funnel, more ventilators, winches and fan trunking housings. The rest of the build consists making up the ships lifeboats and attaching them, with their associated davits to the boat deck, followed by the many masts and derrick arms all of which will require some careful rigging combined with some research as to how and where the cables are fitted, as this information isn’t given in the instructions. The completed model can be displayed on the two nice pedestals provided. Etch In addition to the plastic parts there is a small sheet of etched parts which replace some of the solid plastic parts to make them more realistic. There are also some railings, gun platforms, and searchlight towers make up the majority of the parts. The landing craft and 12m launch receive new cradles, rudders, propellers, steering wheels, liferings, steering position railings and a ramp for the landing craft. A nice touch is the template to fit the boats cradles in the correct positions. Decals The well printed decal sheet provides the modeller with the ships name for the stern and bows, along with depth markers, various flags and the markings for the numerous liferings, which makes a change from having to paint them. All the decals appear in good register and density. There is also a sheet of sticky label type flags with a couple of pennants which are actually quite useful in that they would be easy to attach to their respective halliards. Conclusion This is a very nice kit, just a shame that there isn’t an option to build it as a waterline model without some major surgery as it would be good for a diorama with some I class subs alongside. My other criticism would be that Hasegawa have kept their wooden deck and two etch sets out of the main kit to be sold separately, but at least this kit does have some etched parts and the modeller can now get a wooden deck from another source. Other than that, I can really recommend this kit Review sample courtesy of UK distributors for
  23. 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
  24. 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.
  25. 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
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