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Mike

FFVS J-22A Swedish WWII Fighter 1:48

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FFVS J-22A Swedish WWII Fighter

1:48 Planet Models

 

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During the early years of WWII, the Swedish Flygvapnet were stymied in their attempts to acquire replacements for their ageing Gladiators due to various practical impossibilities, so the company FFVS was set up specifically to design and build a new fighter, as the rest of Sweden's aviation industry was already working flat-out to produce their own aircraft.  The design was completed around an un-licensed P&W R-1380 radial engine, and had a plywood exterior skin over metal framework, which saved weight as well as strategic materials.  After a short period of trials it entered service in 1943, and became a mainstay of the Swedish Airforce, with excellent speed and handling characteristics, but suffering from the lack of supercharger, the performance fell away as the altitude increased.  It was well matched to the possible opposition fighters, and the pilots were confident of their beloved fighter's abilities.

 

Relatively unknown in the West, the J-22 stayed in service relatively unchanged until the early 50s when jet engines were becoming the norm.  In all, almost 200 were delivered, and the Swedes are rightfully proud of their diminutive fighter's long and faithful service.

 

 

The Kit

My initial reaction to this release was "a what now?", but it immediately appealed due to its slightly left-field nature, and because it's Swedish, and I like Swedish things.  Planet Models are Special Hobby's resin brand, producing kits that might not otherwise be made due to their subject matter.  I know a lot of folks run screaming when they hear that dreaded "resin" preposition to the word kit, but these days you're not really going to need to freak out if you choose your manufacturer wisely.  These kits can be as detailed and easy to build as a short to medium run styrene kit, and due to the relatively mainstream use of Photo-Etch (PE) and white metal, the delicate parts aren't all that weak.  This kit is number 264 in their range, and is one of their smaller offerings, arriving in an almost figure-sized top-opening box with a simple but nicely executed profile adorning the top and ends.  Inside are a set of heat-sealed compartmentalised bags that will be familiar to many of you, with resin, vacformed, PE parts and a large set of decals to round out the package.   The instructions are colour printed onto loose leaf A4 paper, with the first page taken up with a history section, and a diagram of all the parts, numbering 50 in grey resin, three in white metal, one in clear resin, two in vacform plastic (duplicates), a sheet of PE parts, a clear pre-printed acetate film, and the aforementioned decals.  The pouring blocks are shown on the diagram as dotted lines, so you are aware of what should and shouldn't be removed before construction begins.  The general process is to remove all the casting stubs, clean up the parts and then wash them in warm soapy water, or an ultrasonic bath if you have one.  As usual with resin, take the precaution of wearing a mask when cutting or sanding resin, as the tiny particles are harmful to your health if breathed in.  Washing the parts in warm water will also improve the adhesion of paint, as there may still be some moulding release agent on the parts when you receive them.

 

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Construction begins with the cockpit around the L-shaped floor, adding cross-braces, control stick, rudder pedals and the lamination of PE, acetate and resin for the instrument panel.  The seat is supplied with a set of seatbelts, and sidewall details are casting into the fuselage halves, which will need painting before closure around the tub and the metal tail wheel.  The coaming fits over the instrument panel, and is joined by a gunsight and armoured windscreen panel later in the build.   Attention then turns to filling the cowling, with the Twin Wasp depicted by a half-rendering of the rearmost bank of pistons on the bulkhead, and a full set at the front, to which you will need to add some wire for the pushrods.  A choice of two exhaust types are glued to the rear of the bulkhead, and the completed assembly is mounted on the front of the fuselage, with a keyed join ensuring correct alignment.  The cowling slips over the engine, and the prop is added, made up from a back-plate, three individual blades and a spinner.

 

The canopy is vacformed, which also gives modellers the willies, but if you take your time, fill the interior with blutak and cut lightly multiple times, things should go according to plan, even if you want to open up the canopy by cutting it fore and aft.  In case you slip, two copies are included so fret not!  Machine guns, antennae and pitot probes are added along with the metal gear, nicely detailed wheels, and gear bay doors for the tail wheel.  A scrap diagram shows the correct head-on profile to assist you in getting things aligned properly, and a dab of epoxy should provide a strong joint between the resin and metal parts.  For camouflage option B, underwing blisters and small fairings around the rear support struts, and additional leading struts on the main gear are added for accuracy.

 

 

Markings

There are two decal options included on the sheet, both wearing the same basic olive green over blue-grey.  From the box you can build either of the following:

 

  • FFVS J-22 s/n 22129, Yellow S, 3rd Division, F3, Linköping, 1950 – White horseman on the cowling, white exercise stripes on wings and fuselage, yellow/black spinner.
  • FFVS J-22 s/n 22140, Red M, 3rd Division, F9, 1945 – red spinner and devil motif on the cowling.

 

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The decals are printed anonymously, but appear to be in good registration, but a little translucent in places, especially the numeral 9, on which the white under-printing appears to have been omitted.  The pattern on the base paper shows through the white, which could be a problem over the olive green and where the fuselage roundel passes through the demarcation line.  It is a slight weakpoint of the kit, but Flying Colours Aerodecals produce tons of decals for Swedish aircraft if you feel the need to replace them.

 

Conclusion

With the exception of the slightly sub-par decals, this is a wonderful and intriguing kit that has plenty to recommend it.  It's a difficult task to resist wanting to build it straight away!

 

Highly recommended.

In stock soon

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Review sample courtesy of

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That's a rather good looking machine MIke.

Nice review as well.  :thumbsup:

 

Chris.

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There is a build here, part done, plus some links, and comparisons with previous resin kit by Kora

cheers

T

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I rather like that too, it's a neat looking areoplane.

 

Cheers

 

John

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