Mitsubishi A6M2a Zero Type11
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Hasegawa's 1/48 scale
by Steve Pritchard
Hasegawa 1/48 Mitsubishi F-2A ‘3SQ 60th Anniversary Detail Up Version' kit SP357
Eduard Mitsubishi F-2A set 48478
Wolfpack Mitsubishi F-2A/B F110 Nozzle set WP49218
Mr Color C14 Navy Blue for the preshading of the panel lines, C325 Gray for the nose with C72 Intermediate Blue for the overall colour. Tamiya White Primer decanted from the spraycan and airbrushed on for the wheel bays and undercarriage. Various Humbrol enamels for cockpit and pilot detail painting. Alclad shades Exhaust Manifold, Magnesium and Jet Exhaust for the exhaust nozzle and surrounding area.
I had never really considered modelling this aircraft until I saw it featured in the March 2019 issue of the magazine ‘Combat Aircraft’. It has a good feature on Japan’s “Hyper Viper”, and includes photographs of aircraft 43-8524 in its anniversary digital paint scheme. Hobby Link Japan promptly supplied the Hasegawa kit and Modelair in Auckland had the Mr Color paints available, along with Mr Color Levelling Thinner.
Construction was straightforward. I added some of the Eduard set to the cockpit but quickly realised that with the pilot in place very little extra work would be seen - consequently I didn’t spend much time detailing and painting the instrument and side panels. I did fashion an oxygen hose from lead wire to replace that provided, and the Eduard set came in useful for the added canopy details.
As with F-16 kits, the air intake can be tricky to build with its multiple parts and complex curves, but with care and plenty of test fitting the Hasegawa F-2A kit can be assembled in this area with a minimum of filler. I prepainted the top and surrounds of the intake before attaching, as this area can be hard to reach with the airbrush once assembled. I didn’t achieve a completely seamless intake, but running some Tamiya white putty on each part of the trunking, and wiping the excess clear with a cotton bud, produced an acceptable result.
The engine nozzle in the kit lacked detail on the interior plates so I replaced it with the Wolfpack one – this was fairly straightforward, but note, it is not a drop-in replacement, needing some trimming to get a satisfactory fit. It actually has interior detail that may be a little too heavy, but still a worthwhile addition, I think.
Extra detail was added to the undercarriage – lead wire was used to represent hydraulic lines.
The photo etched fret in the kit and the equivalent parts in the Eduard set were not used, but they were useful in providing a pattern to follow.
The undercarriage doors had good solid locations and attached easily.
All other construction was straightforward – I had intended leaving the tail off until last to make applying the decals easier, but in the end decided it was less risky to attach before painting and deal with any gaps then. I removed the moulded in static discharge wicks and replaced these with the photo etch parts after all construction and painting was complete. These metal parts have the benefit of being more to scale and also able to recover their shape if accidently knocked, as I have discovered many times already.
Painting was straightforward, basically one shade of blue – I preshaded as usual and also lightened the paint with white to provide some suggestion of faded panels in places. I followed the blue with a Humbrol gloss polyurethane coat.
The undercarriage and wheel bays had a rough oil wash applied to the Tamiya white primer base colour, followed by another overspray with white to give them a slightly worn look. Panel lines were also given an oil wash – Windsor and Newton Raw Umber and Burnt Sienna.
The most difficult part of the build was applying the decals – there are a huge number of large and small ones to apply and quite a lot of carrier film on the smaller stencils. I was impressed with the larger ‘digital’ pieces, the carrier film is generally quite small on these due to the thoughtful design.
It took several sessions to get them applied – there are several decals to apply over ones already placed, so I sprayed an additional gloss coat in these areas.
Overall the decals went on well with a minimum of silvering – they did need some encouragement with Microset and Microsol to settle them into the extensive surface detail. I did have to overpaint one walkway decal – I had applied it slightly crooked and didn’t have any spare decals in the correct colour and width.
Final coat was my ‘go to’ matt finish, Wattyl Estapol Matt Polyurethane.
Overall a very enjoyable build – the result is a striking and unusually colourful addition to my collection. The kit is very well detailed, assembles relatively easily and the decals proved less problematic than I had expected.
Text and Images Copyright © 2019 by Steve Pritchard
Page Created 16 December, 2019
Last Updated 16 December, 2019
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Hasegawa 1/48 F/A-18E Super Hornet 'VFA-27 Royal Maces 2013' Kit First Look
By Michael Benolkin
|Date of Review||October 2013||Manufacturer||Hasegawa|
|Subject||F/A-18E Super Hornet 'VFA-27 Royal Maces 2013'||Scale||1/48|
|Kit Number||07348||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Easy build, nice details, excellent decals||Cons||Nothing noted|
|Skill Level||Experienced||MSRP (USD)||$89.95|
The Boeing F/A-18E Super Hornet is the US Navy's latest fleet fighter. Scaled up in size from the early F/A-18A/B/C/D Hornet, the Super Hornet has more power, range and payload than its predecessors. The aircraft replaced the F-14 Tomcat as the fleet air defense aircraft and also replaced many older Hornets as well. The aircraft is a true multi-role aircraft, able to conduct precision strikes on enemy targets while providing its own self-protection.
Hasegawa's first generation of Hornet kits still are the best kits of those subjects in 1/48 scale so expectations were high when they first announced the Super Hornet in this scale. They didn't disappoint as these are very nicely detailed kits which can be posed in a variety of conditions thanks to the engineering and options designed in the kit.
Molded in light gray styrene, the kit is presented on eight parts trees plus a single tree of clear parts. As with the previous releases, this kit has the following features and options:
- Nicely detailed cockpits
- Positionable canopy
- Positionable boarding ladder
- Optional pilot figure
- Full intake trunks down to the GE engine compressor faces
- Choice of open or closed exhaust nozzles
- Positionable outer wing panels
- Positionable leading edge flaps
- Positionable trailing edge flaps
- Positionable ailerons
- Movable stabilators
- Positionable rudders
- Positionable landing gear
- 3 x external fuel tanks
- 1 x ASQ-228 ATFLIR
Markings are provided for one aircraft:
- F/A-18E, 168363, VFA-27, NF/200, USS George Washington, 2013, CAG's aircraft
This is the nicest decal sheet I've seen from Hasegawa to date. It only covers one subject which is a very colorful Air Wing 5 CAG aircraft (see the box art) but what is really is impressive is that you can apply the markings with the black backgrounds or you can paint your own black backgrounds and use the duplicate markings provided without the black backgrounds. Very nice indeed!
The only down side to this kit is that you'll have to go to the aftermarket, your spares box, or to one of Hasegawa's weapons set to arm this aircraft as no weapons are included in this release.
To me, this remains the best Super Hornet kit in 1/48 scale and offers the modeler with a variety of options for display of the finished model. The decals in this particular kit have raised the bar and my expectations about how complex subjects are handled not only by Hasegawa in the future, but also other kit and decal manufacturers!
My sincere thanks to Hasegawa USA for this review sample!
Review kit provided by Dragon USA (www.dragonmodelsusa.com )
This is the latest release of the prolific Hasegawa 1/48 F-16C. True to form, Hasegawa has re-released its F-16 CG kit with new decals, this time a commemorative scheme flown by the Alabama Air National Guard in recognition of the contribution of the Tuskegee Airmen. While its F-16C has been kicking around for a while, Hasegawa has kept adding sprues to keep the airframe pretty current. As a result you obtain a lot of spares in the later boxings and this kit is no exception. The standout in this release is the decal sheet, unlike the Hasegawa decals of the past the white in these decals is white! I have never built any version of this kit before, and I have always thought that the Viper was a sexy plane since its incarnation, so here is fresh look at this kit.
When you open the box, you are confronted with a lot of plastic. As a mentioned, Hasegawa has adjusted the base kit with addition of supplementary sprues allowing the modeler to reach a F-16 CG, in this case a GE powered Block 40. This boxing contains sprues A, B, C, D, E, F, H, J, K, L, T, U (x2), small c and Z. Sprues c and Z are from Hasegawa's Weapons set D. Hasegawa has shaded the unused parts in the parts diagram, which is considerable. The website http://www.habu2.net/vipers provides an excellent summary of the sprues provided in each Hasegawa kit and description of all of the sprues and why they are included. As Hasegawa kits go, this one is pretty complete and includes the basic stores including centerline and wing tanks, a FLIR pod, 4 AIM 120 (2 are older and less detailed), 2 Aim-9s (also older and poorly detailed), a travel pod and two Triple Ejector Racks (TER). The clear parts were bagged separately and were scratch free, though the canopy has a slight mold seam down the middle! The beautiful decal set gives you the option of applying the tail art as a single decal or painting the tail red and applying the art work individually.
In studying this kit, I find it to be a mixed bag. The cockpit detail is pretty good, typical Hasegawa, but could stand for more detail given its visibility. A nice pilot, with an updated helmet, is included. Curiously, the nose cone lacks the yaw sensors on both sides. The GE engine detail is much nicer that the unused P&W. The main wheel well detail is sparse to say the least and a real let down; the landing gear itself is nice however. In this set the canopy is clear not tinted, which I understand is the trend for aircraft using night vision devices. However, the canopy in the picture on the box looks tinted. It is clear that this aircraft is an air show bird and Hasegawa has you leave off most of the stores, so everything that you need really is in the box. With the inclusion of the AIM-120s, the travel pod and TERs you can model any typical air show configuration. I also like the addition of the boarding ladder.
In construction I found this kit to be a bit fiddly, and the instructions a bit disjointed; it is likely a direct result of Hasegawa's desire to maximize the molds. I opted to replace the cockpit since I had a later release Black Box F-16C cockpit available. I also came across the Aires resin replacement for the wheel wells and gear doors. Given the generous amount of detail that Aires packed into this set, I had to use it. For those who like straight OOB builds, I will disappoint. Since this is my first Viper build, I hope that my experience is illuminating.
I started by adding the aftermarket resin. The Aires nose wheel well which took a good amount of sanding of the resin and in removing the injection molded well in order to get the replacement to fit into the intake area, but the alignment was good one, once in place. The main wheel wells dropped in after minor modifications to the kit. The cockpit was not a drop-in fit, since you have to cut away and replace the turtleback behind the cockpit. This was the scariest part of the build and I proceeded with caution, removing the least amount of plastic possible with lots of dryfitting. Once this was done I did minor sanding on the sides to fit the cockpit tub, dryfitting it with turtledeck. The sidewalls were trickier, trying to get them thin enough not to block detail on the console. With all of this resin forward there was no need to add any nose weight. The nosecone fit pretty well, but some sanding was required and I had to be careful not to erase its raised detail.
The engine and intakes were a challenge. The intake assembly results in a lot of seams, especially the intake lip, both inside and out. It took a lot of filing and sanding to get this area close to looking right. Hasegawa does not provide a front for the compressor section. Lacking a suitable substitute in my spares box, I painted this area black with graduating shades of gray then white outward from the center to simulate the long look down the dark intake. With the intake assembled and in place, it is a good visual effect. In installing the intake to the underside of the fuselage, there was gapping around the area where the intake inserts; I used CA as filler. Moving back to the engine exhaust, I found that the fit was adequate, but I noticed small ejector pin marks that needed to be sanded on each petal. There was also non-prototypical and noticeable step between the exhaust pipe and the front end of the burner can. I used styrene strip to bridge the gap. The actual engine face is nicely detailed but incomplete in that the afterburner assembly is missing; there was little I could do to fix this.
The wing assembly was pretty straight forward, but it had its own seam issues with the underside wing insert. In installing the wings, there was a gap on the left side underside near the aileron. By an omission in the instructions, Hasegawa has you remove the wingtip missile rails, but never has you add the newer rails, parts U1. I used photographs and the three-sided drawing in the kit for locating information. Also the instructions don't have you add the leading edge sensors, parts T1 and T2, but they are included in 3-view drawings. Again, I deduced the locating information from the drawings. The fit of the tail insert panel was okay, but when I do it again I will sand the backside of the insert before assembly.
Other details. For some reason the wing tanks fit into notches in the pylons and leave a noticeable gap between the tank and pylon. In the prototype the tank is close fitted, so I sanded the tank mounting lugs so that it would fit tight and also had to fill and sand the notches to make them disappear when viewed from the side. Curiously this inner pylon has raised panel lines and the outer pylons recessed lines. The triple ejector racks have sink marks, which I filled with CA since I planned to use one for this build. Although not necessarily prototypical, I opted to open the speed brakes, since they are well detailed.
During assembly, I decided that even though this was a show bird, I would give it a full weapons load; matching photographs of a plane operating in Iraq. Instead of the centerline tank, I added an ALQ-139 from Hasegawa Weapons Set B. To accommodate this, I ended up scratch building a new, shorter center pylon, since none in the kit seemed to match. I also used the newer Aim-120s, Aim-9s from Weapons Set C, and a JDAM and two GBU-12s from Weapons Set D.
Painting and Decaling
The paint scheme required by this F-16 was not that difficult. I used my Paasche H throughout the build.
- I started painting with the cockpit after I had the tub side walls and turtle-deck in place. I used Model Master Light Ghost Gray (FS 36375) through out. I then brush painted the side consoles and airbrushed the instrument panel, coaming and turtle deck flat black. Dry-brushing with Neutral Gray (FS 36270) helped pick out details. I used a fine brush and toothpick to pick out the color of details. I coated the multi-function display with Tamiya Clear Green. I painted the seat in accordance with the Black box instructions and reference photos.
- Intake - I sprayed Model Master Classic White then masked the leading edge of the intake for the underside color.
- Before spraying the wheel wells and landing gear Classic White, I pre-shaded with flat black at the same time I did the rest of the airplane.
- With the soft demarcation between the camouflage colors, I free handed the three-color camouflage scheme of Light Ghost Gray, Neutral Gray and Gunship Gray (FS 36118). The nose cone is MM Dark Gray (FS 36176).
- The AN/AAQ Targeting Pod was painted MM Euro 1 Gray (FS 36081). The large window was base coated with silver and coated with Tamiya Clear Yellow. The smaller window was filled with Crystal Clear and tinted with Tamiya Clear Green.
- The vertical stabilizer received a base coat of Classic White and then light coats of Fire Extinguisher Red, a Testors color in the small bottle, which exactly matched the color of the tail decal.
- The engine was perhaps the trickiest part of painting. I painted the engine assemble off the plane and them faired it into the fuselage prior to painting the fuselage it self. I painted the after burner several shades of black, dark brown and dark gray. The burner can and inside the petals with MM Camouflage Gray (FS 36622). I then sealed the interior with Future Wax. I misted flat black on all internal surfaces, making the black darker by the burner. The petals were washed several times to work the black into the crevices in a heavy wash. With this done I sprayed the outside of the engine fairing buffable Burnt Metal to represent graphite and coated the engine petals with buffable Dark Anodized Metal. I applied a wash to the crevices and then re-sprayed the petals.
After applying a coat of future the kit decals went down with not problem. I used MicroSol and Solvaset to work the decals into the recesses. The decals are nice and opaque and I had issues with silvering. After sealing the decals with future, I applied a wash of European 1 Gray to highlight the panel lines and pick out the details in the cockpit, wheel wells, and landing gear/doors. MM Flat Lacquer was used to throughout except the wheel wells and doors, which I left some sheen to.
Assembling and painting the ordnance was a project all unto itself. Since I was modeling live ordnance, I drilled out the nozzles of the rocket motors of missiles. The ordnance was attached with thin brass wire.
The canopy fit without issue. The aft portion was had the interior coated in Future and it was attached with white glue. The main canopy was not coated. The interior is flat black and drybrushed to pick out detail. CA was used to secure it in place. The HUD is a piece of clear plastic coated with Tamiya Clear Green.
The landing gear went together well. Curiously there are not landing lights for the nose wheel door. I made the rectangular lights from a piece of fuselage window from the spares box.
All in all, the Hasegawa F-16 builds into a pretty realistic replica of the real thing. However, it does require the modeler to follow the instructions and to spend some extra time at the seams. The new decals are a welcome change and greatly enhance the kit. Extra details in the cockpit and wheel wells will improve the appearance of these areas but are not essential.
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