Japanese jets in 1/72 scale
The Japanese aircraft industry was slowly build up after the second world war. It started with small projects, building aircraft under license and starting to build its own designs. Companies are eg. Fuji, Mitsubishi and Kawasaki. Many of these aircraft were used by the "self defense forces", the JASDF being the air component. trainer aircraft here....
The T-2 is a two seat advanced trainer that made its first flight in 1971 to be used to train fighter crews. The type strongly resembles the Sepecat Jaguar and uses similar engines.
The F-1 was a single seat interceptor/ attacker variant derived from the T-2 that was also built. The rear cockpit of the T-2 is faired over with the space used for additional fuel. Other modifications include extra pylons and 20mm Vulcan cannon. The F-1 can carry missiles like the AIM-9 missile and anti-ship missiles. A total of 77 F-1 aircraft were built. It entered JASDF service in 1978.
Both the T-2 and F-1 have been issued
as kit by Hasegawa in 1/72 scale, starting
in 1985. Between the T-2 and F-1 kits many parts are similar. These kits
appeared later on also with various box arts and decals. The kit box #
00359 made here is for an "agressor" paint scheme T-2.
The main doors (parts B10+B11) are usually always closed also with main undercarriage down; you will need to bend the retraction rods C13+C14 a bit to be able to close them. The big aft nose gear door is also mostly closed.
... the Agressor jet show quite some
weathering in areas on real planes, but not over the entire airframe. Look
at the picture on the box and you see the red balls were also "weathered".
Below, you see an over 15 years old Hasegawa model made of a camouflaged F-1 single seater "interceptor/ attacker". It was made from a T-2 kit, with the "rear" cockpit faired over for which you got a solid part "D3" needed for the F-1 in the kit. It was already in the sprues, but not mentioned I think. The original boxart is seen here...
NOTE: years later Hasegawa issued a F-1 1/72 kit with complete camo markings of course! See boxtop here:
Back to the old model...
The paint scheme was simply derived from pictures and the tail numbers and markings hand painted.
You will also see that the red balls are a bit translucent. Also the main doors are open. At that time I did not care!
Air Internation Volume: 18, page 130 ; volume 18, page 117;
McDonnell Douglas / Mitsubishi F-15J (license)
The F-15J is a version of the famous F-15 Eagle single-seat all-weather air-superiority fighter. The -J version for the Japanese Air Self Defence Force was built under licence in Japan by Mitsubishi. It was based on the F-15C but lacked externally visible the ECM and radar warning equipment. Delivery started 1981 and 211 planes were built.
The Hasegawa 1/72 kit has appeared in various boxes and with various decals with kit numbers Hasegawa 00022, 00031, 00090, 00176, 00194, 00282, 00368, 00636, 00644, E12, K24 (04024), K111, K123, K126, K130, K132, K138, K146 !!!!!.
(please note that very old Hasegawa
kit of the F-15 had different moulds with raised panellines; you probably
will not encounter these anymore).
The main undercarriage doors and large forward nose door should be set closed. The cockpit only got some extra details for the scale like an etched metal HUD from an Airwaves set and the seat some extra seat harnasses. Also, the outboard flaperons were drooped.
Unfortunately, no missiles are in the kit! You can grab from another kit or the special Hasegawa missiles sets sold separately the US types like Sidewinders and Sparrows. These were also used on F-15J planes.
(You can also find the typically later
used Japanese AAM-3 missiles
After the decals were applied, the model was finished adding the gear, exhaust and tiny details like pitots and antennas.
The end result is a very special neat
F-15J model! Well done Hasegawa.
Look for more info on the 1/32
scale F-15J model here...
McDonnell Douglas / Mitsubishi F-4EJ Phantom (license)
The F-4E was selected on behalf of the JASDF and license built by Mitsubishi. The F-4EJ was a version of the famous McDonnell Douglas F-4E developed for the Nihon Koku Jieitai (Japanese Air Self Defense Force, or JASDF). The order came end 1968 and with some aircraft first build in the USA bij McDonnell, the first Japanese assembled and built Mitsubishi plane flew in May 1972. A total of 140 planes were delivered with the final plane coming of the assembly line May 1981. Also some additional RF/4EJ reconn planes were build which were unarmed.
The F-4EJ was developed for the air defense role only with several systems of the F-4E not being installed. The F-4EJ has common with the F-4E the Westinghouse AN/APQ-120 radar fire control system, the 20-mm M61A1 cannon with 640 rounds, plus AIM-7 and AIM-9 air-to-air missile capability as it has the air defence role. It however also got some Japanese internal systems and externally.
The F-4EJ first entered service with the JASDF in August of 1972. In the JASDF, six interceptor squadrons (hikotai) have operated the F-4EJ. These were the 301st, 302nd, 303rd, 304th, 305th, and 306th. The RF-4EJ was operated by the 501st Hikotai.
During the service
life some updates and modifications were made, like the refuelling receptacle
and ability to carry conventional bombs. Since the mid 1980´s a `Kai`
update program was started, updating the various F-4EJ planes of the JASDF.
The Kai has another radarnose and different cockpit panel layout.
Only minor filling was needed and
it was opted to close the canopies. This required some carefully trimming
and closing the gaps between the canopies with white glue.
A very smart looking Phantom!
And what about the F-4EJ
model at 1/32 scale...
- Wings Mook, 50 aniversary of JASDF, ISBN 4-87149-627-9
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