Modern Japanese Jets
JASDF


Japanese jets in 1/72 scale 
kit review
building report

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.  also check out modern Japanese trainer aircraft here....



Mitsubishi T-2
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 moulding and parts are fine but the kits are not to the latest standard with raised panellines. Nevertheless, fine models can be made out of them.  Assembly is straight forward with about 35 parts for the plane and a similar number for the stores.  The kit needed only tiny bits of filler and the cockpit got a little extra details with seat harnesses, stretched sprue handles etc. You get some decals for the instrument panels.

The canopy is cristal clear. The intakes do not have tunnels, but I simply added some black paint and that's good enough for the build. 

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.


I used Humbrol 125 medium grey and Humbrol 127 light grey colours and metal paints in some areas in the engine area.

The decals are OK, but make sure to put a white roundel decal below the red balls insignias when you are putting them to a dark surface. That was not needed here as....

... 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".
I simply added the decals and than did some "overspraying' with the airbrush using the similar colours as the surfaces in areas.


The result is rather special and a nice Japanese jet is now in the collection. 
 Note also the oversprayed walkway lines on the wings. Typically, the canopies have a clean light grey FS36440 colour.

Inside the canopies with a permanent black paint marker some details were suggested. 




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!

references: Air Internation Volume: 18, page 130 ; volume 18, page 117; 
and http://www.answers.com/topic/mitsubishi-f-2
 




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 model presented here is of kit #00176 with a special scheme is for a JASDF 202 squadron plane aniversary.  The later kit is rather nice, has recessed panellines and can be build straight from the box. The engine exhausts are without turkey feathers showing the rods; these are a bit fragile to remove from the sprues. 

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 
in the Hasegawa 1/72 Mitsubishi F-2 kit #00545 )


The overall and common F-15 colours of both greys FS36320 and FS36375 were first applied with the airbrush.


The special scheme is provided through decals, and you don't even have to paint the "black". I used the tail markings with the black in it to avoid colour differences. 
The decals went on fine, but always you get some tiny airbubbles in the larger areas. Carefully rub the bubbles to the decal edges when applying them. 

After the decals were applied, the model was finished adding the gear, exhaust and tiny details like pitots and antennas. 


You get a full load of tiny F-15 markings and stencils; many of these were applied to the grey areas as usual. 


A view on the exhausts "without turkey feathers" 

After drying, the overall model got a light coat of Johnson Future to protect the decals and to get an even overall result..


As on the real plane, the special scheme with black, yellow and red flames only appears on the upper and side surfaces. The lower areas have to usual F-15 grey appearance.

Also note the slightly drooped flaperons

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. 


In 1/72 scale, a very nice kit and scheme is provided by the Fujimi kit #72174  issued 2004. It has about 100 parts and very nice markings of the 302 squadron at Okinawa because of the 50th aniversary of the "new" JASDF after 1945. 


The kit was made straight out of the box and the quality is very good of this kit, as also for the other F-4E kit series of Fujimi. 

I had to adjust the stubs of the stabilizers to get a good fit and angle. Stores come with the kit (Sidewinders, Sparrows and fueltanks). 

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.

The model was given a light grey base coat to check for any flaws and these were corrected. Next came a coat of white applied with the airbrush with aluminium panels masked out.
The kit decals are very nice, but you need to paint the fueltanks in the same colour as the blue decals. The decals were treated with DACO softener to pursuade them to "sit" in the recessed panels. 

The aluminium panels were airbrushed with Testor Metallizer paints (aluminium).
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A very smart looking Phantom!

The slats and flaps and some other panels were given a very light touch using diluted dark grey waterbased/acryllic paint using a very fine sable brush and an ordinary pencil. 

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A couple of Fujimi British Phantoms seen here and the Royal Navy F-4K here...

And what about the F-4EJ model at 1/32 scale...
 



General references
- Wings Mook, 50 aniversary of JASDF, ISBN 4-87149-627-9
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Created this page January 31, 2007