1/48 Hasegawa Sabre MK F.4

Gallery Article by Mark L. Rossmann on Jan 20 2009


The F-86 Sabre was the U.S. Air Forces successor to the P-51. The F-86 was manufactured in several countries most significantly after the U.S. was Canada via the Canadair. All MK F.4’s came from the factory with the short cord/short wing found on USAF F-86 A’s and E’s. And all MK’4s were delivered to the RAF, why?  

At the end of WWII as the allies were quickly capturing the German scientists involved with designing jet aircraft, the British came up short with capturing such expertise. Even though British had the first allied operational jet, it was of the straight winged design. The U.S. quickly developed the swept wing XP-86 in 1947, going into production with the F-86A just in time to deploy to Korea once the swept winged MiG-15 showed up.  

Britain, along with other NATO allies, was committed to providing air cover to Western Europe during the “Cold War”.  However the RAF had no swept wing aircraft in their inventory (still flying the Meteor and Vampire), that could take on the MiG’s. Therefore the RAF took delivery of all 430 Canadair MK F.4 Sabre’s during 1953, and deployed them until the swept wing Hawker Hunter came on-line in 1956. RAF Sabre’s were then handed off to Italy and Yugoslavia.

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The MK F.4 was supposed to be delivered with the Orenda engine. However the engine was not ready and they were equipped with the original J47-GE-13(5,200lb thrust) engine and had hard points for two tanks or bombs, and six 0.5 Browning machine guns.

The Hasegawa model is well designed and crisply manufactured. However it is only provided with 6-3 swings without slats and with fences as found on the F-30 and MK F.5 Sabre version, not the short cord slatted wing of the A, E or original MK F.4 models. But hold on, as you are aware, as aircraft went through the depots for the USAF IRAN inspection and upgrades, they were updated to the 6-3 wings without slats and fences installed. Therefore you need to look closely at the aircraft pictures, because you could have MK F.4’s parked together with different wing configurations. So I would have to say the kit is accurate for a MK F.4 that has gone through the depot.  

These are the markings of RAF “92” squadron stationed at Litton-on-Ouse in 1955, one of the two squadrons to be stationed in England, the other being No. 66. Aircraft is camouflaged in Dark Green/Dark Sea Grey over Silver lacquer. The Eagle Strike decals are printed quite well and went on with no issues. I weathered the jet a bit with chipped paint on the fuselage and fiberglass nose.  

Sources: Hasegawa Instruction sheet, Eagle Strike 48216 - RAF Sabre’s PT3, Encyclopedia of Worlds Combat Aircraft a Salamander Book.

Mark L. Rossmann

Photos and text © by Mark L. Rossmann