1/48 Hasegawa Sabre F-86 E(M)

Gallery Article by Mark L. Rossmann on Jan 21 2011


Hellenic Air Force Sabre F-86 E(M)

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.  

At the end of WWII as the allies were quickly capturing the German scientists involved with designing jet aircraft, 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.  

The Hellenic Air Force has utilized many U.S. aircraft types in its inventory, including the A-7, F-16, SB2U-5, F-102, C-47, C-130 and the venerable F-86.  

During the NATO Military Assistance Program, the HAF received 110 Canadair CL-13 Sabres Mk II and at least one MK IV, from June 1954. Serving in the newly created 341, 342, and 343 squadrons of the 112 combat wing. The squadrons were moved to Tanagra Air Base in 1957, forming the 114 Combat Wing. All aircraft were powered by the J47-GE-13 engine. “E(M)” designated the aircraft had been modified to the 6-3 wing, therefore the use of the F-86F Hasegawa kit for this model. They also sported the early style “V” windshield, which up to this point I had not heard of, so something new. Since no such windscreen is available in any kit in any scale, I retained the kits screen as not wanting to kitbash an unknown. I did finally find a picture of an HAF F-86 with the screen, very interesting.

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The 343 was moved to 111th Combat Wing in 1958, followed by the 341st in 1960. The 341st was the last squadron to fly the Sabre until 1965. The most famous Sabres were that of the “Hellenic Flame”  Aerobatic team flying Sabres obtained from the 341st, until 1965.

The Hasegawa model is well designed and crisply manufactured. These are the markings of 341 squadron of the 114 CW.  Aircraft is silver metallic lacquer with a red tail, used Testors silver, flat red and flat black spray paints. The Icarus decals run about $17, are printed quite well, but had a problem with them adhering to the model. I used my normal Micro Sol solution, but they easily slid hours after application. Even wiping the model down 48 hours afterwards, a bit of moister caused larger decals to slide off.  After thoroughly drying for 72 hours, I decided to give it a coat of Testers dullcoat, after that they stayed on fine.  

It is a good representation of a Hellenic Sabre, but not accurate because of the missing “V” screen.  

Sources: Icarus Decal Sheet, www.haf.gr web site, Hasegawa Instruction sheet

Mark L. Rossmann

Photos and text © by Mark L. Rossmann