Despite some of the
reviews I had read about this model, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to
acquire it for $30. I was initially very excited to get started on this
build, just to see how the Hasegawa kits came together. It was smooth
sailing out of the box, and though I had some reservations regarding the paint
scheme, I was satisfied with the outcome, albeit, it doesn’t match the real
deal. It wasn’t until the later stages of the build that I started to
gather the notion that perhaps the folks at Hasegawa may have
“over-engineered” this build. I collected the frustrations and
continued on on, though, determined to complete this plane. I used the
Aires seat, and model masters paints. Everything else was straight from
Although there were a
ton of pieces to this kit, there’s really only three main areas of detail.
Cockpit, weapons bays, and gear bays. All of those were a chore,
especially the weapons bays, which acquired a lot of detail, and fine
parts….most of them only cast in white, which got a bit boring towards the end,
but were semi-rewarding when they came together. Looking back, I wish
I’d have opted to have them closed, but am glad I got to experience it
anyways. The missiles were probably the biggest headache of this build
overall. I almost debated scrapping the project once I got into the
missile assembly, it was just that frustrating. The wings/fins that go on
the AMRAAM’s were not fitting well at all, and would not adhere in place for
nothing. I eventually decided to scrap the missiles, and went back to my
spares box, and acquired two AIM-9x’s that I had left over from the Tamiya
F-16. Those worked splendid, and I was grateful to have had them around.
In the end, lesson learned….buy aftermarket parts with wings and fins already
installed, or opt for spares, as these were NOT an easy task to work with.
All in all, it’s a great looking
plane. It really started to look like a champ when I got the vertical
stabs in place. The paint scheme isn’t as difficult as some talk about.
The “sheen” that most refer to is hard to achieve, but I opted to just leave
mine gloss coated to help this effect a bit, and in the end, it adds a nice
fifth generation feel to my scale flight line.
Photos and text © by Nick Williamson