1/72 Hasegawa Fuji T-1A

This top view of the T-1 shows the very bright colour scheme to good advantage. It’s ALL decals!

This is the old Hasegawa T-1A kit in 1/72. It is not a very rare kit, but it is of a very interesting subject. This was post-war Japan’s first foray into the design and production of jet aircraft, and as such is very important historically.  It looks a lot like a 2-seat F-86, and in many ways is aerodynamically inspired by that famous North American Aviation product. As history has shown, Japanese designs often look like other designs, despite being both mechanically original and Japanese-optimized.  (Compare a T-2/F-1 to a Jaguar, and you’ll see what I mean!)

The T-1 came in T-1A and B models (this kit is technically either), distinguished by their different engines. This is not something externally obvious to anyone, so you can call it what you wish.

The kit is from the 1970’s, I believe, and had all RAISED panel lines. These were re-etched and the body sanded down to make it easier to apply the decals. Believe me, that’s an important consideration, too, since everything that is NOT white on this kit is a decal. The decal sheet is the biggest I’ve ever seen on a kit this size, and had to be cut into four pieces just to fit in the box!  They were very thick and a lot of decal setting solution was needed to get them to go into the corners and panel lines. In addition, they have to be trimmed right to the colour (get rid of the film!) or they won’t look right when all  is said and done.

The kit was painted with Tamiya XF2 flat white, and glossed with Future. The panel lines were outlined with a pencil, to give them some depth. The decals were put on, and more Future was put over top to seal them and protect them. A light sanding and a light coat of Future thereafter was all it took.

This was a fun and interesting kit that didn’t take too long to build, but it took some time to etch and decal. Still, it’s an interesting and pretty plane, and that paint job definitely shows up both on a shelf, as well as a competition table!

From the rear, the F-86 inspiration is clear!

No sense being subtle from below, either, it seems!

The cockpit has minimal detail, but the support frame on the inside is a separate piece, which is a definite bonus!

This top view shows that the wing is not as sharply swept as that of the F-86. You MUST trim all the clear film off the decals if you’re going to get them to meet up with the fences in the wing properly!

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