Hasegawa 1/48 Saab J.35F/J Draken

KIT #: 07241
PRICE: $59.99 SRP
DECALS: Three options
NOTES: SAC Landing gear, Aires Cockpit & Exhaust Tube used



Release the Draken (briefly)!!


The Saab Draken was Swedenís answer to the delta winged supersonic interceptor that was the rage of the 50s-60s.  Thanks to its double delta design and specifications, the Draken had a unique shape and performance.  Not many jets were designed to fly off improvised airfields and highways, but the Saab Draken was.  The Draken was also unique that it was a Mach 2 interceptor designed by a ďneutralĒ country not aligned with either the Soviet Union or the United States.


Armed with Sidewinders and Falcons, it would serve with the Swedish AF for almost 30 years (1960-98) till it was finally replaced by the Saab Gripen.  The Draken also served with several other Scandinavian AFs and Austria till they, too, were replaced by more modern aircraft.




The boxing I bought was the first boxing of the 1/48 Draken from Hasegawa.  It contains three markings, two for the 1960s/70s OD/Sea Blue camo pattern and one grey/grey plane from the 80s with dayglo numbers.


For more detail, see Scottís preview of the kit.




Every so often I feel the urge to go all out on a kit.  In this case it is because I took advantage of sales and got a bunch of aftermarket stuff for the Draken including a cockpit, nozzle and white metal landing gear.


First thing I did was remove the unneeded plastic around the cockpit area.  The AIRES cockpit and parts look much better than the Hasegawa version especially the area behind the seat.  Unlike most of my experience with AIRES cockpits, this one fit without sanding, removing, anger and swearing that is usually part of that experience... till later.


I ended up removing a little more of the plastic than I should have from the cockpit, but fortunately it isnít really noticeable thanks to the windscreen.


The top and bottom fuselage halves were glued together and that was when I started swearing.  I didnít shave as much of the resin as I should have because the area around the cockpit had noticeable gaps.  This was not one of my more shining moments.  Of course, I might have been able to correct it if I hadnít glued the cockpit to the bottom half instead of the top half.  Sigh.


Next glued in the nose cone and the I started more swearing as I noticed a 1 mm step.  The step took a bit of filling with Tamiya Surface Primer and CA glue with many sanding to fix it.  Aside from the cockpit area, the sanding/filling portion worked out okay.


Thanks to previous reviews, I knew about the issues with the rear and intakes.  The intakes interiors were painted silver and flat black then adjusted (many many times) so that all that was required was some sanding to get them to conform.  The engine section was more of a pain.  I tried shaving down the attachment points to get a better alignment, but it didnít really work.  I think that the rear portion is just a little off dimension wise.  I ended up sanding down the areas that stick out.  If they didnít conform perfectly then I wasnít going to get upset.

The last major piece of assembly was the tail and that went on without a problem.




The entire air frame was preshaded using flat black, green and other leftover colors from various builds.  I selected Dayglo 39 as the markings I was going to use.  I started with several light coats of the bottom color, Tamiya XF-80 Royal Light Grey.  Itís close enough to FS36495 which I didnít have the exact match in my paint drawer.  The top color, Compass Grey FS36320 which I had a near full bottle of Gunze H307, was done in the same fashion.  I kept the airbrush really close to keep the demarcation line tight.  However, the colors are similar and it is hard to find where one begins and the other ends.


Next I masked off the grey underside areas for the aluminum lacquer areas.  I sprayed on Tamiya chrome silver as the base coat and Talon Aluminum for the top coat.


Lastly, I had to mask around the intakes and I sprayed the lip of the intakes flat black as per instructions.


Once the paint was all dry, I sprayed on two light coats of Tamiya Clear for the decal gloss coat.



These Hasegawa decals were the later better ones.  These went on without too much trouble using MicroSet. Thankfully, the Swedes donít use many maintenance stencils so putting the decals on wasnít as tedious as the typical jet.



I used a water color wash mix of raw umber, black and burnt sienna for the wash just enough to make it look used.  The excess was removed with damp Q-tips.


Two light coats of Vallejo Flat were used for the final coat.



I used the SAC landing gear instead of the Kit landing gear.  The detail on the SAC parts was just as good as what was on the kit landing gear, but I obtained them a while ago and wanted to use them.  The parts were painted with a base coat of Tamiya Silver and a top coat of Talon Aluminum then I used cut aluminum foil for the oleo shafts--which was held on using MicroFoil Adhesive.  The various plastic bits (including the already painted landing gear bay doors and actuators) were added and then glued in place using CA glue.


The exhaust tube was a breeze to assemble as I removed the parts from the resin stubs, cleaned them up, painted them, glued the parts (including the end cap from the kit) together and slid it right into the opening.  Iíve learned to dislike sanding/filling jet exhausts and intakes so Iíve become a fan of the one piece resin replacements. 


The antenna and various tiny bits (including the IR sensor) were painted the colors specified and added to the Draken.  Next I tackled the assembled fuel tanks by sanding/polishing, painting with a combination of Tamiya Silver and Talon White Aluminum, polish with various grades of fine grit polishing cloths and glue to the fuselage.


Next up was the nose pitot tube which needed to be painted silver (the decal needs something to grab onto as the plastic wonít do) and when dry, the yellow/black striped decal was added.  To make it curl, I had to use a drop of Solvaset then very quickly wrap the decal around the pitot tube (held on a clothspin to keep my fingers from ruining the melting decal.)  Once everything was dry, it was glued in place.


The missiles were next.  I managed to scrounge a pair of AIM-9Js and AIM-4Cs which were carried by the Draken.  The missiles were assembled, cleaned up and then painted Dark Sea Grey with a touch of flat white while the noses were hand painted gloss black, I didnít have any ďSwedishĒ missile stencils so I left the missiles as is and glued them onto the pylons.


Finally, I had to add the canopy parts.  First I cut out the acetate HUD piece then glued it in place with white glue.  Second I removed the PE mirrors for the canopy and glued them in place using white glue.  Lastly I glued the clear bits in; I used white glue for the windscreen and Tamiya extra thin to hold the actual canopy in the open position.



The Hasegawa Draken is a very good jet kit without many of the headaches involved with building a jet kit such as sanding filling intakes.  As I said, I really like the aesthetic look of the Draken and am glad I built one for my collection.  About the only really negative thing I have to say about it is the lack of weaponry, but Iíve said that (and will probably continue to) about a lot of Hasegawa Kits.


The aftermarket parts improve on the detail and in the case of the Aires exhaust tube/nozzle, actually eases construction as Iím not a fan of sanding filling exhaust tubes.

Dan Lee

February 2011

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