|NOTES:||Aires ejection seat, Fine Molds pitot probes plus Sidewinders and Falcons from Hasegawa weapon set C employed.|
As Saab in the early seventies began to have some export success with the J35 Draken, Saab at first made a deal with Denmark and not very long afterwards a deal with Finland, it seemed to be the beginning of a new era of export possibilities for the Swedish arms industry in general and for Saab in particular. However the export version of the Draken was in fact so much of an improvement over the original design that the Swedes began to investigate the possibility of modifying some of their own Drakens to this standard! As the new JAS 39 Gripen began to make development trouble in form of software and material issues it was considered to extend the life of the venerable Draken by modifying those airframes with the lowest flying hours to match the 35XD standard. However a full conversion proved to be impractical as well as not cost effective, because the main issue of strengthening the internal structure could just as easily be achieved by reopening the production line and build new aircraft! That was of course also unrealistic, so it was decided to do what was possible: the 64 selected J35F airframes were split into two; the front parts were returned to Saab for modification and the rear parts overhauled by the FFV (the Swedish Air Force maintenance unit).
This kit is the first release that Hasegawa did but with the slight alteration that Danish decals were included (that was the main reason for me buying this kit). Upon opening the box however I felt a bit disappointed because the so called Danish “touch” was just an A4 sized zip lock bag with a decal placement guide and a tiny decal sheet with just the essential markings. It seemed to me that it could look like the Danish importer had “thrown” it in the box just for good measure and hoping to sell more kits! And not to mention the “wrongness” of this; the instrument panel wouldn’t be right and the drop tanks were too small and wheel hub detail would also be wrong! In fact it could be a good base to make a Hippie-Draken (Draken of the seventies as I call it!) with wheels up and no external tanks mounted, before everything got WDNS, chaff/flare and RWR modified!
The construction of this kit was indeed very similar to my Danish build (they were actually build in parallel with this one), so there is really no need to repeat myself here other than I found out that it was a good idea to have a kit to “practice” on. An example: in step 4 were, among other things, the tail cone is supposed to be glued together and then glued to the fuselage, I thought to myself that the small intakes could be improved in appearance, but unfortunately I had already glued the tail cone together, but not to the fuselage when I came up with that idea. Instead of fiddling around with separating the tail cone halves, I simply took some new ones from one of the other kits at the time (as they also contained sprue C) so no harm was really done here! Then it was a simple task of modifying the intakes and paint their interiors before the cone halves were glued together! The fit also turned up a bit better since the first attempt had resulted in a slight misalignment meaning the whole lot should have attention from filler while the second attempt turned out far better; only a slight amount of filler was actually used. The small inlet in the base of the fin was also modified before the fin halves were glued together!
|COLORS & MARKINGS|
started to paint the bottom minus the fuselage aft of the RAT bay Humbrol 147
Light Grey (FS36495). Three layers were needed before the coverage was perfect.
After careful masking the topside was painted Humbrol 128 US Compass Grey
(FS26320) . This paint was apparently in better shape because two layers were
sufficient to make the coverage perfect. The last “main” color
missing was the
bottom of the fuselage aft of the RAT bay and leading edges of fin as well as
the outer wing sections, which after careful masking (a bit tedious), was
painted Revell 90 Silver. Three times was needed as the trouble with this paint
is it dries too fast in my opinion. This result in, if you brush over the same
place for too long, the paint simply is peeled of by the brush (and believe me I
have tried it)! After a long and tedious painting process with masking and touch
up sessions, the whole surface was given a coat of Humbrol Gloss
The decals themselves were easy to apply so no real obstacles here with the exception of the large numbers on the op of the wings, which after had been secured turned out to be impossible to soak up again because I discovered a slight alignment problem (but nothing serious) so I left it as it was.
The remaining parts were treated similar as in my Danish build with exceptions of different colors used; for example both the seat and back cushions of the ejection seat were painted Humbrol 155 Olive Drab (FS34087) and firing handles red and the external tanks of course went Silver.
Sidewinder missiles (
The last things to be attached were the pitot probes and the stall indicator. The stall indicator presented no problem but the two pitot probes needed special attention.
The short one, which is supposed to go
on the point end of the fin tip (part C2), needs a
The nose probe was painted instead of using the decal, but using it as a guide, I managed to paint the probe so it would appear exactly as intended. I think it’s a bit optimistic to use a decal in such a situation anyway.
Despite the fact that I used this as “practice” for my Danish build it turned out nicely as I had expected and the addition of armament does bring it up a bit instead of being “empty” under the wings if build straight from the box. However some modeling experience is required to do this kit as fit is far from perfect. Apart from that it was in fact a fun kit to do and I think the photos speaks for themselves.
military aircraft , , ,
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