KIT:

Hasegawa 1/72 KA-3B Skywarrior

KIT #

K 42

PRICE:

$39.98 MSRP

DECALS:

Two options

REVIEWER:

Bob Laskodi

NOTES:

Aeromaster decals used

HISTORY

Here is an important aircraft that you don’t commonly see modeled. Now, I know absolutely nothing about this crate (except for its huge!). However, IIRC, our intrepid editor is a big fan of this airplane and is more than welcome to fill in this section! (Your editor declines as it would just degenerate into the usual TINS (This is no s**t) sea story, which would either prove your editor's unusual prowess or gargantuan stupidity so rather that prove suspicions, this section will be left as is. However, there is a nice background in the preview which you can access via the link below)

THE KIT

The kit is typical Hasegawa; a high quality injected molded plastic with detailed recessed engraving that needs no further introduction. It is what we all have come to expect from Hasegawa, right down to the instructions and decals! If you would like to see what is in the box, then have a peek at this preview.

CONSTRUCTION

There is absolutely nothing to report here with the kit, as the Hasegawa kit builds with only a few minor problems. The cockpit detail is a bit sparse, with decals for the instrument and side panels, but you really can’t see a whole lot into the cockpit any ways! Honestly, this kit could almost be built with your “eyes wide shut”, and there are only two items worth mentioning. Firstly, it is impossible to build the engines as indicated in the instructions without leaving a seam down the center, since the fan blades will prevent you from sanding after joining the engine halves together. I used the Hasegawa Trytool Modeling Saw Scriber Set (TP-4) to cut off the leading portion of the engine nacelle, join the front halves together, fill, sand, and paint this section prior to attaching it back on to the engine. The Hasegawa set is a re-release of the old Trimaster set, and I strongly advise serious modelers to take the effort to acquire these as they are absolutely fantastic. Secondly, the engine pylon join to the wing leaves a few gaps. These were filled with Mr. Surfacer and sanded smooth. That’s the extent of the challenges in building this model!

The model was completely assembled, but the landing gear and doors were left off prior to painting. I used a new masking material for the canopy, Glad Press ‘N Seal that showed some promise. A big warning! This stuff leaves residue and use with caution. Fortunately, a product called “Un-Do” removed the residue without damaging the canopy and paint job!

COLORS AND MARKINGS

The model was painted entirely with Testor Model Master (enamel) in Flat White, and Light Gull Gray. First job up was painting the “hot” section of the engines with SNJ Aluminum, letting it dry overnight, and then masked with Tamiya Masking Tape. After airbrushing the entire model Flat White, I stuffed wet tissue paper into the wheel wells, masked off the white control surfaces with Tamiya Masking Tape and airbrushed the wings and fuselage with Light Gull Gray. A light topcoat of Floquil Railroad (enamel) Crystal-Cote was airbrushed to prepare the flat surface for decaling.

I used a combination of kit decals (mainly stencils) and Aeromaster “A-3 Skywarrior Collection” (72-160) for the build. The Hasegawa decals are the usual stuff, a bit on the thick side, but quite nicely done. However, the Aeromaster decals had a “sheen” on them that made the decals look like they were “silvered” (but it wasn’t silvering). I tried buffing them, coating them with various flattening agents but nothing worked to remove this “sheen”. After drying overnight, I wiped the decals off with Polly S Plastic Prep to remove any residue and after drying I shot a very light coat of Future thinned with Polly S Airbrush Thinner (50:50 mix) over the decals to seal them. For weathering, I chose to accentuate the engraved panel lines and surface detail with a sepia watercolor wash.

FINAL ASSEMBLY

In order to prevent breakage, I left off the landing gear, gear doors, refueling probe, and antennas until after painting/decaling. These all went on with no problems. After a final “leveling coat” of Future (great for hiding those superglue splooges!), I airbrushed Testor Dullcote for the final finish. Remove the canopy masks and you are done with a great model build.

CONCLUSIONS

This is a great model of a historically significant aircraft and Hasegawa is to be commended for their great quality, engineering, and ease of build. This kit can be built with beautiful results by a beginning modeler.

Now for a personal editorial: I am quite frankly quite distressed by the number of negative comments I see posted on various modeling forums about built models that appear in articles or in the forum. I feel that any completed model (no matter how poorly done, or “wrong”) is a cause for celebration and not for comments like “nice model, but……”. Just because a built model is posted on the internet does not give you a right to criticize it in any way, and I feel it is rude and inappropriate behavior to offer negative comments about any one else’s model (unless they specifically ask). I always welcome positive feedback about my articles and builds (hey, “attaboys” are all I get paid for this article) and if you have a question about a technique I am always more than happy to try and answer your question. But I have no desire to receive e-mails or forum posts about how I was “wrong”.

REFERENCES

I don’t have any! This model was built with specific instructions from a paying client.

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