Hasegawa 1/72 F-86D Sabre Dog


51405  (BP 5)




See Review


Scott Van Aken


'U.S. Air Force' boxing


In the early 1950s, there was a great need for an aircraftcapable of intercepting invading Soviet bombers and being able to knock themdown. It was felt that guns were not what would work and many aircraft weredesigned to use unguided rockets, similar to the German R4M folding-fin rockets.It was felt that this mass of rockets would be sufficient to bring down at leastone or two bombers and it was possible to fire them in groups rather than all atonce.

Another requirement for these aircraft were that they would haveto have the latest in air intercept radars. The ground stations would get themwithin a few miles and there the aircraft's on-board radar would be used toguide the jet into position. This equipment was relatively large, low powered(compared to today's radars), and tempermental as only vacuum tube equipment canbe.

The F-86 was a proven airframe. It was modified into a bomberinterceptor with the required radar and rocket armament, and given the thedesignation F-95. Well, Congress didn't have any money for a new aircraft type,but it did have the bucks for a modified version of a proven aircraft. The F-95then quickly became the F-86D, an aircraft that had only wings, andundercarriage in common with the earlier Sabre!

Considering that other bomber interceptors were two seaters witha dedicated radar operator, the F-86D pilot must have really had his hands fullwhen it came to trying to intercept incoming aircraft! However, the aircraft didfulfill a need and was built in rather large numbers compared to othercontemporaries like the F-89 and F3D. F-86Ds were also used by other countriessuch as Japan, Jugoslavia and Korea.


Hasegawa's kitis all that we have come to expect from Japan's premiere 1/72 aircraft kitmaker. It has engraved panel lines, super detail, a complete cockpit, decentintake trunking, a two piece canopy. The instrument and console panels areprovided by decals, also typical of Hasegawa kits.

This aircraftdepicts a slatted wing version of the F-86D. Most of these aircraft were laterrefitted with the 6-3 unslatted wing, so you need to check your references tosee which applies. The fuselage for Japanese F-86Ds were slightly different inthat the Japanese aircraft had some different scoop configurations. Again, youneed to check references to see if this fuselage needs any modifications toaccurately build the airframe you are doing. Finally, I should mention thatJapanese F-86Ds all had the longer wing of the F-86-40. This particular kit doesnot appear to have that longer wing. This wing was also retrofitted to some USAFF-86Ds and to all F-86L models. The longer wing was not slatted. 

Optionsare drop tanks, and a rocket tray that can bedisplayed up or down. You can also display the canopy in the open position.Actually, the drop tanks are not an option as the F-86D rarely flew withoutthem.

TheInstruction sheet is typical of Hasegawa and superb. Decals are for twoaircraft, both quite colorful. The first is from the 4th FIS at Misawa, Japanwith a black and red checkered tail. The other is for a 324 FIS / 327 FIGaircraft with a red and white striped fuselage band and a white striped tail.Typical of Hasegawa decals, the white is really a cream color. 

Forthose building this kit, there is a relatively new Ginter book on the F-86Dwhich should help with the scoops and wings.

It looks like agreat kit and like many of the 1/72 Hasegawa kits, is one that I have not seenbuilt before. This despite the fact that it has been out for over four years!

Review kit courtesy of me and my wallet!

Update: Dimitriy Levin has sent in this info for a more recent (2005) boxing of this kit.

1. 210110 from 512th FIS, RAF Bentwaters, in aluminum with yellow
fuselage bands, as seen on the boxart.
2. 52-3898 "Tweety" from 25th FIS, Naha AB, Okinawa, in aluminum with a
checkered tail.

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