Hasegawa 1/48 The Idolm@ster Mitsubishi F-2A

KIT #: 51968
PRICE: 1,520 yen (on sale at Hobby Link Japan)
DECALS: One option
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: Special boxing


The Idolmaster(アイドルマスターAidorumasutā,?officially romanized as THE iDOLM@STER) is an arcade and console raising simulation game released exclusively in Japan by Namco (now Namco Bandai Games) on July 26, 2005. It was released on the Xbox 360 on January 25, 2007. The game follows the career of a producer who works for the fictional 765 Production studio and has to work with a selection of ten prospective popidols.

Alternatively, it could be based on the TV show.

The show centers around mecha and reimagines the ten prospective idols as fighter pilots of those robots, eight of them also posing as students. The large robots in this case are called IDOLs and their pilots are called Idolmasters.

In the show, Haruka Amami, initially under confident with herself, passes an audition to be a singing idol and she is sent to Tokyo to start a career in the entertainment. She does not know that the agency that recruited her is actually a front for a big task force which uses robots to save the Earth from falling fragmented pieces of the moon. Yukiho Hagiwara and Iori Minase, who also want to be idols, are also taken by the same task force, and so on. To learn more, visit the reference links.


Judging from the fact that Hasegawa has released a lot of these kits in both 1/48 and 1/72, I'd have to say the subject (Idolm@ster) is a very popular one. No doubt there is one kit for each of the ten main subjects. I've an interest in this sort of thing, so asked Hobby Link Japan to send one in so I could see what they are like.

The box for this is quite large as one would expect from a 1/48 kit. The real surprise in on opening it. Hasegawa has decided to mold this kit in the base color, which for this is a sort of brownish orange. Makes me curious to see what the pink kit in this series is like!

This is a standard F-2A kit as you'd expect. All of the various missiles and drop tanks and pylons are included as is the fairly nicely done cockpit. It has raised detail for all the instrument sections. A pilot figure is also included. The wheel wells are very nicely detailed with extra bits and pieces to install. One can be forgiven in wondering if Hasegawa used sprues from their 1/48 F-16 kit as the similarity between the F-2A and F-16 is striking. However, all are F-2A peculiar sprues with no duplication. Since this is basically a ground attack aircraft, there are holes in the lower wing for up to five pylons. Naturally, most of the pylons will have no weapons unless you get a weapons set. The kit does provide the wing tip mounted AAM-3 missiles and you can put a pair of fuel tanks under the inner pylons. Due to the nature of this kit, perhaps most will want the wings to be relatively clean. The kit includes separate flaps and slats. Judging from the curved inner surfaces of the wing to which these will fit, it is quite probable that these could be displayed in the deployed position. Checking photos will determine whether this is the norm or not.

Instructions are well done with the usual Gunze paint references. Only parts of the instructions that have been copied from a standard F-2A kit are in English. Background info and color info are all in Japanese. The entire back side of a four page fold out instruction sheet is devoted to decal placement. The sheet itself is huge (10 x 16 inches) and literally fills the bottom of the box. It is superbly printed and will definitely take some care in application. For those wishing to paint the airframe prior to attaching the decals, one will need to mix paints. It is a mixture of four colors, White, Yellow, Brown, and Green.


Obviously this kit is not for everyone. But it is unusual and will make for a very much talked about display when you show it to friends or place it in a contest.




February 2011

Thanks to Hobby Link Japan for the preview kit. Get yours today.

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