Hasegawa 1/72 Kawasaki T-4
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||1989 initial boxing|
The Kawasaki T-4 is a subsonic intermediate jet trainer aircraft used by the Japan Air Self Defense Force. It is currently used by the JASDF's Blue Impulse aerobatic team. The first XT-4 prototype flew on July 29, 1985. The first production aircraft was delivered in 1988. 208 aircraft have been built and have replaced both the T-2 and T-33 in service. Many of these serve as unit hacks and in station flights to give desk-bound pilots a chance to retain their currency (and collect flight pay).
When one opens the box, it is pretty obvious that this is a Hasegawa kit. Same nicely done engraved panel lines, same fairly nicely done cockpit with decals for instruments and somewhat generic ejection seats. No detail on the cockpit sidewalls. The fuselage is divided into five sections. The nose is two pieces while the aft portion of the fuselage is three pieces. This latter method is done to give the proper 'gull' to the lower fuselage. This is the same as done with the Jaguar, A-6 and similar twin engine aircraft. The intakes have an insert plug that includes for forward section so no seam worries on that part. The landing gear are well formed and properly detailed. Nose weight is not shown, but it couldn't hurt to havesome. There isn't much in the way of things under wings on this one. Just two drop tanks and that is pretty well it.
Instructions are well done as one would expect from Hasegawa. There are Gunze paint references and markings for two very similar aircraft. When this kit was released, only two units were envisioned, the 31st and 32nd Training Squadron of the 1st Air Wing. Their markings differ only in the color of the band at the bottom of the fin checks. The decal sheet includes the tip daglo markings, but a wise modeler will paint these on. Serials for just about any aircraft made can be done from the decal sheet provided. This is an old style sheet with thick decals that will need very warm to hot water to provide the best performance. Roundels are separate pieces to eliminate printing induced registration problems.
OK, so this isn't a kit that gets people very excited. Some stores still have this kit on the shelves from its initial release, however, it is an important trainer and those who are building a collection of modern jet trainers will need this one. Fortunately, it should be an excellent build.
You can direct your sincere thanks to your editor who has hung onto this kit for years not realizing what he was going to use it for!
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