V-22 Osprey 'JGSDF First Aircraft
3600 yen SRP
Scott Van Aken
The Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey is an American multi-mission,
tiltrotor military aircraft with both a vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL), and
short takeoff and landing (STOL) capability. It is designed to combine the
functionality of a conventional helicopter with the long-range, high-speed
cruise performance of a turboprop aircraft.
The V-22 originated from the United States Department of
Defense Joint-service Vertical take-off/landing Experimental (JVX) aircraft
program started in 1981. The team of Bell Helicopter and Boeing Helicopters was
awarded a development contract in 1983 for the tiltrotor aircraft. The Bell
Boeing team jointly produce the aircraft. The V-22 first flew in 1989, and began
flight testing and design alterations; the complexity and difficulties of being
the first tiltrotor intended for military service in the world led to many years
The United States Marine Corps began crew training for the
Osprey in 2000, and fielded it in 2007; it supplemented and then replaced their
Boeing Vertol CH-46 Sea Knights. The Osprey's other operator, the U.S. Air
Force, fielded their version of the tiltrotor in 2009. Since entering service
with the U.S. Marine Corps and Air Force, the Osprey has been deployed in
transportation and medivac operations over Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Kuwait.
Fourteen USMC and five USAF squadrons operate the Osprey. The
Type has been slow to enter foreign service with the Japanese being one of the
first export sales.
used to be that as soon as a prototype of an aircraft was produced, Hasegawa
and others would rush out and mold a kit. However, having been bitten by
airframe changes between the prototype and production planes, most companies
will now wait for the definitive production aircraft before expending the
funds. Back in the very early 1990s, Italeri jumped on the Osprey by
producing kits in both 1/72 and 1/48 of the prototypes. Your editor built
the Italeri version in 1/48 and it was quite a struggle! Now, Hasegawa has
provided us with what looks to be a very nice kit of this plane in 1/72
scale, the scale in which I prefer to build (as much due to diminishing
shelf space as anything else).
This is the initial boxing and while there will be many Limited Editions (as
there already have been), the initial boxing of the kit will remain in
production for as long as Hasegawa is around. It is just their business plan
when it comes to kits. The good news for modelers is that the standard
boxing is almost always less expensive than the Limited Editions and for
those using aftermarket markings, is the best deal.
All of the sprues are packed inside a single poly bag, as is the norm for
Hasegawa. There are ten sprues of which two are clear and one is dedicated
to a display stand, something that I like and that is appropriate for
displaying this aircraft with the wings level. The kit provides an adequate
interior with seats, control sticks and instrument panel. Decals are used
for the instruments and consoles with two pilot figures included.
Interestingly, one does not populate the cockpit until after the airframe is
pretty much together.
While there are interior bulkheads, there is no cabin detail. The rear doors
are molded as one piece and designed to be modeled closed. There are
separate flaps for the wings as they are to be deployed during vertical
flight. The kit cannot be modeled in the storage position. However, the
engines can be moved to either vertical or horizontal flight and anything in
between as they are held on the tips of the wings by polycaps. The rotor
blades are two parts with a lower half to allow easy insertion into the prop
hub. The builder is also provided with the option for gear up if so desired,
though it means cutting the door hinges to do so. The kit provides a
remarkable number of antennas and aerodynamic devices so care needs to be
taken when gluing these in place.
use Gunze paint references and while the instructions look complex at first
glance, studying them shows that they are quite logically arranged and
should be quite helpful. This kit may be a bit of a rush into production
even though it is little more than a decal chance from the basic boxing. It
has two shades of grey with the upper color being shallow ocean blue.
Somewhat reminds me of the USN tricolor scheme used during WWII. So new
is this that there are no serial numbers included with the kit. The
decal sheet is very nicely done and should provide no issues. Since this kit
is identical in terms of parts to the initial boxing, one could use USMC
aftermarket decals on it.
One expects a nice kit from Hasegawa and in this case, you do get it. Well
worth picking up if you are a fan of modern aircraft. As a note, for those who
don't mind waiting a bit for your kits, it could be useful to pick up from
Japanese retailers as even with the shipping, it will probably be less expensive than US retail and even most discount places.
Thanks to me for picking this one up.
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