Hasegawa 1/48 J/S/RF35 Draken
KIT #: 07482
PRICE: 60 euros
DECALS: Three options
REVIEWER: Spiros Pendedekas


The “Draken” (“Kite” or “Dragon”) is a Swedish fighter-interceptor developed and manufactured by Svenska Aeroplan Aktiebolaget (SAAB) between 1955 and 1974. Development started in 1948 as the Swedish Air Force future replacement for the then also in development Saab 29 Tunnan and Saab 32B Lansen day and night fighters respectively. It featured an innovative (but still unproven) double delta wing, which led to the creation of a sub-scale test aircraft, the Saab 210, which was produced and flown to test this previously-unexplored aerodynamic feature.

The full-scale production version entered service with frontline squadrons of the Swedish Air Force on 8 March 1960. It received the designation “Flygplan 35” and was produced in several variants and types, most commonly as a fighter type with the prefix “J” (J 35), standing for “Jaktflygplan” (Pursuit-aircraft), the Swedish term for fighter aircraft.


Hasegawa hit the bull’s eye when introduced the 1/48 Draken kit in 2008, by providing a very good kit at a sensible price. It was then only too natural for Hasegawa (and, by all means, not bad at all) to go for their usual practice and reissue this kit another 13(!) times till nowadays (2022), practically covering all versions and most (if not all) schemes worn by this beautiful plane, even the one featured in “Shin Kazama – Area 88” Japanese anime series! Many of these reissues are labeled as “Limited Edition”, meaning that it will not be a bad idea to secure the one you might be interested in. Our Editor has already previewed the 2008 "Austrian Special" limited edition.

The specific kit is the 2020, also limited edition release, labeled as “Scandinavian Draken”. It comes in the Hasegawa well-known, very good quality, big size top opening box, with a dramatic box art of artist T. Hoshino, portraying a Finnish Draken fighter lightly banking to the left.

Upon opening the box, you are greeted with around 100 light gray styrene parts, arranged in no less than 15 sprues, of which two of them are big and contain more or less all basic structural parts, the rest being smaller and contain the remaining of the parts. Hasegawa’s modular kit design, in order to cater for all type variants, becomes pretty evident in this kit, as well. Molding is first class, detail is superbly engraved and I could not spot any flash whatsoever, with the styrene itself being the high quality typical Hasegawa one (tad on the hard side, but not really a problem).

The cockpit is nicely detailed with a good looking instrument panel (two options), seat, stick, throttle grip, rudder pedals and good sidewall details. No seat belts are provided. Landing gear is also well represented with sufficient detail. I was pleasantly surprised by the way Hasegawa molded the distinctively thin and very sensitive intake faces: they are actually protected by a styrene crate that is molded around them. Thumbs-up here, Hasegawa!

The exhaust nozzle looks believably busy and with good depth. Two types of external tanks are provided, depending on the version you are building. Per the (usual and not that favorable) Hasegawa practice, no external ordnance is provided whatsoever, not even a couple of Sidewinders, so the modeler will have to source ordnance from elsewhere.

Clear parts are excellently molded and crystal clear. Instructions are nicely provided as the usual Hasegawa pamphlet, with a comprehensive history at the front, a parts list and the construction spread in 13 clear steps. Three scheme options are provided, the first being the Swedish green/blueblack over gray recon version, the second being the all green Danish recon, with the third being the Finnish fighter version, carrying the same camo as the Swedish bird. Decals are superbly printed.

Instructions first want you to assemble the cockpit and trap it between the upper and lower fuselage halves. The next step is quite dense and covers all the main construction, including the wings, fin and various structural parts. Next is landing gear, ram air turbine (RAT) and exhaust assembly, followed by another dense step, where the above subassemblies, plus some other tiny “bits” are to be installed.

Wing tanks assembly is then called for, where you have to choose the correct ones for the version you are building. The following step includes installation of wing tanks and what looks like underside pylons. Finally, the seat is to be assembled and attached, followed by the HUD, the windscreen, the canopy and the front pitot.

Though there are no complaints regarding the instructions whatsoever, the modeler has to pay attention at almost all construction steps, in order to assemble and/or attach the correct parts for the version he is building.


This is another interesting kit version of the very good Hasegawa quarter scale kit of this important and highly iconic plane. General shape is good, details are sufficient and correctly rendered and decals are superbly printed. Some attention has to be paid during construction, in order to use the correct parts for the version to be built, with the clear instructions deeming this job easily attainable. No external weapons are provided, meaning you have to source some if you wish to arm your Draken.

The kit builds well, this being evident from reading the good number of build reviews in Modelingmadness archives, with any discovered issues being addressed by reviewers. Though not for the absolute beginner, modelers with average experience should have no difficulty putting it together. A lot of aftermarket stuff seems to be available, as well, in order to beef up the finished model detail-wise.

Overall, this looks to be a very good kit, still going strong a dozen years after its initial release. Should you decide to tackle it you will for sure be rewarded with a great looking Draken.

Happy modeling!

Spiros Pendedekas

January 2022

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