Hasegawa 1/72 F-86D Sabre Dog 'JASDF'

KIT #: 51404 (BP4)
PRICE: $23.99 when new
DECALS: Five options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: 1996 release


The North American F-86D/K/L Sabre (initially known as the YF-95 and widely known informally as the "Sabre Dog",was an American transonic jet interceptor. Developed for the United States Air Force in the late 1940s, it was an interceptor derivative of the North American F-86 Sabre. While the original F-86 Sabre was conceived as a day fighter, the F-86D was specifically developed as an all-weather interceptor. Originally designated as the YF-95 during development and testing, it was re-designated the F-86D before production began, despite only sharing 25% commonality of parts with the original F-86. Production models of the F-86D/K/L differed from other Sabres in that they had a larger fuselage, a larger afterburning engine, and a distinctive nose radome. The most-produced Sabre Dog variants (the "D" and "L" models) also mounted no guns, unlike the Sabre with its six M3 Browning .50 caliber machine guns, instead mounting unguided “Mighty Mouse” air-to-air rockets (a derivative of the German R4M unguided rockets used by the Luftwaffe during the closing months of WWII. The "K" Sabre Dog variants mounted four 20mm M24A1 cannon and were built by Fiat.


The kit is pretty standard Fare for a Hasegawa offering from this time period. A nicely done cockpit that uses a decal for the main instrument panel is provided. Also a short intake section with the nose gear well molded on the bottom. In the back a single piece for the exhaust. There is sufficient room atop the intake for weight, though none is shown in the instructions.

With the fuselage closed, the wings are assembled. The lower wing has the main gear well molded in place. Once it and the tailplanes are attached, the nose section can be glued on. Then construction turns to assembling and attaching the nose and main landing gear.

The kit provides a pair of drop tanks and the FFAR tray is next and assembled in the lowered position. You could probably model this retracted if you wish. Canopy can be modeled either open or closed. Apparently all the Japanese F-86Ds had the long fuselage intakes so those along with antennas and such are glued in place for the last steps.

Instructions are well done and provide five options, all in overall aluminum with 'cocoa brown' nose radome, and OD nose anti-glare panel. The five options cover three nearly identical planes from the 3rd AW with different tail stripes, a commander's plane from this wing and one plane with broad blue tail stripes from the 2nd AW. Not sure how available aftermarket decals are for this one, but the kit decals are well done and should provide no issues.  


There have been F-86D kits in this scale before this one and several after, but this one is probably the easiest to build and will give you a nice result when you are done.


April 2024

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