Hasegawa 1/72 J.35 O Draken

Kit Number: BP 02

Price: $28.00 retail

Decals:  For every Draken in the Austrian Air Force.

Date of Review: 1 January 1997

Comments:  I built a Draken many years ago and I believe it was the Airfix issue. I really liked the shape of the aircraft, but Airfix's version was a bit on the crude side.  When Hasegawa released one a couple of years back, I wanted one, but was not willing to pay the quite high price.  Once I saw it on sale, I picked it up.  While I would have rather had the Swedish version, I figured the Austrian kit would have all I needed except for decals.  Boy, was I wrong.  The Austrian kit has no ordnance or even the pylons for it .  All that comes with the kit is a pair of underwing tanks.  The kit does have the Swedish intakes, and antennas, but without the weapons, it is a bit of a waste.  Funny as all the photos I have of Austrian Drakens, there are Sidewinders under the wings.  Wonder why they were not included??

Another thing missing  are the HUGE overwing Day-Glo numbers on Austrian aircraft.  I can only assume that this kit was designed based on delivery schemes without the large numbers or the unit badges now on operational Austrian Drakens.

On to the construction.  The kit pretty well falls together, although you must take care when joining the fuselage halves.  I didn't and had to deal with a step toward the nose.  The intakes are separate and a bit larger than the wing to which it joins.  The rest was pretty straightforward.  For a detailed blow-by-blow of construction see below.

I finished the kit using a combination of Gunze acrylics and Model Master enamels.  I even brush painted the radome (call me lazy), and it turned out just fine.  The completed kit is about the size of an F-16 and looks very nice on the shelf with aircraft of other European nations.  Highly recommended if you can afford it:)

Hasegawa BP2 1/72 Saab Draken

1 Dec 96

The kit was started back in March, but has, along with many others, just sit on a shelf until now.  What has been done is that several of the parts have been cleaned up, and the interior has been installed in the lower fuselage half. The aft tail cone has also been assembled and is puttied as I created some gouges when removing it from the tree.  This kit is of the Austrian Air Force version in two tones of grey.  The parts look superb and dry fitting shows that this will be a great kit.  It comes with underwing fuel tanks, but no Sidewinders or their pylons, which is a bit of a disappointment.  Yesterday I painted the cockpit area Dark Gull Grey and also painted the seat and other areas.

7 Dec 96

All that has happened is that I have completed the cockpit (a bit of paint and decals) and have sealed the upper and lower fuselage halves together.  The fit is great.

14 Dec 96

Well, I must retract the statement of last week on great fit.  I have attached the outer wing panels with no fit problems, but the same cannot be said about other parts.  First off the nose was filled with weight and attached.  The fit on the sides is not good and needed putty to get a smooth transition.  I have also attached the engine intakes. There is no backing to prevent see-through, and the intakes themselves were larger than the surrounding wing.  It was not a large step, but required that I sand down the intakes for a good fit. The worst of all is the aft engine section.  I managed to get the top to fit well, but was left with a large gap on the bottom that required several fillings to get properly smoothed out.  Final assembly this week was the tail fin that fit with no problems.  It will dry for several days prior to fitment of some smaller bits and initial primer coat.

21 Dec 96

Well, it is getting closer to being finished.  I have attached the transparencies with epoxy, fitted all the required outside bits, including the housing for the tail wheel and the nose probe.  The transparency was coated with Micro-mask, a solution that I find less than perfect as it easily comes off smooth surfaces (like canopies), while cutting.  My favourite masking is that made by Gunze Sangyo, however it is not easy to find. Anyway, the airframe was primered and has had the three main colors (FS 36110, 36320 and 36495) painted on using Testors and Gunze paints.  It is now drying.  While that is going on, I will paint the landing gear and wheels awaiting final assembly and decaling.

28 Dec '96

The landing gear and wheels have been painted and attached to the airframe.  I also had to add a small air scoop to the left side just aft of the canopy.  This was modified from one that came in the kit for a Swedish J.35.  I noticed it on a photo in my collection so had to add it.  I have also lost a small antenna that fits just above the scoop.  I have Futured the kit and started adding the decals.  They fit well and conform to the panel lines without any solvent.  What is missing from the decal sheet are the huge Day-Glo numbers that go above the wings.  Where I will get those I have no idea.  There are still a number of decals left as well as the gear doors and tail wheels.

1 Jan '97

I guess this is the first kit of the new year.  Completing this was not much of a chore.  I put on all the required decals, let them dry, and then attached all the rest of the parts.  These were mostly gear doors, RAT blades and door and the large fin-shaped antenna.  One decals that was provided and not fun to put on was a yellow and black decal for the nose pitot tube.  However, once done, it really adds to the kit.  When all those decals were dry the entire kit was overcoated with a semi-gloss clear.  The final decals were for the canopy (?).  Yep, there were decals for the gaskets between the canopy glass and the frame.  I really liked these and wish they would be supplied with other jet kits.  The final job was to put the canopy in the up position and put it on the shelf.  This kit is highly recommended and sure beats the old Revell and Airfix kits.

January 1997

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