Qmen F-35 Lightning II
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
The F-35 was designed to be all things to all services. It was to replace the F-16 in the USAF, the Harrier in the USMC, and the F-18 with the Navy. Thanks to the fairly large technology leap, the plane started off with a lot of issues. It is quite reminiscent of the situation with the V-22 Osprey. Thanks to all this newness, the plane has only recently had enough bugs worked out to enter squadron service. Construction is quite slow and prices continue to rise so the only people really happy with the plane are the shareholders at Lockheed.
Like the Hornet, it does not meet the original specs, but also like the Hornet, there is no real option out there. So the services are going to have to make due with this for the foreseeable future. I am confident it will eventually become reliable, though it will cost US taxpayers a lot more than many think it is worth. Despite all its issues, it is also being delivered to friendly countries and Israel.
This second kit from Qmen in this series is an F-35 Lightning II. It is interesting that they have chosen another stealthy fighter and perhaps #3 will be an F-22, but it could also be a Eurofighter. Who knows.
It is nice to see that they are putting some effort into these kits as I've always liked Egg planes. The distorted kit market has increased quite a bit in the last few years after decades of quiescence.
This kit is molded in a dark blue because one of the options is a Blue Angels aircraft and I guess they figured most kids would go for that option. As with every similar kit I've built, it has a minimal number of parts. There is no stand provided, so you have some very heft landing gear, which has separate wheels to make painting easy. No nose weight is indicated, but it may be smart to add a little anyway. Decals are provided for instruments. They also include all the various hoses and such for the pilot's flight suit, which is kind of neat.
The kit comes with a pilot figure that can be built to either fit into the cockpit or stand next to the completed model. From the look of it, the pilot is a Tiger. Most of this figure is identical to the the one in the previous J-20, but as you can see, the head is separate. The seated pilot is placed under a large, one-piece canopy.
Instructions are well done though brief as you'd expect from a simple kit. Paint information is provided using Gunze paints. You have two options with this one. One is a fairly standard scheme of greys with low visibility markings from VMFA-121. The other is a Blue Angels option, which I guess is appropriate though I'll bet it will be a long time until they fly this plane (if ever). Decals look to be very nice and should provide no issues on application.
It is nice to see these sorts of kits produced, I've built a few of the Hasegawa versions over the years and friends have built other company's tanks and ships. All have turned out well and are a neat break from the norm. These should appeal to the younger builders as well and would be perfect for them.
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