1/48 Hasegawa Mitsubishi XF-2A

Gallery Article by Burt Gustafson on Jan 17 2013

 

 

For your viewing pleasure, here are some photos of my 1/48 scale Mitsubishi XF-2A. The XF-2A was the prototype aircraft for the Japan Air Self Defense Force (JASDF) F-2A. In October 1987, Japan selected the F-16 as the basis of its new secondary fighter, to replace the aging Mitsubishi F-1 and supplement its main air superiority fighters, the F-15J and the F-4EJ. This involved a technology transfer from the USA to Japan, and responsibility for cost sharing was split 60% by Japan and 40% by USA.

During the 1980s, General Dynamics (who developed the F-16) proposed its F-16 Agile Falcon (an enlarged F-16) to the USAF. The US passed over the design concept in favor of all-new types (F-22 and F-35). The enlarged F-16 found a home in Japan and became the F-2A. Four XF-2A prototype aircraft were built.

 

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Construction
Construction started with the cockpit that goes together easily and fits nicely into the lower half of the fuselage. However, there is not a lot of detail to the cockpit. There are no decals for the instrument panels, just some raised detail. With careful painting, you can make the instrument panels look realistic. To add a little more realism, I added seat belts to the ejection seat.

When joining the upper and lower halves of the fuselage, the cockpit was a very tight fit into the upper fuselage. Because of the tight fit, I forgot to install a lead weight into the nose. As a result the XF-2A is a big time tail sitter. To eliminate the tail sitting I added a lead weight into the nose gear wheel well and flattened the nose wheel. Note that the instructions donít call for a weight in the nose. 

The rest of the kit went together nicely without any problems. Not much filling or sanding was required because the part fit was very good. The three clear pieces for the canopy had seam lines down the middle but were easily sanded out.

Painting
Since the XF-2 was a prototype aircraft, it was painted white with red trimmings and black around the cockpit and part of the nose. Hasegawa was considerate and provided all white parts. Even though assembled model was all white I airbrushed the model with two light coats of Floquil Reefer White. The cockpit and nose areas were airbrushed with Floquil Weathered Black and the canards were airbrushed with Floquil Signal Red.

Decals
Decaling the XF-2A was a bit challenging for several reasons. One there are lot of large decals and some that were quite long. I cut some of the longer pieces into more manageable pieces. Second, some of decals did not fit well, especially around cockpit canopy. The decals themselves were fine. They performed reasonably well settling down in the panel lines. I used a bit of Solvaset on each decal to ensure it snuggled down to the model surface.

Comments
This was a nice kit to build, the parts fit was good and the external detail is also quite good. Despite my troubles with the decals, the decals were of excellent quality. The overall quality of this kit is excellent, typical for a Hasegawa kit. I was pleased with the finished modelóa colorful model. I would recommend that only modelers with a few kits behind them tackle the Hasegawa XF-2A. 

Burt Gustafson

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Photos and text © by Burt Gustafson