Platz 1/72 Mitsubishi F-1 JASDF Kit First Look
|Date of Review||December 2013||Manufacturer||Platz|
|Subject||Mitsubishi F-1 JASDF||Scale||1/72|
|Kit Number||AC-9||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Easy build, nice details||Cons||Nothing noted|
|Skill Level||Experienced||MSRP (Yen)||¥2592|
When the Japanese Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) sought options for a new jet trainer in the late 1960s, it was decided to develop an indigenous solution and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries produced their first military aircraft, the T-2, since World War II. The design was heavily inspired by the SEPECAT Jaguar including the use of license-built versions of the Jaguar's engines, but the T-2 featured a number of unique differences as well.
Not long after the introduction of the T-2 into service, the JASDF sought a capable air-to-surface attack fighter and the F-1 was born. The F-1 was a strengthened T-2 airframe with the rear cockpit deleted and the space converted into an avionics bay (the Soviets would do the same with a night-attack version of the Su-25 Frogfoot using a modified Su-25UBK airframe). The F-1 could carry the AIM-9 Sidewinder for self-defense, the ASM-1 or ASM-2 anti-shipping missiles, and/or Mk.82 and M117 bombs with or without guidance kits.
The F-1 entered service with the JASDF in 1978 and remained on the front lines until replaced by the F-2 or F-4EJ Kai with the last examples retiring in 2006.
Platz has released a new-tooled kit of this unique fighter. Molded in light gray styrene, this kit is presented on six parts trees plus one tree of clear parts. It is clear from the kit design that the T-2 will likely be released in the near future. This kit has some nice features and options:
- Nicely detailed cockpit
- Positionable canopy
- Choice of original or newer frameless windscreen
- Interesting (and realistic) hatch over the rear avionics bay
- Positionable landing gear
- Positionable speed brakes
- Positionable stabilators
- Nice wingtip missile rails
The kit provides the following external stores:
- 3 x 220 gallon external tanks (four provided)
- 2 x AIM-9 Sidewinder
- 2 x ASM-1 anti-shipping missile
- 1 x CBLS-200 practice bomb dispenser
- 4 x Practice bombs
- 4 x Triple Ejector Racks
- 1 x Multiple Ejector Rack
The kit provides markings for six aircraft (with information on only five examples):
- F-1, 60-8274
- F-1, 00-8247, 3 SQ, Late
- F-1, 80-8210, 3 SQ, Early
- F-1, 00-8238, 8 SQ, Early
- F-1, 20-8264, 6 SQ
- F-1, 30-8269, 8 SQ, Late
The decal sheet provides an extremely thorough set of airframe stenciling in addition to the distinctive markings for each of the cited examples. Painting instructions use FS call-outs as well as GSI and Testors paints.
Platz continues to turn out some nice kits and this one is no exception!
For a look at this kit built, look here.
My sincere thanks to Platz Hobby for this review sample!