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Neptune Kit

Hasegawa 1/72 P2V-7 Neptune Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review June 2008 Manufacturer Hasegawa
Subject Lockheed P2V-7 Neptune Scale 1/72
Kit Number 00897 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Easy build, nice details Cons
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $48.95

First Look

Neptune Kit
Neptune Kit
Neptune Kit
Neptune Kit
Neptune Kit
Neptune Kit

The Lockheed P2V Neptune started its life during World War Two to meet the requirements for a long-range maritime bomber and submarine hunter to replace two earlier Lockheed designs, the PV-1 Ventura and PV-2 Harpoon. While its predecessors were evolutions of pre-war transport designs, the Neptune was designed from the ramp-up for its mission.

Full-scale development started in 1944 with a first-flight in 1945, production in 1946, and entered service with the US Navy in 1947. The design evolved over time with later variants being refitted with two jet engine pods to provide additional take-off power for higher gross weights without having to resort to RATO. The seventh major model, the P2V-7 would be built with the jet engines installed on the production line. In the early 1960s, the Pentagon dictated that the services would standardize their weapons systems designations, the P2V became the P-2 and the P2V-7 would become the P-2H.

While the Neptune never had to fire a shot in anger (officially) as an ASW aircraft in its USN cold war service, the aircraft did see combat in Vietnam as a number were modified for interdiction missions along the famous 'Ho Chi Mihn Trail'. The Argentine Navy used their Neptunes during the Falklands war until they ran out of spare parts and grounded the type. Several Neptunes in Taiwan service were shot down by the Peoples Republic of China. Even after the Neptune was retired in favor of yet another Lockheed design - the P-3 Orion, Neptunes did continue service as bombers fighting forest fires around the US.

Why take a look at a kit this old? First, I haven't built one of these in many years and I was pleased to see it up for reissue. Second, this is a simple build and looking the kit over, the tooling is in great shape with no visible flash. Even in 1/72 scale, this is not a small model and though I rarely mess with kits 1/72 or smaller, I am immensely grateful NOT to see one of these in 1/48 scale (or larger). In fact, with the exception of a few vacuform kits, this tooling is the only P-2 Neptune to be produced. Well, there is the 'box scale' P2V produced by Revell many decades ago, if you can find one.

As with many kits this old, cockpit detailing is minimal though you can do a little detailing of your own if you're so inclined. Eduard helped out with set 72364 that detailed up the cockpit and a number of exterior areas. They also released set 72365 to provide for the interior of the weapons bay (non-existent in the kit as the bay doors are molded closed).

The kit provides you with the option of dorsal gun turret or the standard skylight in its place. Otherwise the kit is very straightforward.

The kit includes decals for one of three Neptunes:

  • P2V-7S, 145923, VP-19, PE/1
  • SP-2H, 144681, VP-21, LH/6
  • SP-2H, 143172, VP-21, LH/1

This is a great kit and I'm glad to see it still in circulation. I'd love to see a version of this kit with the turboprop engines as flown by the JMSDF, but the combination two R3350 radial engines and two J34 jet engines makes for a powerful combination.

My sincere thanks to HobbyLink Japan for this review sample!