Hasegawa 1/72 P-3C (Block IIIA) Orion 'JMSDF' Kit First Look
By Michael Benolkin
|Date of Review||September 2013||Manufacturer||Hasegawa|
|Subject||P-3C (Block IIIA) Orion 'JMSDF'||Scale||1/72|
|Kit Number||02055||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Best P-3 kit in any scale||Cons||Hints of flash on some of the kit parts|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$72.95|
The Lockheed P-3 Orion is a land-based, maritime surveillance and anti-submarine warfare (ASW) aircraft derived from the L188 Electra airframe (highly modified) to replace the previous generation of ASW aircraft, the Lockheed P-2 Neptune. The P-3 evolved from its original form as technology and armaments improved, and remains in service with the US Navy while the next generation of land-based ASW aircraft is being produced - the P-8 Poseidon. The P-3 has likewise equipped the maritime air arms of numerous other countries from Australia to Canada.
One major user of the P-3 is the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force which has produced over 100 examples in its Kawasaki facilities. Like the US Navy, the JMSDF has evolved the aircraft with improved sensors and avionics and currently operates the Block IIIA configuration of the P-3C.
Hasegawa's 1/72 P-3 Orion kit has been off and on the market over a number of years but remains the best Orion kit in any scale to date. The kit has been released with a number of configurations and this is the first time we've seen the JMSDF's Block IIIA.
The kit is molded in light gray styrene and presented three parts trees plus one tree of clear parts. Two trees of cast resin parts which include the new sensor/avionics domes and new antennas are also inlcuded. Due to the age of the molds, there is a hint of mold flash on a few of the parts but nothing serious yet.
Among the features and options in this kit:
- Nice flight deck
- Positionable landing gear
- Optional boarding ladder
- Optional torpedoes
Markings are provided for two aircraft:
- P-3C, 5100, Fleet Air Wing 2, 2nd Sqn., Hachinohe AB
- P-3C, 5101, Fleet Air Wing 4, 3rd Sqn., Atsugi AB
The decals provide the distinctive markings, airframe stenciling, and extensive walkways over the wings.
It is good to see this kit again and now it is time to try it for myself!
My sincere thanks to Hasegawa USA for this review sample!