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J-35 Kit

Hasegawa 1/48 J-35F/J Draken Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review April 2008 Manufacturer Hasegawa
Subject J-35F/J Draken Scale 1/48
Kit Number 07241 (PT41) Primary Media Styrene
Pros Easy build, nice details Cons No weapons included
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $54.95

First Look

J-35 Kit
J-35 Kit
J-35 Kit
J-35 Kit
J-35 Kit
J-35 Kit

Sweden has developed its own fighter aircraft for many decades as no other aircraft in the world could meet the strict demands of performance, ease of maintenance, and operability from remote highway airstrips around the country. The principal manufacturer of these aircraft is Saab, the same company that produces automobiles, trucks, and other machinery. When it was time to replace the subsonic J-29 Tunnan with a supersonic fighter in the early 1950s, Saab stepped up to the plate.

What is rather impressive is that unlike many other aircraft developments around the world, Saab went from barely supersonic with the J-32 Lansen to beyond Mach 2 with the J-35. The Draken was powered by the Volvo Flygmotor RM6C, which is a license-built Rolls Royce Avon, the same engine that powered the later English Electric Lightning.

The aircraft went through a number of iterations during its production, with the principal version being the J-35F. This version was armed with the Hughes Falcon missile, both the infrared (IR) and the radar-guided versions. The J-35F-2 was a mid-production upgrade to provide the Hughes IR sensor in the nose. The J-35J was a life-extension upgrade for 54 J-35F-2 airframes which also provided two additional Sidewinder pylons under the wings.

Hasegawa has produced another all-new tooling and this time they've tackled the Saab J-35 Draken in 1/48 scale. When you open the box, you can see that this model is not a complex build, but its size and quality of engineering stand out.

Molded in light gray styrene, the kit is presented on two box-sized parts trees, plus five smaller trees of details which signifies that we'll be seeing other Draken variants in our future. One tree of clear parts round out the kit parts.

The first step in this project is the cockpit and the detail is reasonably done - not the Spartan interior of some of the earlier kits. The completed cockpit goes inside the massive cavity of the two fuselage halves before they are glued together. Nothing else goes in there!

The intakes are separate parts that fit to the front of the wing fairings, and the instructions indicate that 3 grams of ballast will be required in the radome to keep the model on its nosegear.

The instructions clearly show you what to do or not do to build either the F-model or J-model. The additional pylons of the J-model are provided as is the IR seeker under the nose carried by the F-2 and J models.

The landing gear is very nicely detailed and reflects the rugged engineering to support off-airfield operations. All four gear assemblies are nicely rendered - nose gear, main gear (2), and tail wheel (to avoid dragging the tail during landing).

The kit also provides an optional RAT (ram air turbine) which is stowed in a bay behind the nosegear well. You can depict the RAT stowed or deployed.

Twin external tanks are provided in the kit along with weapons pylons, but no weapons are included. The kit indicates you'll have to buy their Weapons Set C for the Sidewinders and Falcon missiles.

The canopy is molded separate from the windscreen, so the canopy can be depicted open or closed.

Markings are provided for three aircraft:

  • J-35F-2, 06, Div.3/F10, Swedish AF
  • J-35J, 52, F10, Swedish AF
  • J-35J, 39, Div.2/F10, Swedish AF

This is a beautiful kit straight out of the box and the colors worn by this aircraft will make for an eye-catching model. You're going to want to do both color schemes in this box, and given that Zotz has announced even more interesting schemes, the decision may be tougher still...

My sincere thanks to HobbyLink Japan for this review sample!