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S35E Kit

Hasegawa 1/48 S35E Draken Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review October 2015 Manufacturer Hasegawa
Subject S35E Draken Scale 1/48
Kit Number 07407 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Easy build, nice details Cons Nothing noted
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $49.95

First Look

S35E Kit
S35E Kit
S35E 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 J29 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 J32 Lansen to beyond Mach 2 with the J35. 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 S35E was a J35 without radar and weapons, and the nose carried reconnaissance cameras instead. Sixty S35Es were put into service with 28 of them converted from J35D fighters.

Hasegawa has reissued this photo-reconnaissance variant of the Draken in their limited edition series featuring markings of the type in bare metal (no camouflage). Molded in light gray styrene, the kit is presented on seven parts trees plus two trees of clear 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 canopy is molded separate from the windscreen, so the canopy can be depicted open or closed. The intakes are separate parts that fit to the front of the wing fairings, and the instructions indicate that four grams of ballast will be required in the radome to keep the model on its nosegear.

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 as the recon version's only external stores.

Markings are provided for two examples:

  • S35E, 02, F11, Swedish AF
  • S35E, 16, F11, Swedish AF

This is a beautiful kit straight out of the box and the distinctive bare metal worn by this aircraft will make for an eye-catching model.

My sincere thanks to Hasegawa USA for this review sample!