For your viewing pleasure, here are some photos of my 1/48 scale Mitsubishi F-2A. The Mitsubishi F-2A is a single seat multi-role fighter manufactured by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Lockheed Martin for the Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF).
It looks like an F-16 but it’s not an F-16. The F-2A fuselage and wings are a bit larger than the F-16, as is the radome that encloses an entirely new active phased-array radar system. The canopy is divided into three sections to protect against bird strikes or other trouble during low altitude missions. The airframe and many surfaces are constructed of rugged light weight carbon composites that lower the overall weight of the aircraft.
Cockpit systems have been upgraded with multi-function displays employing color liquid-crystal displays instead of CRTs. The F-2A has no fixed armament, but boasts 11 hard points capable of handling air-to-air, anti-shipping missiles as well as bombs of all types, and external fuel tanks.
As a result of new tooling, the Hasegawa F-2A kit is a superb kit to build. Lots of detail and the parts fit is extraordinary. Although a lengthy build (lots of parts) construction was quite easy. Only the joining of the upper and lower fuselage required a little filling and sanding. Additionally, even though the instructions did not call out any kind of nose weight, I added some weights in the nose area. I am glad I did as this model has the potential to be a tail sitter.
The kit provides 3 drop tanks and 4 AAM-3 heat seeking missiles. However, I wanted a heavier load out, so I added 4 radar-guided air-to-air missiles (two AIM 7 Sparrows and two AIM 120 AMRAMs). I built only the two 600 gallon fuel tanks and left the centerline empty. The kit also provides a pilot that fits perfectly into the ejection seat. The kit also gives you the option of having an open or closed canopy. I chose to go with a closed canopy. The three parts to the canopy fit perfectly.
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Looking at photos of F-2s on various web sites, I found that no two F-2s were painted with same shades of blue, and the colors that Hasegawa calls out are just too dark for a very modern fighter.
So, I airbrushed the fuselage and wings of my model with Model Masters Bright Blue. The camouflage pattern was airbrushed using Model Masters Cobalt Blue. The radome color is MM Light Gray and the vertical stabilizer color is MM Dark Ghost Gray. The black area below the vertical stabilizer was airbrushed using Floquil Weathered Black, and the landing gears and wheel wells were airbrushed with Floquil Reefer White. The missiles were painted using MM Light Ghost Gray and Reefer White. Once the paints were dry and cured, I applied two coats of Future in preparation for decaling.
The decals provided with the kit celebrate the 50th anniversary of 6 Squadron. I must say the decals were a bit disappointing. They were a bit on the thick side and required using Solvaset to get them to settle down on the model. There are many tiny stencils so you can have many happy hours applying them if you have a mind to. I chose not to use many of them because the type face is so small and the color is such that when you apply them to the model you can’t see them. After decaling I applied another coat of Future over the decals followed by a coat of MM Semi Gloss Clear Lacquer Finish.
This kit is a modeler’s dream come true. It was nice easy build because the parts fit was superb, and the detail is excellent. The only down side was the decals and they were not all that bad. The finished model is sturdy and an eye catcher—enjoy the photos.
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