I happen to love F-86s in any shape or form, and the “D” is one of my favorites. I have built a few in the past in most scales and welcomed this one by Hasegawa in 1/72 as I never built one in this scale.
With this kit, Hasegawa chose to do it in the unusual “Shark Mouth” markings. This is a pleasant change from the usual marking as seen on most “D” models.
Upon opening the box, I was greeted with the usual Hasegawa silver plastic in four sprues, plus a clear one. The moldings were crisp with engraved panel lines. I had looked at an older kit of the “D” by Hasegawa and it seems to be the same kit, only with new decals.
Assembly was straightforward with no fit problems. The wings went on without the need of filler. One must remember to add a weight to the nose to prevent tail dragging. The cockpit was very nice; however, I think that seat harnesses could have been molded to the seat for a better look. I added some from tape.
The landing gear is great, and once it was painted aluminum and given a dark wash, it looked real. The detail is terrific.
After assembly, I painted the entire aircraft with Duplicolor dark grey primer and then sprayed it with Tamiya TS-17 Gloss Aluminium. I like this paint as it is a lacquer and dried very quickly and looks realistic. I hand-painted the radar nose with Vallejo acrylic flat black.
The decals were very good and very complete with the stenciling. They are very thin and went on nicely with only a little Micro Sol. I dipped the canopy in Future Floor Wax and let it sit overnight. I was impressed with the decals for the canopy. They fit perfectly and eliminated the need for masking.
After decaling, installing the landing gear and their doors were all that was left to do. I love the way the finished kit looks. I now plan on doing the other F-86Ds that I have on my shelf.
Overall, I would highly recommend this kit except for what appears to me to be the very high price tag. I bought my first Hasegawa F-86D for $10. This one lists for $58.99 and it is the same kit with different decals. It is a limited edition, and each builder will have to decide for him/herself if the excellent detail and ease of assembly is worth the cost.
I wish to thank Hobbico and Steve Collins of IPMS/USA for allowing me to review this kit.
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