Tuesday, March 15

In-Boxed: Bruce looks at F-86F ‘Ultimate Sabre” Limited edition before he builds it...

Bruce Anders from Cutting Mat Capers is new to TMN but not new to many of you out there. He has put his considerable skills into building the Eduard kit of the 48th scale F-86F ‘Ultimate Sabre” – a special edition with Hasegawa plastics pimped out with Eduard Brassin and photo-etched detail. Let’s see what he thinks about the kit before he gets building it in his “Inbox.”

F-86F ‘Ultimate Sabre”
Limited edition
1/48th scale
Eduard Kit No# 1163
plastic parts from Hasegawa
Coloured & brass photo-etch included
painting mask included
Brassin parts included for the Ejection seat
Decals printed by Cartograf
Aircraft marking options x 5
Price: $ 89,95 on the Eduard Website

Hasegawa’s still very nice F-86F sabre - first released in 1996 - gets the “Eduard treatment” and in today’s review we give it the modern day appraisal – is the base plus the additions worth the purchase? Is the base kit good enough to stand on its own merit?Is it indeed the ULTIMATE  Sabre?  We give it the once over before Bruce Starts to build the kit.
This kit’s lineage goes all the way back to 1996. On looking at the base kit’s plastic we find that as usual Hasegawa parts are always cleanly moulded with fine, thin engraved panel lines, hatches and fastener detail.  They are so fine in fact that I usually deepen them with a scriber so they hold a wash better. Hasegawa were one of my favourite brands back in the day, producing reasonably accurate, usually easy to assemble kits with some nice detail, so let’s see how this kit holds up to the more modern day expectations.
The plastic:
Opening the nicely adorned box reveals the seven light grey sprues and one clear sprue of the Hasegawa sabre plus a very nicely printed large decal sheet, two PE frets, one pre-painted, a set of canopy and wheel masks, a brassie resin seat and instruction booklet which includes full colour profiles for all five marking schemes.

My kit had a slight bit of flash around the front wheel and the gear doors and air brakes exhibited some superficial sink marks. Apart from this, the kit is cleanly moulded.
 Annoyingly, though, the Hasegawa sprues were all packed into the one plastic bag, which had caused scratch marks to the fuselage and upper wings, not what you want on a model that will be getting a natural metal finish.  If Eduard is going to go to the effort of rebooting these kits I wish they would extend the effort to separately bagging sprues where required.

For a detailed look at what’s in the box, we have some pictures of what’s inside (And no, it’s not Gwyneth Paltrow’s head!) …with a brief overview of the kit’s detail before we get to building it up for you.

Sprue A:
…This sprue is dominated by the port side of the airframe, mostly in one part so there are as little joints in the fuselage as possible. This sprue also houses the internal cockpit features, instrument panel and ejector seat.
Importantly for some it also houses the pilot figure. He is moulded pretty well for an injection moulded figure of this kit’s age, nothing that will blow you away but modellers like to try and improve on what’s already there don’t they?
An instrument panel is included with some pretty good detail to be picked out by the careful painters out there. For those who do not want to paint their own instrument panel, consoles and ejector seat details Eduard has produced an alternative with this kit… 

Coloured Photo Etch: this is where the Eduard people make their first real contribution to the final product. This coloured photo etch sheet not only provides the “sandwich” style instrument panel with three layers to give good 3D depth to the panel but also the ease of simply sandwiching them together and securing them with superglue. Side consoles and levers are also included that will really make this cockpit “pop” if you are careful with these smallest of details.
The straps of the ejector seat are of course included. These are already a little bent looking as they are made to replicate a light sagging of cloth. Unless you HATE photo etch these look like a great addition and a way to expedite the build greatly with a very polished looking end result.

Unpainted Photo Etch:
This sheet also houses some cockpit detail. Notably behind the pilot’s ejector seat (the parcel shelf for car guys) and several other smaller details simply not done as well as they could be in injected plastic. 

Brassin Ejector Seat:
We broke off the older kit ejector seat to show you the difference between this and the newer technology (admittedly a resin) that just lifts this part of the kit to a higher level. Like the coloured photo etch, if detailed, washed and weathered up skillfully the office that everyone judges most of the kit by can be greatly enhanced in a shorter time than scratch building the extra detail yourself.

This casting block has many of the padded head and arm rests as well as pedals and the rear of the ejection seat.
The real thing
The Brassin seat… 
…And the original part - Stop the fight!
This Brassin seat looks very nice, and I am looking forward to building this up with the associated PE belts

Sprue B:
Back to the plastic now as we look at the starboard side of the aircraft on this sprue. This large part is added to with the two horizontal tails and the front nose wheel and wheel bay to house it in. The bay is detailed pretty fairly, and the front wheel is also fair to good for its age. All control surfaces are moulded integrally with the flying surfaces so you will have to commit surgery to them if you want to show the aircraft in anything but “straight ahead mode.” A shame this would have been another very good improvement to make. 
The close up of the nose shows in some better detail the panel lines and riveting which are a typical Hasegawa style. Well executed but not as varied as we are seeing with the very latest kits. In 48th scale though this is perfectly adequate for many modellers who do not want to add detail. The cylindrical nosecone/ intake is great as you avoid any unnecessary seams.
The rear airbrake internal detail is here and it’s pretty good, but without some sharper detail in there nothing can match the real thing…
Speaking of accuracy, the right-hand fuselage half, part B4 has a scoop located forward of the air brake bay that probably needs to be removed as, apart from Japanese Self-Defence Force Sabre F-40s I have not seen any other photos of F Sabres with it.

Sprue E:
The upper halves of the wing are on Sprue E. They have recessed detail with the leading edges set in place and not posable. You get the feeling that with the extra resin and photo etch the inclusion of posable flight control surfaces on this kit could have been a real game changer.

Sprue F:
Sprue F is equally as detailed with the undercarriage able to be opened (of course.) We see a similar standard and amount of detail to the top of the wings and the two fuselage halves with recessed panels and some minor riveting when called for.

Sprue G:
A full-length intake duct and the exhaust pipe is included, although there are a couple of injector pin marks to remove.  If you do not want to go to the trouble of doing this and sanding the seams smooth, FOD guards are included for intake and exhaust, which is good, more so given the age of this kit.
 The intakes are pretty good for the age of the kit

Sprue J:
The main wheels look good also. These are not weighted but some sanding flat of the tyres will add a lot to their look.

Sprues L + N + Q:
Stores consist of sidewinder missiles, drop tanks and their associated pylons. Again they are of a passable standard, you may want to add some tiny details to them

Transparent Sprue:
The clear parts at least were in their own separate bag.  They are reasonably clear and distortion free.  The canopy even exhibiting the antenna, although there is also a centre seam which will need to be sanded off.

The instruction booklet is in Eduard’s usual style being printed in booklet form on glossy paper with clear stages detailing where the various PE parts are used to supplement or replace the kit parts. Colour call outs are very detailed, coupled with each marking option using Gunze paints.
Instruction Sheet Download: 1163.pdf 

The five options offered in this boxing are:
Option A: F-86F-30, 25th FIS/51st FIW; Suwon Air Base (K-13), Korea 1953 “Mig Mad Marine”, flown by John Glenn, the astronaut (really tempted by this one)
Option B: F-86F-30, FU-850 - an aircraft belonging to the 390th FBS, Alexandria AFB, Louisiana, USA, 1955 (OK, I’m tempted by this one too!)
Option C: F-86F-30, 67th FBS, 18th FBG, “Mig Poison” flown by Maj. P Hagerstrom, Osan-ni Air Base (K-55), Korea 1953
However, from above photo, this looks like a slat winged Sabre, note where the pilot is standing, just to his right appears to be the extended slat, also, there is no leading edge fillet removed so the ammunition hatch can be opened, further proof the original narrow chord wing fitted to this a/c.  So maybe this machine cannot be strictly modelled, who knows, as many Sabres were retrofitted with the 6:3 wing conversion during their life
Option D: F-86F-30, Lt. Ken Ewing, (& crew Chief Walter Yocum) 336th FIS "Rocketeers", 4th FIG, Kimpo Air Base (K-14), Korea 1954

Pilot Lt. Ken Ewing with his FU-539. 
and his crew chief - (picture Credits)
Option E: F-86F-25, FU-361, 435th FBS, Detroit AFB, Michigan, USA 1952 (alright, I may be thinking about this one too!)

Decals are printed by Cartograf.  They are in register, the colours look accurate and dense, the stencilling is even readable, and I can’t wait to apply all those tiny stencils!
So that’s it for what’s inside the box – we thought you would like to know. Based on my previous experience with Hasegawa kits, I’m looking forward to a quick trouble free build. Stay tuned for the build of this kit very soon.

Bruce Anders

Thanks to Eduard for sending this kit for Bruce to Review and then build… 
Check out more of Bruce’s models on his Cutting Mat Capers Facebook page.