1⁄72JASDF T-1A Jet Trainer
The SubjectThe Fuji T-1 was Japan's first jet-powered trainer aircraft. The first flight was in January 1958. A total of 66 T-1 planes were built. It was retired in March 2006. The T-1 was the first indigenously designed Japanese jet aircraft to be developed since World War II. The T-1A was powered by the British-designed Bristol Siddeley Orpheus turbojet, while the T-1B used the Ishikawajima-Harima J3 turbojet. Fuji was the successor to the Nakajima Aircraft Company (famous for building several aircraft during WW2). The first aircraft of Fuji's own design was the T-1 jet trainer. ~wikipedia~
The BuildBefore diving in to your PLATZ T-1A it's a good idea to test fit the photo-etch with the plastic and its eventual mating parts. You can refer to my "cracking the box" for instructions;
As you'll see It took only one fitting to notice how off the PE is.The first photo shows how the PE walls of the inner bay doors are identical yet the doors are different heights at either side. Also, I had prepped most of the parts and had primed what I could to save time in cleaning my damaged airbrush.
You begin with the cockpit in Step 1 with the rudder pedals. Removing the plastic took a few extra minutes because of the limited space to get a tool in tight corners. Once done though these parts look great and can be seen. Then the control panels along the side walls get placed. Here we have another example of poor fit. They are simply too wide. You can opt to trim them more narrow or live with the inside overhang. I chose the later to illustrate this issue. The way some conformed to the angles in the plastic, however, was clever. Next, you need to work on the instrument panels. The front panel just needs a little bit trimmed from the front and a slight bend in the PE part to conform. The back needs a spacer(s) on the tower as the pictures show or you could cut the brass to fit. Regardless, neither are mentioned in the photo-etch instructions. Carrying along to the seats there are two points that need to be addressed. First, the lap belts are not only way too long and wide but you'll have to gas up the razor saw and haul out a triangle on either side of each seat. They will not fit if you just glue them down. This will help in bending the over-sized pieces as well. Second, are the ejection handles. The plastic has to be trimmed on the side of the seats for them to have any hope of remaining in one spot for any length of time. All minor stuff really but it's frustrating that two highly experienced companies would have missed some very obvious things. It's my hope that by pointing these things out it will, first and foremost, help you and perhaps assist the manufacturers in future endeavors.
In Step 2 I used AK extreme metal for the intake and exhaust but instead of one color for the back end I sprayed a much lighter dark aluminum on the blades. Here, again, you can easily see it and didn't want to waste that nice detail PLATZ put into it. What they did not tell you is that the intakes are the only place to add nose weight (more on this later).
Step 3 is a major construction step where the only thing I would advise is painting the inside of the exhaust area walls. Personally, any part that can be added later that gets in the way of my masking is set aside, such as seats, instruments shrouds, control sticks and any parts that would be easily knocked off or broken. The fuselage halves fit nicely and didn't need a heck of a lot of sanding and zero filler... whew!
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