Kawasaki T-4 "Blue Impulse"
kit no:
build time: May 7 2015 - May 25 2015

Time for something new.  With the KittyHawk Mirage nearly done, it was time to get cracking on my next build. After all - by this time last year I had 5 kits complete.  I'm still finishing off the first for this year...

The kit of choice in the to-do pile is the 1/48 scale Hasegawa Kawasaki T-4 in Blue Impulse colors.

I generally don't like Hasegawa kits, due to the serious lack of weapons in them. But, as most my other Hasegawa's, this is a showbird that doesn't need them anyway. I got it off Hannants a while back - it was actually cheaper than the Hasegawa 1/72 scale offering...

Anyways, time to get to work. On the canopy that is. Fortunately, Hasegawa protects the canopy pretty well (unlike, say, Kittyhawk....)

However, there is this major nasty seamline all across it. That has to go, and I thought I'd work on that before anything else. After all, if I screw it up, I might as well not work on the rest. My weapons of choice are a few FloryModels sanders (well, just 1) and the blue/white polisher. The grit on the sander is so fine I can't even feel it....

So I start with this

And after a bit of sanding, polishing, dipping in Future, and waiting a few days we end up with this

Sweet. Never again will I fear the canopy seamline!

Next up: the ejection seat. The kit contains two, so a double sprue, and this is the right side of the seat:

See the little ejection handle? I wonder how the pilot is supposed to grab hold of that. It's not like it has a place to put your fingers. Well, it should have, and fortunately I have a nice little drillbit.

Then, the landing gear: the main gear is a 3-part construction. 2 parts fit like a charm, and I haven't yet figured out how to attach the third yet, but e'll get there.

Looks good, until you get up close and personal:

Nasty seamlines all over, and if you can see them: a few ejector pin marks as well. Those will have to be filled. I hate filling ejector pin marks on landing gear struts.

The instrument panel has some nice raised detail

I'm not sure I can do it justice though, and fortunately for me Hasegawa has included some decals for them. The same applies for the instrument detail on the tub sides:

The only downside is: the left side consoles both have these levers that stick up rather high. There's no way the decal is going to conform to that properly. The solution is simple: cut these bits out of the decal, apply the rest, and add paint to the levers.

Then it's time to start work on the seats:

9 parts for one seat, 10 for the other. Should end up a nice piece of work. And since the cushions are separates, it makes painting them a whole lot easier.

And this was the first faux-pas of the build. If you look closely enough, the little thingy on top of the seat isn't 100%. I kinda broke it off trying to grab it with my tweezers. An that after carefullt removing it from the sprue to make sure it didn't break. Oh well, an easy fix. And after paint, it's almost invisible, unless you know it's there.

And after some work, this is what the office looks like:

Yes, you can still see the 2x 5 ejector pin marks on the floors, but when the seats go in, and the IPs are in place, nothing of them can be seen again.

And that pretty much sums up work for the day. The last picture is of the main landing gear bay.

Now I haven't found any images of it, but I doubt they are this empty on the real thing. Fortunately, the front door is nearly closed when the gear is down, so about 80% of this wheel well is invisible, and the remaining bit is obscured by the gear struts. Still, I'll probably add a little wire in there for show. Just in case someone picks up the model and peers into the wheel wells.

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