by: Ben [ ]
First ImpressionsArriving in a convenient 30cm x 14cm x 5.2cm top opening box, the limited edition kit is attractively packaged. Box art is a clear photograph of an Air Do Co. Ltd. (previously Hokkaido Int. Airlines) 737-700 on take-off with ocean and cityscape in the background.
This is a new tool kit as of 2013. There are a total of six different sprue harboring 47 crisply molded parts, including a smoked clear display stand and a bolt to be used as forward ballast. There is also pamphlet style instructions and a very nice decal sheet included. Sadly, that lovely decal sheet is not protected in its own plastic bag.
The various parts and pieces on sprue in the kit look small compared to the larger scales I'm accustomed to. None-the-less, it is a very nice looking kit in 1/200th scale.
The fuselage halves are cleanly molded in white plastic. I'm impressed with the level of finely recessed panel line detail, which is by no means trench-like and overdone. There are no open passenger windows molded down the length of fuselage, so the builder is committed to employ the provided window decals. Most modelers will likely break off one or all of the delicate fuselage antennae molded onto the starboard fuselage half during construction. Then again, most modellers will likely remove those delicate annoyances deliberately so as to aid seam clean-up, and replace them with plastic card.
The port and starboard main wings are presented as one piece units molded in grey plastic. These will attach to a separate lower mid fuselage section which should ensure proper dihedral, at least according to Hasegawa. The wings also have adequate and finely recessed panel line detail.
Test fitting the wings to the fuselage mid section proves the fit slightly imperfect, so there will be some clean-up required around the engine mount. The purist will also want to repair a difficult injection release point exposed inside the tiny wheel bay.
The winglets come as separately molded parts. In this example, one winglet was broken in half on the sprue, with the other stress bent. This is only an easily repaired annoyance. Hopefully, it is one off with this example.
Already molded directly onto the fuselage halves, the fin and rudder offer no challenges. The one piece stabilizers are clean and test fit tight to the fuselage halves. These all have more than adequate and very fine recessed panel line detail.
Each engine and cowling consists of six parts, with these being quite well detailed for the scale. The recessed panel lines on the engine cowls are perhaps too fine. They are most certainly going to disappear under paint coats.
I do note there is a flattened area on the front cowl bottoms, which is characteristic of the CFM56 engined 737's. Also, some of the engine parts are very small to work with, however, they are not especially delicate.
The kit supplies alternate parts allowing the modeler to choose between gear-up flying attitude, or gear-down. This is a very welcome feature, where wheel-up gear is actually molded to fit in the raised position. Wheels for gear-up are molded right into the part. Very nice separate wheels are supplied for gear-down, albeit very tiny wheels.
Decals and Paint Scheme'sThe included instruction sheet is formatted in typical Hasegawa pamphlet style, with the paint color call outs referring to Gunze Sangyo Hobby Color and Mr Color. Sadly, I have not seen these paints readily available in North America for quite some time, so alternate referencing may be necessary depending on where you live.
The included decal sheet is a work of art, and I hope they perform as good as they look. A really nice feature is that they allow painting on the Air Do colors, should you prefer that. There are enough fuselage windows and Air Do logos to allow you to do so. Or, the colors are provided in decal form, with the Air Do logo included.
The decals offer markings to do one of two aircraft, however, the 4-view instruction only shows a single aircraft. So references should be consulted if you're not modeling the 737 shown on the box top.
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