by: Tim Hatton [ ]
This sheet from Afterburner Decals, covers the Mitsubishi F-2 A/Bs from the JASDF 6th Hikotai. The release includes special schemes and line jets and stencils for one aircraft. Designed for the Hasegawa kits.
Decal sheet, slightly smaller than A4.
Small sheet of masks for the fuselage numbers.
3 x Double sided A4 colour and decal guide.
A double sided A4 black and white guide for placing stencils.
This releases includes options for five aircraft, with one aircraft in two different commemorative schemes:
F-2B 33-8119, 21 Hikotai, Matsushima AB, Commemorative scheme, 2005.
F-2B 33-8119, 21 Hikotai, Matsushima AB, JASDF 50th anniversary scheme.
F-2B 43-8126, 21 Hikotai, 30th anniversary scheme, 2006.
F-2B 23-8114, 21 Hikotai, Matsushima AB, 2004.
F-2B 23-8112, 21 Hikotai, Matsushima AB, 2006.
F-2B 33-8120, 21 Hikotai, Matsushima AB, 2006.
The overall colours of these aircraft are in the Japanese maritime scheme of navy and intermediate blue, a most striking scheme. One that should stand out from your flight line of F-16's, from which the F-2B is derived.
The three commemorative schemes feature rather spectacular tail markings. 33-8119 commemorative scheme from 2005, which features an eagle about to pounce on it's prey. 33-8119, JASDF 50th anniversary scheme features a Samurai warrior on a horse brandishing a sword. There is the tiniest of errors with this figure, which I will leave you to find, by comparing the decal with the real thing on the Internet. It is so tiny it's hardly worth mentioning, but have fun trying to spot it. An oddity with the decals of the starboard side of this aircraft, is that the text on the base of the tail and fuel tank, are mirror images of the port side. Not sure why, but as can be seen from images on the Internet it is entirely accurate. 43-8126, 30th anniversary scheme, has a intricate image of a Samaria brandishing a sword. A lot of the text features color gradient running through them. The gold and silver text looks particularly good. The other three schemes are for line birds.
Quality of the print by Cartograf is simply stunning. Decals are glossy with a minimum amount of carrier film. All the written stencils are sharp. They are legible, except for the tiniest ones. There are enough stencils to complete one aircraft. But there is nothing to stop the modeller from using the kits stencils to utilise even more of the above markings. Afterburner give you the choice of using the fuselage numbers on the decal sheet, or use the supplied paint masks to produce your own. The reason for this is to give the modeller the opportunity to match the colour of the intermediate blue that surrounds the black number, with the paint they are using. Pretty ingenious and full instructions are given on how to use the masks. There are also decals for the centre line fuel tank. The coloured decal guides are comprehensive, as are the black and white stencil guides. Decals are sized to the Hasegawa 1/48 kit.
A considerable amount of work has gone into the research to produce this outstanding product. Another release that the folk at Afterburner Decals should be proud off. A must for any modeller keen on the F-16/F-2. Highly recommended.