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  • Writer's picture@PlaneThought41

Gunfighter Sunset: 1/48th Hasegawa F-8J Crusader

Updated: Sep 27, 2021

Hasegawa's 2004 release of the F-8J Crusader kit was another of their well engineered, finely detailed products that make for a relatively stress-free model build. Parts fit is excellent and the only downside I can think of is there are a few ejector pin marks that are in visible places.

Notable Kit Features:

  • Well detailed cockpit with good ejection seat

  • Good depth intake duct

  • Separate flaps, slats and control surfaces

  • Positionable variance wing

  • Finely scribed panel lines and external details

  • Nicely detailed wheel wells

Build Inspiration:

Looking for a distinct F-8J to depict, I selected Jerry Tucker's example from VF-211 which (sort of) achieved a MiG Kill (Unconfirmed) on 23MA72. Apparently Tucker readied his AIM-9C Sidewinder for a shot. Instrumentation in the cockpit indicated the missile was seeking and within seconds would be ready to fire. But Tucker never got the chance, as the NVAF pilot opted to eject prior to the missile launch. (Apparently that doesn't count as a "Kill" ;)

Heads-Up Report:

  • No wing-folds

  • Two-piece canopy was molded in the closed position and is a challenge to display open

  • The kit has an exhaust placement error therefore you need to shorten the engine exhaust by grinding away some of the rear of the engine tube until the exhaust fits within the fuselage. (I didn't realize this mistake until after I built my kit)

  • Sparse weapons (typical of Hasegawa)

Kit Additions / Modifications:

  • Out of the box build with the exception of custom decals and ejection seat belts

End Result:

The overall fit on this kit is excellent, as an example the intake seam thankfully requires very little sanding and filling. Hasegawa utilizes bearings in the gear and horizontal stabilizers connections which provides a snug fit without glue. Clear anti-collision lights are provided.

A somewhat weathered USN paint finish was applied utilizing FS 26440 over FS 17875 in varied tones using darker shades along panel lines. A dark gray panel line wash was wicked in afterwards on the gloss surfaces to bring out the detail. A matt finish was used for topcoat to further portray a "used" look.

The After-Build Report:

I would highly recommend this kit for experienced model makers. The separate slats / flaps variable incidence wing may be a bit of a challenge for beginners. After this build I am definitely on the look out for an earlier "E" version 1/48th model from Hasegawa as well.

Completed build #201 - December 2016 using the 1/48th scale Hasegawa #07226 kit.

Feel free to comment or ask any questions - Keep on building, gain experience, challenge yourself if you like, but try not to stress yourself out over the build - it is suppose to be an enjoyable hobby after all - Cheers

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