Minicraft 1/72 MU-2J






see review


Scott Van Aken


Kit is Hasegawa Mold


The first post-war designed aircraft from fabled aircraft manufacturer Mitsubishi was the MU-2. The prototype first flew in 1963 and was originally powered by French Astazou turboprops. These were later replaced by Garret Airesearch versions and most of the MU-2s are powered by these engines. 

The MU-2J is a modification of the earlier versions in that the fuselage has been stretched 6 feet to increase passenger space. It has also made it a bit more stable aircraft as the shorter versions have a reputation for being a bit 'squirrelly'. An interesting part of the design is a lack of ailerons. As with a few military types, roll is induced using spoilers, leaving the trailing edge of the wing for large flaps. This results in an aircraft with very good short field performance.


Hasegawa has boxed two versions of the MU-2. This one and a shorter MU-2S. It is molded in white plastic with fine raised detailing. There is a fairly well detailed cockpit, but no cabin detailing at all. The modeler needs to do something about that as there are several large cabin windows on each side of the fuselage. The clear bits are quite clear, and so interior details can be discerned.

The instruction sheet is basically the Hasegawa sheet with all the verbiage in English. Like other Minicraft sheets, it is a photocopy. The kit is flash free and looks relatively easy to build. The one area I can see that there may be problems is the engine cowlings. Historically, these have usually needed some work to get a good fit on other kits.

The decal sheet is for two different aircraft, both on the Japanese civil register. Both will require a considerable amount of painting as only the accent stripes have been supplied with the kit.

Though it is an interesting aircraft, I'm not really sure how much interest this plane has amongst modelers. I have seen but a few in the last 30 years or so, and those were being used at Tyndall AFB as airborne relay aircraft during drone work.

Anyway, it does look like it will build into a nice model and will surely be something that few of your fellow modelers will have ever built!!

Review kit courtesy of me and my wallet!

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