Hasegawa 1/72 F-35A 'Lightning II'

KIT #: 01572
PRICE: 2080 yen ( about $20.00 at HLJ )
DECALS: Two options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES:  New tool kit. Base boxing


The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II is a family of single-seat, single-engine, fifth-generation multirole fighters under development to perform ground attack, reconnaissance, and air defense missions with stealth capability. The F-35 has three main models; the F-35A is a conventional takeoff and landing variant, the F-35B is a short take-off and vertical-landing variant, and the F-35C is a carrier-based variant.

The F-35 is descended from the X-35, the product of the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program. It is being designed and built by an aerospace industry team led by Lockheed Martin. Other major F-35 industry partners include Northrop Grumman, Pratt & Whitney and BAE Systems. The F-35 took its first flight on 15 December 2006. The United States plans to buy 2,443 aircraft. The F-35 variants are intended to provide the bulk of its manned tactical airpower for the U.S. Air Force, Marine Corps and Navy over the coming decades. Deliveries of the F-35 for the U.S. military are to be completed in 2037.

F-35 JSF development is being principally funded by the United States with additional funding from partners. The partner nations are either NATO members or close U.S. allies. The United Kingdom, Italy, Australia, Canada, Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Turkey are part of the active development program; Japan and Israel have ordered the F-35, while Singapore may also equip their air force with the F-35. South Korea decided to purchase F-35s in late 2013.


This is not the only F-35 kit on the market, but it does show that Hasegawa is no longer willing to leap out and produce a prototype kit that will not be the same as the production version. This boxing depicts the USAF F-35A version (no VTOL).

I was quite surprised by two things when I opened the box. First is that it doesn't seem to be made of a zillion small inserts. Secondly, it comes with a display stand, something I've grown accustomed to not seeing and something that is pretty new when it comes to Hasegawa 1/72 kits.

The cockpit is molded into the upper fuselage half. The fuselage halves include the wing halves and the bits for the stabs so no worry about getting things properly lined up. Actually, it makes perfect sense to mold it like this as a smooth transition between wing and fuselage is part of the stealthiness of the airplane. As you'd expect, the nose gear well is molded into the lower section. Main gear wells are inserts.

The cockpit's main bits are a three piece bang seat and the instrument panel/anti-glare panel. There are decals for this and the side consoles. A control stick is provided in case you do not want to use the three piece pilot, otherwise one is molded into his right hand. There is a nicely done intake section that is well engineered to avoid the need to fill seams. This stops at the intake compressor fan. A similar situation with the exit fan and burner can fits in the back.

Tail fins are two piece and slot into depressions in the back of the rear fuselage. You have the option to cut off the wing tip lights and replace them with clear bits. The kit comes with a nicely molded set of landing gear legs and separate wheels. Since you have a display stand, Hasegawa has provided gear doors in the closed position as well so you can display the plane in flight. There are various scoops and sensor bits to fit to the underside of the fuselage. The cockpit canopy is a single piece as with early MiG-21s and hinged at the front. This has a full framework for inside and can be displayed open or closed. The large stand is made of clear plastic and there are several bits on this sprue that you do not need for this kit. Perhaps they are saving it for the F-35B. No weapons are provided and there are no pylons. Perhaps these will be in a later boxing.

Markings are for two aircraft; one is from the test unit at Nellis AFB and the other is for the training squadron at Eglin AFB. The decal sheet is quite comprehensive as this plane has all sorts of panel line decals. The proper color of the F-35 hasn't been produced in premixed paints so Hasegawa has gone with something close. All the lighter panels are to be painted FS 36270. Then they need to be masked and the rest of the airframe painted Neutral Grey. Apparently this will provide the necessary slight difference in greys required. All colors are Gunze references. The decal sheet is very nicely printed and should prove no problem.

This kit states that bonus parts are included. From what I can see, this is basically a duplicate of the canopy sprue in a smoked plastic.


This does look like a very nice kit. I'm pleased that the kit comes with a proper display stand. I also like that it looks to be minimally fussy in terms of building, though painting it properly will be somewhat complex and involve a lot of masking. I would say that if you are into modern jets, then this one will definitely be one you need to get.



April 2014

Thanks to Hobby Link Japan for the preview kit. You can get yours today at this link.

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