Hasegawa 1/72 MV-22B Osprey "VMM-265 Dragons"

KIT #: 02212
PRICE: 2880 yen (About $28) from www.hlj.com 
DECALS: Two options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: Limited Reissue (2016)


The Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey is an American multi-mission, tiltrotor military aircraft with both a vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL), and short takeoff and landing (STOL) capability. It is designed to combine the functionality of a conventional helicopter with the long-range, high-speed cruise performance of a turboprop aircraft.

The V-22 originated from the United States Department of Defense Joint-service Vertical take-off/landing Experimental (JVX) aircraft program started in 1981. The team of Bell Helicopter and Boeing Helicopters was awarded a development contract in 1983 or the tiltrotor aircraft. The Bell Boeing team jointly produce the aircraft. The V-22 first flew in 1989, and began flight testing and design alterations; the complexity and difficulties of being the first tiltrotor intended for military service in the world led to many years of development.

The United States Marine Corps began crew training for the Osprey in 2000, and fielded it in 2007; it supplemented and then replaced their Boeing Vertol CH-46 Sea Knights. The Osprey's other operator, the U.S. Air Force, fielded their version of the tiltrotor in 2009. Since entering service with the U.S. Marine Corps and Air Force, the Osprey has been deployed in transportation and medivac operations over Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Kuwait.

Fourteen USMC and five USAF squadrons operate the Osprey. For those of us who like anime, Osprey-like aircraft are featured extensively in those series' that depict either modern or near future themes.


 It used to be that as soon as a prototype of an aircraft was produced, Hasegawa and others would rush out and mold a kit. However, having been bitten by airframe changes between the prototype and production planes, most companies will now wait for the definitive production aircraft before expending the funds. Back in the very early 1990s, Italeri jumped on the Osprey by producing kits in both 1/72 and 1/48 of the prototypes. Your editor built the Italeri version in 1/48 and it was quite a struggle! Now, Hasegawa has provided us with what looks to be a very nice kit of this plane in 1/72 scale, the scale in which I prefer to build (as much due to diminishing shelf space as anything else).

This is the latest in what has to be at least a half dozen boxings of this kit. While limited editions such as this often have a rather short life span on dealer's shelves, the good news for modelers is that there is always a standard boxing that is generally always available. This means that you can use aftermarket markings if you don't like the ones in the kit and the standard boxing is often a bit less expensive.

All of the sprues are packed inside a single poly bag aside from the clear ones, as is the norm for Hasegawa. There are ten sprues of which two are clear and one is dedicated to a display stand, something that I like and that is appropriate for displaying this aircraft with the wings level. The kit provides an adequate interior with seats, control sticks and instrument panel. Decals are used for the instruments and consoles with two pilot figures included. Interestingly, one does not populate the cockpit until after the airframe is pretty much together. 

While there are interior bulkheads, there is no cabin detail. The rear doors are molded as one piece and designed to be modeled closed. There are separate flaps for the wings as they are to be deployed during vertical flight. The kit cannot be modeled in the storage position. However, the engines can be moved to either vertical or horizontal flight and anything in between as they are held on the tips of the wings by polycaps. The rotor blades are two parts with a lower half to allow easy insertion into the prop hub. The builder is also provided with the option for gear up if so desired, though it means cutting the door hinges to do so. The kit provides a remarkable number of antennas and aerodynamic devices so care needs to be taken when gluing these in place. 

Instructions use Gunze paint references and while the instructions look complex at first glance, studying them shows that they are quite logically arranged and should be quite helpful. Typical of Marine helos, this one is in three shades of grey with the demarcation lines being quite distinct and angular. Both markings options are planes based at Futenma, Japan in 2016. One is the CO's plane with the black tails. You have the option to paint the black an so additional decals are provided. The other has markings in red with tiger stripes on the inside of the fins. It is not surprising that this is a Japan based unit as Hasegawa builds for the home crowd and these sell. I can recall during my posting at Atsugi in the mid 1970s that modern Hasegawa kits pretty much always had at least one set of CAG 5 USS Midway markings and that trend continues today.


Now that the Osprey is no longer something that is bemoaned by all the talking heads as being a dangerous and overly expensive aircraft, it has gone on to prove itself to be everything it was designed to be and has already taken over as the main medium assault aircraft. The type is being built for other nations as well. Typical of modern kits, this one is licensed by both Boeing and Bell so who knows how much of what you pay goes into useless fees.



October 2016

Thanks to www.hlj.com for the preview kit. Get yours at this link.

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