by: HG Barnes [ ]
The SubjectThe Fuji T-1 was Japan's first jet-powered trainer aircraft. The first flight was in January 1958. A total of 66 T-1 planes were built. It was retired in March 2006.
The T-1 was the first indigenously designed Japanese jet aircraft to be developed since World War II. The T-1A was powered by the British-designed Bristol Siddeley Orpheus turbojet, while the T-1B used the Ishikawajima-Harima J3 turbojet. Fuji was the successor to the Nakajima Aircraft Company (famous for building several aircraft during WW2). The first aircraft of Fuji's own design was the T-1 jet trainer. ~wikipedia~
The KitPLATZ have a reputation for building high quality smaller scale kits and also a good working relationship with other manufacturers on combined efforts. In this particular case it's with Eduard who produced their photo-etched fret for the T-1A.
The Box Art is as alluring as their other kits with this model making its way to a display area at the recent Nuremberg Toy Fair. The bright reds and whites are accompanied by the details in silver and dark green just like the actual jet itself. The very jet which helped generations of Japanese pilots find their wings up to 2001. In 1992 there was a celebration of this aircraft and 05-5811 are the markings I'll use in the upcoming build.
As you can see in the photos the plastic has plenty of panel lines, raised detail and features. The width of these lines is overdone though and a bit more riveting would have been nice to see as it appears on the actual jet. That said, PLATZ put a tremendous amount of work into this kit and deserve full marks for bringing to life an adored bird in its full plumage!!! There is very little flash and not much effort needed to clean up parting or mold lines. The parts count is nice with not too many yet enough for the modeler to have fun as a stand alone kit. The clear parts are wonderful with no center seam line to polish out and the clarity is really good.
Instructions too get a good grade with being very easy to follow and any special areas of note being well marked and most of the time in English. Naturally I would like to have seen more multi language explanations, but that is the marketing executive in me coming out and not the accountant. The full color sheet displaying multiple markings options is another added touch of quality by PLATZ.
DecalsThese are printed by Cartograf and as you can expect are an eye catcher. I've yet to put them on and there is an obvious difference in them to the box art and color call out sheet. The wing tip colors, denoting this is a training aircraft, are in day-glow orange instead of the yellow/orange hue. So, we'll find out when they're put on. That aside, there are plenty to keep you busy and an awesome amount of stencil data as well. Markings included are for four different planes with a subtle difference for a 5th.
Multi MediaAs far as I can tell there are no less than 3 items to "enhance and improve" your model and the build experience, the obvious being the Eduard collaboration with a Photo-etch fret. As usual, some of it you'll use and others you may not. Some parts are the wrong size while others require you to modify the plastic parts for them to fit. None of this and other points are explained in the poorly labeled instructions. Other parts, such as the instrument panels, look glorious while the air brake flap is only slightly better than the highly detailed kit part. Maybe the minute difference is worth it but you'll have wait for the build article to get the real skinny on that. Also, if you click on the links to the PLATZ-HOBBY website I've provided you'll find the PE set and after a brief search find a turned metal pitot tube and canopy masking set. Those items were not included for review or build.
ConclusionThe kit alone is well worth the 3000 JPY. Paint this model white, put on those decals and man will this jump out at a show, on the desk or shelf. The great part is that's how the real thing looks! The PE fret is almost half the price of the kit at over 1200 JPY, thus you may want to wait to see the build article or be advised it's primarily for cockpit enhancement. In test fitting the plastic parts go together nicely.
Very special thanks to the fine people at PLATZ for sending this sample to review and build and thank YOU for taking the time to have a look.
When purchasing or inquiring about this or any PLATZ items please mention you saw an article on KitMaker Network AeroScale.