by: Tim Hatton [ ]
This sheet covers the Mitsubishi F-2 A/Bs from the JASDF 6th Hikotai. The release includes special schemes and line jets and stencils for one aircraft. Designed for the Hasegawa kits.
2 x decal sheet, one slightly smaller than A4 with the main markings and stencils. The other is a small sheet with the Skull Riders markings on it.
Small sheet of masks for the fuselage numbers.
3 x Double sided A4 colour and decal guide.
A double sided A4 black and white guide for placing stencils.
This releases includes options for nine aircraft, eight of which are for the F-2A and one for a F-2B.
F-2A 53-8535, 6th Hikotai, 50th Anniversary scheme, Tsuiki AB, October 2009.
Air Combat Meet, 2009:
Cope North, Anderson AFB, Guam. 2009:
Skull Riders, May 2010:
The overall colours of these aircraft are in the Japanese maritime scheme of navy and intermediate blue, a most striking scheme. One that should stand out from your flight line of F-16's, from which the F-2A is derived.
The 50th Anniversary scheme is quite special. The port side of the fine is coloured in what looks like SE Asia USAF camouflage. The starboard side is silver with a red band with a yellow lightning flash going through it. The base of the fin is black with red Japanese text. The three air combat meet aircraft have different variations of the Grim reaper on their tails painted in white, black and gold. Even the AAM-3 missiles have a special scheme on them. They have a Samurai archers arrow painted on them. The Skull Riders aircraft are distinguished by a hooded skull with crossed bones painted on the tail. Also on these aircraft are two parallel silver bands that run diagonally from the rear cockpit, containing a series of silver coloured lightning bolts. This motif is found on the fuel tanks as well. The Cope North aircraft are line aircraft with no commemorative markings. Full stencils are given for not only the aircraft, but also for the wing and centre line pylons and wing and centre line fuel tanks. There are quite a few stencils on the pylons and Afterburner have taken away the chore of placing individual stencil, by placing all the stencils on one decal. The coloured decal guides are comprehensive, as are the black and white stencil guides.
Quality of the print by Cartograf is simply stunning. Decals are glossy with a minimum amount of carrier film. All the written stencils are sharp. They are legible, except for the tiniest ones. There are enough stencils to complete one aircraft. But there is nothing to stop the modeller from using the kits stencils to utilise even more of the above markings. Afterburner give you the choice of using the fuselage numbers on the decal sheet, or use the supplied paint masks to produce your own. The reason for this is to give the modeller the opportunity to match the colour of the intermediate blue that surrounds the black number, with the paint they are using. Pretty ingenious and full instructions are given on how to use the masks. There are also decals for the centre line fuel tank. Decals are sized to the Hasegawa 1/48 kit.
A considerable amount of work has gone into the research to produce this outstanding product. Another release that the folk at Afterburner Decals should be proud off. A must for any modeller keen on the F-16, the F-2 offers something different on their shelf flight line.