As a kid, I had built the original release of the Takara Crusher Joe Fighter 1 so it’s a pleasant surprise that Hasegawa managed to get the license for a newly molded version. I was also surprised that the kit is snapfit, which I think might be one of the first for Hasegawa.
The parts are molded in color like the typical Bandai kit. The molding is good but the edges aren’t as sharply molded as something from Bandai. The plastic is also softer than the usual Hasegawa kit but it’s not as soft as Wave’s.
Like the usual aircraft kit, the cockpit needs to be prepped beforehand.
I went with the usual dark dull gray (FS36231) color that most modern aircraft use. The cockpit was then given a black wash.
The back of the cockpit was prepainted and masked off. There’s also a section to attach one of the engine nozzles which I have covered with a glob of blutack.
Feeling so much nostalgia here! I used plastic plates to guard against breaking the wing antennas. As you’ll see, I really took these off too early.
So everything does snapfit together. But it’s not quite as refined as a Bandai kit. I’d say the ‘snapfit quality’ is between Wave and Bandai. The lack of tightness of the snapfit comes in handy when it’s time to paint though: the parts are still easily separated for painting. The kit comes with a stand and a wheels up option. But I’ve decided to model this wheels down and on the ground.
It’s time to paint this thing! As usual, everything begins with a black base.
I decided to go for a cleaner look this time. Hasegawa calls for a custom blue color for the main body. I went with Game Color Magic Blue. I think it’s quite close.
And this is when I noticed I managed to break off the antenna on the port wing. Dang.
Moving on, I masked off the blue to prep for the next color.
I decided to go for a purer white than my usual go-to insignia white color so I went with Tamiya XF-2 Flat White which covers very easily.
The canopy frame was painted Model Air Dark Sea Grey and the er… nose components were painted Game Air Gold Yellow before being attached. With the nose attached, the Fighter 1 is really shaping up nicely. One thing I’ve noticed, white is just as unforgiving as silver: the minor problems with workmanship all become very obvious. Oh well.
For the port wing antenna replacement I first figured out that the starboard antenna is 0.8mm thick. I have some Evergreen 1mm rods which I think looks very close to the original.
I drilled out the rod and added a short length of thin brass rod. Hopefully this will help with a more positive fit instead of a butt joint.
At this point I realized that The rear section of each of the 8 tailfins needed to be in a bluish silver metallic color. I decided to add a few drops of transparent blue into Model Air Metallic Steel and the results look good. I think this will also solve my problems with getting some of the more weird colors that appear on engine exhausts.
The other parts were also prepared and painted while I start to decal the main body.
After a gloss coat, I went ahead with the decals. Unfortunately the blue of the ‘1’ marking and the blue I used for the body don’t match. I think the shade of blue I used was also affected by layering over a black base color. Anyway, I’ll live with it. The decals went on well and easily as usual with Hasegawa. I went ahead to add all the stencils on the kit which were mostly on the top side. I went with handpainting the red bands around the wingtip antennas instead of using the decals.
Panel wash is next after a wipe down and another gloss coat to seal the decals in. I decided to go with a dark gray wash this time by mixing some black and white oil paints.
After about 10 minutes I wiped everything down with a paper towel dampened with thinner. Since I decided to go for a cleaner look I am more careful with the cleaning up of the oil paint.
I attached the landing gear at this point so it’s easier to leave the kit to cure.
Once cured the re-made antenna is then attached at this point and I gave everything a final satin coat. I also painted the wingtip lights with clear red and blue. These were then given a brush of Future to get some shine back. The engines were then attached and the canopy masking removed and I can call this one done.