Review Platz 1/72 Mitsubishi T-2 Late
The T-2’s configuration was clearly reminiscent of that of the two-seat Jaguar, with the two aircraft having the same overall configuration and some resemblance in details. In particular, the T-2 was also powered by two Rolls-Royce Turbomeca Adour turbofans, the same engines used by the Jaguar, license-built by Ishikawajima-Harima Heavy Industries under the designation “TF40-IHI-801A”.
Despite this similarity, the T-2 was not a copy of the Jaguar, and the two aircraft could be distinguished at a glance, the T-2 having a more dartlike appearance, being noticeably longer and having a distinctly shorter wingspan than the Jaguar. The T-2 also had many detail differences. For example, since the JASDF had no rough-field requirement, the T-2 had conventional single-wheeled landing gear and not the distinctive heavy duty landing gear of the Jaguar
The T-2 was made mostly of aircraft aluminum alloys, though it featured selective use of titanium. The high-mounted wings had a leading edge sweep of 42.5° and a 9° anhedral. The wings feature noticeable “leading edge root extensions (LERX)” and full-span leading edge slats, with a “dogtooth” discontinuity on the outer edge of the span, though the dogtooth did not split the slat. There was a single ¾-span flap on the trailing edge, unlike the full-span double-slotted split flaps of the Jaguar, but the T-2 did have twin spoilers on each wing just forward of the flap for roll control instead of ailerons, another element clearly derived from the Jaguar. There was a small fence mounted inboard on the top of the wing. There were no fuel tanks in the wings.
The tail assembly was conventional, featuring slab all-moving tailplanes with an anhedral of 15°. The steep anhedral kept the tailplanes out of the engine exhaust while allowing them to remain effective through the wing wash. Like the Jaguar, there was a fixed ventral fin under each exhaust, while two hydraulically operated airbrakes are fitted just forward of each ventral fin.
Each Adour engine provided 22.75 kN (5,115 lbf) max dry thrust and 32.49 kN (7,305 lbf) afterburning thrust. The TF40-801As did not have the “part throttle reheat” feature added to Adour 102s as an engine-out safety feature, and the T-2 was never refitted with more powerful Adour engine variants, along the lines of the Adour 104 eventually refitted to British Jaguars, leaving the T-2 somewhat underpowered. The engine intakes had fixed rectangular geometry and fuselage splitter plates, plus a set of spring-loaded auxiliary inlets behind the intake lip for increased airflow in ground running. There were large service doors beneath the fuselage that provided excellent access to the engines for maintenance.
The T-2’s tricycle landing gear all featured single wheels, with the nose gear retracting backward and the main gear retracting forward into the fuselage, rotating 90° to lie flat, and incorporated an antiskid control system. The nose gear was offset slightly to the right, with a small fixed vertical airfoil mounted in front of it to compensate for the extended nose gear’s tendency to cause yaw. A runway arresting hook was fitted under the tail behind the engine exhausts.
The T-2 entered service in 1975, with the first unit, the 21st Hikōtai becoming fully operational on 1 October 1976, with a second squadron, the 22nd Hikōtai following on 5 April 1978, allowing the North American F-86 Sabre to be phased out of the advanced training role. The “Blue Impulse” aerobatic display team of the JASDF re-equipped with the T-2 in the winter of 1981–82. T-2s were also used by a dedicated Aggressor squadron, being replaced by the McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle. T-2s were also used as conversion trainers for squadrons operating the Mitsubishi F-1, a development of the T-2. The T-2 was retired by 2006, being replaced as an advanced trainer by the Kawasaki T-4 and as a conversion trainer by a two-seat version of the Mitsubishi F-2, which had replaced the F-1 in the anti-ship strike/ground attack role.
Now on to the kit itself.
The kit arrives in a sturdy top opening box. The sprues are all in one resealable bag apart from the 2 clear sprues which are in their own resealable bag. The 2 clear sprues are actually attached to one another so they can’t scratch one another. The decals come in their own bag too and have a protective sheet on them. The instructions are on a single piece of folded paper giving 8 black and white pages.
The kit contains:
- 126 plastic parts on 6 sprues
- 16 clear parts on 2 sprues
- 1 decal sheet
- 1 eight-page instruction sheet
- Also, 6 of the clear parts and 16 of the plastic parts are not used
The instructions are highly detailed and packed with information. The first page gives a few brief details about the aircraft. Then there are 4 pages showing the actual build with some small part views to show exact placement. It finishes off with 3 pages of decal placements. There are colour call-outs throughout the instructions for Mr Color and Model Master paints.
The sprues have fine recessed panel lines and small attachment gates and are the usual good quality we expect from Platz. The level of detail is very good with no obvious issues.
The build is in 9 steps:
- This puts together the cockpit apart from the front seat. The instrument panels and side consoles have decals or can be painted.
- This step builds the aft of the canopy and rail, the area between the 2 cockpits and the engine intakes. You have the choice of building with the canopy open or closed.
- Step 3 sees the fuselage halves go together and trap the cockpit in-between them. The engine intakes from step 2 are attached and the front cockpit coaming is also attached.
- Now we add the underneath of the fuselage and the nose wheel bay to the aircraft. There’s a pair of 2.0mm hole to drill for the ventral pylon
- This step is adding the wings, rudder, tailplanes, front seat and the rest of the canopy. You have the choice of drilling 2 x 1.3mm holes for wing lights and adding transparent parts or just painting them.
- Now we add the engines, ventral canard and wing leading edges. You also add the airbrakes in either the open or closed positions.
- Step 7 is all about the undercarriage. Build the 3 single wheel undercarriage legs and then attach them.
- Now you add the undercarriage doors.
- Lastly, come the pylons and a choice of things to hang underneath the aircraft. You have 3 fuel tanks, a CBLS-200 and 4 AIM-9Ls to choose from.
The decal sheet is large and very crowded – there’s a lot of decals on this sheet! There are 10 options for this aircraft at different times in its life.
- 21st Sqn, 4th Air Wing #29-51102
- 3rd Sqn, 3rd Air Wing #69-5127
- 22nd Sqn, 4th Air Wing #79-5136
- 21st Sqn, 4th Air Wing #99-5157
- 22nd Sqn, 4th Air Wing #99-5160
- 22nd Sqn, 4th Air Wing #19-5164
- 6th Sqn, 8th Air Wing #39-5182
- 21st Sqn, 4th Air Wing #49-5183
- 21st Sqn, 4th Air Wing #79-5193
- 21st Sqn, 4th Air Wing #89-5195
The decals are produced by Cartograf and are to their usual high standard.
Overall this is a very nice kit with a great deal of attention paid to detail. This kit easily ranks with the best out there right now.
Thanks to Platz for the review sample.