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Hasegawa Engineering Quality

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  • Member since
    January 2024
Hasegawa Engineering Quality
Posted by F35Bart on Sunday, January 28, 2024 8:55 AM

I just got back into the hobby after a long break.   I've built a Trumpeter 1/32 F-35A which I thought the engineering was pretty good. What I mean it seems like a lot of parts were keyed and therefore went together pretty easily and madesurfaces  mated together pretty good.  While there were some fitting problems they were very few and easy to fix.

Next was a Tamiya 1/48 F-14A which was a dream to put together, super fun and easy to build. Seem like just about everything was keyed or had a tab that made assembly easy.

Then I built the Hasegawa F-18F.  For me it was a terrible kit.  Parts fit was terrible with large gaps and ill fitting parts.  Lots of parts weren't keyed or had a tab where it fit into the mating surface. For example pitot tubes mating surface were just glued perpendicular to the surface having to hold the piece inplace until the glue set.  I really didn't enjoy the build and told myslef Hasegawa makes terrible kits and I'd never build one again.

So, finally my question;  Are all Hasegawa kits of that quality? FOR ME, meaning need a lot of work and poorly engineered design (IMO)?

 

  • Member since
    June 2023
Posted by burrito king on Monday, January 29, 2024 9:15 PM

Hi F35Bart, I recently built a Hasegawa P-38J.  I'm no expert, but for me the fit and engineering was good.  The wing root fit wasn't great, but I managed to make it look OK with some putty.  I like to build planes with landing gear up, the fit of the doors in the closed position was very bad.  It took a lot of putty, filing, and sanding to get things lined up decently.  But even my Tamiya Me-262 had that problem, although not quite as bad.  What made the P-38 so hard was the main gear doors are actually curved to fit the engine nacelle.  Maybe the kits just aren't designed to be built with gear up.

Other than those issues, the P-38J was a nice and easy build for me.  But my standards are probably a lot lower than the master experts on this forum, so take it with a grain of salt ;)

  • Member since
    June 2009
Posted by jimbot58 on Wednesday, March 6, 2024 1:08 AM

Hasagwa kits can go either way. I really liked their Phantom family kits and the F-111 Aardvarks. Also F-15's, and F-16's. Other kits I was not a fan of were the A-6 Intruder, Mig-25 Foxbat, and the F-105 Thud. These kits were very basic, and fit was not great.Their A-10 has raised panel lines, though not a horrible kit. These were all 1/72 scale.

I admit to being a Hasagawa fanboy when I started this hobby, and my first purchase of this amazing imported kit from Japan blew me away compared to some of the Monogram and Revell (USA) kits I was able to buy from the local dept. stores and five and dime stores I shopped. Good gravy! Did I just reveal my age when I mentioned five and dime stores like Woolworth's?

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  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Western North Carolina
Posted by Tojo72 on Wednesday, March 6, 2024 5:19 AM

I built a lot of Hasegawa in the 90's,but they really haven't come out with many new planes lately,The last one I tried was their F-22 which I thought had amazing fit and engineering

  • Member since
    March 2022
  • From: Twin cities, MN
Posted by missileman2000 on Wednesday, March 6, 2024 7:26 AM

I like Hasagawa quality, but all brands seem to put out a baddy once in awhile (except Tamiya).

  • Member since
    May 2011
  • From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Posted by Real G on Wednesday, March 6, 2024 12:24 PM

I think Hasegawa kits, even the best of them, have "95% fit" or less.  Meaning that the parts look like they fit, but don't exactly fit.

I'm building one of their Macross VF-1 Valkyrie battroids right now, and pretty much every part needed some tweak to get the best fit.  Some of the parts have irregular surfaces that require filler, and the gun pod sockets are not truly round, compromising fit of the insert part.  The lower wing halves need to be thinned to fit flush into the upper halves.  I have had similar issues with their aircraft kits.  Also, the poly cap joints are too tight where they should be loose, and too loose where they should be tight.

I should add that their latest Macross kit, the Queadluun Rau, has MUCH better fit and engineering.  I have not found any "95% fit" issues yet.

“Ya ya ya, unicorn papoi!”

  • Member since
    August 2019
  • From: NYC
Posted by Master Cylinder on Wednesday, March 6, 2024 1:15 PM

missileman2000

I like Hasagawa quality, but all brands seem to put out a baddy once in awhile (except Tamiya).

 

I always thought that too. But I'm in the middle of zero build and it's not so great. No wonder it was only $17. 

  • Member since
    July 2004
  • From: Sonora Desert
Posted by stikpusher on Wednesday, March 6, 2024 1:42 PM

I've built a few older Hasegawa kits, their 1/48 A6M5 Zero and Shiden Kai. Both of those built up nicely with absolutly no fit problems. 

Your best bet is to research any particular kit on Scalemates, Hyperscale, Cybermodeler,  and other such sites to look for reviews. Of course reviews are quite subjective, and one reviewer may sing a kits' high praises, while others will damn the same kit for the slightest issue.

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

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  • Member since
    June 2018
  • From: Ohio (USA)
Posted by DRUMS01 on Wednesday, March 6, 2024 2:12 PM

Stikpusher is right on target here. Along with the kit reviews, also look at the age of the kit. That will tell you in most cases about the fit. Generally speaking, the older the kit the more issues you may have as the technology as well as quality for mold making has improved over the years. If you compare any manufacturers 1980 mold with a current one you will notice some fit and detail differences right away. As Stik said, opinions may vary and usually do...

Another way to check kits out is to search for model reviews of a specific kit on your web browser. Don't just read one, but as many as you can find to get a better picture of the quality and fit of a model.

"Everyones the normal until you get to know them" (Unknown)

LAST COMPLETED:

1/35 Churchill Mk IV AVRE with bridge - DONE

NEXT PROJECT:

1/35 CH-54A Tarhe Helicopter

 

  • Member since
    April 2003
  • From: USA
Posted by keavdog on Wednesday, March 6, 2024 2:17 PM

I too am a Hasegawa fan boy.  I've enjoyed all the kits I've built with the exception of the 1/48 F-14A kit #07018 where I just can't get the intakes on the model.  It sits  30% complete in the box on a shelf.

Love the 1/48 phantoms, A-7, A-4s, f-15, f-16s, f-86, p-51 to name a few.  And big fan of their airliners.

Thanks,

John

  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Western North Carolina
Posted by Tojo72 on Wednesday, March 6, 2024 4:02 PM

keavdog

I too am a Hasegawa fan boy.  I've enjoyed all the kits I've built with the exception of the 1/48 F-14A kit #07018 where I just can't get the intakes on the model.  It sits  30% complete in the box on a shelf.

Love the 1/48 phantoms, A-7, A-4s, f-15, f-16s, f-86, p-51 to name a few.  And big fan of their airliners.

 

That 1/48 Tomcat whipped me twice,but yes,all those built up great for me,still have a Barak and a F-15 Satellite Killer on my display shelf.

  • Member since
    June 2018
  • From: Ohio (USA)
Posted by DRUMS01 on Thursday, March 7, 2024 12:28 AM

I have a 1/32 Stuka JU87G version by Hasegawa staged to build later this year. The detail looks wonderful and most all of the build reviews give it high marks. Two exceptions were the ability to place the pilot canopy open and the other for a wing joint. They most all call out for more after-market interior detail though.

"Everyones the normal until you get to know them" (Unknown)

LAST COMPLETED:

1/35 Churchill Mk IV AVRE with bridge - DONE

NEXT PROJECT:

1/35 CH-54A Tarhe Helicopter

 

  • Member since
    June 2014
Posted by BrandonK on Thursday, March 7, 2024 10:04 AM

The bottom line is this... ALL kit makers have at least one crap kit. Hasegawa is a quality kit maker, right up there with some of the best in most cases. There are always exceptions. Branding a kit maker good or bad based on the experience with one kit is pointless. They all have their bad kits. Tamiya has the Harrier, it sucks. But MOST Tamiya kits are fantastic, but not all. The same is true for Hasegawa, most are really good, but not all. Honestly, I think Hasegawa is a better "overall" kit maker than Trumpeter, but each has pros and cons.

The older the kit, the more likely you are to run into difficult kits. Most newer kits released  are on a level of quality the hobby has never seen. So, like Stik said. Do some research on a kit you are interested in, watch videos, etc. and you will find out whether or not that kit is a problem child.

Difficult to build kits can cause two things most times. One, they can make you hate a particular kit maker. (which is dumb) or Two, they will improve your skills.

I say build what you like and work through the difficult kits. Don't hate on a maker over one kit and work at getting better. Those difficult kits can be fun at times. Sometimes it may be the only kit made of that subject, you may not have a choice if you want something specific.

BK

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