Platz 1/72 Fuji T-1B
The Fuji T-1 was Japan’s first jet-powered trainer aircraft. Development started in 1952 and 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. These aircraft were used for almost 50 years and 2 are on display in museums in Japan.
There has actually only ever been 2 companies make kits of the F-15J variant in 1/72, Hasegawa and Platz. Hasegawa has done 9 boxings of their kit that dates from 1971. Hasegawa’s kit was also reboxed by 2 other companies in the 70s. Platz’s kit is brand new tooling, released at the end of 2018.
- T1F1: Prototype.
- T-1A (T1F1): Powered by a 17.79 kN (4,000 lbf) Bristol Siddeley Orpheus Mk 805 turbojet engine. 46 built.
- T-1B (T1F2): Powered by an 11.77 kN (2,645 lbf) Ishikawajima-Harima J3-IHI-3 turbojet engine. 20 built.
- T-1C: Converted to 13.72 kN (3,085 lbf) Ishikawajima-Harima J3-IHI-7 engines.
In the Box
The kit comes in a sturdy top opening box. The sprues are all in one bag apart from the clear sprue which is in its own bag. The decal sheet comes in its own bag too and has a protective sheet on it. The instructions are on 2 sheets of glossy paper. The build instruction sheet is folded to give 4 pages of black and white text. The paint and decal placement is covered by 2 colour pages on glossy paper. There are colour call-outs throughout the instructions for Mr Color and Model Master paints.
The sprues have fifinely ecessed 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. There are 69 parts in the kit, depending upon some choices you make during the build. There is one small clear sprue with 2 parts for the canopy. The layout of sprues is:
- Sprue A – wings
- Sprue B – small parts
- Sprue C – fuselage
- Sprue D – clear parts
in total the kit contains
- 2 clear parts
- 67 plastic parts
The decal sheet has 4 options that cover the 1982 to 2006 time period. 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 part views to show exact placement. It finishes off with 2 pages of decal placements.
Platz also makes a brass pitot tube for this kit that is available separately.
The build is in 9 steps:
- This puts together the cockpit with a 2 part ejector seat and decals for the instruments.
- This step puts together the air intake and engine exhaust.
- Step 3 puts together the fuselage halves with the assemblies form steps 1 and 2 trapped between them. There’s no mention of nose weight, well not in English anyway. I’m sure it will be needed though.
- The next step assembles the wings.
- Step 5 adds the wings, ailerons and nose to the aircraft.
- Step 6 is adding the undercarriage to the aircraft. The undercarriage legs are nicely detailed.
- Step 7 is putting together the underwing tanks and their pylons.
- Step 8 adds the canopy which is made from 2 clear parts and 2 plastic parts.
The decal sheet is very crowded – there’s a lot of decals on this sheet! There are options for 4aircraft:
The decals are produced by Cartograf and are to their usual very high standard.
The kit is currently available for about $21.oo from HLJ.
Overall this is a nicely detailed kit. The cockpit could do with some PE, but the decals and some good painting will suffice. It’s a nice simple kit and from what I see is nicely priced too. It’s the most recent T-1B on the market by far and has excellent Cartograph decals. If training or colourful aircraft are your things then it’s an easy addition to your collection.
Thanks to Platz for the review sample.