by: HG Barnes [ ]
The Lockheed P-2 Neptune (designated P2V by the United States Navy prior to September 1962) was a maritime patrol and anti-submarine warfare (ASW) aircraft. It was developed for the US Navy by Lockheed to replace the Lockheed PV-1 Ventura and PV-2 Harpoon, and was replaced in turn by the Lockheed P-3 Orion. Designed as a land-based aircraft, the Neptune never made a carrier landing, but a small number were converted and deployed as carrier-launched, stop-gap nuclear bombers that would have to land on shore or ditch. The type was successful in export, and saw service with several armed forces.
Length: 91 ft 8 in (27.94 m)
Wingspan: 103 ft 10 in (31.65 m)
Height: 29 ft 4 in (8.94 m)
Wing area: 1,000 ft² (92.9 m²)
Empty weight: 49,935 lb (22,650 kg)
Max. takeoff weight: 79,895 lb (35,240 kg)
2 × Westinghouse J34-WE-34 turbojet, 3,400 lbf (15.1 kN) each
2 × Wright R-3350-32W Cyclone Turbo-compound radial engine, 3,700 hp (2,759 kW) wet each
Propellers: 4 bladed propeller, 1 per engine
Released in 2017 this latest version of the old HASEGAWA kit has a new decal sheet labeled "NEW PATROL VERSION" and "Limited Edition". The reasonably clear photo/box art gives you an idea for weathering, lists the 117 parts and claims "English Instructions". Note to HASEGAWA, when you say "English Instructions" most modelers will assume all the instructions are in English... not 20% of them. It's worth noting that this kit has been boxed under the Frog, Minicraft/Hasegawa and Revell labels.
While the plastic is high quality the molds are definitely showing their 47 year age. Plenty of clean-up needs to be done before the task of re-scribing the panel lines and riveting. On the upside, HASEGAWA did mold the wings in the correct angle and made the spars interlocking for rigidity. I'll be doing a comprehensive build with everything I can throw at it later this year and thus have dry-fitted quite a few parts. For the most part I was pleased with the fit. The props are separate so you can have them angled for in-flight or ground and this certainly enhances the detail. Wheels have decent detail but are not weighted. Thankfully PLUS MODELS do make resin replacements. The engines are passable but could use some wiring on the front and you can see the back cylinder bank if the cooling vents are open. Again PLUS MODELS have highly detailed engines which I will be getting because you can see a lot of the detail. The interior is vintage 70's/80's so use your judgement as to how much effort you're going to put into livening it up. Eduard make a PE set which will help. Three Figures are included yet again though they are showing their age. Aero Bonus have some USN figures in this scale for the Tomcat, but you can modify these to look more correct. The Clear Parts are ok so it might warrant the effort of scratch building even more cockpit detail and masks are also available. There is one manufacturer which did offer a resin cockpit improvement, but I'm not aware if it is still sold in stores. The undercarriage is pretty good, but the interior is absent of any detail. Luckily there are good reference books and online walkarounds to guide your scratch build since I couldn't find any aftermarket sets for them. Sadly there are no jet exhaust fan details so you'll need to come up with a solution. I searched for an hour and found nothing to fill these holes.
Two markings are provided for U.S. NAVY VP-30 and VP-69. They're thin, colorful, well defined and in register. There are plenty of them with walkways and caution indicators and a few stencils. The carrier film is acceptable and you can always sand them back for a better finish. Poor packaging of my kit though dented the sheet. PLUS MODELS also offer a comprehensive stencil sheet that will add a terrific amount of detail.
Six in one... half dozen in the other, sums up these. On one hand they are clear and have nice black and white reference photos. On the other they are in Japanese. It makes no sense that they wouldn't update the instructions for a 2017 "limited Edition" kit that began it's life in 1972! For example, the parts names are listed which is something I love and really miss that newer kits don't have.
This kit is due for a retool yet has enough raw detail to make something special with aftermarket upgrades. The jet engine exhaust is a bothersome point though. The instructions are substandard but the OOB decals are nice.
When purchasing your kit please mention you saw a review on KitMaker Network AEROSCALE. Thanks for reading and happy modeling.