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Special Hobby 1/72 scale Twin Mustang F-82G

The finished model looks menacing in its gloss black night-fighter scheme.

Kit:No. SH72200 // Scale:1/72 // Price:$49.95
Special Hobby, available from Great Models, 801-565-0823
Fine, recessed panel lines; good interior details; accurate decals
Overly complicated assemblies; poor fit; undersize fins; undersize radar housing; oversize propeller blades; no weapons
Injection-molded, 147 parts (7 resin, 29 photoetched), decals
Special Hobby’s F-82G is neither a clone nor a copy of Monogram’s F-82G kit. There are more pieces, due in part to the addition of excellent photoetched-metal details such as seat belts. A few interior parts, exhaust manifolds, and rocket launch rails are molded in resin. The canopies are injection-molded, thin, and clear, but each is molded in one piece; if you want them open, get out your razor saw.

Looking at the interiors first, each seat is made of four parts to which you add seven photoetched-metal items for the crew harness. Instrument panels are injection-molded with detail in relief. (I was surprised that photoetched-metal panels with film instruments were not provided.) The pilot’s gunsight and a pair of oxygen hoses are molded in resin.

I had to clean up the mating surfaces of each fuselage half to improve the fit. Some assemblies are overly complicated, perhaps due to molding considerations. For example, each tail wheel is molded in halves and at-tached to a mount which is then glued into a fuselage. However, unlike the Monogram kit, Special Hobby’s model has the correct forked strut for the tail wheels.

Each propeller hub comprises four ill-fitting parts to which you must add individual blades. No mention of pitch angle in the instructions; the left side engine rotates clockwise (from the pilot’s viewpoint), while the right engine turns counterclockwise. Fortunately, each side of the blades is molded with the same airfoil, so if you keep the long edge as the leading edge it will look OK. But F-82s carried 11-foot Aeroproducts propellers; Special Hobby’s props scale out to 12' 6", which may account for the skinny radome (to clear the propeller arcs).

The wing parts fit OK, as did the fuselages to the wing. Separate main-gear wells are added inside, but they don’t fit well and have no detail. I noticed the streamlined fairings for the aileron actuators on the top of the wing were missing. The mounts for the main struts are not well defined. Each wheel seems a bit oversized, with sharp “shoulders” to the tread. Underwing pylons are attached to carry a pair of fuel tanks and two resin “Christmas tree” rocket launch rails, but no rockets or bombs are included.

The canopies don’t fit well. I cracked one as I pressed it home. I would have been better off separating the sliding portions from the windscreens. Adding the tiny photoetched-metal pitot boom and landing-light doors was painstaking work. The instructions show these doors hinged outboard – but they should be hinged inboard. The tiny photoetched-metal oleo scissors for the main-gear struts are much too thin for scale.

The decals are the best part of the kit. Beautifully printed with bright, opaque red ink, they feature three subjects: Hudson and Fraser’s mount, used for the first American aerial victory of the Korean War; Siamese Lady; and Call Girl. Unlike the Monogram decals, the lettering is in the proper curved font seen on F-86s, F-82s, and early F-100s. The decals were thin and went down smoothly.

The finished model looks menacing in its gloss black night-fighter scheme, but some of its dimensions are off. The oversize props and undersize radome are part of the problem. The tail fins are undersize, too, most noticeably where the stabilizer’s leading edge fits right into the “elbow” of the fins’ leading edges. The noses of the fuselages look right, though. Consulting photos, the underwing tanks look about right but the noses appear too blunt.

I spent 23 hours on Special Hobby’s Twin Mustang.
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