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Platz Mitsubishi T-2

FineScale Modeler reviews the 1/72 scale plastic model aircraft kit
Platz’s newest T-2 kit represents the “late type” or T-2(K) Koki with an internal JM61A1 20mm cannon in the port fuselage. The recessed surface detail on the kit’s crisp, flash-free moldings is as fine and precise as you’ll find on any state-of-the-art offerings. Options include open or closed canopies plus external stores, including drop tanks, a pair of nice AIM-9L Sidewinders, and a CBLS-200 practice-bomb dispenser with munitions. (More on the armament shortly.)

Raised relief as well as decals furnish cockpit detail, and both are excellent; I added masking-tape belts to the slightly basic seats for a little more interest. Fit of the parts is generally precise, but the fuselage comprises five pieces and I had a little fit problem around the gun fairing panel where three of them came together.

The six-piece intakes include curved throats, a nice touch eliminating the see-through effect. The beautifully detailed three-piece wing features separate leading-edge extensions and drooped leading-edge slats.

Each landing gear comprises multiple parts. The main gear is a trailing arm configuration similar to the F/A-18, and the instructions show correct angles for the struts. But care still must be taken when assembling them and gluing them into the fuselage, because just a slight change in their angles can result in a pronounced vertical travel of the main axle and a wing-low “sit.”

Some confusion exists with the armament. Curiously, the parts map shows all external weapons as “parts not for use,” but Step 9, the “Armaments Assembly” section of the instructions, details the construction of the CBLS mounted on the centerline rack. A separate sidebar diagram shows what stores may be carried on that station and the inboard and outboard underwing racks, plus wingtip-loaded Sidewinders. The box art and the painting/markings profiles show a totally clean aircraft, and my reference source (World Airpower Journal, Vol. 18) notes that although the T-2 could carry such weapons, they seldom did — and further states that T-2s never had centerline stations, either. Using that reference and internet photos, I added drop tanks on the inboard wing stations.

The gunsight is likewise omitted, although there are parts for it. I installed it because all my photo references showed T-2’s had one.

The extensive Cartograf decal sheet provides complete markings for 11 different T-2s plus data block stencils for no fewer than 43 others, buildable by cutting out unused numbers from the sheet.

Complete, extensive stenciling is provided — and if stencils make a model “pop,” this one pretty much goes boom! I spent nearly as much time with the decals as I did with the rest of the build. The decals worked perfectly.

Platz kits are craftsman-quality, and the T-2 is no exception. Its many small parts and small decals suggest it might be better suited for the experienced builder, but, like many other high-end kits, the level of detail is up to the builder. A fine model can be made even without using all the small bits. I loved this kit!

Note: A version of this review appeared in the April 2018 issue.
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