Initially released in 2009, Hasegawa’s T-4 “Ashiya Special” is once again available to eggplane enthusiasts in the United States. A recent perusal of the Hasegawa official website also indicates release of some new eggplane offerings.
Unorthodox in appearance and simple in construction, the T-4 egg is a fun departure from traditional aircraft models. The kit is crisply molded in white styrene, with a clear canopy and bright, full-color decals. Four-step instructions, with marking guide, are clear and accurate.
Undertaken at the hands of Camden (age 6) under Dad’s tutelage, the basic construction and painting progressed quickly – once Camden got over the fact it wasn’t a “real” plane. (Good grief – I think I’ve created a “rivet counter!”). Camden found it easy to identify the parts, snip them with sprue cutters, and remove the flash with sanding sticks. Airbrushing and hand-painting skills were practiced on the roomy cockpit and oversized pilot figure, and wheels and tires.
The snap-fit engineering on the kit is very good, and although not essential on this kit, we elected to flow a bit of Tamiya liquid cement along all of the seams, since it will undoubtedly see dogfighting action against scale replicas of “real planes” in Camden’s model air armada.
To give the decals a good base, we chose to airbrush the kit with ModelMaster Acryl white. From that point on, though, things became a bit more challenging as we started to decal. Although well-printed and in-register, the decals are very brittle, and the larger ones are required to conform to compound curves. Decals for the red nose and cockpit flashing did not seem to be large enough, nor did there seem to be enough overlap for the tail markings – in both cases leaving exposed white areas. Throughout application of the decals, more experienced hands had to jump in to help mend tears and work some of the larger markings around the compound curves. Micro Set and Micro Sol were used to wrestle and hold the finicky transfers in place and to help them snuggle down around the egg’s curves.
Despite the decal hassle, Camden really enjoyed the build and was excited to see the other series offerings on Hasegawa’s website. I would certainly recommend this kit to experienced modelers looking for a fun diversion for themselves – or willing to help younger modelers with a quick build and the ensuing finicky decals.
Thanks to Hobbico and IPMS/USA for providing the sample kit. We’re looking forward to seeing the next batch of eggs over the next few months!