Hasegawa 1/48 Cessna O-1E Bird Dog

with Eduard photo-etched detail set

US Air Force, South Vietnam

The Hasegawa O-1 Bird Dog is a massively over-priced kit (RRP £20!), so when I saw it for £5 I thought I’d get it. People have not said very nice things about this kit, and it does have problems. Without modification, the main wing would sit at a crazy angle — the frame over the window on one of the fuselage halves needs massively sanding down. The general fit is ok, although the transparent parts have an appalling fit to their openings. I used super-glue as filler for these as it can be polished to a good clear finish. I used the Eduard photo-etch set to upgrade the cockpit, the main benefit being the armoured seat which is not provided in the kit. Other parts that come in the set are antennae, wing pylon details, prop boss and instrument panels. It’s a worthwhile addition to the basic kit. I finished the model in Xtracolour ADC Grey enamel and used the kit decals, which were typical Hasegawa — thick but good. An oil wash was applied over Klear and then toned down with Pollyscale Flat varnish. Overall it’s a kit I’m glad to have — not a straightforward build, but not that bad either.

Year bought: 1999 (Modelzone, Guildford)

Year built: 2004 (Victoria Road, Cambridge)

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