Special Hobby 1/72 North American F-82G
By Matt Bittner
Most people know of the North American F-82 "Twin Mustang", and most of those people know that it wasn't really two P-51 Mustangs cobbled together. Instead, it was an entirely new design that was built for the USAAF (at the time) to provide a long-range fighter for bomber escort during World War 2. The war ended before the first production examples were operational, so the USAAF (and later USAF) changed the aircraft to be primarily a night-fighter, phazing out the P-61.
One of the Twin Mustang's claim-to-fame was it was the first US aircraft to shoot down enemy aircraft during the Korean War. In fact, the first three kills were by F-82s.
The Special Hobby 1/72 North American F-82G consisits of 101 pieces of injected, grey styrene, 7 pieces of resin, four clear pieces (two canopies and two lights) and a photoetch fret with 31 parts on it. There are decals (nicely printed and in register) for three aircraft, all overall gloss black:
- F-82G Twin Mustang, FG-383/6383, pilot Lt. William "Skeeter" Hudson, r/o Lt. Carl Fraser, 347th F(AW)G, 68th F(AW)S, Itazuke AB, Japan, June 27, 1950
- F-82G Twin Mustang, FQ-363/6363 "Siamese Lady", 347th F(AW)G, 68th F(AW)S, Suwon AB, Korea, 1951
- F-82G Twin Mustang, FQ-400/6400 "Call Girl", 347th F(AW)G, 4th F(AW)S, Naha AB, Okinawa, 1950 and was the personal mount of Col. John Sharp, the CO of 4th F(AW)S
Construction starts with the cockpit and it's pretty nice, definitely all you need if you keep the one-piece canopies closed. Plenty more detail than I remember in the Monogram kit and could be enough for most, even if cutting apart the clear pieces and displaying the sliding portion open. Unusually the tail wheel (with gear leg molded in-situ) are molded in halves and need to be glued together. Maybe it's the best way to handle the detail. After both cockpits are finished and the fuselage halves glued together, construction then moves onto the wing.
The last two steps of the instructions have you glue on various items to the mostly-completed airframe. I would definitely hold off on adding such things as landing lights, weapon pylons, landing gear and gear doors, etc. until after painting and at the very end. Less chance of knocking any of these items off. In addition, some of these items are painted different colors, like the underwing gas tanks for "Call Girl".UMM-USA Prop Master a sound idea. However, the problem is Special Hobby doesn't illustrate that the props don't spin the same. One is a left-hand prop, the other a right-hand one. You'll have to pay close attention when assembling the props (if, in fact, the prop blades will actually be correct if glued for the different "handings"). This is one area Monogram/Revell has correct.
I hope in the future to be able to look at the upcoming Starfighter Decal release for the Monogram F-82 and see if it can be used on the Special Hobby kit. I suspect there could be enough differences between the kits that it will be difficult, but I still want to check it out. I really want to build the Kearney AFB, NE, bird that Starfighter is bringing out, and want that model to be the Special Hobby one.
Many thanks to Roll Models for supplying the review kit.