This year, I will be featuring lots of "mini" model pieces. In order to challenge the limit of how detailed and skillful I can paint, I shall be doing lots of 1/700 modern aircraft. Today, I shall be featuring the first of many. It is the F-2 Mitsubishi, also known as the Japanese F-16 Fighting Falcon.
F-2 Mitsubishi patrolling Japan's airspace
Taken from the Takara 1/700 Micro Ship of the World Kongo Destroyer Series, this is by far the smallest ready-made model piece I have ever seen. The imprinted number on the plane is insanely detailed and it also showcase how quality is top notch in Japan.
Impeccable detailed one-piece model of the F-2 by Takara
For my pictures, I have Josh to thank for loaning me his Macro Lens. Josh's Lens help showcase the minute detail put in by Takara on the F-2. I only hope that my 1/700 Modern Planes I am doing now would be as good as this.
The F-2 Mitsubishi approaches
Developed from the F-16 Block 40, the F-2 Mitsubishi was a controversial program as its unit cost (inclusive of development cost) was about four times higher than procuring the Block 52 F-16 based on its unit cost minus the development cost.
Another controversy was the licensing cost required by the Japanese Government to pay the Americans for producing the F-2. Despite these issues, the JASDF ordered 94 to be built, inclusive of 4 protoypes. Currently, there are 89 F-2 in active service as 5 were scrapped due to damage sustained in the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami.
A 1 pound coin is rather huge compared to this little size F-2
It is note worthy to know that the F-2 differs from the F-16 in a few things. The F-2 has a larger tailplane and air intake. It also has a three-piece cockpit canopy and a 25% larger wing area. Last of all, it is made out of composite material use to reduce overall weight and radar signatures. With the ability to carry four ASM-1 or ASM-2 anti-ship missles, 4 AAM and additional fuel tanks, it definitely packs more of a punch than the F-16A.
The F-2 is a 4.5 generation fighter and has seen its fair share of action over the Sea of Japan. On two separate occasions in 2013, F-2 Mitsubishi were scrambled to warn Russian Air Force aircraft to leave Japan's Airspace. In spite of the F-2 accolades, the dawn of the F-35 is approaching. As such, it is only logical for the Japanese Government to make a decision not to continue production of the F-2.
Hope you guys have a thing for Miniature stuff because there will be more coming your way. You can view all the F-2 pictures in Toyconstruct's facebook album here.
Till next time,