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F3H Demon in
Detail & Scale
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Detail & Scale, Pt. 1

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SBD Dauntless in
Detail & Scale

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F-102 Delta Dagger in Detail & Scale
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F4F & FM Wildcat in Detail & Scale
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F-8 & RF-8 Crusader in Detail & Scale

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AFTERMARKET REVIEW


KASL Hobby K48046 F-35B STOVL Exhaust Nozzle Set 1:48 Scale

The F-35B Lightning II is the most distinct and derived version of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter design. To meet the requirement for a short take-off vertical landing (STOVL) aircraft for the U.S. Marine Corps, the F-35B’s F135-PW-600 engine incorporates unique and mission-specific features.  These include, most prominently, a large two-stage vertical lift fan in the forward fuselage and a downward-rotating, three-bearing swivel duct (3BSD) exhaust nozzle. The F-35B’s powerplant represents some pretty slick engineering.

Kitty Hawk’s 1:48 F-35B is the kit to go with if you want to build the STOVL –B model variant in this popular scale.  However, there’s indeed some room for extra detail if one wishes to upgrade their Kitty Hawk kit. A series of resin superdetail sets have become available through Taiwanese manufacturer KASL Hobby (check them out at http://www.shop2000.com.tw/kaslhobby; great pictures, but the site is in Chinese). KASL Hobby’s resin sets for the Kitty Hawk F-35B include the cockpit, seamless intakes, the lift fan duct and driveshaft, weapons bay, and exhaust nozzle.  My first look at KASL’s product line came at the 2015 Nationals, thanks to Paul Cotcher at Red Star Scale Models. He’s the exclusive U.S. distributor for KASL Hobby products.

I got my hands on the KASL Hobby F-35B Exhaust Nozzle as my first upgrade part for my F-35B.  The nozzle set is well packed in a typical cardstock-backed, clear plastic container with clear, color instructions in English. A small hollow plastic dowel stabilizes the engine nozzle – KASL had some forethought in packing to ensure the nozzle would not get crushed during shipping. The resin parts consist of four perfectly cast pieces:  (1) the exterior exhaust nozzle in full-open position; (2) the afterburner can; (3) afterburner flameholder, and; (4) the back end of the turbine face that the flameholder sits on. The configuration of the three-bearing swivel duct structure that’s visible in the resin afterburner can indicates this is for the 0° nozzle position (level flight).
If your desire is to have the nozzle in the downward facing position for vertical landing, just swap out the resin burner can with kit parts C11 and C12.  The instructions are a bit unclear in that for “Down” (I assume this is for the vertical landing configuration?), KASL seems to call for the modeler to carefully cut out (I think?) three afterburner petal sections. That said, it is unclear as to how that supposed to properly represent the downward-facing nozzle.

These are extremely high fidelity resin castings. They rank among the industry’ best. Modelers will be impressed by KASL’s gorgeous and nuanced representation of the engine nozzle’s complex, overlapping petal structure – just wonderfully executed from making the master to casting.  This element is the most externally visible part of this set, and it’s worth every cent. It is a major improvement over the kit part. The interior of the resin nozzle also is a good representation of the 1:1 smooth ceramic ablative surfaces.
Only two minor critiques: (1) the tip of each middle exhaust petal appears ever so slightly too long. A swipe or two of a sanding stick on each should get them down to size. (2) The flameholder appears to be a bit over-scale (it’s relatively thick). Mentally, I am comparing this resin piece with the finer photoetch metal detail parts that I am more accustomed to using to represent a flameholder. No doubt, this is one limitation of resin casting.  However, I haven’t had the chance to stick my head into business end of an F135 motor. I can’t say for sure if the real flameholder isn’t really that robust.

Overall, KASL Hobby’s F-35B exhaust nozzle set is a winner.  It is a beautify cast set that will bring a higher level of detail and accuracy to your Kitty Hawk F-35B.  Highly recommended!

Inquire at http://www.redstarscalemodels.com/ for this product’s availability.

Haagen Klaus
Scale Modeling News & Reviews Editor
Detail & Scale

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Just Released!

JET FIGHTERS
OF THE U. S. NAVY AND MARINE CORPS
PART 1: THE FIRST TEN YEARS
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Detail & Scale Special Edition Books

U. S. Navy and Marine Carrier-Based Aircraft of World War II
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Attack on Pearl Harbor, Japan Awakens a Sleeping Giant

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Colors & Markings Series



Colors & Markings of U. S. Navy
F-14 Tomcats,
Part 1: Atlantic
Coast Squadrons
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Colors & Markings of the F-102
Delta Dagger

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Colors & Markings of U. S. Navy
F-14 Tomcats,
Part 2: Pacific
Coast Squadrons

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