David Knights' Weblog

April 11, 2012

Kit comparison: J2M3 Jack Hasegawa v. Sword

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 3:12 pm
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I like Japanese aircraft.  They are unusual and they have some really interesting markings and paint schemes.  The first Regional contest award I ever won was a first place in 72nd scale Prop at a Region 4 regional in Cleveland.  The model was a Hasegawa J2M3.  Sword has recently come out with a new J2M3 and I picked it up so I thought I’d compare the two kits.


Hasegawa J2M3 box

The Hasegawa kit dates back to the 80s, if not before.  It is a very typical Hasegawa kit from that period.  The modeling is excellent.  It has engraved panel lines and the interior is pretty basic.  The decals are the typical Japanese manufactured decals.  They are well printed but a tad on the thick side.  The kit parts come on two sprue trees (along with the small canopy sprue).  The canopy is molded in the closed position.

Hasegawa sprue 1


Hasegawa 2


The Sword kit is brand new.  The kit is on one sprue tree (plus the clear parts tree).  The molding is finely engraved with a fairly well detailed interior.  The decals are of modern manufacture and while I haven’t used them yet, they look as if they would be as good as any aftermarket decals.

Sword J2M3

The exhausts on the Sword kit have been molded separately, which I think was done to allow two things: a) to allow the later J2M5/6 to be issued as a separate kit and b) to allow the builder to hollow out the exhaust stubs.  The canopy of the Sword kit is also made to be easier to build an open cockpit version.

Sword 1


The kits are very similar.  The shape of the main components match exactly.  The engraving on the Sword kit is a little more delicate and detailed.  However, the small parts, particularly the landing gear legs and prop are better on the Hasegawa kit.  The decals are better on the Sword kit, but not a lot.  Sword has the better interior.

The big difference is price.  The Hasegawa kit can be had for between $14 and $18. The sword kit is a whopping $30.  For the price difference, you can buy a lot of aftermarket to add to the Hasegawa kit.


If I was going to go whole hog, I’d start with the Sword kit.  If you were going to build OOB with a closed canopy, the Hasegawa kit is the natural choice.  While I think the Sword kit is an improvement and I am happy to see it, I don’t think it is enough of an improvement to justify that kind of price.


  1. Nice review, but that is one ugly airplane…

    Comment by Jim — April 11, 2012 @ 8:05 pm

  2. You couldn’t be more wrong. The J2M3 is cool.

    Comment by dknights — April 11, 2012 @ 9:43 pm

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