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Mitsubishi F-1

by Piero de Santis


Mitsubishi F-1


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In common with the Anglo-French Sepecat Jaguar, the Japanese (JASDF) attacker Mitsubishi F-1 is a jet derivate from a “supersonic trainer” project.

Mitsubishi decided to build a single-seater version in 1972 based on the two-seater T-2 originally developed in 1967.

Initially, the F-1 was intended to be used by the JASDF in the “defensive close air support” role, but then it assumed a “defensive anti-naval and air-defence” role.


The design of the Mitsubishi F-1 is very similar to the Sepecat Jaguar, and not only the shape. The engines are 2 Rolls-Royce Turbomeca Adour 102 licence-built in Japan by local industry (Ishikawajima-Harima Heavy Industries). Many of the components as the avionic, seat, undercarriages and weapons are original-built or licence-build by Japanese manufactures.

The Mitsubishi F-1 is now progressively retired and replaced in the JASDF by the new F-16 derivate Mitsubishi F-2.



In the 1/48th scale models scenario there is only one choice - Fujimi. This is actually not a bad thing because the kit is well done, with almost perfect dimensions, engraved panel lines, detailed undercarriages, a wide assortment of weapons and a big decal sheet.


Fujimi also produced also a box devoted to the two-seater version. Occasionally, it is possible to find a box that offers all the parts to build either of the two versions - very peculiar!

There are few areas that need extra work. To start with, the cockpit is very basic. The ejection seat is a Weber ES-7J (built by Daiseru) zero/zero. I found an unlabelled resin seat and adjusted it to look similar to the Weber.

The instrument panel was easy to reproduce using thin styrene sheet. Good photos can be found on the web looking at walk-around sites. Photos regularly featured in the monthly Japanese aviation magazine “Koku-Fan” will also be very helpful. Another part to be detailed was the canopy actuator mechanism. The Head Up Display and rear-mirrors were taken from leftovers of other photo etched sets.


I decided to represent the jet in the “defensive anti-naval” configuration, using a pair of Mitsubishi ASM-1 air-to-sea missiles and the RL-7 rockets pods. Two infra-red AIM-9B Sidewinders were also fitted on the wingtip launch rails. A fuel-tank is attached on the centreline hard point.


Painting and Decals

Most of the Mitsubishi F-1s are painted in a three-tone camouflage with a light grey undersides.

I sprayed Humbrol enamels Dark Green (116), Medium Green (114) and Tan (74) for the upper surfaces. Humbrol enamel Light Grey (28) was used for the under surfaces. Panel lines were highlighted using black ink and soft pencil.


I chose to depict an aircraft of the 3rd Hikotai (Squadron) identified by the “kabuto” (helmet) on the vertical fin. In particular, the “267” aircraft that was adorned with a blooding shark-mouth… GODZILLA!!!


Additional Images


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Model, Text and Images Copyright © 2001 by Piero de Santis
Page Created 12 October, 2001
Last Updated 04 June, 2007

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