by Tommy H. Thomason

Sunday, January 15, 2023

Roden 1/72 AJ-1 Savage Review


Model and Photo by Paul Boyer

Paul Boyer's review of the excellent Roden 1/72 scale AJ-1 kit here: Fine Scale Modeler

He mentions the windshield wiper location (note that this AJ-1 canopy has been modified with the larger escape hatch);


A couple of other easily fixable nits:

1. The AJ-1 had a single, rectangular (except for forward lower/right corner) nose landing gear door; the kit provides the AJ-2's two-piece door. An easy change:

2. The kit canopy represents the fix to the original sliding canopy with white fiberglass straps glued on it to strengthen it; only a few early production AJs were delivered with the version (I've not seen a picture of a Savage on a carrier with this canopy):

This was quickly replaced by a non-sliding, framed canopy:

In building the kit for review, Paul chose to simply paint the existing frames blue. However, a close approximation of the early AJ-1 canopy (note that it has a small sliding window beside both the pilot and bombardier) can be easily created by 1) sanding off the last transverse frame and the longitudinal frames fore and aft of it and 2) representing the structure on the back of the canopy with a thin layer of filler.

For more on the AJ Savage canopy variations, click HERE.

I was particularly impressed by the detail and accuracy of cockpit detail. Whoever did the research should be commended. The only minor exceptions, like some of the detail provided, will not be visible when the kit is assembled.

Kit parts 2K and 37K should provide for an opening under the flight deck to the left of the nose wheel well for access to the electronics forward (this is a photo of the AJ-2 at the National Museum of Naval Aviation):

The area aft of kit part 17E, which is the forward end of the fuselage fuel tank, should therefore be filled in to represent it accurately.

Note that there is a door/hatch in kit part 23K that was required when the nuke in the bomb bay had to be armed after takeoff. It may not be as tall as it should be since this installation shows it extending up to what is the bottom of the fuselage fuel tank...

I'm not sure that there should be an opening in kit part 15K but it's possible because 1) the jet engine firewall is aft of that and 2) the tanker installation requires a "fuel splash door" to be fitted here.

For other posts for reference for added detail, click HERE.

1 comment:

  1. Having reshaped the back end of my Hasegawa A3D canopy with filler to make it more into a fastback and less of a bubbletop, i agree the fix to the rear part of the canopy is doable.