The FFVS J-22 resulted from the difficult position in which Sweden found itself as neighbouring countries became engulfed in WW2. Unable to purchase suitable aircraft from abroad, the decision was taken to design and produce a home-grown high performance fighter, with a new manufacturing facility set up specially for the task. Using locally available materials, the resulting aircraft used a plywood and aluminium skin over a steel frame, and designer Bo Lundberg chose a Swedish-built copy of the P&W R-1830 to power his new fighter.
First flying in 1942, the J-22 lacked a turbosupercharger so was unable to compete with the latest designs from the major combatants above 16,000 ft. Conversely, in its element down low with a top speed of around 360 mph, the highly manoeuvrable J-22 could hold its own with the best fighters of its day, apparently besting P-51D Mustangs with ease in mock dogfights. The 195 aircraft built proved popular with the Swedish Air Force, serving into the early 1950s.
The KitPlanet Models
have established a fine reputation over the years for their resin kits of subjects that might not warrant investing in injection moulds. I still hope to see the J-22 produced as a conventional short-run kit in this scale one day, but a resin kit of this quality is a great way to start.
The kit arrives in a very study box that’s sealed in cellophane to avoid any losses in transit, and the parts and accessories are packed in further sealed clear pouches. Everything arrived perfectly intact in the sample kit. The J-22 comprises:
49 x grey resin parts
1 x clear resin part
2 x vacufomed canopies (1 spare)
3 x white metal parts
21 x etched metal parts, plus a printed clear film
Decals for 2 x colour schemes
The parts are very well produced. The resin used is a good match for RLM 02 in colour and the casting is basically faultless on the sample. I found just one small bubble that’ll only take a moment to fix. Most parts are attached to fairly substantial casting blocks, and you’ll need to take a little extra care removing them in a few instances.
The surface finish comprises neatly scribed panel lines and embossed fasteners, with quite a restrained rib effect to simulate the fabric-covered control surfaces. I’ll still knock this back a bit on my build, but it’s light years ahead of the “saggy sackcloth” effect that still plagues some kits.
A full test fit isn’t really practical in the context of this “in box” review, but the fuselage halves line up very neatly once their casting stubs are removed, and everything looks straight and true. Trailing edges are realistically thin, and this promises to be an enjoyable build. Watch out for a Blog in the Forum in the near future to see how the kit goes together.
A Few Details
Construction begins logically with a neatly detailed cockpit. 35 resin and etched parts should produce a nicely busy “office”. The instruments panel is a classic sandwich of etched fascias with film backing for the instrument faces, and there are etched levers and throttles in addition to the seat harness. The internal armoured windscreen is cast in clear resin, while the canopy itself is a good quality vacuform. It’s moulded closed, but a spare is provided, so you can slice it open to reveal the cockpit detail without fear of disaster.
The engine cast as two rows of well detailed cylinders, ready for pushrods which you must cut from wire or styrene (not supplied). There’s a choice of exhausts included, although both of the decal options are shown with the same style, so you may want to check references if you can find them if you intend going for other colour schemes.
The propeller features individual blades and a separate spinner and backplate. There are small notched supports for the blade roots on the backplate, but they won’t really set the angles reliably, so I recommend making a simple jig to ensure consistency.
The undercarriage comprises white metal main gear legs and tailwheel, with resin retraction arms for main gear. The white metal used is good quality and is probably a wise choice because the solid wings are quite heavy. The tailwheel is a bit basic, but the resin mainwheels are very nicely detailed. They are unweighted, so I’ll file slight “flats” where the casting stubs attach. The mainwheel wells are depicted correctly with the doors closed (they only opened during the retraction sequence or for servicing) and are devoid of any detail, but the tailwheel well features neat interior detail showing the structure of the rear fuselage.
There are alternative underwing fairings over the spent shell ports and an optional camera gun attached to the rear section of the canopy for one of the colour schemes.
Instructions & Decals
The instructions are neatly produced over four sheets of A4 paper. The construction diagrams are large and clearly drawn. There are no painting instructions given for the interior and other details, so I recommend the walkaround on IPMS Stockholm
and the Memorial Flight J-22 Restoration
Decals are provided for a pair of attractive colour schemes:
1. FFVS J-22 s/n 22129, Yellow S, 3rd Division, F3, Lynköping 1950
2. FFVS J-22 s/n 22140, Red M, 3rd Division, F9, 1945
The decals are thin and glossy and the register looks very good. Sadly, I can foresee a problem with scheme #2, though, because the yellow ink used is very translucent and the unit number “9” has been printed without a white backing. Consequently, it already looks very dull against the pale blue of the decal sheet paper, so I fear it’ll all but disappear when applied over the olive green camouflage.
J-22 is very neatly produced resin kit. Construction doesn’t look complicated, so it should be a very enjoyable build for experienced modellers, and could also be a good choice for anyone wanting to try a resin model for the first time. The subject is certainly attractive, and it should really appeal to modellers looking for something a bit “different” to stand out among the endless ranks of better known WW2-era fighters.
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