Hasegawa Bubbletop With Airies Extras

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So there I was, browsing through the models on e-bay….It never ceases to amaze me how people will pay way over shop prices for off the shelf models. Its no wonder so many shops advertise individual kits on there as private sales. I came across this bubble top for £22 !! Now I know its only £18 in my LHS….but wait, it has some resin parts I see.

Well to cut a long story short it came complete with a full resin detail set (list price £39.00) and I won the bid at £26.00. I didn’t really want to fit a resin kit as I thought it would probably be beyond me but when the kit arrived I found someone had “lifted” the standard engine so that rather made up my mind. I have fitted a resin engine to a Tamiya Spitfire before but that was decidedly easy compared to this big radial with 18 separate cylinder heads (for some reason they supply 20…did I miss a couple)… Always happy to make a complete idiot of myself I decided to record my progress while not knowing if A/ I could make the finished model look anything like acceptable. B/ If anyone would be interested anyway…

The next day I got a see through 1:48 Tamiya Swordfish with etch rigging included for £36.00 but that’s another story..

Aires upgrade ( Part No: AIRE4110)

INTRODUCTION Aires make four basic upgrades for the Hasagawa P47 bubble top 1:48.

These are all resin and consist of a cockpit interior, a wheel bay, Gun bay and Engine. They can be purchased separately or as a complete detail kit which has the addition of a basic PE set included. (Seat belts, instrument panel etc) the full detail set will cost you approx £40 which is over twice the price the original Hasagawa Kit so you will find it cheaper to buy separate items if you don’t intend to use all four sub assemblies.

A few words about resin. The resin parts will come attached to their pouring blocks and will need to be removed using a razor saw, sharp knife and sanding block. I use an electric belt sander. BEWARE of the dust! It’s nasty stuff. Standard plastic glues will not work so have some super glue too hand. You should also be aware that resin does not bend and is very brittle so handle small thin parts with great care.


The cockpit is a worthwhile upgrade particularly on the bubble top as its easily viewable. The parts supplied consist of a floor, two sides, a back, seat, seat mount, instrument panel, reflector sight etc. These parts fit together nicely and drop into the fuselage after the two halves have been joined from the underneath. You may need to remove the lugs on the inside of the fuselage designed to hold the standard kit parts. Other than that the resin parts are a direct replacement for the plastic parts.

As always with AM resin there is a catch however! The instrument panel does not appear to attach to the resin cockpit tub on the detail kit. (If brought as an individual item the instructions show a mount for it)…. and is the wrong shape to fit the curve of the fuselage. The instructions do not tell you what to do with it so my advice would be to use the STD kit panel and add the photo etch panel to it and glue the whole thing under the dashboard before fitting the resin tub. Because you don’t usually get a second chance with super glue it is often worth dry fitting parts, getting them exactly where you want them and then running a bead of glue along the fitment after its positioned so you know its going to stay where you wanted it!


The upgrade comes with two gun bays and ammunition bays. One ammunition bay is loaded and the other, empty. I just chose to fit the empty bay, as I didn’t fancy painting the hundreds of rounds of ammo! You also get four guns with PE detail.

You will obviously need to create a suitable aperture in the upper half of the wing to display these parts. The instructions clearly show you where to cut and fortunately the resin parts are a very good fit if you just use the panel lines as a guide. I recommend you cut to the front panel line nearest the leading edge, and short of the rear panel line, then test fit and trim till you get a good fit. Same applies to the gun bay. The instructions recommend you fit the guns then join the wing halves together with the gun barrels sticking through the four holes in the wing….well in an ideal world maybe !!

I fitted the guns and cut the barrels off inside the wings then using the standard kit parts as a template for length, I cut the parts of the barrels I had cut off the guns to length and glued them in position, as one would have done with the standard parts.

One other point, the gun bays and ammo bays are a little too thick to fit in the wing so you will need to remove a little from the leading edge of both bays until you can close both halves of the wing up. As always with resin, test fit then test fit again.

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About the Author

About Patrick Barratt (PaddyBarratt)