Seeing as the Sabre seems to be a topic of much debate on the SAAF forum, I figured I'd do a write up on the kits to give other builders some insight as to whats up with these kits.
Firstly... A Sabre isnt JUST a Sabre. There are a few different variants that the Yanks produced... the Canadians thought.. 'Well thats nice, eh, how aboot lets make it better!' And what we ended up with was the CL 13 Mk6. Arguably the best of the lot (in many a pilot's opinion). I'm not sure of the total number of revisions between the Sabres, saving that for the CL-13 Mk 6... it had a new engine, and the leading edge slats were put back.
On to the kits....
Hasegawa's Sabres.. by nature of the name on their box, are astoundingly expensive here in South Africa. They go for around the R500-R600 mark at shops when they do come up. I can't recall the price I paid for mine but I believe it may have been around that area as well but- 'Its the only one I've seen, and they're very very rare'
Academy Sabres on the other hand... by nature of the the name on their box, are most agreeably priced here in South Africa. They go for around the R200 mark at several toy shops, I've found that the model shops tend have slightly high priced kits. Again, I can't recall the price I paid for mine, but it was somewhere in the R200 but- 'Its the only one I've seen, and they're very very rare'
At least that is what I told my girlfriend... especially once I had realized how easily accessible the kit is.
So firstly with the wings. Being that there are about 6 different wings fitted to the Sabres, I'm not going to delve into that one except to say... that the purpose of this thread is to allow a local builder to have a cheap solution to the lack of a CL13 Mk6 in SA.
The Hasegawa is the darker of the two plastics, or unpainted. The lower wings sections are almost identical except for aft of the main wheel bays. Academy went a slightly different route, and that panel is a separate piece to install as part of the build up of the wing and fuselage join. The wing spans are different as I believe the Hasegawa wings are from their F-86 F-40 kit (I am open to correction), where as the Academy kit depicts an F86-F30. Correspondingly the wings have different spans. There is a difference in the wing tips. The CL13 Mk6's ailerons formed part of the wing tip.
I have now laid the Academy top wing sections, over the Hasegawa lower wing section. While it may not have been entirely apparent in the 1st pic, one can now clearly see the difference between the two. The chord lines (line connecting the center of curvature of the lead edge, to the center of curvature of the trailing edge of the wing), are identical. I have used a pencil to make a rough outline of where the lead edge slats would need to either be scribed or replaced with a resin set.. OR for the really brave, undertaking some serious surgery with a wing bash of note.
In order to correct the span error, Hasegawa have included a set of resin wing tips. A bit of surgery is required, but nothing that cant be done relatively quickly. Simply cut the 'extensions' off the Hasegawa wings at the appropriate panel line (which happens to be the outer edge of the ailerons). However, if you want to build a true CL13 Mk6 you'll still have to scribe the rest of the aileron into Hasegawa's resin set.
So now on to the fuselages.. it has often been said that Academy have simply copied a Hasegawa Sabre and released it.
Well, I suppose it is VERY easy to say that, they are all but identical except for a few aspects. The next set of photos will show the two fuselages taped together. The fit is not bad, leading one to suspect some copying going on. The parts break down is very similar between the two kits. However Academy have more fuselage inserts than Hasegawa. Most obvious is that Academy have given you a nice gun bay, and an option to cut the fuselage in half just after the wings to display a build of of the GE J47.. to play with out of the box. Hasegawa... not so much.
So here we can see the difference in the the bottom of the fuselage where the lower wing piece is attached. Either can modified to accept the other kit's wing if need be. Both feature the intakes on the lower fuselage, just aft of the trailing edge of the wing, but neither include the 'Sugar scoops' as seen on SAAF CL13 Mk6s. Nothing that can't be ordered online, or scratch built from a left over ejection seat head rest.
Now the top of the fuselage around the canopy area. Quite a noticeable difference in how the fairing from the windscreen blends into the top of the fuselage.
Academy is ever so slightly more squared off, than the Hase, I am not sure which is the more accurate. If I use the Eyeball Mk1 and an excellent reference shot, I'd say the Hasegawa is slightly better, but nothing that can't be sorted with a bit of sanding paper.
The Hasegawa fuselage also has an intake or vent on the R fuselage half, requiring a scalpel and some filler.
Here we have the Hase fuselage, with the Academy wings, intake trunking, cockpit and nose wheel bay in place. The internals fit is not bad at all, and quite easily interchanged between the two I would imagine.
Here we can see a small difference in the lower wing and fuselage joins. The obvious difference being the panel missing, as a separate piece for the Academy kit.
Now the Hase wing under the Academy fuselage, again some slight mods needed to get a good fit
Quite a step between the two.
My completed Hase CL13 Mk6 with the Academy top wings in place over the kit wings.
My Sabre looking sharp....
All in all... the Academy has quite a few things in its favor...
-Price (R200 odd)
-Availability (Toys R Us, Reggies, most model shops)
-More detailed (engine/engine trolley, gun bays, 2 x pilot figures, nose wheels, two different type of fuel tanks)
-The name on the box (for the elitist within)
-The box art (Hasegawa painted box art is fantastic)
-Fit (I suspect may be slightly better)
-Can do two different Sabres out the box (depending on the wing)
-Metal pitot probe
-Two different pilot helmets
Unless you can find a Hasegawa Sabre for cheaper than an Academy Sabre, and you don't mind putting a bit of elbow grease into the kit... the Hasegawa kit just isn't 3 x more kit for the price people will charge.
I also believe that the Hasegawa Sabre is available in a different box. Revell have a CL13 Mk6 which I understand is the Hase molds. (Same as certain Revell F-4s, and Spitfires in 48 scale)... cough cough...