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Hello all, Been off BM for a little while, lots of life happening at the moment - job change, trying to buy a house... Anyway, some modelling has taken place, including this classic 1/32 kit, that's been boxed by quite a few Japanese manufacturers - Doyusha and Swallow at least. I picked this up under a club table at Bolton for a bargain. It's at least a 1970s moulding (but so am I) but the surface detail is great- all recessed and riveted. There are some snags though - it was meant to be a motorised model (I think Tomy had the moulds first?) so there is a bizarrely shallow cockpit: So, some scratch building and raiding the spares box is needed. Luckily I had a spare pilot from the Hasegawa Tojo who could fill much of the void. So, here's what has been done so far: Skinning the interior with plasticard and strip, and various semi-accurate(ish) spare parts: IP from an ancient paper set of dials I got from somewhere - onto plasticard, with rough go at dial houses and wires... Floor, consoles, seat etc are plasticard and spares. And here's the pilot: Buttoned up - a nice fit overall: And how the IP sits in the cockpit: So, that's taken about a month on and off, hope to pick up speed now! More soon, Take care, Matt
Kawanishi N1K2-J Shinden-kai (George) 1:32 Hasegawa History The N1K2-J Shinden-kai (George) was a single-seat, all-metal monoplane fighter with a enclosed cockpit. The George holds a unique place in the history of airplane construction. This land-based interceptor was based on the N1K1, which had been designed to support amphibious operations. The first prototype N1K1 (Kyofu) (Mighty Wind) was flown on May 6, 1942, and mass production began in May of 1943. However, when the first seaplanes started to arrive on the front, the situation in the Pacific theatre had changed so that this type of plane was simply no longer needed. Therefore, a land version project of the fighter was developed as a private initiative, based on the Kyofu. Originally it was planned that the only distinction between the two planes was that the Shinden-Kai would have retractable landing gear instead of floats, but it was quickly decided that the engine should be replaced with a more powerful alternative. In addition to having a more powerful engine it was decided to fit a large four bladed propeller. The size of the propeller and the mid-wing arrangement meant that the undercarriage oleos had to be designed to be telescopic, allowing them to take up less space when retracted. The land-based version made its first flight on December 12, 1942. The prototype's private designation was the X1, and in mass production its designation became N1K1-J Shinden (Purple Lightning). Production began in August of 1943. The new fighter proved to be an excellent interceptor. However, its operation was complicated by the frequent failure of its engine, the Homare 21, the complex design of its chassis, and its ineffective brakes. Consequently, the number of the N1K1-J's non-combat losses was very high. The next model of the Shinden was designed to eliminate these shortcomings. The aircraft's redesign began simultaneously with the N1K1-J's military trials. The N1K2-J's first flight was made on December 31, 1943. The production model was designated the Shinden-Kai («Purple Lightning Improved») Model 21 Marine Fighter-Interceptor. The new model, like its predecessor, featured a 14-cylinder air-cooled radial engine, the Nakajima Homare 21 NK9H, with a takeoff power of 1820 hp. It also retained the basic wing construction and armament of the N1K1-J. However, the Shinden-Kai was really a new plane. During the planning phase, special attention was given to ensuring ease of production and, at least to some extent, the use of readily available materials. Unlike its predecessor, this model had a low-wing design which allowed the use of conventional landing gear. The new design was finally rid of the N1K1-J's main operational problems. The shape of the fuselage was completely changed and somewhat lengthened, and the vertical tail fin was completely redesigned. The empty weight of the aircraft was decreased by 240 kilograms. The N1K2-J was armed with 4 Type 99 Model 2, 20mm wing-mounted cannons. The inner pair was provided with 200 rounds of ammunition each and the outer had 250 each (900 rounds in total). On the two pylons suspended underneath its wings, the aircraft could carry two 250-kg type 98 or two 60-kg type 97 bombs. Or, it could carry unguided 60-kg No.27 rockets. In addition, an extra 400-liter fuel tank could be installed under the fuselage. Unfortunately, because its center of gravity was towards the plane's rear, the N1K2-J was somewhat difficult to control, and was usually flown by experienced pilots (especially former Zero pilots) after they underwent retraining. The Model Unusually these days, this kit is a full, brand new tool from Hasegawa and it is up to their usual standards. The attractive box, (with an artists impression of the aircraft flying over puffy clouds, surrounded by a white border on the top), isnt exactly stuffed with styrene, but what is provided is very cleanly moulded, with fine details and with enough detail where it counts to make it a nice model to build. There are nine sprues of medium grey styrene and one of clear, along with four poly caps and decal sheet. The instructions are well printed, very clear and easy to read. The build, which is covered in 17 steps, begins with the included pilot figure. This is a very well moulded multi part assembly, with front and rear torso, separate legs and arms, including alternative styles of head, one with the leather helmet open and one with the helmet fastened up. Fitted with the separate parachute pack and after a careful painting session it will make a nice addition to the completed model. Next up is the instrument panel, which is attached to the forward bulkhead, has moulded instrument bezels, but uses four blocks of decals for the faces. Depending on how these settle it might be an idea to fit each face separately, much like using an Airscale set. A drop of Aqua gloss or Kleer can be used to seal the decals, with the added advantage of drying to look like the instrument glass. The gunsight is made up of the support structure, internal armoured glass and two clear reticules. This is then fitted to the top of the instrument panel. The cockpit, which consists of the floor, seat back, seat bucket, seat supports, seat cushion, rudder pedals, four piece radio and side console tops. Before the cockpit can be fitted to the fuselage, the two side walls need to be installed, along with control leavers and a pair of oxygen bottles on either side. The instrument panel, rear bulkhead and sidewalls are assembled to produce a cockpit box structure. The two front sections of the fuselage are glued together with the addition of three bulkheads along their length. There is a panel that needs to be removed from the port side fuselage, just aft of the cockpit opening and the panel lines re-instated, (there is a diagram showing what needs to be done). With the forward fuselage assembled the cockpit tub is slid into position from the bottom. The single piece lower wing is fitted out with the main spar and just in front of that are the two main wheel inner bays. The two upper wing sections are then attached to the lower wing, ensuring that the fragile inner flap race is not damaged, to the top of the upper wing panels are fitted the aileron linkage fairings. Remember to drill out the holes it the drop tanks are to be fitted. The kit comes with separate flaps, which can be posed extended or retracted, depending win which hinge parts you choose. With the wings done, its onto the tail assembly. This consists of the two tail halves, which includes the fin and rudder and the upper and lower halves of each horizontal tailplane, which are attached to the tail once assembled. The mainplanes are then attached to the fuselage, followed by the tailplane assembly, which, due to the solid plug shouldnt cause too many problems with fit and as the join is on a panel line it shouldnt need any filler, but careful fitting will always pay dividends. The main wings are then fitted with the four cannon barrels and the separate clear navigation lights and pitot probe. The main undercarriage consists of the main oleos, separate scissor link, brake pipe and two piece gear bay doors. The tyres are in two halves with separate inner and outer hubs, when assembled these are attached to the oleo axles. With the model on its back there are two cannon bay panels to be fitted, one on each outer wing panel and another on the centreline of the fuselage. The main undercarriage assemblies, retraction jacks, inner bay doors with associated retraction links, single tail wheels are attached, along with two footsteps on the inner wing fairing are also attached. The optionally positioned flaps can now be fitted as can the centreline drop tank, (if fitted), which consists of two halves and separate crutch plates. With the main structure complete its on with the powerplant. For the propeller each of the separate blades are fitted to the hub which is fitted to the backplate and enclosed with the spinner. The cowling is then assembled with the addition of the cooling gill. The engine is made up of the front and rear cylinder banks, two sets of valve rods at the front plus the intake and exhaust manifolds to the rear. The reduction gearbox, with separate pipework and fastener ring is attached to the front. The completed engine is then attached to the fuselage followed by the cowling and finally the propeller. The build is completed with the attachment of the windscreen, pilots headrest, radio aerial, rear canopy and sliding canopy, with grab handles fitted Decals The decals are printed by Hasegawa themselves and do look very well done. Apart from the aircraft identification numbers there is very little carrier film to be seen. Opacity and register is good and the decals are slightly matt. There is a choice of two aircraft, both in dark green over silver colour schemes and full stencils for one aircraft. These are:- Aircraft No. 343-15 of the 343rd Naval Flying Group, 301st Fighter Squadron, piloted by Squadron Leader Lt. Naoshi Kanno Matsuyama, April 1945 Aircraft No.343-03 of the 343rd Naval Fighter Group, 407th Fighter Squadron, flown by W.O. Kouji Ohara Matsuyama, April 1945 Conclusion This is a lovely looking kit and should build into a very attractive looking model. The detail is there for those who just want to build out of the box, but there is still plenty of scope for superdetailing. The pilot figure is always a nice to have addition, but it would have been nice to have some separate seat belts if he was not to be used. Highly recommended. Usual caveats apply, in that you may comment on the kit, but please leave pricing out of any comments. Review sample courtesy of UK distributors for
George D. posted a topic in Ready for Inspection - AircraftAnother excellent, relaxing Tamiya kit. Fit was brilliant and it went together quite fast. I also tried chipping for the first time. Undercoat was done with Humbrol's #11 Silver, then hair spay and finally Gunze IJN Green. When almost dry, I chipped the surface with the help of a dumb q-tip.