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Mitsubishi SM-1 AZ model K3M Pine kit conversion

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Continuing with the saga of civil Japanese planes from the Golden Age, here is a rather stocky plane that briefly flew for a Japanese airline (Tokyo Koku K.K.) As J-BABG (not the kit's version).
I immediately liked the ungainly stance and the sumo wrestler proportions.

I have seen this kit time ago, at a somewhat stiff price, so I waited a bit until it became (just) more reasonable. Still, being this a short run technology kit, and for what it is, it is not a bargain.
The box announces resin parts (actually one part inside) and super decals. We'll see about the decals.


Contents. Short run, so thick gates, some thick parts, not a lot of refinement:



 An itsy-bitsy of flash:



Tail feathers a bit thick:



Exterior detail:



A view of some of the parts:



Thick exhausts. This was true for the collector, but not for the connecting bits to the cylinders, which are represented too thick:



Restrained wing surface:



Film for the windows and windshield, resin engine that is rather simple:



The "super-decals" (did Superman make them?):



Some psychedelic perspectives in the instructions:



Color and decal instructions on the box back:



Interior detail (remove the ejector marks):



Off the sprues:



For being a resin engine, and considering the products that are out there as aftermarket options, I am not particularly thrilled by this one, which by the way doesn't quite match the photos I can see on the Net -that show a lot of pushrods at the front:



The window areas are recessed, quite a bit inside and a little outside. The instructions tell you to fix the film from inside, I guess to render a thinner wall appearance:



The kit, although sold as the civil version, has the military parts still in it, and there is no provision to close the round opening for the top fuselage machine gun.
I seriously doubt the passengers of the civil version flew with a hole on the fuselage top, as depicted in the kit instructions and color views.
In any case, there was J-BABG that flew on floats, and requires other engine (Jupiter with front "Y" exhaust), had no Townend ring and needs different windows, plus didn't have the hinomaru. I will go for that one.
Here it is in the Arawasi blog:


You better sand those wing halves before gluing them together, or you will end up with blunt leading edges and thick trailing edges:



Floats are cut from a very old Aeroclub generic floats vacuformed sheet:



Fit tested:



New windows for the airliner marked, floats need center section removed to get proper length:



Kit's windows blanked:



The styrene sheet needs to be thicker inside:


Once the glue is dry, the new windows will be carved.



Edited by Moa
to correct typo
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Thanks, Christian.

I hope your stay in Africa is made better when you think about the not particularly smart shady businessman who recently tried to criticize it, only to have the word applied to his current temporary residence.

By the way, my older son is a brewer. I get to sample occasionally ;-)

Back now to the board.


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The floats' center section is removed to achieve proper length. This (or similar) tool keeps things perpendicular to the axis:





An end cap -that will act after being shaped as bullhead- is glued:



A hole is drilled to provide ventilation and help with drying. This added bulkhead has the secondary benefit of providing sharper, more defined lines to the float than the soft, curved vacuforming process can lend:



The new windows:



Area masked not to disturb the surroundings:



Putty applied on the kit's blanked-off windows (that are right for the kit's intended version, just to clarify):



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To echo Will, a neat idea for the float step and also a smart move on the ventilation hole! Top stuff! Rather enjoying this build^_^


( That, "Not particularly smart businessman would not happen to have a surname starting with a T...).




Christian, exiled to africa :rain:

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2 hours ago, Killingholme said:

hanks for taking the time to show us how you approach your models.



Hi Will

Just returning the favor.

As I started to model again, some years ago, I always wanted to know how modelers solved problems. How were things done.

To see all the nice models posted around was no doubt wonderful, but to be able to tell how they did it, and even the mistakes that are committed sometimes during the process is priceless. The narrative and images I post hopefully give a clue about some things, without having to explain too much or fellow modelers having to ask about.

Everything helps, failures and successes, and the thrill is that we continue to learn.

My manual dexterity and visual acuity are greatly diminished now (just as an example, the center of the visual field of my right eye is gone), yet my models are a bit better than yesteryear, because of the ways we, collectively, find to improve the builds. Moreover, planning and foresight and conceiving the right building engineering and strategies help immensely.

Better yet: as a kid I was happy with any contraption put together and slapped on with any paint of any color. It was joy.

When I "learned", there was a period with of course better results but scarcely any joy.

Now I have fun, lots of fun, and thanks to what I learned from scores of fellow modelers, can render a decent model. 

So it is, in a way, and in any small measure this might be, about giving back.




Edited by Moa
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Decals are printed. The "G" will need some tweaking, ,and added bit to the hook to be a perfect match:



I couldn't find an aftermarket Bristol Jupiter VI or VII with the frontal "Y" exhausts, so I will convert one using leftover parts from the spares bin. I will also adapt a prop from the same source:



Another way to get the floats will be to adapt, in the same way, the resin Fairchild P6 floats from Khee-Kha Art Productions in Alaska. They are much better needless to say than the generic Aeroclub vacs, but some detail may be lost during shortening and a bit of re-shaping:




Edited by Moa
add data
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So now the two "versions" of the floats are ready for priming, the vac one, narrower, and the resin one, wider:



Acrylic is used to cut and snug-fit the windows individually:





Dry run. Those details on top  (round and oblong hatch) have to go, since they belong to the service training version:




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