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Clash over Kantō Plain - Mitsubishi Raiden ('Jack')


Toryu
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On 16 February 1945 US Navy Task Force 58 launched a strike against Japanese airfields in Chiba Prefecture. It was the combat début for the Hellcats of VF-12 and VBF-12 aboard USS Randolph (CV-15). Over the Kantō Plain, Mitsubishi J2M3 of the Imperial Japanese Navy's 302nd Kōkūtai intercepted the formation and claimed eight Hellcats destroyed. 302 Kū, a veteran IJN unit, was based at Yokosuka to defend the industrial region south of Tokyo.

 

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Difficult to handle for a rookie Mitsubishi's 'Thunderbolt' was a formidable foe in the hands of an experienced pilot. Fast-climbing and heavily armed (with four to five 20 mm cannon) the J2M3 was one of the few Japanese fighters that could successfully intercept the B-29 at high altitude. Unfortunately, due to the tight casing of the engine, the 14-cylinder Mitsubishi Kasei was prone to overheating which hampered operational effectiveness.

 

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My Tamiya model is a veteran, too. I originally built it in 1977 and made an all-out restoration two years ago. It represents a squadron leader’s aircraft (yellow fuselage band) and was most likely assigned to Lt Junrō Teramura, leader of the 1st Buntai. This Raiden was lost on 19 April 1945 while flown by Lt(jg) Ei Fukuda. The victory was claimed by P-51 pilot Maj James Trapp, squadron commander of the 78th FS.

 

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Cockpit: Aires (#4538) and Eduard (#48201)                                                                                  Wheel covers: Quickboost (#48399)

 

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Exhausts: Quickboost (#48383)                                                                                                       Decals: AeroMaster (#48-286)

 

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The colours are home-mixed following the excellent 'Mitsubishi J2M Raiden Colour Notes' by Nick Millman (Aviation of Japan)

 

I hope you see why this is my favourite Japanese Navy fighter.

 

ハッピーモデル構築  - Michael

 

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References

Navy Interceptor “Raiden“, Famous Airplanes of the World No.61, Tokyo, 1996

Mitsubishi J2M Raiden, Mushroom Model Magazine Special No.6110, Sandomierz, 2004

Mitsubishi Navy Interceptor Fighter "Raiden", Mechanism of Military Aircraft No.4, Japan, 2011

Mitsubishi J2M Raiden, Model Art Profile No.11, Tokyo, 2011

J2M3 Imperial Japanese Navy Interceptor Raiden, Zoukai-mura SWS No.VI, Kyoto, 2013

J2M Raiden and N1K1/2 Shiden/Shiden-Kai Aces, Osprey Aircraft of the Aces 129, Botley, 2016

 

 

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Thank you commentators and all onlookers. You encourage me to continue posting models that are farther from the mainstream, such as Japanese birds.

 

If anybody ever needs help with 'Jack' in any scale please contact me off-line.

 

Cheers, Michael

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Great job on a (to me) very iconic fighter, having built one in 1/72 scale when I was a youngling I was fascinated by it, at present I am building the Hasegawa 1/32 scale kit utilising Nick Millman's excellent notes on the subject which you mentioned above.

 

Cheers

 

Dennis

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15 hours ago, spitfire said:

Great job on a (to me) very iconic fighter, having built one in 1/72 scale when I was a youngling I was fascinated by it, at present I am building the Hasegawa 1/32 scale kit utilising Nick Millman's excellent notes on the subject which you mentioned above.

 

Cheers

 

Dennis

Thanks Dennis.

 

My boyhood experience with the 1/32 model from Revell was similar. It had such great box-art that I built it twice (to keep up with my growing modelling skills...)

 

Good luck with your Hasegawa Raiden. You will have a great result with this kit. The ultimative 1/32 Raiden should be the Zoukai-mura kit, but in my view it's over-detailed in areas that you won't see. Their book, however, provides excellent detail for any scale (see my reference list).

 

Cheers, Michael

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Amazing, especially considering the vintage kit.

Japanese aircraft are less often modelled and very interesting, especially the J2M. It would have been a truly lethal interceptor had it not suffered from cooling and supercharger issues. (And obviously the collapse of Japan) 

 

I'm one of those 1/144 weirdos and I've been trying to track down the Fujimi kit of this aircraft (for a not insane price) when I do, I'll be sure to refer back to this build. 

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On 19. Januar 2019 at 12:10, SUB-SAM said:

I'm one of those 1/144 weirdos and I've been trying to track down the Fujimi kit of this aircraft (for a not insane price) when I do, I'll be sure to refer back to this build. 

 

On 18. Januar 2019 at 22:29, Antti_K said:

What paints did you use for the camouflage?

 

Thank you for your kind words and your interest.

 

@Antti

For the topside D2 Green Black Colour I mixed old Humbrol N1, of which I still had an unused tin, and Humbrol 195 "satin green". The J3 Grey undersides are painted with Humbrol 40 toned down with a strong touch of rust brown.

Meanwhile there are quite good matches from Colourcoats for D1 Deep Green Black (ACJ01) and D2 Green Black (ACJ03). No product in the market, however, represents the J3 Grey appropriately. The commercial IJN Grey's are either too grey or too greenish. J3 had a distinct buff (brownish) hue.

 

Cheers, Michael

 

Edited by Toryu
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Lovely Raiden, currently building one now and for their age they are a really nice kit to build, like quite a few of the Hasegawa IJN/IJA kits of this era they are a joy to build

Some of the newer kits today don't fit as well as these or have such fine detail on them

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