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Hasegawa 1/72 Kyushu J7W1 Shinden [FINISHED]


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I mentioned in the chat thread a few days ago that I might be getting this, and I have. It may have made only three test flights in August 1945, but it's an honest-to-goodness interceptor.


It will probably be a couple of days before I can start this. I mean, I could start it now, but I really ought to do a lot more work first on the kits currently on the workbench (never mind those on the back burner).




Edited by klr
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  • 3 months later...

Did I say a couple of days before I would start this? I meant of course a couple of months 😛


But it will be started tomorrow, honest ... well, later today, since it's after midnight. There doesn't look to be much to be worried about, except of course painting, always a challenge with Japanese aircraft. A challenge for me anyway.

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5 hours ago, klr said:

always a challenge with Japanese aircraft. A challenge for me anyway.

Why is that?  Dark green over light grey.  Only flew two or three times so no weathering, couldn’t be simpler.



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Lots of progress to report, lots indeed. First up, look at this photo taken at Wright AFB, where one of the prototypes was shipped to post-war:



This is likely a period colour photo. Note the inward-sloping doors on the nose wheel bay, which the kit reproduces, Also, the obvious matt finish, even though this might be accentuated by the photo. If the prototypes ever had a semi-gloss or even gloss finish, it would have weathered quickly. Note also the irregular demarcation line, and the upper green wrapping around the wing leading edges (main and canard) to the undersides, Again, this is all depicted in the kit instructions. The long aerial underneath the nose is missing, possibly lost during transport, or just removed. The colour of the propeller blades is much lighter than on the completed kit on the side of the box, even allowing for limitations of colour photography at the time. The yellow leading edges have a distinct orange tinge, as expected. Finally, all undercarriage struts are a dark colour, black according the kit instructions.


Dry-fitting suggested the main assembly would go smoothly:





The instrument panel had a significant gap on both sides, also this did not cause any problems:



The completed cockpit:





The instructions suggested just 2 grammes of nose ballast, not surprising given the configuration. However, I took no chances:



More in a few minutes!




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Assembling the airframe was easy, as the dry-fitting suggested it would be. There were some small gaps around the cheek intakes, and transitions to be smoothed over where the rear engine cowling attached to the main cowling.





You can't see much of the engine with the propeller attached, but that's no excuse not to paint it:



The canopy attached. It looked to be a very good fit, but I was not paying attention, more of which anon.



For the undersides, I chose Hu 147 light grey. The best I can say about this is that it looks "realistic". The spinner and blades were painted Hu 160 red brown. The decals (one on each side of the tip of each blade) were tricky to apply and clean up, but I just stuck with it. They have the same orange-yellow colour that would be needed for the inboard leading edges.



The canopy was given two undercoats of Hu 226, which I also used as the interior colour. You can also see the filler along the upper starboard wing root, which was the only problem area during the main assembly stage.



I eventually realised the canopy was not only too narrow, but also attached at an angle, canted to port (think of the P-51 rudder fillet). So I popped it off, cracking the port side forward window just behind the windscreen in the process.


... and for the main upper colour, I chose Hu 149.



After some work on the fuselage, the canopy was reattached. The undercarriage was reasonably straightforward. The main legs are molded to attach at the correct angle. Take off and landing would have been tricky at best, never mind for poorly trained pilots, and operating from poorly prepared airstrips would have compounded matters.



So as of this morning, this is were things stand. The pitot tube near the starboard wing-tip was (of course!) broken off and lost during construction, which is exactly why I dislike such features being integrated into the main wing or fuselage parts. I only need to replace that, and affix the aerial under the nose, and the kit will be built. Touching up will take another day or two.


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13 hours ago, JOCKNEY said:

Looking really great, I wonder what the performance would have been like, did the Americans ever fly it ?

I'm not aware that they did. The potential of the layout would probably have interested them more than the aircraft itself. As well their own experimental designs, the US also had access to all those "Luft 46" goodies. Also, the J7W performance (top speed c. 470mph) was no better than the P-47N and P-51H that were already being deployed, to say nothing of the likes of the P-80 that was in development (Richard Bong was killed in a YP-80 crash on August 6th). I wasn't surprised to read that the Japanese considered developing a jet-powered version, but obviously didn't have the time to progress it. Now, if that were the Luftwaffe, we'd have a kit or two of it 😛


Anyway, I've not done much work on this in the last week, as I concentrate on other builds for this GB. It's still well in hand though.



One thing did slow me down: I had to switch to a new tin of Hu 149 (why does this keep happening to me?), as the old tin deteriorated very rapidly.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Finished! The new tin of Hu 149 on the nose area has a much smoother finish, evident in these photos. I  had to reattach on the main undercarriage legs, but at least it hadn't sheared off - my carelessness for it getting broke in the first place.







Off to the gallery before it shuts down ...


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  • klr changed the title to Hasegawa 1/72 Kyushu J7W1 Shinden [FINISHED]

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