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Border 1/35 Type 97 B5N2 - First look!


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Good day to everyone here, I do hope you have all had a wonderful Christmas. Before the New Year starts off, I would like to show off Border's new B5N2 in the 1/35 scale, seeing as I believe I am one of the first to get my hands on it. (As for why it is in this section, I cannot make a post in the 'Reviews' area - and I will be building this beauty anyway).

 

Starting off with the cardboard package...

 

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..out comes the box top which itself is magnificent, displaying some of the best artwork of any new kit I have seen this year, with B5N2s going for torpedo runs at Pearl Harbour.

 

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The sides of the box...

 

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And the first look inside - quite jam packed!

 

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All of the sprues laid out...

 

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And now each of them close-up - in alphabetical order:

 

A, wing top sections and the lower fuselage:

 

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B, fuselage sides and elevators:

 

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C, lower wing parts and propeller:

 

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D, cockpit pieces and upper fuselage:

 

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E, engine and cowling:

 

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F, undercarriage and assorted details:

 

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G, Type 91 modification 2 (special Pearl Harbor version) aerial torpedo:

 

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H, Type 91 aerial torpedo:

 

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I, canopy and other clear parts:

 

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J, the Type 99 No.80 Mk 5 AP bomb used to destroy the Arizona:

 

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And K, cockpit details:

 

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The decals:

 

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The P.E, which amounts to seatbelts and fine details:

 

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And finally, the Instructions, with some nice history and part diagrams.

 

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As a whole, the kit is very, very comprehensive. The level of detailing on the individual parts is fantastic, the raised riveting is all uniform and the clear parts are perfectly clear and blemish-free. Interestingly, the fuselage is constructed by mating the sides and the the top and bottom, perhaps to mask any gaps that might arise from a traditional joint. The fabric detail on the control surfaces is relatively deep, but looks good. Noteworthy is the lack of an option for the 6 x 60kg bombs or the 1 800kg bomb, but I suspect we might see those in future releases, maybe a B5N1?

 

The detail is especially good on the Type 92 machine gun used by the gunner:

 

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And the Sidewall detail for the Cockpit:

 

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One of the more notable bits about this kit is the 'stressed skin' effect on the wings and lower fuselage, as shown:

 

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It will be interesting to see how this comes out under a coat of paint.

 

The final part are the schemes, which follow:

 

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If I am not mistaken, I believe that both of these aircraft are from Akagi, but the decals provided should allow for a 'DIY' approach to the schemes, with enough coding to build a variety of aircraft. Note that the scheme for AI-311 is different on the Box, perhaps a late change.

 

All in all, I would say this kit has definitely been worth the wait. Even though it is slightly odd in scale compared to the rest of the 1/32 riffraff, it still looks like it will build up magnificently out of the box. I understand that my camera and photography skills are lackluster, so if any of you would like some better images of certain bits and bobs than I will be happy to oblige.

 

Sincerely, Hurricaneflyer

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hurricaneflyer-I also just got this model (as well and the Border 1/35 Akagi Bridge/Flight Deck and set of eight Deck Crew Figures) for Christmas.  I agree with you the review of what is in the box is impressive.  Border already has several 1/35 scale kits out that are getting excellent reviews (i.e., FW 109A-6, JU 87G-2, BF-109 G-6, Lancaster B MKI) and plan on issuing at least three more kits this year.  I believe the unique split design of the fuselage is to eliminate modelers from from having to sand out any seam lines-which is good.  It appears they are serious about making 1/35 scale aircraft a contender! Looking forward to you building this kit so I can take notes on any pitfalls!  Ha! Ha!

 

Phillip1

@Hurricaneflyer

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Excellent to hear @phillip1, good to see that there will be some builds of the entire Akagi morning scene done in the future!

 

As for the building of the kit, there is good news and bad news; the good being that I was so excited about building this that I am currently in the process of painting it, the bad being that I have neglected to update this thread in my haste... oops. As this is my situation, I had originally intended to post everything at once when I was finished, but seeing as you seem interested in some 'in-build' notes, I will post most of what I have here with some commentary tomorrow morning; it is 2AM here in NZ, and I can only go so late!

 

Sincerely, Hurricaneflyer

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Very well, thank you all for being patient, especially @quangster and @phillip1 - here is most of what I have gotten up to...

 

The instructions start you off by building the engine, which becomes a whole subassembly when attached to the forward fuselage. It is a VERY finnicky process - although the instructions are confusing on the placement of the separately numbered cylinder-head sparkplugs, their placement is crucial to having the engine sit nicely on the cowling frame; misplace one and you will have to chop off one of the delicate supports, which I ended up doing. Other than that the engine itself is not too bad - just make sure to be careful with the pushrod structures and it will come out wonderfully.

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Here is the engine with the exhausts dry-fitted. Because they purposefully come in two pieces near the end, I suspect it represents the actual shape of the Sakae-11, so I did not modify them.

 

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Be careful not to glue on this device onto the engine, the firewall goes in there first.

 

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Here are the fuselage halves being prepared. One thing I took note of here was that there are holes here in the fuselage and in the leading edges of the inner wings which match up to the location of the radar antenna on the late-war ASW variants - a sign of things to come?

 

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Here is the basics of the cockpit and the sidewalls being put together. An important aspect which I should mention here is that Border's instructions are not the best, being confusing in places and missing any kind of colour callouts for the parts. This, combined with the general lack of good B5N information (thanks to a certain country destroying virtually all of them...) means that there is very little to go on for the interior - the painting guide at the back suggests painting it all in Ammo MiG-264. This conflicts with a great number of other resources, as some state it was 'Nakajima interior green', 'Cockpit colour' (similar to the RAF shade) and even the Metallic Blue used in the wheel wells! In the end I took a look for myself and found what looks to be the only image of a B5N2 cockpit in any condition besides 'pulled out of Pearl Harbor': https://pacificwrecks.com/aircraft/b5n/jacquinot/1981/interior.html Despite this, it turns out this was a radar-equipped late variant as above, meaning that I cannot be 100% sure that it is accurate to a Pearl Harbor machine...

 

Regardless, I decided to go with the shade in the image, which I achieved by mixing Tamiya Cockpit Green (XF-71) and Dark Green 2 (XF-70) in roughly equal amounts.

 

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Now, here is the first weak point of the kit that I have found: the wing fold. Although the option for both folded and unfolded wings are available, the instructions fail to mention that adding these pieces (specifically F-8 and F-30 and their handed counterparts F-45 and F-14) will make it impossible to put the wings together unfolded. 

 

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If that was not already bad enough, the way that F-8 and F-45 is attached to the sprue is so inconvenient that it is nigh-impossible to remove it without damage, as seen here:

 

(Yes, I did lose half of one.)

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That out of the way, here is the cockpit on the verge of being installed. The seatbelts are nice, but the instructions once again provide little assistance, not even showing you where to put them or how to fold them; luckily there are 1/72 and 1/48 B5N2s which have aftermarket seatbelts, so looking those up I replicated the form as best I could.

 

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Here is the interior of the wings, both inner and outer. Three rows of ribs are provided for each half as to give depth to the structure, so painting here is a must. Note that here too I have found conflicting information about what colour this should be - I have gone with the Metallic Blue used in the wheel wells. Something I will add here as it will not fit in anywhere else is that the way the elevators and ailerons were designed they can move in a realistic manner when fitted, except that the ailerons only move down - I forgot to document this, and will do so soon.

 

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Now, on a more positive note, there are some interesting bits of kit design here and there, one being that a good number of parts are attached to the sprue from underneath, which allows you to cut the remainder away cleanly. Here is the propeller spinner, which I will not be using as I will be modeling Fuchida's B5N2 at Pearl Harbor.

 

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And finally, here is a sneak peak of what this will look like once completed - this was taken somewhat early into construction, but rest assured it is very far along now. I expect to finish it by the end of the coming week, but I will make another post to add a few things I neglected.

 

Ajt8mpzh_o.jpg?download=true

 

Sincerely, Hurricaneflyer

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Very nice work and the detail looks nice and crisp.

 

I'll follow along as a Border kit coukd be a future purchase, so it's nice to know where the issues are in advance! 

 

Keith 😁 

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Thank you @Hurricaneflyer for your impressions about the new Border Kate. I have one on the way and your detailed description will be very welcome when I start mine.
I’ve built the previous FW190-A6 also from Border - a most pleasant experience - and I believe the new Kate wouldn’t be different even if it’s more complex due to the folding wings.

Happy modelling,

Cheers,

Quang

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Hurricaneflyer-This is a very good evaluation and update.  You have made great progress and the build looks great!  I agree when it comes the Kate's interior color there are a lot of unknowns and the builder is given a wide discretion.  Since you are building Fuchida's aircraft will you be showing a lot of paint chipping? Keep up the good work.

 

Phillip1

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