Monday 24 January 2011

Fine Molds 1/48th J8M Shusui Rocket Fighter

Andreas from Germany kindly sent these images of his excellent build of the Fine Molds 1/48th scale J8M Shusui. The model is finished in the colour scheme of a restored example on display at the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Museum at Nagoya. The partial airframe of this survivor was found in the Japan Aircraft Manufacturing's Sugita plant in 1961 and later donated to the JASDF. It was put on display at Gifu Air Base but later transferred to Mitsubishi who completed a two year restoration project in 2001, displaying the aircraft together with a replica Toku-Ru No.2 rocket engine.

Andreas asks about the unusual colour scheme of the museum example and the basis for it. I have no idea about this - can anyone help?

The best available reference for this aircraft is probably Kazuya Shibata's 'A Photo History of the IJN's 312th Kokutai' published by Dai Nippon Kaiga in 2005 (below). The main text is in Japanese but the photographs and drawings all have useful English captions. There are many rare images packed into this neat little hardbound book which would be especially useful for anyone contemplating a large scale conversion project. As a bonus the book includes a DVD with an impressive cgi animation of a Shusui taking off and attacking a B-29 formation.

Image credits: Model photos © 2011 Andreas; Museum photo unknown internet; Book cover ©2005 Dai Nippon Kaiga


SC said...


Where is this Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Museum in Nagoya located? Any website/links?



Andy said...

in or near the Nagoya plants I assume. I have found no contact but have read that it seems to be a non-public museum, for employees and insiders only. Too bad.
maybe contactin the head office of Mistubishi may help (but I assume you will have to be able to converse in japanese for that request).

Ken Glass said...

Good looking build, Andreas.

Ken Glass

Unknown said...

I've heard that this restoration is based on the JAAF prototype and besides the color difference it also has an armored glass screen and was intended to have 2 cannon in the production version whereas the JNAF model was to have only one.