Courtesy of Daniel Cox and his superlative photographic skills here is a comprehensive selection of sprue shots from the new Hasegawa 1/32nd scale Kawanishi N1K2-J Shidenkai kit that should whet the appetite of anyone considering investing in it. Daniel has also very kindly provided his first impressions of the kit.
"Upon opening the box (which is a little longer and taller though not as deep as the Tamiya Spitfire and Zero kit boxes), I was met with what has become a typical Hasegawa plastic kit. In other words a nice modern kit in grey plastic with no flash to speak of except upon the cowl and even that is insignificant. As usual different sprues are bagged together resulting in the usual minor scratches upon some parts, fortunately Hasegawa bags the transparent parts separately.
The parts count according to the side of the box is 148 pieces (I’m not going to check that one) I presume this includes the poly caps as well, of these four parts aren’t required. The box also states the wing span is 375 mm with the model length being 292 mm.
The kit has fairly restrained detailing upon exterior surfaces with plenty of recessed panel lines and limited fastener and rivet detail. The detail isn’t as delicate as that seen on the Tamiya 1/32nd scale F4U-1 and Zero series, that said it is quite nice and should look great beneath a coat of paint. The instructions are typical and perfectly adequate for the task being at the better end for manufacturers instructions.
Of note with the colour call outs is three options for arriving at the top side colour, the first recommendation is to use Gunze Mr. Hobby Lacquer C15 IJN Green (Nakajima) (Acrylic H36 Dark Green). The second is to use 90% Lacquer C124 Dark Green Mitsubishi (No acrylic option) with 10% Lacquer C65 Bright Blue (Acrylic H15), with the third being Lacquer C383 Dark Green Kawanishi.
It is also worth noting that the access panels on the empennage beneath the tail planes parts E1 and E2 appear to be a little too long. That said I am looking at pictures of N1K2-Ja aircraft so the panels may indeed be correct, if they’re not it is easy to fix by scribing a new panel line and making new fastener points. The rib tapes as represented on both elevators, ailerons and rudder are a little too prominent and are not faithful to the real thing, although it’s not that bad. Unsurprisingly some of the drain pipes beneath the aircraft are omitted something that is readily fixed and of no concern. As a nice touch the flaps can be positioned up or down while the lower aircrew steps are provided the recesses are not although the area is represented as closed. No fuselage handholds or steps are provided.
The front cowl ring of the cowling piece T1 appears as if it might be subtly too shallow in terms of panel line placement. The cowl flaps are offered only as closed in this kit while the inside of the cowls have no internal details present. The rendering of the Nakajima Homare 21 engine and it’s accessories are quite nice even without plumbing and should look terrific inside the kits cowling when finished.
The cockpit is nice out of the box with the rear of the cockpit being particularly impressive, the seat is adequate and represents the lightening holes albeit shallowly while the seat sides are too thick yet should look fine especially with that pilot placed upon his throne. The undercarriage and their bays aren’t bad either excempting some subtle ejection pin marks and the limitations of injected plastics ability to represent springs. The wings are also detailed nicely especially around the gun bays. Another notable touch is the inclusion of a window piece represented by part R16 for the fuselage spine behind the antenna mast.
The kit offers two types of gun sights and mounts through part S2 which is not used and represents a Type 4 Gun/Bomb Sight Model 1 1944 (pictured). While part S18 which is for use in this kit, represents a Type 98 Gun Sight Model 1. The pilot figure represents well a Japanese Navy aviator wearing winter flying clothing which includes a Type 2 fur-lined flight helmet, or alternatively (spare head) the Type 3 hard earphone flight helmet. The flight suit appears to be a Type O Model 1 item while the parachute and harness appears to be the Type 0 Model 1 fighter pilot parachute with harness (back type).
Considering the presence of the Type 4 Gun/Bomb Sight Model 1, and the inclusion of separate underwing panel inserts which would allow later kitting of bomb racks. Plus the engineering of a separate tail assembly, it is likely that Hasegawa will also release a kit the N1K2-Ja Shiden Model 21 Ko at some point in the future.
On first inspection the decals appear to be comprehensive and offer two aircraft options from the 343rd Kokutai, the first being 343-15 ( (Lieutenant Naoshi Kanno), 301st Hikotai and the second 343-03 (Warrant Officer Kouji Ohara) from the 407th Hikotai. In addition to a range of aircraft stencils a nice selection of aircrew rank and identification insignias are also provided.
Overall I am happy with this kit and am looking forward to building it very soon and hope that it will be a nice counterpoint to my Tamiya A6M5 kit in the same scale."
With special thanks to Daniel for sharing these images and his in-box review of the kit.
Image credits: All © 2013 Daniel Cox at Studiocox