Francesco Borraccino has kindly shared these images of his masterful build of the Hasegawa 1/48 scale Mitsubishi J2M3 Raiden Type 21 kit which he completed painting recently after it had languished, almost built but unpainted, for nearly ten years. Raiden was designated 海軍 局地 戦闘機 which is usually translated as 'Navy Interceptor Fighter (Aircraft)' but 局地 (kyokuchi) literally means limited or local area. Raiden 雷電 is 'Thunder and Lightning' usually translated as 'Thunderbolt'. Some aircraft seem to look better on the ground than in the air - and vice versa. The Spitfire is an example of the latter, with that knock kneed, narrow gauge undercarriage detracting from the aerodynamic excellence of its lines. But the Raiden is of the former with its powerful 'just about to leap' appearance captured perfectly in Francesco's presentation of an aircraft he describes as a 'true beast'.
Francesco applied AK Real Colors D1 Deep Green Black to the upper surface and on the under surface a mix of Gunze H-61 and khaki to represent aircraft ケ(Ke)-1105 of the Genzan Ku in Spring, 1945, one of four Raiden subjects offered in the 2009 'Genzan Flying Group' edition of the kit. The others being stable mate ケ-1103 of Genzan Ku, タイ(Tai)-101 of Tainan Ku in August 1944 and ヤ (Ya)-1195 of Yatabe Ku in December 1944.
With special thanks to Francesco for sharing these images of his fine looking Raiden model and also to Keishiro Nagao of Lifelike Decals for kindly explaining the aircraft designation in correspondence during 2015.
Image credit: All © 2019 Francesco Borracino