The excellent 1/48 scale Japanese aircraft models of David Walker have graced the Aviation of Japan blog before, with his superb Kawanishi N1K2-J Shiden-kai showcased in November 2009 and his fine Nakajima Ki-84 Hayate 'Frank' featured in September 2017. Both models give the appearance of being to a larger scale and his Raiden model, showcased here, is no exception.
David's model was built from the 1/48 scale Hasegawa Mitsubishi J2M3 kit, # 09667, first released in 1996. David observes that this kit is similar to many Japanese WW2 kits made by Hasegawa, generally presenting excellent surface detail, a good tight fit and clear and easy assembly. The photos of the model were taken by David's friend Kevin McCue of Galashiels. David described his build as follows:-
"This model has the AeroMaster Empire Defenders Part 4 aftermarket decals for The 332nd Naval Air Group based at the Naruo Air base in Japan, 1945. I also fitted the extremely rare (and out of production) Moskit exhausts, Air Master 20mm cannon barrels, together with three photo-etched detail sets - Eduard FE117 and 48-201 which are designed for the Raiden (both sets provide important items that the other does not!) with one from the N1K2-J for added handles and switches not contained in those sets, and a Squadron vac form canopy, plus a Fukuya Pitot Tube. I also used the ring and bead sight from the N1K2-J etch set fitted to the Hasegawa gun sight part N4 – the existence of this gun sight is not mentioned by the Eduard etch sets!
"As I had obtained a large number of detailed Raiden cockpit photos and drawings from Japanese aviation magazines from a j-aircraft forum expert I was able to use those to add a scratch-built radio set and fine brass wiring on the shelf behind the pilots seat so the model was as accurate as I could make it.
"The model was fitted with the alternative high-performance propeller and I used modelling putty to represent the leather head rest which is not provided in the Hasegawa kit. All these additions made a huge difference to the look of the Raiden model and overall I am delighted with it as completed."
And so David should be with such a beautifully presented and imposing model! With very special thanks to David for sharing these images and for his patience in waiting for them to be posted!
Image credit: All © 2020 David Walker and Kevin McCue