Saturday 16 March 2024

Marabu Design 1/72 G4M1 Interior Details

I'm not a great fan of photo-etch. This is not a reflection on the photo-etch, originating in model railway circles (?) and now offering exceptional scale details for model aircraft, but on my own inability to master it to a degree of comfort and confidence. Marabu Design is a Czech Republic based company that was unfamiliar to me until their photo-etch detail set M72055 for the 1/72 scale Sword Mitsubishi G4M1 'Betty' came to my attention. That kit itself had impressed but the Marabu Design photo-etch set for it is superlative and has tempted me to give it another go. The last time I had attempted to detail a G4M1 interior was with the 1969 vintage Hasegawa kit using plastic card, wet & dry and an engraving tool many moons ago and long before photo-etch was even a thing. Now I'll need the 20 x lenses and the tweezer extensions for each finger.

These images from Marabu Design show the prototype set as installed in the Sword G4M1. The sheet is beautifully sharply etched on metal that would itself make an excellent finish for the anodised aluminium of the A5M, a very subtle gold tinted silver (please someone make a 'Bare Metal' type foil with this finish!). And the level of detail in the parts offered is astonishing.

The instructions which come with this set are very comprehensive, covering no less than 24 stages of construction and the whole presentation is to an exceptionally consistent care and quality, not always the case with photo-etch sets. The 'Betty' set includes film sheets for the instrument panel with differences specific to different aircraft variants.

This image doesn't do justice to the gilded silver 'A5M' finish of the sheets

Marabu Design offer other equally impressive sets for Japanese subjects which will be fully covered in a further blog. The sets can be purchased direct from Marabu in addition to being stocked by mail order houses such as Hannants in UK and Hobby Search in Japan.

With special thanks to Radek of Marabu Design for providing these images of the photo-etch set and for permission to show them here.

Image credit: All © 2024 Marabu Design


Mark Smith said...

I have seen several of these - uniformly excellent. The ones I have are for the the AZ Judy and the Airfix Kate, and in both cases they make fine kits even better.

Baronvonrob said...

This should motivate anyone with a G4M1 in their stash (me included) to purchase this excellent upgrade set for Marabu

Thanks, Nick

Sergio L. de H. Teixeira said...

I think I'll purchase this set. However, the absence of details for the dorsal blister is unfortunate...:(

Straggler 脱走兵 said...

The only interior photo of the dorsal position that I know of is on page 47 of FAOW 59 Type 1 Attack Bomber (July 1996). Not sure if that provides enough detail to replicate accurately in photo-etch. Only the later dorsal turret is detailed in the Gakken book (No.42 July 2004) and the cutaway is not clear as to details. The old Maru Mechanic edition on the type has details of how the dorsal blister opens but not of the gun mounting itself. The mounting seems simple enough, with a pivoting column attached to a PFC section (?) traversing rail. The Sword kit has a circular section traversing rail moulded integrally to the bulkhead, kit part # 12.

Sergio L. de H. Teixeira said...

Thanks for your reply, Nick. Indeed there are very few info/images regarding the dorsal blister...I own all the mentioned books and took a look at the images. IMHO I think they could have made something with the little available, even concede themselves some "artistic licence" to detail and fill that void area. I see some scratch built will be needed.

WD said...

Thanks for making me aware of this set Nick, beautiful stuff. Like you, I struggle with it.