The Jack- Hasegawa 1/48 J2M3 Raiden
The Mitsubishi J2M Raiden (Jack) was a radical departure from conventional Japanese fighter design. It’s wide, barrel-like fuselage design stemmed from the layout of its Kasei engine, and was used primarily for home defense. As an interceptor, its performance never quite measured up to that of the Kawanishi N1K1-J and 2-J designs, but served bravely until the war’s end.
Hasegawa has done several iterations of this kit, this one being the J2M3, which was the most widely-used of the J2M series. For years, Tamiya’s 70s-vintage 1/48 Raiden was the standard of the industry until Hasegawa released this kit in 1996.
The J2M3 was flown by the flamboyant IJN pilot Sadaaki Akamatsu, who was somewhat of a rabble-rouser in his day. Quite the drinker and womanizer, it has been legend that at least once Akamatsu flew in a kimono after suddenly hearing an air raid siren while in a geisha house!
3 additional images. Click to enlarge.