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Chuck A. Villanueva
121 articles

1/48th Tamiya Kawanishi Shiden N1K1 “George” PTO WWII

July 4, 2016 · in Aviation · · 16 · 2.3K

An excellent fighter in the hands of a skilled pilot. A design that has it's origin from the Kyofu seaplane. Kawanishi saw the potential in it's performance on paper and with that and without the authorization of the Navy decided to build a prototype of the land version. Called the (Violet Lightning), a mid wing design which was the only flaw was its complicated landing gear. It proved to be an excellent fighter, fast, reliable and maneuverable. It could face the Hellcats and Corsairs in service with the US Navy and Marines when in the correct hands of an experienced pilot which were few as the Shiden went into service. Scary thought if these aircraft were in service with the Zero. Not as fragile as the Mitsubishi's. As fate would have it not enough pilots with experience to fly them. A future build down the road is the improved N1K2 Shiden Kai, with the wings lowered and improved performance and handling. But only about 400 of that variant built.

The kit once again is excellent, not a lot of parts but yet enough to provide and excellent detailed 1/48th Shiden. Don't see many of these. But like a team that is 15-0 and facing a team that only has one 1 game in the season, you still have to show up and play. The Shiden goes together like a typical Tamiya kit in this series. It doesn't build itself however, too many say shake and bake, well living in California I can relate to that in 5.0 or better earthquake. I still need my skill and technique to build it. And yeah there are times I will say ooops! In this case no ooops, Once the Eduards interior zoom detail set is installed, it goes together quite rapidly. Just care around the wing to fuselage join is about the only area I had to work otherwise it was uneventful. The cockpit was painted Aeromaster WarBird Color Nakajima Green, a color recommended by TC for the interior while doing the research. I happened to have some left over. Again using Aeromaster for the IJA Grey for the undersurfaces and IJN Green for the upper surfaces, using this color as it gave a bluish hue to the Green which looked closed to Kawanishi Green, at least to me though it may not be accurate. The decal set was difficult to find and was able to finally locate a set on Ebay. The kit was complete late in March less the decals, I just got them recently in May. Aeromaster set 48-326 Kawanishi Shiden Collection. Weathering I didn't go hog wild on the sheets of paint stripping off the air frame like I did with the Raiden. Though applying Model Master Aluminum over the fuselage and wings then the Green. Using tape to peel off some the Green it looks the part. Not too much, silver pencil was also used for various chipping around the air frame. Preshading and thinner wash rounds out the weathering. Hope you enjoy the George, a 2016 project that is completed, Tamiya kit #61038. Happy 4th of July Happy birthday America, May God continue to bless the United States. Thanks for viewing.


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20 additional images. Click to enlarge.

16 responses

  1. Can't do too bad with anything with the Tamiya name on it, Chuck...nice build. But that PSP in the last pic is WAAAY outta scale! LOL 🙂

  2. Tamiya. Hasegawa, Revell or Otaki, you still gotta glue and paint it. And I should've put something under the Zero and George before the image was taken

  3. Chuck, nice looking Shiden. Glad you didn't put large patches of bare metal all over it. I suspect that came from photos taken postwar, after the vanquished airplanes had sat a while.

  4. Meant to ask, whose Zero 21 kit?

  5. Thanks Bernard, there are some images of the George that are pretty weathered. It is really difficult to really replicate in such a way that it can be overdone. So I took the not very long in theatre route with the chipping and weathering. The Zero is also Tamiya, Something I built back in the mid 90's.

  6. Beautiful work Chuck!

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    P.k said on July 5, 2016

    Nice build!

  8. Nice work, Chuck!

  9. Another nice posting from you, Chuck, I like the model, the write-up and the history.

  10. Thanks George, unlike the Luftwaffe and of the Allied forces, Japanese aircraft are still lacking despite the advancement of information that has come to light. Which really is the fun part is digging up some history on these amazing aircraft the Japanese used in WWII.

  11. Excellent job.

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