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The Lightning that flashed too late

Hello, guys!

The IJN experimental fighter Shin-den (literally, “Magnificent Lightning”) made its maiden flight on August 3, 1945, about 10 days before Japan surrendered to the Allied Forces in WW2. Although this aircraft of the unusual style was designed to intercept the American bomber B-29, its performance was never tested or proved in combat, and only two machines were built before the end of War. As many of you see, it looks like the American XP-55 Ascender, but the swept wing with double stabilizers rather reminds me of F7U Cutlass of the later epoch.

I bought this old Hasegawa kit without knowing it had raised panel lines; I had to rescribe them, which was not a very happy work at least for me. Otherwise, it was built almost out of the box, except for some added details including the pitot tube, transparent tail lights on the vertical stabilizers, etc. Because this particular aircraft was a prototype, it had no armaments on the nose (30mm x 4, expedted). My finish may make her look like a brand-new machine. This is not only because I am not good at weathering, but because the kit represents the factory-fresh machine at the time of test flight… 🙂

Thank you for watching!

11 additional images. Click to enlarge.


9 responses to The Lightning that flashed too late

  1. Excellent job Shun. What a fantastic looking machine.
    All the best!

  2. Great work! A not to often seen build.

    • Thank you Robert.
      This bird may be little known outside Japan. However, it is very popular in her homeland because of its sci-fi like design: as you possibly know, we have even a 32nd kit from Zoukeimura.

  3. Nicely done. You mentioned a similarity to the Cutlass. The way the main landing gear is canted forward makes me wonder if they pivot to two different positions the way the Cutlass did. (The F7U-1 anyway, not sure if this capability was carried over to the -3. I know someone who would know though!) The forward position (a similar position as the Shin-den) was for takeoff, (made the rear squat down, raising the nose) the rear position for landing and ground handling. (Moved the mains further aft of CG so it would be less likely to tip back on its tail.) I’ve always wanted to build a Shin-den, but I have yet to buy a kit. May have to remedy that!

  4. Thank you Josh for the interesting comment. I did not know that the nose gear of F7U-1 had two different positions between take-off and landing. Incidentally, at the first flight of Shin-den, the propeller tips hit the ground when taking-off, so she was attached with small wheels at the bottom of the vertical fins in the subsequent tests. You can see a movie of the test flights of her on Youtube. though quite poor in quality,

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