Mitsubishi G4M1 “Betty” – Tamiya 1/48
Here is my Tamiya Mitsubishi G4M1 “Betty”. This was a fairly long project, partly documented in the Empire of Japan Group Build (so I will keep description here to a minimum). It is finished in Tamiya XF-11 JN Green, XF-64 Red Brown and XF-12 JN Grey and kit decals to represent an aircraft of the Misawa Kokutai, Saipan in the Mariana Islands, July, 1942. I went for a very weathered look to the paint but not as much chipping as is usually done on the Betty by other modelers. I used pre-shading, post shading with Tamiya Smoke and an oil wash for a layered approach to fading and varied wear to panels. Using a variety of close up and overall photos of this aircraft found on the Internet, I decided to simulate paint loss around the engines and in parts of the wings and fuselage subjected to prop wash. I used a silver pencil and Rub n Buff to gradually build up chipping from small dots. I actually overdid it in places at first but carefully removed some of my work without scraping any paint off. I’m quite happy with the final result.
I detailed the cockpit with all seats completely rebuilt with sheet styrene and seat covers built up with styrene, paper and Tamiya tape, and Eduard seat belts. I used a fairly simple Eduard set for the instrument panel, and one radio panel. I also scratch built two more R/T sets in the radio operator/navigator’s position. Addendum: I actually spent a long time on the cockpit and realized that I hadn’t included detail shots of how it came off in the end. i just added a few extra pics to show the radios and the neat little Japanese navigation maps I added on the navigator’s table. They are printed by a company called Duplicata and I strongly recommend them. With regards to the radio trapeze, distortion from the clear plastic makes some of the bracing look bent. although it is all quite straight!
Overall, the fit is not great for some components of this older Tamiya kit. I had to do some careful fitting and filling around the main canopy and other clear parts, among other challenges. I am kind of glad it is done. I hope you like the results.
33 additional images. Click to enlarge.