N1K2-J Shiden Kai (George) – Hasegawa 1/32
Here is my big 32nd scale Hasegawa N1K2-J Shiden Kai. It is painted and weathered to represent the aircraft of Squadron Leader Lt. Naoshi Kanno operating out of Matsuyama Airbase, Japan, April, 1945. Kanno had ground crew hand paint the large yellow stripes on his aircraft to catch the attention of the enemy. Apparently, he hoped to be singled out for attack so he could shoot down more aircraft in one-on-one air duels. It has taken me several months to finish this model and is the third of my lock-down projects to reach the finish line. It is quite difficult to photograph but I hope it looks OK. Getting the green tones right and showing the rivet detail visible to the naked eye is tricky. The weather is quite snowy and dull these days and I’ve had to use maximum artificial light. Come summer time I may take some additional shots. You may notice that I have photographed the model with the canopy in both the open and closed position. It is easy to reposition it for now and I really like the look of the Shiden Kai buttoned up. I will fix the canopy open before I enter it in any contests.
The complete build of the model is viewable in the Empire of Japan Group Build, if you are interested. Here is a verbal summary of what I did with the kit:
As mentioned, the model is completely riveted top and bottom with the Rosie the Riveter tool.
I detailed the cockpit from scratch and used the kit instrument panel decals instead of Eduard etch. -seat belts are a mix of Eduard IJN color etch and paper/ masking tape along with spares box etch for the shoulder harness.
Engine has scratch-built ignition harness.
National markings (hinomarus) and yellow stripes are painted on the upper wings and fuselage. Numbers and lower wing hinos are decals. The metal coat was too delicate to airbrush under wing markings.
Maneuvering flaps were modified to fit properly in with less of a gap/open space between the wing and flap. This was judged by period and museum example photos. Flaps are not quite fully deployed.
Wing cannons are brass aftermarket from Master Barrels.
Natural Metal under surfaces are Vallejo Acrylic Metal Coat (very nice paints but a bit fragile for handling – at least for 48 hrs or so).
Upper surfaces are Tamiya IJN Green, weathered with a mottled pre-shade and an oil wash over the green and Tamiya Clear Gloss to accentuate panel lines.
Semi-Matt coat done with a mix of Model Master Acryl Flat and Gloss.
Paint chipping was done with the salt method with additional chips added with silver marker and pencil. I didn’t want to overdo it as Kanno’s plane was mainly weathered at the wing root with much of the other paint intact. I don’t like excessive paint loss on my Japanese aircraft subjects.
That’s it. I hope you like it. Comments welcome.
P.S. I just added 4 more pics with deeper color plus two cockpit shots. I had the benefit today of more direct sunlight to try additional photography with the iPad. Not to overload you with pics, I deleted some others in the posting that were blurry or washed out.
43 additional images. Click to enlarge.