Kyūshū J7W1 Shinden (震電, ”Magnificent Lightning”), No. 1 Aircraft, Aug. 1945, Hasegawa, 1/48

  • 39 posts
  • Last reply 20 hours, 22 minutes ago
  • 1/48, Empire of Japan, Hasegawa, Kyushu J7W1, Shinden
Viewing 1 - 15 of 39 posts
  • Spiros Pendedekas said 3 weeks, 1 day ago:

    Hi everyone!

    Now that my Jake is almost finished, here is my new entry to this amazing EoJ GB.

    The Kyūshū J7W1 Shinden (震電, “Magnificent Lightning”) fighter was a World War II Japanese propeller-driven aircraft prototype with wings at the rear of the fuselage, a nose-mounted canard, and pusher engine.

    Developed by the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) as a short-range, land-based interceptor, the J7W was a response to Boeing B-29 Superfortress raids on the Japanese home islands. For interception missions, the J7W was to be armed with four forward-firing 30 mm cannons in the nose.

    The Shinden was expected to be a highly maneuverable interceptor, but only two prototypes were finished before the end of war. A jet engine–powered version was considered, but never even reached the drawing board.

    The two prototypes were the only examples of the Shinden ever completed. After the end of the war, one was scrapped; the other was claimed by a U.S. Navy Technical Air Intelligence Unit in late 1945, dismantled, and shipped to the United States. (Some sources claim that the USN took the first built while others state that it was the second.)

    The sole surviving J7W1 was reassembled, but has never been flown in the United States; the USN transferred it to the Smithsonian Institution in 1960. Its forward fuselage is currently on display at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center annex (at Dulles Airport) of the National Air and Space Museum in Washington DC. According to the NASM, ‘miscellaneous parts’ are stored at Building 7C at the older storage/annex facility, the Garber Facility in Suitland, Maryland.

    I bought this kit 15 years ago. There was a pricedrop at the Japanese kits at those times, so I bought my kit for 16 euros only.
    There’s a nice boxart by the Master Koike Shigeo.
    The kit has raised panel lines (no problem for me), the plastic is the usual Hasegawa well molded.
    Decals look great too.
    Instructions are typical hasegawa, ie excellent.
    All in all it looks a nice kit of an unusual and gorgeous looking plane.
    All the best, great EoJ GB!

  • Louis Gardner said 3 weeks, 1 day ago:

    Hello Spiros, @fiveten
    You have picked out yet another magnificent plane for the group. Thank you VERY much for the continued support. Count me in as watching this one !!! I can tell right away this build journal is going to be a good one.

    You might want to resupply the ice cream bars for the QC team, to keep them happy. They have done a wonderful job with keeping your “Jake” on a straight course. You should be very proud of them and the model.

  • Spiros Pendedekas said 3 weeks, 1 day ago:

    Thanks Louis @lgardner! Indeed the QC team is supportive, myself just making sure the ice cream supply is constant.
    The younger QC member is obsessed with the puttied/sanded “Korean” Dakota, flying her around, full time: I cannot take her to work at her (lol)!
    Thanks a lot, my friend, for the welcoming of the Shinden. Your watching and supportive commenting, along with the other members “presence” too, is the key motivation factor for me to do the hobby I love and share it with you.

  • Erik Gjørup said 3 weeks ago:

    I shall be tuned in here to keep an eye on progress along with the QC, så it better be good my friend 🙂

    Looking forward to the journey!

  • Spiros Pendedekas said 3 weeks ago:

    Thanks my friend @airbum!
    as for QC:

    I have QC/1 “Passed” evaluation result.
    And some progress:

    Assembled the cockpit (which is nice OOB, but cannot stand a comparison with Resin-PE beauties), painted interior green.
    I left out the seat (which I drilled to liven it up), stick, instrument panel, fire extinguisher, the four oxygen (I think….)bottles and the trimming wheel.
    Closed the fuselage halves, trapping the cockpit tub and the NLG bay, which is nicely detailed.
    I then deviated from the instructions and attached the underwing to the underfuselage; then I attached the two wing halves in such a way that there would be minimal or no gaps at the wing/fuselage spot (ie the wing root). Learned this “trick” from Louis @lgardner and its great.
    The only drawback (at the Hasegawa Shinden) is that the upper/lower wings are not split at the edges towards the outer end part, so a seam exists, but it can be dealt easily….(I know my explanation is a bit on the dark side, so here’s the pic – to substitute a thousand words -):

    I put sufficient weight at the front, secured it with my sons’ modelling clay and fitted the top front part, that contains the canards as well.
    I then glued the prop axle to the engine face, and glued the assembly at the back.
    The air intakes followed, quite intricate I would say. Fit was ok.
    I also glued the propeller to the hub, which are very nicely molded.
    The vertical stabilizers will be glued as late as possible, since they contain those lovely looking but fragile protective mini wheels.
    So far, I would say that this kit (which first appeared in 1981- mine is a 1998 reissue), letting apart raised panel lines, which were normal for those times, is an amazing piece of engineering, a joy to put together, justifying the name Tamigawa that was -and still is- spreading among the modelling world.
    P.S. Soon after this, QC/2 arived……

    ……and decided not to give clearance before conducting some preliminary test flights, so the Shinden is temporarily confiscated, no lead time quoted for returning to the building facilities….I hope it will be less than a couple of hours……
    At least the Dakota is free now!!! I can do some work on her!
    All the best Great EoJ GB!

  • George Henderson said 3 weeks ago:

    Good stuff Spiros. Looking forward to the rest of the build

  • Spiros Pendedekas said 3 weeks ago:

    Thanks @blackadder57!

  • Louis Gardner said 3 weeks ago:

    Spiros, @fiveten
    This has to be your best post ever……………. You have been very busy with the assembly of your Shinden. It’s amazing at how fast it has gone together. I like gluing the upper wing halves to the fuselage when ever it’s possible. This eliminates a lot of filling and sanding most of the time. I’m getting ready to do this with my 1/32 Hasegawa Ki-44 very soon, so I will post how it looks once completed.

    Please let us know how the maiden test flight went…………. We know it passed the first QC inspection, but what about the second ??? We also need to know what his recommendations are, as far as the in flight trim and power settings.

  • Spiros Pendedekas said 3 weeks ago:

    Thanks Louis @lgardner!
    There’s hope for the preliminary evaluation flights to finish soon!
    Wiil let you know about timetable and corrective actions necessary!

  • Spiros Pendedekas said 2 weeks, 6 days ago:

    With evaluation flights temporarily suspended, I did some work to the shinden:

    Did the first stage coarse sanding. Then I installed the vertical fins with the tiny fragile wheels.
    I hope to be able not to break them (….for a change….).
    Some gaps emerged at the fin-wing area, initially treated with liquified styrene.
    What a beautiful shape, that of the Shinden!

  • Erik Gjørup said 2 weeks, 5 days ago:

    Looking great – be sure to tell QC to make the tests carefully!

  • Spiros Pendedekas said 2 weeks, 4 days ago:

    Thanks my friend @airbum. I bravely cut away the two fin protection wheels and the two canard mass balances, to install them during final assembly. I feel a bit ambarassed to enter the never ending break-glue-rebreak loop….

  • Spiros Pendedekas said 1 week, 6 days ago:

    A few days passed with filling and sanding loops AND mainly with my main attention to the Vautour.

    So, after the final sandind was done, my “Magnificent Lightning” visited the paint shop and “had her underside painted” grey (a bit of an akward sounding for a lady, but that’s what happened….).

    The uniformity of the paint, I believe, enhances more the truly magnificent lines of the Shinden, even from the underside….
    All the best, Great EoJ GB!

  • Jeff Bailey said 1 week, 6 days ago:

    A great build as well as a very interesting narrative! Well done so far, Spiros.

  • Louis Gardner said 1 week, 6 days ago:

    Spiros, @fiveten
    Your “Lady” is looking VERY good in her new gray………….. It also looks like your QC team is still keeping their unusually high standards………. and that’s an unbeatable combination.

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