Jumping into what is one of the largest GB around and already with several models completed, I ended up deciding to drop my initial idea for a model, Hasegawa A6M2, and opt to go ahead with one of the last Japanese designs in WW2, the Aichi Seiran, a plane that bores several singularities on its own.
The Seiran was designed to be launched from submarines and having floats meant that they could perform their mission and be reloaded and stored back inside the huge hangars the I-400 class submarines displayed. In fact these subs were the biggest submarines carriers of WW2.
To fit inside the big tubular hangars of the I-400 the Seiran had detachable wings, folding mechanism for the top of tail section and removable floaters. The ground crew could assemble the entire airframe in just 4 minutes apparently.
Their first mission was originally to bomb the western coast of the USA, but the strategic bombing of the Panama Canal was in fact the mission destination. In the end, considering Japan’s dire situation in the final months of the war, the submarine flotilla was diverted to yet another target, the Ulithi Atoll, where the allied invasion fleet was gathering. Armistice came before the submarines arrived there, so the Seiran never got its battle debut.
I have this kit since it came to the market, back in 1997 according to Scalemates, and somewhere in the last 23 years I painted the insides with Aeromaster Mitsubishi green
and assembled the floats and wing structure.
Besides doing a better job hiding those big holes inside the the cockpit walls
, all the improvement I plan to do is adding seat belts and some scratch refinements. I also started adding some riveting
, using solely the box illustration for it. The idea is not to do a perfect replica of the riveting, merely a suggestion of them as a feature. Here are a couple of photos of its cockpit
too bad the kit only offers a fully closed canopy