Kawanishi N1K1-JB Shiden (George) Type II Otsu "Genzan Flying Group"

Published: October 11th, 2015     
Product Image
Boxtop
Reviewed by: Tim Hortman - IPMS# 19789
Scale: 1/48
Company: Hasegawa
Price: $43.00
Product / Stock #: 07378
Product provided by: Hobbico

Hasegawa continues to add to their excellent WWII Japanese line with a re-boxing of the Mid-Wing "George". This limited edition kit (#07378) of the Kawanishi N1K1-Jb Shiden Type 11 Otsu "GENZAN Flying Group" is only the second boxing of the George which allows the builder to do the later variant (Jb) of the aircraft with twin cannons housed in each wing. Earlier Ja versions had the second cannon housed in an underwing tub slung under each wing.

The Shiden started out life as the Kyofu. Kawanishi built a very successful float plane fighter - the N1K Kyofu "Rex". Designers developed this aircraft into a highly successful land based fighter by removing the floats and adding landing gear. This design became the Shiden N1K1-J (with the "J" meaning a land version of the floatplane). Because the design was taken from the original float plane, where propeller clearance was needed above the water; the early aircraft had their wings mid-fuselage (mid-wing) and carried the N1K1-J designation. Because this was not necessary on the land-based aircraft, later aircraft had the wings moved lower on the fuselage and carry the N1K2-J designation.

This kit contains the proper upper wing parts, and cowl to make the correct version of the aircraft with both cannon being mounted in the wings (Sprue B). This boxing also contains the not-used Sprue F with the squared off horizontal stabilizers used on the earlier Ja aircraft. You also get two Sprue L which are the optional 60kg bombs and the Otsu 20mm cannon barrels.

Assembly starts in the cockpit, as most aircraft kits do these days. I was surprised that there were a few of the parts which had some minor flash & needed cleanup. However, it's certainly not anything that can't be taken care of with a sharp hobby knife and a little sandpaper. Detail is good, and assembly is pretty straightforward.

Construction then moves to the standard formula of: fuselage, wings, engine/cowling, and then landing gear. All went together quite well and I used only the slightest amount of filler on one spot where the lower fuselage meets the lower wing, and several small spots along the outer fuselage where there were alignment marks on the inner surface.

The kit comes with the option for two 60kg bombs, but I chose not to add those to this kit.

For me, by far, the worst fitting parts of the entire kit were parts L1 and L2. These are the cannon parts that attach to each wing. Hasegawa molded the two cannon hubs into each upper wing half and parts L1 & L2 are the bottom half of that hub, along with the cannon itself. Simply put - they just wouldn't line up without some surgery and putty. Again, this is a very minor thing, and one that won't be an issue at all if the builder uses an after-market armament set.

Markings are included for two aircraft:

  • GENZAN Naval Flying Group, Korie Genzan AB, April 1945
  • YATABE Naval Flying Group, Yatabe AB February 1945

Painting callouts say that the Genzan undersurface is painted in the Mitsubishi Grey/Green color. My references mostly disagree that any of these late war Shiden's were painted at all on the lower surfaces - most are believed to be natural metal.

I primed the assembled kit with Tamiya TS-14 Black (spray can) and then put Alclad II White Aluminum on all of the lower surfaces. Upper surfaces were painted in Tamiya's XF-70 Dark Green. Prop is Tamiya XF-9 Hull Red, and the drop tank is Polly Scale's Concrete (from their Railroad line)

No decals are included for the yellow IFF wing stripes, so they need to be painted on. I find this is generally easier if they are painted and masked before any of the other colors are applied, but for this kit I painted everything first, then went back and masked and painted the yellow.

Decals went on well and settled down with some Solvaset. Some minor weathering and the kit was done. It was a joy to build, and I can highly recommend this to anyone interested in WWII Pacific Theater aircraft. Pick one of these up and you won't be disappointed.

Thank you to Hasegawa for continuing to add to their WWII Japanese Aircraft line and special thanks also to Hobbico for the review sample.

  • Cockpit
    Cockpit
  • Finished 1
    Finished 1
  • Finished 2
    Finished 2
  • Finished 3
    Finished 3
  • Finished lower surface
    Finished lower surface
  • Topside prior to paint
    Topside prior to paint
  • Undersurface prior to paint
    Undersurface prior to paint

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