Hasegawa 1/48 Kawanishi N1K1-Ja Shiden

Discussion in 'Start to Finish Builds' started by JKim, Sep 28, 2016.

  1. JKim

    JKim Well-Known Member

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    With my participation in the current Group Builds slowing down due to some non-WW2 themes, I picked up this kit to work on in the meantime. The Shiden is an interesting aircraft as a fighter being developed from a floatplane. It's a big, beefy aircraft and reminds me of a Japanese version of the P-47 Thunderbolt. I've always liked the lines of this aircraft, especially the earlier mid-wing version and I'm looking forward to seeing how this Hasegawa kit goes together.

    The reviews of the kit that I've read online are largely positive but there was mention that the details in the cockpit and the wheel wells were lacking. This is surprising given my experience with other 1/48 Japanese aircraft by Hasegawa that I have built (Ki-84 and Ki-45) which featured excellent details in the cockpit. Not wanting to invest in resin, but needing at least some seat harnesses, I picked up this older photoetch set from Eduard designed for the Tamiya kit.
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    I'm looking to pull a few bits from this set like the harnesses, the instrument panel and maybe the seat, and hope that they fit the Hasegawa kit. Unlike the newer pre-painted PE sets from Eduard, this one is unpainted and features the old-style instrument gauges printed on clear acetate.
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    I also picked up a set of Eduard masks to help mask the canopy frames.
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    As far as the color scheme and markings are concerned, there isn't much choice when it comes to the N1K1. Most references call for IJN (or Kawanishi) Dark Green over a natural metal underside. I am planning to mask the hinomarus and use the kit decals for the rest of the markings.
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    The kit gives marking options for three different aircraft which look essentially the same except the slight differences in the hinomaru outlines and unique tail codes. No nose art, kill markings or tail flashes on these birds.
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    Moving on to the actual plastic, the canopy is provided in three pieces to allow the canopy to be shown in the open position if desired. The clarity is good and they seem to be of reasonable thickness.
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    Two different styles of gunsight are provided on the clear sprue.
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    Nothing out of the ordinary on the main fuselage pieces. With its mid-wing configuration, one modeling option would be to have the wing pieces plug into the sides of the fuselage but Hasegawa chose to stay with the standard method of incorporating the fuselage bottom onto the bottom of the wings.
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    The engine is one-piece plug. Given the limited view into the engine cowling due to the spinner, this should provide an adequate representation of the Nakajima Homare engine.
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    The engine exhausts are very delicate looking and it will be a challenge to hollow out the tiny, non-circular ends.
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    There is some sidewall detail molded into the interior of the fuselage sides. Pretty sparse but I don't have anything to compare it to. There is limited documentation on the interior of the N1K1 and there are no surviving examples of this aircraft.
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  2. JKim

    JKim Well-Known Member

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    As previously stated, the undersides of the wing and the lower fuselage are molded in one piece.
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    The wheel wells are integral with the wing bottom and feature a few ribs but not much else. Surface details are a nice combination of recessed lines and subtly raised panels. I am assuming that the square opening is to allow Hasegawa to more easily offer variations of the N1K1, perhaps a bomb-carrying variant?
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    The wing tops feature similar detail. The engine cowling is a one-piece molding with a separate cowl flap assembly.
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    The cockpit and other small details are provided on this sprue.
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    The long landing gear legs have some nice detail. Hopefully I can dress up the cockpit floor a bit.
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    The seat looks reasonably accurate so if the PE seat doesn't work out, I can always go back to this. The instrument is nicely molded. If the PE panel fits, I'll probably use it so this nice detail might get scraped away.
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    For some reason, the tail stabilizers get a sprue of their own.
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    And finally... a couple of identical sprues holding the wheels, the prop blades, cannon barrels and other small details.
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    The cannon barrel ends have conical shrouds so it would be difficult to come up with a home-brewed replacement. I don't want to spend aftermarket $$$$ on something so simple so I will try to clean these pieces and bore out the ends.
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    Will get started in earnest once I wrap up my MiG-15!
     
  3. fubar57

    fubar57 Well-Known Member

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    1ab.jpg

    Check your email John
     
  4. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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  5. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

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    Keeping the production line going. I won't be much help on these Japanese subjects.
     
  6. SANCER

    SANCER Active Member

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    We have a very interesting project forward. I will continue learning.
    Greetings John'll be following your work. :thumbup:
     
  7. JKim

    JKim Well-Known Member

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    I've been tinkering around with the Shiden build while I wrap up my MiG. First I wanted to check the photoetched seat versus the kit part. I have a small PE bending jig called the Bug by The Small Shop that's really handy for bending photoetch parts uniformly.
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    With the tool, I was able to fold the seat into shape in short order. Size-wise, the two seats look interchangeable.
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    It should not be a problem mounting the brass seat onto the cockpit floor.
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    I also checked the Eduard instrument panel against the kit part. A very close match!
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    I'm going to grind off the molded dials from the kit panel and paint the back of the clear acetate white to highlight the dials.
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    The brass instrument panel is painted very dark grey. I've handbrushed the bezels black and added some red. I've also added a bit of red to the acetate dials and attached the painted acetate to the kit panel. I'll let that dry prior putting the brass panel on top.
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    The cannons are solid pieces and need to be hollowed out.
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    It's simple work to gouge out the barrel tips with a sharp x-acto blade. You can see the exhaust pipes in the background. The ends of the pipe are super small and I'm not going to be able to hollow them out with an x-acto blade.
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  8. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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    Great work so far John!
     
  9. JKim

    JKim Well-Known Member

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    Continuing on from where I left off...here is the instrument panel face glued onto the dials.
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    I used a drill tip to make indentations into the ends of the small exhaust pipes. That's the best that I could do.
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    I figured I would add the ignition wires to the engine so I've drilled out the accepting holes in each cylinder.
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    Jumping over to the cockpit again, I've added the PE harnesses to the PE seat. I made a boo-boo and almost destroyed the long shoulder belt. I tried burnishing it over a flame to see if it would become more flexible but it compromised the integrity of the brass and a small portion of it disintegrated. I was able to graft the end to the main harness but it is a bit short[​IMG].

    The sidewalls of the cockpit are divided into upper and lower sections. After test-fitting, I decided to deviate from the kit instructions and glued the lower sidewalls into the fuselage sides, instead of onto the cockpit floor.
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    Doing it this way makes it easy to add wiring. I'm using a mixture of kit parts and brass from the Eduard set.
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    I've done the same thing on the cockpit floor, replacing some of the kit parts with brass pieces from the Eduard set. The seat is simply resting on the floor since I'll keep certain components separate for painting.
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    Here are the sidewalls after painting. I'll probably do a final round of weathering when the flat coat dries... chipping and maybe some pigments to dirty it up.
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    The Shiden has a wide fuselage but due to the small cockpit opening, the fuselage curvature hides much of the interior.
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    The view from the bottom is better!
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  10. JKim

    JKim Well-Known Member

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    Here is the cockpit floor after painting.
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    Forward and rear cockpit bulkheads after painting.
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    The seat after painting.
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    There is a gap between the instrument panel and the front of the cockpit opening which might allow a view into the back of the panel so I added some wiring.
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  11. fubar57

    fubar57 Well-Known Member

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    Beauty John
     
  12. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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  13. JKim

    JKim Well-Known Member

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    #13 JKim, Oct 3, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2016
    Thanks! Moving right along with the Shiden. I've added a bit of weathering on the cockpit sub-assemblies.
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    The rear bullkhead and seat are glued into place.
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    The front bulkhead with the instrument panel is glued on and the cockpit is put into the right fuselage side.
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    I chopped off the reflector glass from the clear gunsight piece and replaced it with acetate.
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    The fuselage sides are put together and secured with Tamiya Extra Thin cement.
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    Jumping over the engine area, I've painted the exhaust pipes.
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    I've added wiring to the engine and it is ready for painting.
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  14. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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    Looks great so far John!
     
  15. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

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    I would concur.
     
  16. JKim

    JKim Well-Known Member

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    What do you guys think about NOT chipping this one like crazy. The default assumption is that Japanese aircraft exhibit heavy paint chipping but from the few resources that I've looked at, the N1K1's seem to be in good shape, paint-wise.

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  17. JKim

    JKim Well-Known Member

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    Not much apparent interest in this build but I will continue to toil on!

    After wiring the Homare engine, it has been painted and set aside for later.
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    I sanded flat spots on the tires
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    The wheels wells are a little plain. The Eduard PE set had a few doodads for the wheel wells so I added them.
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    The insert for the wing bottoms were glued into place.
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    The fuselage seams have been touched up with Mr Surfacer 1000 and cleaned up. There were a few sink marks on the fuselage that also needed filling.
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  18. JKim

    JKim Well-Known Member

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    Hasegawa gives you a choice in how to represent the three lights on the aircraft. You can either cut out the plastic and replace them with supplied clear parts or leave them be and simply paint the respective areas. I chose to use the clear parts. The light locations were cut out prior to gluing the fuselage halves and wing halves together.
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    The fuselage landing light was lost to the carpet monster. This delayed my build for a few days as I kept up the hope that I would find the missing piece. After raking the carpet and cleaning off the entire desktop in a futile last search, I gave up and scrounged my parts supply for a clear sprue fat enough to span the cut-out gap. It took a while to cut out an appropriate chunk that would fit into the squared opening. Before gluing it into place, I drilled a dimple to simulate a light bulb.
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    I used cutters to snip the piece into approximate shape and then busted out the Dremel to grind the piece into shape.
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    Here is the fuselage light after fine sanding and polishing.
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    I made extra sure to keep the wing lights safe. They were similarly drilled and the depressions were painted red and blue. All of the lights will be masked off with liquid mask prior to painting.
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    The fuselage and wing components have been filled, sanded and polished and they are ready to be put together.
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    Comments, questions, observations, criticisms and general conversation are greatly welcomed!
     
  19. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

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    Very tidy work John. I often find that technique for the clear lights the preferred approach even when the kit parts are provided as they often don't fit very well. The engine looks great.
     
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  20. Wayne Little

    Wayne Little Well-Known Member

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    Doin good there John....the extent of chipping depends on your subject's length of service and where it saw action....
     
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