J7W1 Shinden - Interior and Engine - Part 1
Zoukei Mura made a huge splash several years ago with their Shinden, Skyraider and continued the exceptional releases in 1/32 scale. They have now entered the 1/48th scale market with a J7W1 Shinden. Zoukei Mura has a company philosophy of showing all internal detail in their 1/32nd kits to make the kit not only detailed but a learning experience for the modelers. This 1/48th scale kit is no different but I wanted a comparison review to their 1/32nd scale Shinden and decided to build them both at the same time and compare.
Let's take a look at the kit- 5 sprues of all grey plastic, not the usual different colors. There is also one clear sprue. All the sprues are very crisp and the panel lines are engraved and just right for the scale of the plane. There is a decal sheet and the instructions. One note here; Zoukei Mura instructions were made by the company and they are modelers unlike some others. Following the construction almost to the letter will make your build go much easier and fit better. Lastly, color call out are for Vallejo and Mr. Color.
Construction starts with the engine in this case. The detail is superb with push rods, cylinders and cylinder heads being separate. The only real difference between this and the 1/32 scale kit is that the cylinders head are one piece in 1/48 and two pieces in 1/32.The cylinders were painted aluminum and the cylinder heads and push rods black. The two banks of cylinders are joined. Watch the alignment. Test fit and verify before committing to glue. The intake and exhaust manifolds are painted and added. A few less pieces in 1/48 scale but no loss in resolution. The crankcase is added and the ignition harness. There are no ignition wires in either scale but they would be easy to add. The turbo charger is built next and then the gearbox. Alignment of the gearbox is critical as it holds the visible part of the radiators. The detail is superb and there is no loss in quality between scales. The exhausts are added next and the engine is complete and set aside.
The cockpit is a jewel and gives you the option of molded in or plain seat. I elected plain and added Eduard PE belts. The instrument panel in 1/48 uses decals for the instruments. In 1/32, you have the same option but a clear molded panel with decal on the back looks better. The remainder of the cockpit goes smoothly with no issues. I left off the armored glass and gun sight for later. The cockpit is equal, in my opinion,. to its 1/32 scale brother for detail. Also, both scales parts trap neatly together and again, fit perfectly.
The cockpit is added to the main frame work and then various bulkheads. Follow the order and you will; be fine. There are specific braces for the engine compartment also and they are left and right handed. The gun bay is built next and the fit is tight but good. Make sure all the parts are seated properly so the planes skins go on well. the front wheel well and sides are added in that order. Take your time and glue for a tight fit checking to make sure the wheel well is seated completely in the sides.
The guns are added next and fit well. Here, I screwed up, not following my own advice and missed adding parts C-14 and C-15, the inner gun chutes,. Once the other parts are added, they cannot fit in unless the guns are removed.
The wings are added next and fit tight and they make up the top of the wheel wells. Again, take you time and work the gluing slowly for a good fit. The engine and its bearers are added next.. Watch alignment as the radiator must fit tightly and in correct alignment in the back- this is true for either scale.
At this point, it was a good time to get this out there and let everyone see the plane to this point. A couple things to note: First, this is an excellent kit and the price is great! Second, fit is good at all point making it possible for modelers of all skills.
Lastly, I wanted to express my sincere appreciation for the opportunity to review Zoukei Mura's first 1/48 scale offering. It is a unique opportunity and much appreciated. The kit is highly recommended and in part 2, I will get it built and painted