Shiden-Kai N1K2-J "George" Late Type
The Shiden Kai was developed, in 1944, to counter US bomber aircraft that were attacking the mainland of Japan. With the combination of a refined airframe and a 2,000-horsepower engine the Shiden Kai was a masterpiece of a fighter with balanced performance. While it might be said that it was too little too late, production of the Shiden Kai was limited due to it being introduced in late1945.
This updated boxing of Platz's 1/144th scale airplane kit includes new decals, packaging, and illustrations, while retaining the nicely molded detail and easy-of-assembly of the original.
This updated release features:
- Two complete 1/144th scale plastic models of the late type Shiden-Kai with the smaller vertical tail
- Decals are provided for the canopy frame to reduce the difficulty of painting
- Molded with delicate, engraved panel lines
- Easy-to-understand painting description in full color
Marking options include:
- Prototype 6 Navy Air Technology Division Flight Experiment Department, Yokosuka, 1944.
- 343 Navy Air Corps Battle No., 701 Squadron Captain Takahiro Akatsuki, April 1945 Matsuyama Base.
- 343 Navy Air Corps Combat No., 407 Squadron Director Kisyuu Airliner, April 1945 Matsuyama Base.
- 343 Navy Air Corps Battle, No. 301 Squadron, August 1945 Omura AB, August 1945.
- No. 5243, Kawanishi Naruo Factory.
The assembly instructions have you start with the cockpit. The rear bulkhead and seat support are molded into the fuselage sides to which are added a seat, control stick, and forward instrument panel. While this may not seem like a big deal to modelers of larger scaled aircraft, these parts are a real plus for 'us cool kids' that build in this scale. Those details are often absent with other manufacturers kits. One sad note is that Platz did not include a decal for the instrument panel. But that can be remedied with the application of some appropriate looking decals from the spares stash, which is what I did.
Platz had provided an engine face that has some nicely molded detail that is more than adequate for this scale. The more OCD challenged among you could add some extra detailing in the form of fine wire, or some such. The engine cowl also exhibits some nice molded panel line detail and the engine exhaust stubs. The one under wing store is a daintily engraved center line drop tank that has the added touch of some anti-sway braces.
The landing gear is a simple assembly with Platz supplying just the doors and main struts. One could provide some appropriate detail (actuator struts) with stretched sprue, should you be so inclined.
One of the true highlights Platz has included with this updated release are decals (three separate pieces in green) for the canopy framing. This style of decal is new to me from any manufacturer of 1/144th scale aircraft kits. Platz is to be congratulated for this and one can only hope that others will follow suit. As you might guess from these remarks, painting the framing on small scale kits has been the bane of my existence and the inclusion of these decals is a blessing. Should you choose to model your Shiden-Kai as the orange prototype, then painting the canopy frames is on you. No canopy decals for you!
While still on the subject, I would like to note that often the canopies in 1/144th scale aircraft kits tend to be more a blob of overly thick plastic than an actual usable part. Not so with this release. The thickness of the clear canopy and the molded detail in this kit is about as close to scale as the model makers art might allow. Any thinner and we're talking about a vacuform canopy. Well done, Platz!
As noted earlier, marking options are for four operational aircraft and an early prototype in overall orange. If you go the way of the prototype aeroplane, you will need to mask and paint your own anti-glare panel on the forward fuselage. Should you select an operational scheme, you will need to mask and paint your own yellow identification stripes on the forward edge of the wings or use some appropriately sized yellow stripes from your spares/extra decals stash. Painting will look nicer. Or you can go with scheme 'D' which didn't feature those yellow identification stripes and avoid the issue altogether. Platz is thinking about you all the time!
Platz has been at the head of the pack with their series of 1/144th scale aircraft kits for years. This updated version of Platz's 1/144th scale Shiden-Kai keeps them in the forefront with a neat set of models (two complete kits in the box) with engraved panel lines and lovely molded details. With the inclusion of new markings for five different aircraft and, in my opinion, the award winning decals for the canopy framing this release is a real plus. Couple all of that with the overall ease of assembly and this release should not be overlooked.
My thanks to Platz and IPMS/USA for the review copy. Support Your Local Hobby Shop.