Saturday, July 31, 2010

1/72 Mitsubishi J2M3 "Jack" by IXO Models

The Mitsubishi J2M, (allied code name Jack) also referred to as Raiden (which means Thunderbolt) was the first JNAF (Japanese National Air Force) aircraft designed specifically for interception.The J2M3 version was the most widely used model (281 built) and one of the later versions, the J2M5 proved to be one of the best high-altitude Japanese interceptors of the war. This model, powered with a 1,820 hp Kasei 26a radial engine, never saw contuinity in production, however, post-war US test reports spoke of its splendid climbing performance and fine controllability. The Raiden was used almost exclusively for home defence, but was also encountered in the Marianas campaign in September 1944.

IXO Models is the only diecast company to have released a good selection of models featuring WWWII Japanese fighters in 1/72 scale. The "Jack" is one of them, which I consider a decent effort.

Apart from the panel lines, which are over-highlighted; some details could have been improved: the antenna (too thick), guns (they don't match the color paint when attached) and wheels (should't have a glossy black finish).

The model represents aircraft no.20 flown by Lt. Yoshihiro Aoki, from the 352nd Kokutai, based in Atsugi, Omura Airfield, in the spring of 1945.
This unit, called "Kusamagi" was formed in August 1944 to protect the Sasebo, Nagasaki and Omura areas. Aoki served as a division officer, heading the Raiden unit in attacks on B-29s. Extraneous markings such as these lightning bolts were rare on JNAF aircraft.
(source: Osprey: Imperial Japanese Navy Aces 1937-1945)

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