1/72 Scale N1K Kyofu / Shiden Batch Build Part III

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Shallow wheel wells bug me more than they do most people.  IPMS judging rules frown upon hollow openings into the wings but don’t specifically address wheelwells with no depth.  Even though you would have to flip the model over to notice unrealistic wheelwells I can’t seem to resist grinding them open and building them deeper.  Here is the Aoshima lower wing with the wells opened up and the side walls added with Evergreen strip.  The wells of the Shiden were open back to the main spar for part of their length, similar to those of the P-51 Mustang.
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Here is the Aoshima Shiden built up with the internal wheelwell structure roughed in.  Some modelers hesitate to make this modification because of the very real possibility of affecting the length or rigidity of the main landing gear legs.  I have side-stepped that issue by leaving the molded in attachment points in place and removing the rest of the well roof.  When the gear legs, covers, retracting arms, and brake lines are in added this does not look out of place.
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This is the Hasegawa kit with the same treatment.  If you look back to the sprue shots in the first post you can see just how shallow the original Hasegawa molding is – there is not even room for the gear covers, let alone anything else.  The join line along the flaps needed some attention as well.
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Tamiya’s Shiden is molded with deep wheelwells.  They do not go all the way back to the spar but I didn’t correct it here.  I did add the curved structural supports which were made with a Waldron punch set.  The internal structure in the round part of the well was added to cover a join seam which would be impossible to fill otherwise.
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This is the MPM kit.  The wing was entirely open inside but had a PE part for the “roof” of the wells.  I chose not to mess with that and built the inner structure up with Evergreen instead just like the others.  The wing joints required a lot of filing on the underside to get them smooth.  The upper joint was much better as I chose to get the good alignment there and correct the bottoms to match.
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There were two vertical fin sizes used on the Shiden Kai.  The first one hundred machines were manufactured with a broad fin, on the rest of the production run it was much narrower.  This is the Hasegawa fuselage compared to the drawings in Famous Airplanes of the World no. 124.  Hasegawa has split the difference between the sizes on their kit, the vertical fin will need some work in order to represent either version.  The trailing edge of the rudder is molded as a curve but that is simple to file straight.
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The tail on the left has been modified to represent the smaller fin Shiden Kai, compared to the stock kit profile on the right.  The fin has 1-2 mm removed on the leading edge to match the FAOW drawing and the trailing edge of the rudder has been straightened.
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I wanted to build the second Shiden Kai with a broad fin to show the difference.  This one has the leading edge of the fin flattened to get a nice straight attachment point, then the fin was built back out with Evergreen strip.  Superglue was used to blend the fin and then it was smoothed with Mr. Surfacer.
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Here the two modified fins are compared.  Once I’ve verified the seams with primer I’ll re-scribe the lost panel lines.