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

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It feels like this build has been dragging on, but with the holidays over I’ve been able to get some more time at the bench.  Seams have been sanded smooth on all the kits which is a big hurtle for me as I find sanding boring.  The monotony was broken with the assembly of the beaching gear for the floatplanes which turned out nicely.
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Time to start adding some details.  The wingtip navigation lights have been cut out and replaced with a small rectangle of clear plastic from a CD case.  This is superglued in place, then filed down to the proper contour.  The Shiden had another clear light cover at the base of the rudder so three are needed for each model.
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Here’s what it looks like after sanding and finishing with an 8000 grit polishing cloth.  These will be masked before painting (hopefully I won’t forget) and then coated with Future at the end of construction.
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Master turned brass gun barrels are a big improvement over the molded parts and much harder to break off.  These are the Tamiya guns for the underwing gondolas compared with Master barrels and round stock sized to match the FAOW drawings.
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The Aoshima Shiden has the wheelwell covers molded onto the gear legs, and these have a sprue attachment and mold seam running right down the middle.  Rather than cleaning this up, I found it easier and more accurate to saw off the covers and replace them with stock.
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I’m doing something different with this batch and attaching many of the detail parts before painting.  Attaching everything now will ensure a good bond and hopefully prevent any glue from marring the finish.  The down side is I’ll have to handle things very carefully from here on out.  This is the Tamiya kit.
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This is the MPM Shiden showing the extent of the replacement of the soft, flash-ridden kit details.  The gondolas are castings of the Tamiya parts, the rest are fabricated from Evergreen stock.  The sway braces for the bomb racks are made from 0.0125 inch (0.3 mm) bronze rod.  The kit drop tank was a mess so this model will be finished without one.
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The top of the MPM kit.  The cockpit decking and headrest are Evergreen replacing an unusable part from the kit.  The rods sticking out from the wings are “gear down” indicators.  These were mechanically linked to the gear legs, when the gear was lowered and locked they would protrude from the upper wing surface giving the pilot a visual confirmation that his gear was down.  These were common on many aircraft types and can often be seen if you look closely at photographs.
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The underside of one of the Hasegawa Shiden Kai with everything in place.  The landing gear covers were replaced on each of the kits with the exception of Tamiya’s which looked the part.  There are a few more details to attend to, but hopefully I can shoot some primer and get to painting by next week!