This is another strong release from Arma, coming close on the heels of their P-51B/C Mustangs. The fit is excellent, and the surface details are finely engraved and look just right. Many of the parts go together with that satisfying “click” which I just love. The decals performed flawlessly, and there are enough stencils on each sheet to do two aircraft which supplies spares and insurance against mishaps. There are six marking options provided, all are attractive aircraft. The geometric nature of IJAAF unit markings makes masking certain tail markings an option – two of my builds feature painted unit markings. For those planning to build this kit, here are some construction notes:
The cockpit tub and engine can be inserted after the fuselage halves are joined. Doing it this way will allow the fuselage to be glued from the inside and ensure the cockpit is seated properly.
The forward fuselage has two tabs which must be removed for the wings to seat. Easy to fix, but this is not noted in the instructions. Also, the PE wiring harness will show its raised detail if it is installed opposite from the way shown.
Missing are the carburetor splitter plate and bomb shackles. Making these are not difficult but they are unexpected omissions given the level of detail of the kit.
The engine cowling is effectively four panels and a front ring. These are a little tricky to align so plan on taking your time here.
The rearmost section of the canopy does not fit into the slots in the fuselage. Carefully cut the tabs off the bottom of the clear piece.
The pilot’s seat needs some help. I drilled holes in mine which improved the looks substantially but it still has some shape issues. Eduard has already announced a 3D printed replacement which should be coming along soon.
If I were recommending references my first choice would be Aero Detail 24 with Kagero Monograph 18 following close behind. There are also a number of Japanese language references which are useful, but you will soon begin seeing the same material again and again.
The Kabuki tape masks worked great, they definitely made construction easier.
WHENEVER ANY FORM OF GOVERNMENT BECOMES DESTRUCTIVE OF THESE ENDS (LIFE,LIBERTY,AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS) IT IS THE RIGHT OF THE PEOPLE TO ALTER OR ABOLISH IT, AND TO INSTITUTE A NEW GOVERNMENT― Thomas Jefferson