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Hasegawa Nakajima C6N1-S Saiun

FineScale Modeler reviews the 1/48 scale aircraft kit
As the tide turned in World War II, Axis commanders sought a defense against round-the-clock Allied bombing. To counter night attacks, Germany and Japan sent up night fighters. Not having the resources to produce specialized aircraft, Japan pushed existing planes into the role. Originally designed for high-speed reconnaissance, Nakajima’s C6N, known to the Allies as “Myrt,” proved especially capable despite the absence of onboard radar. At least six C6N1s were converted with obliquely angled 20mm or 30mm cannons.

Based on its 2002 Myrt, Hasegawa’s C6N1-S includes white-metal parts for the 20mm cannons, ammo cans, and braces supplied in white metal. 

The cockpit features a floor and separate side panels, but no seat belts. I used the instrument panel decal but omitted the other interior decals as they were too thick to settle over molded detail.

If you choose the 30mm version as I did, the locations for the plastic weapon parts are not molded on and the instructions are unclear. Dry-fitting is a must to ensure the upper and lower sections align and the barrel passes through the canopy. 

The kit provides different one-piece canopies for the armament choices, but there’s no option to pose them open. A separated canopy is provided on the clear sprue and it may be possible with surgery to fit it to the night fighter. The good news is the canopy fits perfectly.

The fit of the wing and fuselage produced a small gap on one side that was easily filled. Out of the box, the flaps and slats fit in the down position; it would be difficult to modify the former to pose them raised. The kit supplies clear wingtip lights, but fitting them requires that lights molded with the wings be cut out.

The red of the decals’ national insignia looked too bright, and I was afraid the film might obscure Hasegawa’s exquisite surface detail. So, I painted all of the markings except for the tail number and flap warning stripes. 

Overall, this is a great kit. Those who love hunters of the night will want to add this awesome aircraft to their collection.

Note: A version of this review appeared in the July 2018 issue.


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