Anigrand 1/144 G5N 'Shinzan'

KIT #: AA-4037
PRICE: $96.00 from Free US shipping
DECALS: Yes, there are decals
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: Resin, includes Ki-78, E16A, and R2Y aircraft as well



In 1938, with success of the Mitsubishi G4M attack bomber, the Japanese Navy issued requirement for an advanced four-engine heavy bomber which could operate more long-range and bomb load than the G4M. Nakajima and Kawanishi were selected to create two new bombers, one was the land-based airplane and the other was flying boat. Kawanishi agreed to tackle the flying boat that became H8K Emily, and Nakajima took the land-based bomber that led to the G5N Shinzan program. The G5N Shinzan was the first Japanese large aircraft ever built. The Japanese Army also interested in this heavy bomber. The Army owned Douglas DC-4E was handed over to Nakajima for both the Navy G5N and Army Ki-68 programs. Nakajima engineers took the wings, landing gears and powerplant installation from the DC-4E to complete the G5N1 prototype. The first prototype made its first flight in 1942. Performance was as disappointing as the DC-4E (not surprising as it used the same wings and engines). A total of six prototypes were completed. Four prototypes were converted to G5N-2 transport airplanes. Due to the lack of experience with large aircraft development, the G5N program was cancelled in 1944.


This is the latest from Anigrand and I'm pleased to see them continuing to do large aircraft in 1/144 scale like this. Like most of their 1/144 kits, it comes with three other aircraft. In this case the Aichi E16A floatplane, Yokosuka R2Y, and Kawanishi Ki-78. The E16A saw unit service, the R2Y never made it out of initial construction, and the Ki-78 never made it off paper (as far as I know).

I mentioned last time I previewed an Anigrand kit that the quality of the kits seems to have been improving. This one is also quite nicely cast, though it does have some molding air pockets on wing tips and the sides of the wing nacelles. I also had one wing tip with a large chunk removed. None of these are any problem for those with resin kit experience, though I'd be delighted if all the molded parts were perfect.

The kit has a nicely done interior that you should be able to see through the clear resin cockpit glass. In fact, this aircraft has quite a lot of clear bits to be attached. Now you can do either the bomber prototypes or the later transport versions by leaving off the upper turret. I found the wheel wells and interior free of those pesky resin balls that plagued earlier kits. The landing gear appear to be quite sturdy as they will need to be as the builder has to jam pack the nose with as much weight as will fit to keep it from tail sitting. I need to point out how very nicely done each of the forward engine nacelles are molded. A lot of detail and crisply done as well.

The instructions are well done with the usual exploded views from the top and bottom quarters to show where the bits fit. On the Shinzan, an additional view of the fit of the interior bits is provided. The Shinzan can be done in two schemes. One is the usual dark green over light grey with yellow wing leading edges. The other has Earth added to the upper camo scheme in a disruptive pattern. Though not shown, at least some of these planes were painted orange on the underside if one is to believe several popular illustrations of the type. As usual, you get two identical decal sheets to take care of the usual insignia and tail codes. These are very nicely printed and will provide no surprises, though they are a tad thicker than what you may be used to.

Another superb 1/144 offering from Anigrand. These multiple plane ideas are great and are a super way to build up a nice collection. Also makes these kits quite a value for the money, despite their somewhat high initial cost. Face it, you'll not find these offered anywhere else in this scale.


July 2009

My thanks to for the preview kit. Get yours today and pay no shipping in the US and Canada.

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