|PRICE:||3060 yen (3400 yen SRP)|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||2018 Limited Edition|
The first of the four G4M2 prototypes flew in December 1942 (Mitsubishi Navy Type 1 Attack Bomber Model 22). It differed from the preceding model in having Mitsubishi MK4P "Kasei" Model 21 engines with VDM electric four-blade propellers capable of full feathering function, redesigned main wings with LB type laminar flow airfoil. and widened tail horizontal stabilizer wing area, which improved service ceiling to 8,950 m (29,360 ft) and maximum speed to 437 km/h (236 kn; 272 mph). Main wing fuel tanks were enlarged to 6,490 l (1,710 US gal; 1,430 imp gal) which increased the range to 6,000 km (3,200 nmi; 3,700 mi) (overloaded, one way). An electrically powered dorsal turret featuring a 20 mm (0.787 in) Type 99 cannon was introduced in place of G4M1's dorsal position with a 7.7 mm (0.303 in) Type 92 machine gun, total guns armed were two 20 mm (0.787 in) Type 99 cannons (one tail turret, one top turret), and four 7.7 mm (0.303 in) Type 92 machine guns (one nose, two waist, and one cockpit side). External differences also included increased nose glazing, flush side gun positions instead of blisters, and rounded tips of wings and tail surfaces. These major improvements also made it possible for the G4M2 to carry more powerful bombs; one 1,055 kg (2,326 lb) Navy Type 91 Kai-7 aerial torpedo or one 800 kg (1,800 lb) bomb or two 500 kg (1,100 lb) bombs or one 800 kg (1,800 lb) Type 3 No. 31 bomb (ray-detective type bomb) and twelve 60 kg (130 lb) bombs. The G4M2 entered service in mid-1943.
The Model 24 was a modified Model 22, with Mitsubishi MK4T Kasei 25 1,340 kW (1,800 hp) engines, and a bulged bomb bay doors as standard for larger bomb capacity. Externally distinguishable from the Model 22 by a carburetor air intake on the top of the engine cowling.
I'm not sure what Limited Edition number this is, but I'd be surprised if it was less than a half dozen. These releases are the bread and butter of Hasegawa and while some may not like the way they do things, these boxings all sell out within a fairly short amount of time. Whether they are being built or collected I do not know, but there it is.
Several years back, Hasegawa made a commitment to doing new kits of Japanese twins. This includes types like the Ki-45, Ki-46, Ki-87 and of course the G3M and G4M. While they already had a G4M1 as one of their very early kits, no one had yet done the later G4M2 and this is one of those kits.
The kit has a fairly complete interior with a fairly nice cockpit that has the main seats and controls along with some side wall panels. The rest of the very long interior floor holds things like the bomb bay, radio operator and navigator's positions, upper turret gunner's seat and several bulkheads. There are waist guns that fit onto a rather well done mount that allows the guns to traverse in both elevation and azimuth. Frankly, I'm not sure how much of this you will actually be able to see, but it is included.
Since this is a mid-wing aircraft, each wing is an upper and lower half and contains part of the main gear well. The rest is in the two-piece engine nacelles. Hasegawa has you build up the landing gear and attaching it to the lower wing prior to assembling the nacelle. Actual building will tell if you can leave this off until the end. Each engine cowling is an upper and lower half with a single forward piece. There is just an engine front, which is fine in this scale and after assembly, the prop simply pushes into the polycap that you have inserted in the gearbox. The engines used separate exhaust stacks and that assembly fits into the engine mount piece. The whole 'power egg' then fits onto the nacelle.
Tail gun assembly is a bit complex, but like the side guns, can fully traverse. I hope you are good at masking or pick up a masking set as the Betty has a zillion very small windows that will need careful masking to look right. There are two nose options, one of which has a radar antenna. If you choose this option, you'll need to have opened holes in the fuselage for the other antennas. The G4M2 had a bulged bomb bay and you can either model it closed or open. In the open option, you have a choice of bombs or a torpedo.
Instructions are standard fare for Hasegawa with the usual Gunze paint references. Both planes are painted the same which is an overall dark green with brown primer spinner and props. Much of the well printed decal sheet consists of the yellow wing ID markings so if you think you can handle it, you won't have to paint this feature.
So there you have it. Another nice Limited Edition boxing that is sure to sell out rather quickly. It is unfortunate that IJN bombers were so boring, consisting of little more than insignia and tail codes, but that is the way it is. However, if you want to have a very nice model for the shelf, this would be a good choice. Get an aftermarket masking set and save your sanity.
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