KIT: AML 1/72 Nakajima C3N1
KIT #: 72011
PRICE: I paid $14.00 for it
DECALS: One option
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: Short run with vac canopy


I was able to find darn little on this aircraft and even my usual sources failed me rather badly. Apparently the C3N1 was developed about the same time as the B5N 'Kate' torpedo bomber, though as a strict reconnaissance aircraft (as so designated by the C in the type description). When it was realized that the B5N could also perform the reconnaissance mission as well as, if not better than the C3N1, it was decided to cancel the aircraft after only a few had been built and concentrate on more B5Ns. The C3N1 then disappeared into the footnotes of history.


It is unusual to see a short run kit nowadays without some photo-etch or resin tossed in the box. Yet AML did without all that stuff and just relied on some vac canopies (which are nicely molded, though a tad soft). In a rather large box with a nice, solid bottom and an ultra-flimsy top, there are two greenish brown sprues of plastic. Detailing is nicely done and engraved, with some of the more petite engraving bound to disappear under the expected filling and sanding.

Interior consists of a floor with two bulkheads (one of which has the main instrument panel), a control stick and three seats. A pedestal is provided for one seat so fitting this will be a bit of a balancing act. A gun is provided for the rear seat, though since you'll have to cut the canopy and slide some sections back, I doubt if anyone will actually use this part. The inside of the fuselage has some generic framework molded there, but nothing attached to it. A nice two part engine is provided and this is trapped between two cowling pieces with the front of the cowling a separate piece. Two small exhaust are provided.

The wings have a single lower section with two upper pieces. There are large ejector towers that will need to be removed prior to cementing and the trailing edges would help from some thinning down. Horizontal stabs butt join and so does the tail wheel. Main gear are two halves between which the wheels are trapped. The prop is the dreaded separate blades and hub. Since this kit has no resin, how about doing the prop as a single casting????? Blades are butt joined to the hub and the sprue attachment points are where the blades attach. This is a recipe for disaster in my book. I'll be hunting for a suitable replacement and hope I find one.

Instructions are well done with color references provided using a variety of paints such as Humbrol, Agama, Gunze and Model Master. The lone set of markings is for an overall silver plane with a red tail and black nose. This was pretty common stuff for prototypes and peacetime aircraft as the red made it easier to find when the plane crashed. The decal sheet is well printed and appears to be quite thin.


Well, once again, I'm sucked into a kit of a plane that I'd never heard of. This time, it appears that the kit won't be that difficult to build as it is certainly not parts intensive and no fiddly bits (besides the prop). One thing for sure, it has that great '30's look about it and that in and of itself is appealing enough for me.

May 2007

Thanks to me for finding this one.

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