UPC 1/50 Mitsubishi 1MT type 10
|PRICE:||$hard to find|
(partly from Instruction Sheet) This aircraft is the only tri-wing type that Japan has ever had in its history of aviation. It was originally designed by engineer Herbert Smith (Sopwith) who also designed other aircraft for Mitsubishi at the request of the Japanese Navy. The first prototype was completed on August 9th 1922 at the Nagoya factory of the Mitsubishi Internal Combustion Engine works and succeeded in torpedo loading and flight testing. In October of the same year this plane was flight tested again, together with the prototype the second prototype, and as a result this model was officially accepted by the Navy. It turned out to be the first domestic made torpedo bomber. It was powered by a Napier “Lion” 450HP engine and carried an 18” Torpedo. After only 20 aircraft built, it was discontinued. However, pilots appreciated its handling characteristics in flight. It was difficult to land because of the high wing causing a balance problem.
Produced in the 1960’s originally by Marusan, most kits will be difficult to find. The subject is an enticing challenge. I have several kits in storage, and all except 1 is pre-started and everyone has given up. A sad testimony for any model. However, I have seen one completed at a contest that was very well finished.
Looking over a combination of kits, I discovered a waxy texture on all parts. I believe this is the mold (or moldy) release after plastic injection. Also discovered was that many parts are not molded correctly, and that there is a lot of warpage or short-shot. Every kit I observed had broken torpedo propellers or fins. A modeler can get around all of that with a little ingenuity. Discovered also, as I was examining the parts, were small pin holes in in the struts for the guide wires. This is convenient but running those wires will require skill.
Most of the decal sheets are very old. However, all photos I see are just the Hinomaru (Japanese National Insignia) and sometimes a tail number. So, this will not be difficult to reproduce either.
The biggest challenge will be accuracy in details. As there are few pictures of the actual aircraft, and most of them are fuzzy. But, if one was to build the model, ‘Think Sopwith’. It was designed by Herbert Smith – the Chief Engineer for Sopwith before the company ended.
Conclusions: It is very obvious that this kit is not for the novice. However, it does not look that difficult to build as the parts are very basic. Once built, it will be fragile – especially the landing gear as the wings are solid and will have a good amount of weight.
Aviation of Japan http://www.aviationofjapan.com/2010/10/navy-type-10-carrier-torpedo-aircraft.html
Japanese Aircraft 1910-1941, Putnam, 1990. Robert C. Mikesh & Shorzoe Abe
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