Hasegawa 1/72 G4M2a Model 24

KIT #: 51266 (CP106)
PRICE: 2800 yen when new
DECALS: Any aircraft from one of two units
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: 1997 boxing


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 Mitsubishi Navy Type 1 Attack Bomber Model 24, the subject of this kit, was a modified Model 22. It had Mitsubishi MK4T Kasei 25 1,340 kW (1,800 hp) engines, with 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.

One of Hasegawa's earliest kits was the initial G4M1 'Betty' bomber. It was back when their kits had all raised detail and the plastic was very thick. It also had minimal interior detailing, but made into a nice representation of this important Japanese bomber.

Fast forward about 25-30 years to the late 1990s and we find Hasegawa in the midst of a major program of newly tooled kits that includes just about all Japanese WWII twins of all sizes. That includes this one. Doing the later G4Ms required a new tool and so we have one.

You get a fairly nice interior that has a lot more detail than what the previous kit offered. There are crew stations throughout the airframe and that includes various bulkheads and crew equipment. Hasegawa provides the option to have the side guns either deployed or stowed. Both the nose and tail section are separate since they are mostly clear so a masking set is highly recommeneded. The dorsal turret is trapped between the fuselage halves so that will need to be masked and painted prior to installation so it can be properly covered when the rest of the airframe is painted.

Wings are upper and lower halves with no real main gear well detail, but in this scale that isn't that much of an issue. The main gear is fairly complex and it appears that it has to be installed prior to attaching the rest of the gear nacelle. Test fitting during construction will prove if this is true or not.

You have the option of a large radar antenna on the nose if you want to do that unit's planes. Weapons options are a pair of large bombs or a torpedo. The bomb bay dors can be posed open or closed as you wish. One thing I noticed were the large armor patches covering the underside of the wing fuel tanks.

Instructions are well done with the usual Gunze paint references. There are two units provided, both in Mitsubishi green over light grey. The wing ID bands are provided as decals and you have alternate numbers for both units so you are not limited to a single aircraft per unit. Japanese naval aircraft are generally rather boring in that they don't have fancy camouflage schemes. Decals are nicely done and should work fine. I'd suggest hot water to get the best performance.  


While this kit has sold fairly well in Japan, I've not seen any built up one in the US. A shame as it is a very nicely done kit and is sure to add some interest to your collection.



September 2020

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