Platz 1/144 N1K2-J (Double Box)

History of the N1K2-J.

The Kawanishi N1K Kyōfū (強風 “strong wind”, Allied reporting name “Rex”) was an Imperial Japanese Navy floatplane fighter. The Kawanishi N1K-J Shiden (紫電 “Violet Lightning”) was an Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service land-based version of the N1K. Assigned the reporting name “George”, the N1K-J was considered by both its pilots and opponents to be one of the finest land-based fighters flown by the Japanese during World War II.

The Shiden Kai possessed heavy armament as well as surprisingly good maneuverability, due to a mercury switch that automatically extended the flaps during turns. These “combat” flaps created more lift, thereby allowing tighter turns. Unlike the Mitsubishi A6M Zero, the Shiden Kai could compete against the best late-war Allied fighters, such as the F6F Hellcat, F4U Corsair, and P-51 Mustang.

History in plastic.
In this scale, I can see evidence of 4 new toolings. Two are from the 70s and the 2 recent ones are from F-Toys and Platz. Arii’s kit from 1973 was reboxed by a couple of other companies while LS’ kit from 1976 was reboxed by one other company. F-Toys and Platz’s toolings have only been used by the respective companies.

In the Box
There are 2 kits in the box. The kits come in a sturdy end opening box. The sprues are all in one bag and the clear sprues are in their own bag inside the big bag. The decal sheet comes in its own bag too and has a protective sheet on it. The instructions are all on glossy paper in a 4-page booklet. The build instructions are on 2 pages and have 7 steps althugh one of them is painting and decaling. The paint and decal placement is covered on another 2 colour pages. There are colour call-outs as needed in the instructions for Mr. Color and Model Master paints.

The sprues have very subtle recessed panel lines and small attachment gates and are the usual good quality we expect from Platz. The level of detail is very good with no obvious issues.

In total each kit contains

  • 1 clear part
  • 29  plastic parts

The decal sheet has 5 options.

Building Stages
The build is in 7 steps:

  1. This puts together the 2 fuselage halves and the cockpit seat, control column and instrument panel are trapped between them. There’s not much detail in there, but it would be tough to see any that was there.
  2. Step 2 puts the engine inside the cowling.
  3. This step puts the 2 parts of the topo wing onto the one part bottom wing.
  4. Step 4 assembles the undercarriage legs, wheels, and a door together and also assembles a 2 part under the fuselage fuel tank.
  5. Step assembles all the large parts together; fuselage, wings and tailplanes.
  6. Step 6 in the build is for painting and applying decals.
  7. The final step is adding all the small parts such as propeller, canopy and underwing stores.

Decal Options

The decal sheet has options for 4 aircraft:

  • The 6th prototype, IJN Aviation Technology Experiment Division, Yokosuka, 1944
  • 701st FS 343FG Matsuyama 1945
  • 4017th FS 343FG Matsuyama 1945
  • 301st FS 343 FG, Ohmura AB, Aug 1945
  • 5243rd aircraft produced at Naruo Factory of Kawanishi Aircraft

The decals are produced by Cartograf and are to their usual very high standard. Interestingly there are decals for the canopy framing which will be very welcome for this scale.

The kit is currently available for about $18.oo from Platz.

In the box, you get 2 nice kits of the N1K2-J. You also get a colorful decal option as well as the usual mostly green aircraft and some nice detail on the plastic. If you want a couple of 1/144 N1K2-Js then this is a good choice of kit with modern sprues.

Thanks to Platz for the review sample.

Paul Tosney – Editor
ModelBuilder International
HobbyLink International
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Paul Tosney

Paul has been with Model Builder International since almost the beginning. He started building models as a boy, and took a hiatus, but started building again a few years ago. He builds pretty much anything, but mostly WW2, with a smattering of modern and the occasional SciFi model.


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