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Revell Takara N1K1-Ja George

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I know, I know!  The Holy Grail of model kits.  One is not supposed to build this kit but instead trade it unto eternity.  I've owned a number of them.  But this one is special.  It was sold to me at a very low price many years ago by Dr. Bob Sigman, Professor or Aeronautical Engineering at Georgia Tech.  "Senior Research Engineer Emeritus-Rocket Scientist."  A true rocket scientist.  A gentle man loved by all.   When I realized the worth of the kit and tried to give it back to him he wouldn't hear of it.  Dr. Bob said, "You have to promise me you'll build it."  Dr. Bob passed away from cancer before I could honor the promise.  I now fulfill my promise woefully late.  https://www.mayeswarddobbins.com/obituaries/Dr-Robert-Sigman/#!/Obituary


The aircraft itself was one of the best of WWII.  Derived from . . . a float plane!  Flew rings around the Hellcat and Corsair.  Thankfully US bombing of production facilities prevented earlier intro of greater numbers of these aircraft. 




Because of the age of the kit I did not accord it the respect due it.  We all know the story:  Early 70's kit, wildly popular along with their Jack and Tony, molds on a ship in the Pacific, ship eaten by gigantic squid in a hurricane (OK, I made that up),  ship sank, molds lost, existing kits became very rare.  Topped out at $350 on Ebay.  Hasegawa did the Jack and Tony and later Zoukei-Mura did the ultimate Jack in 1/32.  The Takara kits of the Jack and Tony became worthless overnight.  Tomy did the low-wing George (N1K2) as did Hasegawa.  But no one other than Revell Takara has yet to do the mid-wing N1K1 in 1/32.  Hence the collector's value.




The kit has raised panel lines and rivets that are  a problem when one has to do a lot of sanding.  Fortunately the fit of the kit is so well engineered that this only a problem on the underside where the wing meets the fuselage  But it's a LOT of filling and sanding there.  Knowing what I know now I maybe could have made the fit a little better but likely not much.  Strong wing spar.  Great flap design but the instructions for the kit are not very clear on this and other features.  I left it out before I realized what it was.  I also left off the antenna wiring as it is very complex on the actual aircraft.  Scratchbuilt the sparse cockpit features.  I used the Master Model cannon barrels  They fit perfectly!  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!  Drilled out the ejection chutes.


The engine is highly detailed and begs to have the cowling open.  I'm not that good nor am I that patient.




The decals are almost 50 years old.  I experimented with some I wouldn't use.  I soaked them in water for 5 minutes . . . 10 minutes . . . 15 minutes . . . 20 minutes.  They finally slid off the backing - and shattered.  Thus forewarned I sprayed the rest with Testors Decal Bonder Spray.  That solved the shattering problem though they still had to soak for 15-20 minutes.  I painted the hinomarus with templates cut out of frisket paper using my Shadow Hobby Circle Cutter.  Paints are Tamiya, Alclad and Gunze Sanyo.




A fun build of an old classic.



Edited by amurray
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Fantastic!  It’s so rare that anybody builds this very worthy kit!  I really like the “George” and you did a super job on yours.  I had one and just like most modelers, I sold it.   Now I want it back.

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Very nice work on this iconic kit. I build one a number of years ago. Like you, very much satisfied with results. Personally I like the 1 better than the 2. 
Too bad this hasn’t got a modern update. 

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22 minutes ago, Steve Eagle said:

Very nice work on this iconic kit. I build one a number of years ago. Like you, very much satisfied with results. Personally I like the 1 better than the 2. 
Too bad this hasn’t got a modern update. 


I agree.  The mid-wing George is covered in 1/48 but not 1/32.  It may be that the Hase low-wing George did not sell well and scared off offering a mid-wing.

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