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In-Box Review
172
J2M3 Raiden Cockpit Set
J2M3 Raiden Cockpit Set for Hasegawa Kit
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by: Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]


Originally published on:
AeroScale

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Introduction
CMK - Czeck Master's Kits - has created a range of upgrades for Hasegawa's venerable 1/72 J2M3 Raiden "Jack" model. This review is of the J2M3 Raiden Cockpit Set, set No. 7392. This is one of six (6) sets for the Hasegawa J2M. The other five are J2M3 Raiden:
    Armament, set 7293
    Control Surfaces, set 7394
    Wing Flaps, set 7395
    Wheel Wells and Covers, set 7396
    Seat with Belts, item Q72305
    (Part of CMK's Quick & Easy range.)


Mitsubishi's tubby Raiden (Thunderbolt) is a favorite subject for Japanese Naval Air Force modelers, and Hasegawa's kit was considered the best 1/72 model "Jack" before Sword released one c.2011. Tamiya kitted one in 1/72 in the early 1970s and Nichimo released one, too. Hasegawa released their J2M in 1977 and while it was - and is - a competent model, it is long in the tooth with detail not up to snuff for discriminating modelers.

CMK rides to the rescue with several sets to upgrade and enhance Hasegawa's model, starting with this cockpit set.

J2M3 Raiden Cockpit Set
CMK cast these parts in gray resin. They also include a film instrument panel.

Casting is good with crisp edges, no air pocks, seam marks, or sinks, and with so little flash that it hardly merits remark. One thing I noticed reviewing the enlarged photos of the parts is that the surface has a rough texture. Happily, it is so fine that to my naked eyes it is indiscernible.

There are 19 resin parts firmly attached to pour blocks:
    Cockpit floor with fore and aft "bulkheads"
    Left & Right Sidewalls
    Seat
    Instrument panel; radio; radio control box
    Cockpit bulkhead and pilot headrest; instrument panel fuselage plug; rear cockpit deck
    Rudder bar; decking fittings; headrest support; pump lever x 3; joystick; antenna

Except for the pump levers, every part is firmly attached to the block. (One of the .3mm diameter levers arrived broken from the block.) It appears that CMK sculpted a break line to ease separating the parts from their "sprues." As the pieces are thin, finesse and care should be exercised.

Detail
Casting is crisp and sharp. Very fine switches and knobs pop out of the instrument and equipment housings. CMK modeled wiring and piping along the floor. As inventoried above, two equipment boxes are separate pieces; they could have been cast as part of another piece and yet CMK took the care and pride to enhance authenticity with separate parts.

The side walls look good with structural stringers and ribs. The left wall hosts the engine controls and appliances while the right side holds electrical equipment. I think the fuselage structural members are molded too low.

Thin sides are the mark of the pilot seat. A cushion is cast into the bottom, and seat and shoulder belts are cast over the surfaces.

Those pump levers are ultra thin and will require great care not to break or loose them.

I mentioned that so little flash hardly merits remark, but the flash is in delicate areas, skinning over instrument bezel openings, and the lightening holes of the headrest support.

Very fine detail is exposed into the instrument panel film. It is finer than my camera could capture in the review image.

This level of detail is remarkable and certainly will enhance Hasegawa's model.

Instructions, Decals, Packaging
No decals are provided, just the instrument panel film.

A small instruction sheet is provided. It is clearly printed and organized. Each sprue is illustrated and each part numbered. Each part identified by number in the assembly steps, and keyed to one of five (5) Humbrol brand colors used to paint the parts. The overall interior color is incorrectly presented as "interior blue," aka Atoke*.

This sweet set is packaged in a sturdy plastic bubble with a cardstock backing.

Conclusion
CMK has created an impressive upgrade set with J2M3 Raiden Cockpit Set for Hasegawa Kit. With crisp casting, high detail and separately cast parts, plus film instrument dial faces, the level of detail is unquestionably enhanced. The only complaints I have are the incorrect color guidance and the low structural members.

This cockpit set can stand alone or be combined with the other sets to upgrade and enhance Hasegawa's old J2M3 into the pride of your collection. Recommended!

Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE.
_________
Reference

* The sole surviving "Jack" is a J2M3 (Serial Number 3014) that belongs to the Planes of Fame Air Museum. In the 1980s a Mr. Ron Cole photographed the interior which bore the original paint (a light olive - after the plane had been an outdoor display for years). Sometime over the next 10 years the cockpit was ruined with an ignorant choice of gray and metallic green paints.
SUMMARY
Highs: Crisp casting with high detail and some separately cast components. Film instrument dial faces.
Lows: Incorrect color guidance. Perhaps the structural members are too low?
Verdict: This cockpit set can stand alone or be combined with the other sets to upgrade and enhance Hasegawa's old J2M3 into the pride of your collection.
  Scale: 1:72
  Mfg. ID: 7392
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Dec 13, 2018
  NATIONALITY: Japan / 日本
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 87.03%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 85.89%

Our Thanks to Special Hobby!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Frederick Boucher (JPTRR)
FROM: TENNESSEE, UNITED STATES

I'm a professional pilot with a degree in art. My first model was an AMT semi dump truck. Then Monogram's Lunar Lander right after the lunar landing. Next, Revell's 1/32 Bf-109G...cried havoc and released the dogs of modeling! My interests--if built before 1900, or after 1955, then I proba...

Copyright 2019 text by Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]. All rights reserved.



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