As I stated earlier, there is very little in the way of aftermarket stuff for this kit, but here’s what I do have.
Some resin exhausts, from Quickboost, since the kit ones are just blobs.
Likewise with the kit’s weapons, that resemble broom-handles.
Japanese 20mm Type 99 cannon from Mini World. Ordered from Hannants, I wanted eight but they only had seven, so I took them. Then found out I actually only needed six, as the front turret was fitted with 13mm Type 2 heavy machine guns.
So small it can hardly be seen, just at the corner of that p.e. is the fore-sight, about the size of a full-stop. I suspect I may not use it! In fact, given they are being used in a twin-gun mount, I probably don’t need the rear sight either, as the actual sight was likely between the two.
Talking of 13mm Type 2, also from Hannants, a pack of eight, by CMK. I ordered them, not just for the front turret, but for the two waist gun positions, where the kit has nothing at all. Yes, the packet says German MG-131, but the Type 2 was a licence-built copy, so it’s fair play to use them.
At this point the rivet-counters among you may wish to bail out, as what is about to follow is heresy!
To date, I have only found one reference shot of the cockpit interior.
The kit cockpit, however, is bland, bereft of detail, not even so much as an instrument panel. Now I could scratch-build some stuff, but after looking at one of the other members build, a B-17, I realised that the aftermarket stuff he was using wasn’t a million miles away from what I needed. So I have this, also from CMK.
The Renzan had four crew-members on the flight-deck, so I have two sets of B-17 seats and harnesses.
Finally, to round off the sacrilege, resin B-17 wheels! Size-wise, they’re an almost perfect match.
Back to authenticity, I also have four of these bad boys on order, from Vector. Resin Nakajima Homare Ha-45 engines.
Other details in the cockpit and wheel wells will be scratch-built.
Time to open the box…
If a kit could talk, what would it say? According to the Scalemates Bible, Frog first released this kit in 1968, and that would certainly chime with my memory of first seeing it when I was about ten or eleven. That means this plastic bag could have been in this box, sealed, unopened, for up to fifty years. It may sound silly, but I felt a deep sense of reverence as I cut it open. After all, I’ve been waiting fifty years myself for this moment. I’m sure I heard the kit sigh, then whisper ‘At last…’
First runner, engine nacelles, props and other stuff.
Some very nice raised rivet detail going on here.
This is why I invested in some aftermarket guns.
Likewise with the exhausts.
Next runner, the wings.
More of that nice rivet detail. It seems the penny-pinchers at Frog didn’t want to pay for rivets where the nacelles go, though. That will be seen through the open wheel bay doors, so I’ll have to add some rivets myself.
Runner three, the fuselage and that ‘detailed bomb load.’ I’ll do the bomb bay doors shut, as this was a prototype, and probably never actually carried a bomb load. Makes for an easier life, too, since I won’t have to add detail to the bomb bay. That would be very difficult anyway, as there are no reference shots of it.
The engine cowlings. Nothing much happening here. I’ll cut that bland front out to expose the resin engines I’ll be fitting.
The clear parts have suffered a bit, sliding around in the bag for decades. They’ll need some TLC with the polishing compound and a dip in Klear before they’ll be acceptable for use. Not looking forward to masking them up, as the framework is almost invisible.
Now things really are getting silly, because I’m reluctant to throw away the plastic bags. After doing their job for five decades I feel like they deserve more than ending up in a waste bin. Jeez, I’m really going soft in my old age!