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Mitsubishi G3M Nell

Koster Aero Enterprises, 1/48 scale

S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number: Koster Aero Enterprises Model Kit No KEA 30 - Mitsubishi G3M Nell
Scale: 1/48
Contents and Media: 28 vacuum formed parts in white and clear styrene; 49 cast metal parts; 60 cast resin parts; markings for three aircraft
Price: USD$69.95, available via email direct from Koster Aero Enterprises wkoster2@comcast.net
or online from Great Models Webstore
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: Excellent decals; crystal clear vac formed transparencies; good surface detail; crisply cast resin and metal parts; three colour scheme options; clear instruction sheet detail
Disadvantages: Vac form (but not really a disadvantage if you are an experienced vac form builder); no history details on colour schemes
Recommendation: Recommended


Reviewed by Mick Evans


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FirstLook

 

The new vacuum formed release from Koster Aero Enterprises of the World War II Japanese twin engine torpedo bomber the Mitsubishi G3M Nell is a welcome release in the 1/48 scale arena. The kit contains 28 vacuum formed parts in white and clear styrene, 49 cast metal parts, and 60 cast resin parts. Markings are provided on a decal sheet covering 3 different schemes.

 

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

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The kit parts are typical of previous high quality multi-media kits manufactured by Koster.

The vacuum formed parts are crisply formed with good panel detail. The interior cockpit side walls, bulkheads and floors are vacuum formed. At first I was skeptical as to whether the detail would be replicated crisply enough in vac form but on closer inspection I was pleasantly surprised, and once the metal and resin parts are added the area will look very busy and well detailed. The only challenge that I could foresee with the vac formed parts is the elevated platform for the upper waist gunner position has been stretched to the limit in the moulding process and will need to be reinforced with plastic card to add some strength, but for most vac form builders this is barely a challenge. Two vac formed wing spars are provided to give a firm mounting point and sets the wing dihedral correctly.

Assembly starts with the assembly of the interior fit out. This involves the fitting of the vac form side walls and wing spars. The cockpit is built up with vac formed floor and rear bulkhead. The front bulkhead which includes the instrument panel is cast crisply in resin. To this assembly are added the resin pilots and navigators seats. The controls are a mix of resin and metal parts.

 

 

The build up of the rear fuselage is a similar build with a mixture of vac form, metal and resin parts. The instructions make mention of fitting 4mm x 5mm reinforcement tabs cut from the spare vac form plastic to the inside of the fuselage seam line as a method to increase the strength of the join. Having built quite a few vac form kits this is a mandatory part of construction and can avoid a seam failure on the completed kit.

One the fuselage is full assembled I would suggest fitting the vac form transparencies. This has two advantages, the first is that it prevents the ingress of dust into the fuselage and the second advantage is that it allows for easy access to blend the transparencies to the fuselage.

Once the fuselage is completed assembly can commence on the wings and tailplane. These are constructed from vac form parts including the wheel well ceiling and lower engine nacelle mounting. These can be then attached to the fuselage. The two vertical fins and rudders are cast in resin and attach cleanly into slots cut in the horizontal tailplane.
The engines are beautifully and crisply cast in resin with separate push rods cast in metal to be fitted to each cylinder. Once the engines are built they are installed into the vac forme nacelle cowls. The cast resin exhaust stubs are the final part of this assembly.

 

 

The undercarriage is crisply cast in metal with resin wheels and undercarriage doors. These parts locate into mounting holes drilled into the wheel well ceiling. The propeller is constructed from a resin hub with individual resin blades. Once assembled a resin spinner is installed before fitting the assembly to the engine.

Full length resin flaps are provided along with seven resin hinges and two balance horns. These should attach easily to the underside of the wing surface. The torpedo is made from two vac formed halves with the fins and propellers being constructed from plastic card using the templates provided on the instruction sheet.

Colour schemes are for three aircraft in light grey undersides with dark green and dark brown upper surfaces. The decals are crisply printed with good colour saturation and thin carrier film.

 

 

The instructions are easy to follow, while the colour schemes are presented in colour but give no details as to unit markings where the aircraft operated or the period of operation. These details are nice to have and make researching the particular aircraft a bit easier.

Overall this looks to be a beautiful kit and will sit very nicely beside my Tamiya Betty and Dinah when complete.

Recommended for modellers of above average skill and experience.

Thanks to Koster Aero Enterprises for the sample


Review Text Copyright 2007 by Mick Evans
Page Created 02 October, 2007
Last updated 24 December, 2007

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