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Kawanishi N1K1-J “Shiden”

by Randy Colvin


Kawanishi N1K1-J “Shiden”


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This is Tamiya’s N1K1-J Shiden in 1/48 scale. It would be safe to say that this kit is not the most popular Tamiya kit ever released. It was the same way with the Imperial Japanese Navy as well. With an unreliable Nakajima Homare 21 engine and weak undercarriage it was not popular with Japanese pilots.

Not much information is available on this aircraft. After visiting several web sites and looking in my reference library I found that most info is based on the N1K “Rex” float plane version or the later, more reliable N1K2 “George”.


The N1K1-J that I built represents an aircraft from the 341st AG, 402nd Squadron. This unit fought over Iwo Jima, Formosa and the Philippines and was the first to be issued the new N1K1, it was reported that this group was decimated by January 1945.



Construction and Painting

As usual with Tamiya kits I simply threw glue in the box along with a set of photo-etch seat belts and shook it up (in other words there were no assembly problems).



Then I painted it using AeroMaster and Model Master paints. Weathering was done using a mixture of Tamiya Smoke, pastels, silver stippling with an old ragged out 1/8” flat brush and silver pencil lead. All markings were masked and airbrushed except for the tail number, this was the only decal used from the Tamiya sheet.

If I remember correctly this aircraft was lost in a battle with Hellcats over the Philippines in December 1944 but if any of Hyperscale’s readers can tell me the fate of 341S-23 I would be happy to hear it, I used to have reference referring to this aircraft but I have lost it since building this kit.


Additional Images


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Model, Images and Article Copyright © 2002 by Randy Colvin
Page Created 30 January 2002
Last updated 04 June 2007

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