Hasegawa 1/72 G4M2A Type 1 Model 24 (Betty) Attack Bomber Kit First Look
|Date of Review||April 2018||Manufacturer||Hasegawa|
|Subject||G4M2A Type 1 Model 24 (Betty) Attack Bomber||Scale||1/72|
|Kit Number||02263||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Nice subject||Cons||See text|
|Skill Level||Experienced||MSRP (USD)||$51.99|
The Mitsubishi G4M Type 1 attack bomber was developed in the mid-1930s for the Imperial Japanese Naval Air Service as a follow-on to the G3M light bomber. Codenamed Betty, the aircraft was powered by a pair of 1800 horsepower engines mounted to a relatively lightweight airframe. The aircraft's light weight, long wing, and engine power allowed the aircraft to operate high over target areas and depart before fighters could reach them. While this was effective in the late 1930s and the first years of World War 2, but the reason for the aircraft's light weight was a similar design philosophy that Mitsubishi also applied to their A6M Zero (Zeke) fighter - no armor protection nor self-sealing fuel tanks. Japanese and allied pilots had uncomplimentary nicknames for the G4M to describe how easily the aircraft would burst into flame with any battle damage. Like the A6M, the G4M remained in production well into World War 2 and as combat experience was gained, Mitsubishi added armor and self-sealing fuel tanks as well as more powerful engines to later variants.
Hasegawa has reissued their 1/72 G4M2 kit, but for those of you who have been modeling a while (and remember when Paul McCartney was in a band before 'Wings'), you'll remember that Hasegawa first released a 1/72 G4M kit back in the late 1960s. As with other subjects in their catalog, this kit was re-engineered with more details and scribed surface details, and was released in 1997. This kit is one from the updated tooling. Molded in light gray styrene, this kit is presented on 15 parts threes plus two in clear.
Among the features and options in this kit:
- Contiguous main deck from bombardier to tail gunner
- Basic flight deck with three crew positions
- Choice of bombardier noses - with or without radar antenna
- Model is divided into compartments to show off interior details through the greenhouse nose, cockpit enclosure, waist windows, and tail gunner transparency
- Articulating waist gun mounts
- Detailed main landing gear
- Bulged bomb bay doors are positionable
- Choice of bomb or torpedo load in bomb bay
Markings are provided for two examples:
- G4M2a, 763-12, 702 Attack Squadron/763 Naval Flying Group, Luzon, 1944
- G4M2a, 02-13, 702 Attack Squadron/752 Naval Flying Group, Luzon, 1944
What confuses me is this limited edition release. The decals are very unremarkable, but given the MSRP of $52, I would have expected a larger variety of decal options or some limited edition details not found in previous releases. Even more puzzling is that this kit is scheduled to be reissued again soon as the G4M2e with Okha bomb (that is at least noteworthy) and it has an MSRP of $46, but I suspect these are artifacts of the problems being experienced by the US importer during their bankruptcy. When you see these, I expect the street prices will sort themselves out.
My sincere thanks to Hasegawa USA for this review sample!