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Kyushu J7W2-S Interceptor Fighter Shindenkai

Hasegawa 1/48 Kyushu J7W2-S Interceptor Fighter Shindenkai Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review March 2014 Manufacturer Hasegawa
Subject Kyushu J7W2-S Interceptor Fighter Shindenkai Scale 1/48
Kit Number 07367 Primary Media Styrene, Resin
Pros Nice details, colorful decals Cons None noted
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $54.95

First Look

Kyushu J7W2-S Interceptor Fighter Shindenkai
Kyushu J7W2-S Interceptor Fighter Shindenkai
Kyushu J7W2-S Interceptor Fighter Shindenkai
Kyushu J7W2-S Interceptor Fighter Shindenkai

Captain Masayoshi Tusuruno was looking for innovative new designs that could be employed within the air arm of the Imperial Japanese Navy. The airframe configuration that showed great promise was a canard design and in 1943, flight testing of three MXY6 gliders proved out that promise. One of the gliders was fitted with a 22 hp engine and flight test results impressed the Navy enough to order the development of a fighter based on this canard configuration.

Captain Tusuruno and a special design team were sent to oversee the development of this new fighter to be built at Kyushu Aircraft Company. Kyushu had sufficient resources available to take on this project as opposed to the other aircraft companies that were producing various fighters and bombers to support ongoing Army and Navy orders.

What emerged from the drawing boards at Kyushu was a very potent interceptor that was powered by a supercharged 2,130 hp engine turning an eight-bladed pusher propeller, armed with four 30mm cannons, and had a take-off weight under 12,000 pounds. Designated J7W1 Shinden (Magnificent Lightning), this fighter was the ideal answer to deal with the heavily armed B-29 Superfortress. Flight testing of the Shinden revealed some engineering issues that needed to be sorted out including inadequate cooling when running the engine on the ground, excessive torque from that huge engine/propeller combination, as well as some vibration issues. The war ended before the two prototypes had accumulated 45 minutes of flight time over three flights.

Even before flight test had begun on the J7W1, engineers were already looking at this airframe as a candidate for jet power thanks to the Ne-20 license-built Jumo engines that were being worked by war's end. Tentatively designated as J7W2 Shindenkai, turbine power would have provided the J7W2 some impressive performance as well as new engineering challenges as Japanese designers would have joined their German, British, and US counterparts in dealing with transonic aerodynamics.

Hasegawa has released a new variant of the Kyushu J7W, this time rendering the turbine-powered J7W2 fighter. This kit retains all of the sprue trees from the J7W1 release, so you can still render the propeller-powered J7W1 out of this box if you wish. The kit is molded in light gray styrene and presented on seven parts trees plus one tree of clear parts and three resin parts molded in gray.

This kit has the following features and options:

  • Simple but updatable cockpit
  • Positionable canopy
  • Optional standing pilot figure
  • Replacement resin air cooling and engine air intakes (resin)
  • Positionable landing gear
  • New turbine exhaust and fairing (resin)
  • Centerline fuel tank
  • Two types underwing rockets with launch rails

Markings are provided for four aircraft:

  • J7W2, 3D-1161, 302 Naval Flying Group, 1947
  • J7W2, 3D-1163, 302 Naval Flying Group, 1947
  • J7W2, Red 10, Luftwaffe
  • J7W2, Red 12, Luftwaffe

This kit has been in the Hasegawa catalog many years (J7W1) as reflected with its raised panel lines, but the kit is a quick and easy build. While there is now another J7W kit on the marking in 1/48, this kit is still the only option for the J7W2 for now and is waiting on store shelves.

My sincere thanks to Hasegawa USA for this review sample!