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B7A2 Ryusei Kai (Grace) Attack Bomber

Hasegawa 1/48 B7A2 Ryusei Kai (Grace) Attack Bomber Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review October 2015 Manufacturer Hasegawa
Subject B7A2 Ryusei Kai (Grace) Attack Bomber Scale 1/48
Kit Number 07410 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Easy build, unique subject Cons Nothing noted
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $42.99

First Look

B7A2 Ryusei Kai (Grace) Attack Bomber Kit
B7A2 Ryusei Kai (Grace) Attack Bomber Kit
B7A2 Ryusei Kai (Grace) Attack Bomber Kit
B7A2 Ryusei Kai (Grace) Attack Bomber Kit
B7A2 Ryusei Kai (Grace) Attack Bomber Kit

The Aichi B7A Ryusei (Shooting Star) was designed as an attack aircraft to replace both the B6N torpedo bomber and D4Y dive bomber aboard a new generation of aircraft carriers. The B7A was a two-place aircraft which featured an inverted gull wing design similar to the F4U Corsair which allowed for a larger propeller without the resulting extra long landing gear. In flight test, the B7A was almost as agile air-to-air as the A6M Zero but in operation, it would never fulfill its intended purpose. The airframe was designed to use the larger elevator of the Taiho-class aircraft carrier, but the Taiho was sunk before the first B7As were ready to embark. As a result, the B7As were employed from land bases until the next Taiho-class carrier could be launched, but that ship was sunk by an American submarine just two days after launch.

Hasegawa has reissued their 1/48 B7A2 kit depicting options for two Aichi production airframes as they appeared rolling off the assembly line. The kit is molded in light gray styrene and presented on 14 parts trees plus one tree of clear parts. Among the features and options in this kit:

  • Nicely detailed front and rear cockpits
  • Positionble canopies
  • Optional rear-firing gun in rear cockpit
  • Choice of open or closed cowl flaps
  • Choice of open or closed weapons bay
  • Torpedo on centerline mount for closed weapons bay option
  • Two bombs on trapeze inside weapons bay for open bay option
  • Choice of round or weighted main landing gear tires

Decals are included for two examples:

  • B7A2, aircraft 10, Aichi factory
  • B7A2, aircraft 44, Aichi factory

Assembly of this kit is straightforward and provides nice details straight out of the box. Eduard produces a nice photo-etched detail set (48220) for this kit to add crew restraints, engine ignition wiring, filter screens, etc., to please the AMS modeler. This is one another one of Hasegawa's nice kits of a subject that (fortunately) did not have the opportunity to show its real capabilities.

My sincere thanks to Hasegawa USA for this review sample!