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Nell Kit

Koster Aero Enterprises 1/48 G3M2 Type 96 Model 22/23 (Nell) Kit First Look

By Fotios Rouch

Date of Review August 2006 Manufacturer Koster Aero Enterprises
Subject G3M2 Type 96 Model 22/23 (Nell) Scale 1/48
Kit Number KAE30 Primary Media Vac, White Metal
Pros Interior and exterior fuselage are separate parts, excellent detailing Cons
Skill Level Advanced MSRP (USD) $69.00

First Look

Nell Kit
Nell Kit
Nell Kit
Nell Kit
Nell Kit
Nell Kit
Nell Kit

On 14 August 1937 a force of G3M2s flew out of Taipei in Formosa and attacked targets in China 1,250 miles away making it the first transoceanic air attack in history. The G3M2 Model 22 was armed with one 20mm cannon and four 7.7 mm machine guns. The crew was comprised of seven.

The Model 23 featured Kinsei 51 engines and further increased fuel capacity. 1,048 G3Ms were built, many of which were converted for use as transports. The Nell was succeeded by the Mitsubishi G4M (Betty). Mitsubishi G3M2s and G4Ms achieved their greatest operational success on 10 December 1941, when they torpedoed and sank the British battleship HMS Prince of Wales and battle-cruiser HMS Repulse off the coast of Malaya.

Few believed but many hoped that Koster would actually finish the Nell! It has been so long since this kit was promised to the modelers. Well, in the National of 2006 modelers were rewarded with a very nice 48th scale Nell.

Mr. Koster was just done with putting the metal parts in their baggies and assembling the Nell boxes when we arrived and snatched away one of the first Nells in the market.

The kit is done in vacuform plastic for the main parts. Lots of resin and metal parts for all the details and decals for three different Nells.

The vacuform parts are very cleanly molded with sharp detail and they should make for easy assembly once separated from their plastic carrier sheets.

The vacuform parts also include the parts for the cockpit interior walls and the torpedoes. The spars for the wing attachment and alignment with the fuselage are also provided in vacuform plastic. The clear vac parts are very transparent with well defined framework.

The resin is done very well and needs little cleanup. There is little resin that needs to be trimmed out and cleaned up but this should be a very quick job. The engines are very detailed and lots of small metal valve actuators are provided to dress them up. The flying surfaces are also done in resin and the ribbing is very subtle. The crew seats have the seatbelt details molded in.

The metal parts are very crisp with great machine gun representations, sturdy landing gear, antennas and rudder pedals.

The instructions are very clear and they also provide color profiles for the three Nells that can be built out of the decals set.

The kit is recommended to experienced modelers but it is also recommended to those that have built lots of plastic and want to venture in a slightly different world. Vacuform modeling is not all that tough. Try it.