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J2M3 Raiden Concept Note

J2M3 Raiden Concept Note Book Review

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review November 2013 Title J2M3 Raiden Concept Note
Author Multiple Publisher Zoukei-Mura Inc.
Published 2013 ISBN 9784903596174
Format 104 pages, softbound MSRP (USD) $22.00


Zoukei-Mura Inc. continues to raise the bar on the quality of kits produced in 1/32 and now 1/48 scale. As part of this strategy, they've published a series of monographs, one for each major subject produced under the banner of Concept Note. This is the latest in the series and covers the Mitsubishi J2M3 Raiden kit released by the company a few weeks ago.

The title is published in Japanese and English with narrative and captions provided in both languages. The idea behind Concept Note is to provide the modeler with a one-stop reference for how the real subject looks and how the model looks at each stage in the assembly process. What's more, you're not looking at just one modeler's approach to the subject, there are several examples shown with full-color photos of each throughout their assembly process. Each modeler has chosen a different way to portray the aircraft with varying levels of flight readiness or open maintenance going on so you can examine what these options look like and how they will work for your own project.

In parallel with these color images of the models under construction are corresponding images of a 1:1 scale Shinden. The publication team photographed the J2M3 Raiden on display at the Planes of Fame Museum in Chino, CA. These images help reinforce the 'look' that you're trying to achieve with your own build.

This is an interesting title in that Zoukei-Mura has taken the research material that they gathered in developing their J2M3 kit and combined it with some nice background information as well as illustrated with several outstanding kit builds. The result is a reference that will help both the visual- as well as the narrative-oriented modeler achieve realistic builds without the painful process of searching out meaningful reference photos and data. There are also a build of a variant of the J2M4 with oblique firing cannon armament.

Whether you're tackling your own Zoukei-Mura 1/32 Raiden or one of Hasegawa's kits, this great reference will help you attain the detail and appearance of the aircraft beyond the simplified painting instructions in each kit.

Definitely recommended!

This title can be purchased from the Volks USA store.

My sincere thanks to Zoukei-Mura Inc. for this review sample!