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 Fujimi 1/72: Aichi B7A1 Ryusei "Grace"

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Propwash

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PostSubject: Fujimi 1/72: Aichi B7A1 Ryusei "Grace"   Sun Feb 26, 2017 12:30 am

I've always liked the unusual looks of this Japanese aircraft. IXO is the only manufacturer to offer it in die cast (and it is not good at all - the "bombs" are painted silhouettes under the wings Shocked ) but they are hard to find now and priced much more than they are worth. So I opted to build one and got this kit off Ebay for a good price.

The Aircraft

The Aichi Ryusei (Shooting Star), Allied code name "Grace," was the largest and heaviest Japanese carrier-based aircraft in WWII. It had inverted gull-wings (to afford clearance for the 11 foot diameter prop) which could fold for storage on a carrier. It was versatile and could carry bombs or torpedoes in its internal bomb bay, and/or smaller bombs on external racks under the wings. It was armed with two forward firing wing-mounted 20 mm cannons, and a 7.92 mm or 13 mm machine gun fired by the rear-facing gunner.

It first flew in 1942 but did not reach production until 1944. By then it was to late to manufacture them in any great numbers to have any affect on the war (114 were produced). They were fast (top speed 352 MPH) and highly maneuverable (said to rival the A6M2 Zero fighter).

The Kit

This kit was released in 1984. My example was in excellent condition with no real damage to the decals from time and storage (although the decals were slightly printed off-center). The kit has marking for only one aircraft as serving in the Imperial Japanese Navy, 752nd Flying Group.

Kit assembly was straight-forward and without any surprises or drama (for a change). The interior lacks detail (but has an instrument panel decal) which is a shame as the canopy is quite clear. My interior / wheel well color is not quite correct as it should be a type of metallic blue which I could not find. So I used interior green. You also have the option of building the model with the bomb-bay open (displaying two bombs) which I elected not to do.

My only problems were my own doing. I snapped the radio antenna when I tried fixing the antenna wire so it had to be repaired (and is sans wire). After coating the model with Pledge I left the window to my office partially open to take advantage of the breeze. Bad idea as it deposited a nice bit of dust and pollen on the finish (see the sparkles! unbelievable ).

It's a decent, though dated, kit that I would build if the price is right.











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Migrant

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PostSubject: Re: Fujimi 1/72: Aichi B7A1 Ryusei "Grace"   Wed May 10, 2017 7:56 pm

Looks like a very nice clean build, PW. I hadn't realized before looking at your model what a gull wing the Grace had.

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TomMarkert

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PostSubject: Re: Fujimi 1/72: Aichi B7A1 Ryusei "Grace"   Wed May 10, 2017 8:52 pm

Nice build and a cool paint job. Interesting that Japanese propellers are usually brown.

I found the Japaneses interior blue in Model Master paints here...

http://www.hobbylinc.com/testors-model-master-japan-interior-metallic-blue-1:2-oz-hobby-and-model-enamel-paint-2119

I have a bottle but haven't used much of it yet, except for the cockpit of my Mavis.

Tom

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Propwash

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PostSubject: Re: Fujimi 1/72: Aichi B7A1 Ryusei "Grace"   Thu May 11, 2017 12:10 am

Thank you both for your comments on my build. I think it looks a bit better than the IXO model - if for no other reason than the bombs are "real" rather than painted on. Wink

I managed to purchase a bottle of the interior blue which I used on some of my later builds. I think I bought it from Squadron or Sprue Bros. Thanks, Tom.
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