Arawasi contest #9

Wednesday, 25 July 2018

Mitsubishi G3M "Nell" in 1/32 by Bill Bosworth

The Mitsubishi G3M "Nell"  Genzan Naval Air Group Saigon
 
I have always had a thing for twin tail, twin engine aircraft. And it appears that I have also had a thing for 1:32nd Japanese subjects. I didn't really realize this last fact until I looked at the pile of boxes where they all live and rediscovered just how many of these I have scratch built. I guess I should pay more attention to what I am doing. Nah...Too late. The list?.. So far an Aichi D3A-1 Val, Kawasaki Ki 45 Nick, Kyushu J7W1 Shinden, Mitsubishi G4M Betty with Ohka, and a Nakajima B5N2 Kate. And now this one which has been on my to-do list for a few decades. Finally, through the kindness, sharing and knowledge of George and the Arawasi archives, I felt I had enough data to build something that at least resembled a Nell. I just don't like my stuff to resemble a "toy" and with this help, I think/hope it passes muster.
I like to historic AC and had decided to do one of the planes that took part in the attacks on HMS Prince of Wales and Repulse on December 10, 1941. This particular ship attacked the PoW and was hit by anti-aircraft fire. I'm sure that the true experts will see the errors, but for me, I am satisfied that it looks like a small Nell. Except for the enormous wing! Nothing small about that.
I had this one come together in pretty short order. About 3-4 months. I never have kept track of hours or week or months. I Have never seen the relevance in building a model and watching the clock. We all build at different speeds. I have been doing this scratch building thing for a long time now and have evolved my techniques to what works for me.  Everyone is different. I don't build "multiples".  I have barely enough patience to build one! So I make many pieces from solid sheet plastic and vac form the rest. I have always enjoyed making wood patterns and with the aid of really nice plans (Thanks again, George) the wood elements came together pretty quickly. Vac forming the basic fuselage, tail, cowls, nacelles, etc. and wings took a nice Sunday afternoon. All of the "little pieces" were done in no particular order as I like to deliberately do them "out of order for assembly". This requires, a constant measuring and test fitting and I feel really, really helps keep things "honest".  There is no way to rush this sort of thing. They MUST fit or I will have to do them over. Remember. I have zero patience. The engines where an example of how lazy I am. There are no off-the-shelf pieces for the Kensai units I needed. But there are some very nice 18 cylinder resin engines that have the same basic cylinder shapes and configurations, etc. as the ones I needed. Building new valve trains and "reversing a few things" allowed me to end up with a couple of engines that when buried in some nice tight cowls look convincing enough to my eye. The various gun blisters and canopies took a bit of time to measure, measure, measure and fit but in the end, they went and stayed where they all belong. I feel the interior is somewhere north of acceptable. Interiors are always a problem for me as this is an area that never seems to get adequate coverage. And if it was covered, finding data is often next to impossible.
Thanks to the earlier research done for the torpedo I hung under the Kate, the Nell version came together a little easier. But definitely not quickly.
This little bugger was far more involved than I would have wished. But it definitely looks the part when finished and gives a purposeful look to the plane. Except for the enormous square footage (meter-age) of the wing and the relatively tiny engines, it looks like this plane could hardly get off the ground let alone carry a torpedo like this one. Paint was as close as "accurate reporting" comes with Japanese AC. "Correct shades"?  Just shoot me. I mixed all of them from Tamiya thinned with lacquer thinner.
Markings...Thanks again to George, we were able to identify one of the torpedo carrying ships so I could duplicate the markings. Painting the Round Red Things isn't much of a problem and is done faster than looking for 1:32nd decals.
This one was fun for me. It is now comfortable boxed up and has gone into storage with the rest of the stuff. One of these days I need to take 'em all out and get a group photo. Now that I have realized that I actually HAVE a group.

- Bill Bosworth -

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

8 comments:

Toryu said...

I'm impressed beyond awe. Such detail and accuracy down to the rudder cables! A masterpiece!

Jacob Terlouw said...


Amazing!! Very well detailed, this is magic. I go with Toryu- indeed a masterpiece.

Dan Salamone said...

That is a piece of art. Beautiful!

Dan

George Bryant said...

Bill, you truly are an artist. Plastic and wood is your canvas. The Nell is one of my favorite aircraft.

D. Chouinard said...

Truly amazing! Modeling the old fashioned way....wow!

Eric Vogel said...


Brilliant piece of Modeling !! Fantastic details, very impressing...

Barby jean said...

Really exceptional! Me like!

David S. said...

Wow, that's a superb looking Rikko and an excellent piece of craftsmanship!
How did you do that very delicate dorsal turret and the perfect looking DF-loop?


The vertical stabilizer mounted on top of tail plane, the flush cockpit glazing and the nose cone are good looking features of the G3M to me.