In-Box Review
WWII IJN Aircraft (Early)
WWII IJN Carrier-based Aircraft (Early Pacific War)
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by: Rui Matos [ SKIPPER ]

The Box

The cardboard box also serves as marking and painting guide (Hobby Colour and Mr. Colour references) and also indicating what do you get:
6 x Mitsubishi A6M2 Zero (ID as Zero Fighter type 21)
6 x Aichi D3A1 Val (ID as Type 99 Carrier Dive Bomber)
6 x Nakajima B5N Kate (ID as Type 97 Torpedo Bomber)

Top, Port side and bottom views with the colour codes (box back) and box contents (airplane types, decal sheet and PE parts) on one of the sides finish this.

Inside the Box

This is where things get good, and you will understand why, reading my description of the items!

The Plastic and PE Parts
You'll get for:
- The Zero, 6 plastic parts (wings, fuselage, fuel drop tank, propeller hub cap, two bombs) and four PE Parts (landing gear with wheel wells, wheels x 2 and propeller);
- The Val, 6 plastic parts (wings, fuselage, bomb, landing gear (x2) and propeller hub cap) and one PE Part (propeller);
- The Kate, 5 plastic parts (wings, fuselage, option of torpedo or bomb loads and propeller hub) and four PE Parts (landing gear with wheel wells, wheels x 2 and propeller).
Considering that the same types of planes that come with our carrier models consists of one plastic part... enough said.

The plastic parts are very well injected in a matt dark green gray plastic, with the main parts (wings and fuselage) with good panel marks, ideal when you give the black wash for bringing all this detail out.
Of special note on these, are the infinite size on some of the plastic parts (propeller hubs, fuel drop tanks, small bombs), but always with a good detail and shape, like the distinctive shape of the hooded landing gear of the Val or the Torpedoes carried by the Kate.

Also of note is that the PE parts are those that have a self adhesive backing, which means that you do not have to cut the PE part of the fret, just peel it.
This is particularly nice especially because the parts are very small and delicate

The Decal Sheet
You'll get more Hinomaru's roundels than you need in two sizes and also the colored stripes (double, in red, blue, yellow; single, in red, blue, white, yellow and black) that identify the ship and squadron - so you'll need to make your homework properly when making a specific carrier air wing.


Details, details... The devil is on the Details!
These aircraft will be on the same level of detail as your IJN Carrier and make a good addition to the flight deck! You'll have a little more work than usual when making the 1/700 planes, but at least you'll have everything inside the box.
On the "down" side, the inclusion of canopy frames and arrestor hooks in the PE Set would be nice (at least the arrestor hook can be easily made with brass wire).

It's time to attack your unbuilt IJN carrier models, and get these nice add-ons to populate the deck!

Many Thanks to Keith Forsyth (docdios) for delivering this in hand in Telford and for for providing the review sample!

Rui Matos
Highs: Good details, Good PE parts, Excellent decals set
Lows: Canopy and Arrestor hooks could have been included in the PE Set.
Verdict: A good investment to level up all the hard work carried on the base for these airplanes, your IJN Aircraft Carrier!
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:700
  Mfg. ID: L70002
  Suggested Retail: 7.65
  Related Link: Lionroar Website
  PUBLISHED: Jan 04, 2010
  NATIONALITY: Japan / 日本

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About Rui Matos (skipper)

Hi all Crew Members!
Rui Matos, 39 years old (in 2006), married, former Portuguese Navy Fire Control Radar Operator , and "owned" by two cats - James, Stripes (Riscas in portuguese, now deceased) and Moon (Lua)!
I've been modeling since I was 6, but only have turned to Submarines in 1991 o...

Copyright 2021 text by Rui Matos [ SKIPPER ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of Model Shipwrights. All rights reserved.


Having churn through 5 boxes of these, my review: There are 6 extra prop PE for the Zeros, neat as spare. Some of the props are slightly too wide. Some of the spinner plug need some cleaning up or the PE propeller whole slightly enlarged or they won't fit well. Most propeller plugs need cleaning work and is fiddly. The prop hubs for the val are of the incorrect shape. The legs of vals are very fragile, I have a suspicision that the mating surface doesn't quite fit. The plastic is very soft and easy to work with should you wish to shave off the canopy and replace with PE mesh. The Decal is a major let down -> the stripes are nice but the meatballs red is way off. Whilst it is nice that LR provided white backing on the meatballs meaning they won't fade to brown when applied on a IJN green upper surface, the colour unfortunately is a bright red, which is wrong. Oh...and they are a bit on the expensive side on normal retail prices... $13 for 18 aircrafts. Whilst I picked up mine on a sale at luckymodels at $3.99 a piece, I now wished I had stashed many times that amount.
JAN 07, 2010 - 12:31 PM
Hi Jim Thank you for your input, especially because you have build them, instead of me, that just took a look at them. If I am allowed, I'll comment on some of your own comments: - Cleaning and dry fitting is a usual procedure, so there's not a real issue here; - I agree that the Val propeller hub, should be cylindrical, not conical; - I ask you (and all) to remember that the scale of this airplanes is 1/700, not 1/72.. As I started, your comments come from actually build the lot... can you please show us your results? Thank you Cheers, Rui
JAN 08, 2010 - 01:23 AM
Hi, I just found it hard to manage the small pieces, despite believing having reasonable experience with 1/700 scale ship PEs (I have about 7 kg of them) The small plastic parts are just about 'un-tweezerable' so any fit issues, once it's off the sprue, is not easily sanded. As for the Vals prop hub, I ended up just using brass wire instead as 1, it is easier and I don't lose them, 2, it's cylindrical. These 'super detail' accessories are to satisfy a specific demographic. If I can build a 1/700 as a 1/72, I would! Unfortunately right now the thought of hollow-out the cockpit area of 60 odd planes in order to have seats (yes I have them, eg from the LR IJN AA guns set, 2 for each mount in fact!) stops me short. It shows there's still a trace of sanity left. However, if LR decides to release these with hollow cockpits (which is actually possible given the 2 piece moud right now), or provide a specific tool for that purpose.......heheheheheheheeeeheeee Here are my results. And a small tip on making the zero's canopy from PE nets. I used flyhawk's 0.5mm and 0.3mm nets. For each zero, 2 different sets of PE parts are used in order to create the 'contour' of a zero's canopy.
JAN 08, 2010 - 12:12 PM
Excellent if I can only find a source for 1:350 Spitfires! --Karl
JAN 08, 2010 - 12:27 PM
Hi Jim Thanks for the tips and photos Insanity for 700th scale??? Nahhh Again, Thank you for your input Cheers, Rui
JAN 09, 2010 - 07:29 AM
Interesting technique you show for those canopies Jim. I'll try a few of these the next time I feel in need of a psychotic episode (lol). But, until then, this does bring to mind a question: With all the extra detail thought of with these IJN aircraft , why doesn't Lion Roar (or anyone else for that matter) think to mold them in transparent plastic, like Trumpeter and Dragon does on their US planes ? To the best of my knowledge, there aren't any available for IJN in the market now. I would think that many of us would feel far more comfortable with the idea of masking a canopy rather than making one for an entire squadron or more.
FEB 24, 2010 - 02:35 PM
There are a number of clear plastic aircrafts from kits: Tamiya Shinano has 2 sprues of late war planes in clear, the latest Aoshima/Fujimi carrier releases have them also some in clear plastic(usually 1 sprue). If you are lucky, you can get old issue clear aircrafts from pit-road. The issue is despite being clear, they are of the old moulding which renders inaccuracies and scale representation (thickness etc). Clear plastic is also harder and more brittle than normal plastic, many find them not the best material to work with. To paint clear canopy is almost impossible, masking is barely an option, decal is probably the best bet but then again the windows will not be as transparent under clear decal film. So at the end of the day, the difference is just the effort of shaving off the original canopy, but you get a more accurate plane to begin with!
MAR 01, 2010 - 02:35 PM
Good points Jim, thanks.
MAR 11, 2010 - 11:15 PM
Very interesting tip on canopy making. Thanks!
MAR 13, 2010 - 06:14 AM

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