Building a cutaway N1K2-J Shiden Kai
By "George," it's easier than you think!
|Cutaway models can involve a lot of scratchbuilding and complicated design - the realm of the supermodeler - but Waikong Chung found a shortcut to looking like a real pro.|
"Like many modelers," he says, "I've always admired cutaway models but deemed them too difficult. Then one day while finishing a Hasegawa Zero 'skeleton' kit, which has a clear fuselage you can selectively paint (or not) to show the interior, I realized it was essentially a cutaway that required far less scratchbuilding and aftermarket material, as the interior elements are already provided."
Waikong already had a 1/48 scale Hasegawa Kawanishi N1K2-J Shiden Kai (skeleton version, kit No. 51945), so he got to work - and the results took his modeling to a newly advanced level.
|Like most modelers, Waikong started in the cockpit, adding wire and styrene details to dress it up a little.|
|The details continued aft as Waikong wrestled with the wobbly photoetched-metal formers and stringers.|
|If he was going to show off the engine, Waikong had to build a styrene firewall and engine mount.|
|Waikong employed "gizmology" to fill the space. It looked like a lot to fit in the nose ... |
|... but fit it did. Remember to paint the inside of the fuselage before closing it around the details, Waikong cautions.|
|Waikong anchored the framing inside the tail where gobs of super glue wouldn't be seen. Extra care in assembly paid dividends. "A magnify glass helps," he says.|
|Waikong opened just enough wing to suggest more ...|
|... using styrene sheet and strip to fill in |
|... and "revealing" machine guns and fuel tanks.|
|Taken in sum, the details lend an air of complexity to Waikong's carefully considered cutouts.|
|Things are kept relatively simple underneath and in the wheel wells.|
|Waikong "chipped" paint with a silver marker, sanding it back a little to keep it from looking too bright.|
|The result is a realistic depiction of the level of weathering seen in wartime photos - and a darned good-looking George!|