The Mitsubishi J2M series Raiden became Japan’s first dedicated interceptor of World War 2 when introduced in 1942. The J2M was designed by Jiro Horikoshi, creator of the A6M Zero, to meet the 14-Shi (14th year of the Showa reign, or 1939) official specification. It was to be a strictly local-defense interceptor, intended to counter the threat of high-altitude bomber raids, and thus relied on speed, climb performance, and armament at the expense of manoeuvrability.
The J2M was a sleek, but stubby craft with its oversized Mitsubishi Kasei engine buried behind a long cowling, cooled by an intake fan and connected to the propeller with an extension shaft.
Teething development problems stemming from the Kasei engine cooling system, and the main undercarriage members led to a slowdown in production. A continual set of modifications resulted in new variants being introduced with the ultimate high-altitude variant, the J2M4 Model 34 flying for the first time in August 1944. It had a 1,420 hp Kasei 23c engine equipped with a turbo supercharger (mounted in the side of the fuselage just behind the engine) that allowed the rated power to be maintained up to 9,100 m (29,900 ft) Two upward-aimed, oblique-firing (aimed at seventy degrees) 20 mm cannons, mounted in the German Schräge Musik style, were fitted behind the cockpit with the four wing cannons retained. Unresolved difficulties with the turbo supercharger caused the project to be terminated after only two experimental J2M4s were built.
This is the 1/48 Scale “Shidenkai no Maki” Mitsubishi J2M3 Raiden (Jack) Type 21 Plastic Model Kit from Hasegawa.
Hello my dear readers. Early this week we’ve got this model kit in our office. Boy was I happy to see this one. I posted a build of the Tamiya 1/48 Raiden Interceptor back in March, 2011. It was a fun build and considering the age of the tooling from Tamiya’s counterpart, it holds very well to the test of time. Now Hasegawa is offering the 1/48 Mitsubishi J2M3 RAIDEN (JACK) 21 with their CREATOR WORKS label. This is Hasegawa kit 64742 and comes with that ”manga” feel. The kit comes with a well appointed cockpit. The ”greenhouse” canopy is very clear with a nice detail on the frame and no injection flow marks. There is a tiny brass cannon provided with the kit.
The two fuselage halves are crisply detailed with delicate panel lines. All the pieces are nicely molded with zero flash or mold lines. Goodness! The decal sheet provided with this kit is outstanding. My 7 years old granddaughter stopped briefly at the office when I was working with the pictures and she thought that they were temporary tattoos. They are nicely printed with great color gradation and no signs of dot matrix printing like the ones provided with the Revell Rafale B. Seriously, I don’t know if I will use the decals on the kit or frame them 😀