The Mitsubishi A7M2 Reppu (Hurricane), Allied code name "Sam," was the Imperial Japanese Navy's successor to the A6M Zero. It had an armored windscreen and self-sealing fuel tanks, hydraulic folding outer wings, and combat flaps. As large as the American P-47 Thunderbolt, it only produced mid-war performance. Of the handful built, a few survived bombing and earthquakes, and only one was test flying when the war ended.
Forty-five styrene parts on two sprues, twenty-five brass photo-etch pieces and a film instrument negative, decal sheet and a vacuform canopy make this model. These are sealed in their own plastic bags, contained in a light end-flap box sealed with heavy tape.
The parts are molded with shallow engraved panel lines and details. No fabric detail is on control surfaces. Parts are attached to the sprue with thick runners. This is a limited-run model and will require preparing the parts. MPM informs us in their instruction papers that these kits are, “‘Short Run’ limited series,” and offers nine tips for building these models (see scan below.) The airframe halves are predominately free of flash, but several smaller parts will require cleanup. I found no mold or ejection marks, nor sink holes. Typical of craftsman kits, there are no alignment pins and slots for aligning the parts. Overall shape and profile appear accurate.
Fifteen of the seventy-one total parts build the cockpit. No gunsight is provided. No internal structure was molded. More P/E or resin aftermarket sets, or good ol’ scratchbuilding can improve the cockpit.
The vacuform canopy is translucent with raised framing.
The fuselage and cowling are molded together. The gull wings are built with five pieces.
The main gear wells are recessed but have no detail.
Only a single row of cylinders are molded onto the 2.200 HP Mitsubishi MK9A 18 cylinder radial engine.
No drop tank, as shown on the box art, is supplied.
The model dimensions are: wingspan 45 ft, length 36 1/4 ft. The prototype span was 45 1/2 ft (14 m ) and 35 3/4 ft (11 m ) long.
instructions, decals and paint
The well-illustrated instructions present assembly in six steps. Humbrol is the only paint referenced. The two paint schemes are the orange (FS 12300) training “‘tou-ou-shoku’ (literally orange yellow but practically orange or mandarin orange...)” * underside with dark green topside, or the operational dark green over light gray.
The decals are thin with virtually no carrier film outside of the printed markings. Six Hinomarus, landing gear compression data plates and a single tail code are the only markings.
MPM informs us this will not be a ‘shake the box’ kit. However, it ought not require any more work than many mainstream models from the 1960's - 70's era. The modeler may have to replace thin parts like the cannon and pitot. The photo-etch and film instruments are welcome and embellish the otherwise featureless cockpit. It is inexpensive. With work and patience a nice model can be made.
*Yoshihito Kurosu, OUT OF AMEIRO CLOUD INTO HAI-RYOKUSHOKU SKY, www.j-aircraft.com/research
Highs: A twenty-five brass photo-etch fret, a film instrument negative, fine engraved surface detail and a vacuform canopy.Lows: No alignment pins. Flash and parts clean-up required.Verdict: This short-run kit should build into a good model.
About Frederick Boucher (JPTRR) FROM: TENNESSEE, UNITED STATES
I'm a professional pilot with a degree in art.
My first model was an AMT semi dump truck. Then Monogram's Lunar Lander right after the lunar landing. Next, Revell's 1/32 Bf-109G...cried havoc and released the dogs of modeling!
My interests--if built before 1900, or after 1955, then I proba...