FineMolds 1/48 Nakajima Kikka (2019 refurbishment of 2007 build)
NAKAJIMA KIKKA (Orange Blossom)
The Kikka was intended for use in suicide missions so only received a name and not the letters and numbers usually designated to I.J.N. aircraft.
My original 2007 build. This was done mainly out of the box with a few alterations and additions. The main alteration was to open the kit’s one-piece canopy. To achieve this the kit part was carefully cut into three sections and the centre section was then used as a plug to form a new, thinner part by plunge moulding a heated piece of acetate over it. The original canopy frames did not mould clearly so new frames were cut from plastic strip and very carefully glued in place using super glue.
Some extra detail had been added to the undercarriage and bomb in the original build. These included brake lines on the main gear legs, the inner gear door closing brackets and a fusing prop on the bomb’s nose.
Refurbishment work began with the removal of the fuselage hinomarus and the addition of canopy rails to the top of the cockpit side walls.
Wing markings were so well fixed to the original paint that I could not remove them so after a light sanding they were left in place and then painted over.
As I didn’t have any appropriate decals to replace the tail codes these were also left in place and carefully brush painted around and over. The RATO pods (one of which can be seen in this and the previous shot) were later removed as I didn’t think that an operational aircraft would have carried them in this position. And as I did not have any information to tell me where else they might have been placed they were left off. In later shots you can see that I also added rivet detail to the lower engine cowls.
In the original build I did add a fair bit of extra detail to the cockpit interior including seat belts and various levers and handles using stretched spru and lead foil. Some of these additions can be seen in this shot of the finished model.
Original paint and markings.
Now with new paint and markings the plane looks as though, in reality, it had been very hastily painted and looks much rougher and, I think, more realistic than my original scheme.