A7K Jinpu-Kai?

Started by sequoiaranger, July 17, 2008, 10:39:45 AM

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I had envisioned an extrapolation of the Kawanishi NiK2+ Shiden-Kai fighter for use on aircraft carriers. The Shiden-Kai was one of my favorite planes (pugnaciously stubby and powerful-looking) and one of those few Japanese aircraft that could best the best of the Allies when flown by a competent pilot. Kawanishi did try a few carrier prototypes, but I **GUESS** that the Japanese Navy still pinned their hopes on the Mitsubishi Zero follow-on, the A7M "Reppu" (Sam), to get its kinks out and join the fleet.

My version of an enhanced Shiden-Kai would have some "elegant" refinements--a beefier engine in a new cowling that incorporated the former over-and-under scoops into one (somewhat like the Republic P-47), a turbocharger (Japan's were rudimentary, NOTHING like the complex plumbing of the P-47) a little extra length and tail improvement, a tail hook, and extended wings, which would fold. The Shiden-Kai was more "Wildcat" sized--I wanted something more Hellcat-sized.

Then, to my utter,  but shouldn't-have-oughtta-been, AMAZEMENT, I discovered that Kawanishi had already done something similar!! I mean, like a WEEK ago I found this out.  After studying WW II aircraft for some fifty years, I REALLY thought I had heard about, seen, studied, or modeled EVERY fighter aircraft extant from 1937-1947.

Well, to be fair, that Kawanishi project, known as either a J3K or J6K "Jinpu",  was strictly a paper project, and NOT a carrier aircraft either. The "J" designation in Japanese stands for "land-based interceptor".  I searched the Internet for information and/or illustrations and found almost nothing illustrative, though the name Jinpu came up fifty times. On about the forty-fifth entry (boy, I was getting tired of dead-end leads to Jinpu information) I found out there is an injection model of the "Jinpu" put out by "RS", and finally found an illustration from the box, and then pictures of the model itself.  I also found, on a RUSSIAN website, some fine illustrations, but a lot of Russian gibberish (I studied Russian many years ago, but couldn't make out much on the site).  Seemingly, one of the few ways the Jinpu differed from my vision was a large, ventral scoop under a small cowling rather than "my" larger, inclusive cowling. Also, the horizontal tailplanes on the Jinpu were considerably forward of the position I favored and the wingspan was slightly less (but more than the Shiden-Kai).

So I thought to take away the "J" designation and make it an "A7" designation like the Reppu, but with "K" for Kawanishi instead of the "M" for Mitsubishi. Thus it would be an A7K. Fine, except now I discovered a Japanese website devoted to whifs had a BEAUTIFUL illustration of "my" aircraft, and named it an A7K as well. Hmmmmff!

Ain't gonna stop me, bro!  I've already cut plastic. I spotted a Sea Fury that seemed to have the right look of the rear fuselage and tail, as well as an incorporated tailhook---PERFECT! Well, almost. The Sea Fury rear fuselage is "flat" on the bottom and slopes "down" from the top, and the A7K needed a flat top line and up-sloping bottom. Simple--turn the Sea Fury fuselage upside down!! So I had to snip the fuselage off the Sea Fury, snip the tail off, turn the middle section upside down, then re-attach the tail. VOILA!! Of course it didn't fit absolutely perfect, so some putty will be added to fill out the fillet, but.....!! LOOKIN' GOOD!!

The wing extensions will most likely be from a vac-formed Me-309. I am surprised how difficult it was, with my stash of some 800 1/72-scale aircraft, to find a wing that had the same taper as the Shiden-Kai but was longer. The few that did had too thick of a wing to add on to the thin wing of the Shiden-Kai. The Me-309's wings aren't longer in total, but I can snip the outer section and graft it onto the Shiden for an extra few feet of span. I found slightly larger horizontal stabilizers in the same shape as the Shiden-Kai from a "Jill" model that was being used as a parts source for an upcoming Hawker Henley dive bomber whif.

In Japanese-speak, "Kai" is the name given the first "improvement" (thus "Shiden" became "Shiden-Kai"), and then either "Ko" or "Otsu" is the second-and-third improvements. I have forgotten which comes first.

So---- stay tuned to this spot and I will post some pics when I can. (Another whif is currently in the works--Avro Avatar--but I just got INSPIRED by my "Jinpu" research and,...well you know how it is!)
My mind is like a compost heap: both "fertile" and "rotten"!


OK, here are the first pics of the project:

I put the cowl and tail of the real Shiden-Kai behind the "A7K" to show the difference. The rug background shifted the Shiden cowl a bit just as I was taking the picture, making it look shorter than it was, but you get the idea.
My mind is like a compost heap: both "fertile" and "rotten"!


Looks like a great start there Mr Ranger,got a soft spot for Japanese subjects!  :cheers:
my hovercraft is full of eels


OK, I got inspired, and an hour later....well here is some more progress!

I ditched the Me-309 vac wings when I found a Ki-36 "Ida" with the same planform (crossing fingers!!) **IF** I tilted it a little. A little cutting and pasting (er...gluing) produced THIS!

I had to split the front fuselage a little and slip in a piece of filler plastic to accommodate the slightly larger Renzan cowl. I cut off the under-fuselage fairing of a P-40E to blend in the larger cowl with the underside of the Shiden (not shown in photo), and will add the humongous exhaust pipes of the Renzan supercharger outlets later (had to drill them out to make them look good!).

So the A7K is shaping up! It will have the four fat prop blades of the Renzan, but that is WAAAAY down the pike. Still a lot of putty work, and cutting down the tailplanes slightly. This is a mock-up only----I will end up taking it apart and re-doing a lot of it to my satisfaction.
My mind is like a compost heap: both "fertile" and "rotten"!

John Howling Mouse

Yes, yes, yes!  Completely believable and nicely balance. You make it look easy, tree-ranger-man.   :thumbsup:
Styrene in my blood and an impressive void in my cranium.


great start! cant wait to see more. Do you have a scheme picked out?
"Imagination is the one weapon in the war against reality." -Jules de Gaultier

"My model is right! It's the real world that's wrong!" -global warming scientist

An armor guy, who builds airplanes almost exclusively, that he converts to space fighters-- all while admiring ship models.

Brian da Basher

That's some monster kit surgery there sequoiaranger! This one's going to be fun to watch!
Brian da Basher


Man that thing is cool. Slash and burn sir. I salute you :wub: :thumbsup: I'm really looking forward to this one :bow:
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>That's some monster kit surgery there sequoiaranger!<

U Tellink Me! There are four different Japanese aircraft represented ("Rita", "Ida", "George", and "Jill"), the British Sea Fury, and the American P-40. That's SIX kits I have carved up!! Actually, I will carve up another "George" in the process, methinks. What I really enjoy about this whiffing is the conception, then scouring my mind for plastic solutions. I have spent hours with a....measuring device whose name I cannot think of right now [EDIT: "Dial Caliper"--truly a MUST when kit-bashing]... trying to find the "right" kits to use to create the concept. Having actually found them is a **RUSH**!!

Ah.....THE NAME! I have thought it over and decided to call this an A7K2 Jinpu-Kai (super-squall). I wanted it an extrapolation of the Shiden-Kai, but I think most people don't know the progression of modifiers and wouldn't "get" "Shiden-Ko" or "Shiden-Otsu", and it is now so heavily modified that perhaps a new name is better because it has the "Kai" in it. 

The "backstory" (SOMEWHAT true) is that despite the success of the A6M Zero, Mitsubishi has taken WAAAAY too long to iron out the problems with the follow-on A7M Reppu, and thus Mitsubishi has fallen into slight disfavor in naval circles relative to Kawanishi.  The Mitsubishi J2M Raiden, the heretofore favored land-based interceptor, is also having its share of problems, and the IJN turned to Kawanishi and received the splendid N1K2-J Shiden-Kai that all the pilots are raving about.  So the IJN asks Kawanishi if there is anything in the works for an improved CARRIER aircraft in lieu of the Mitsubishi Reppu. Though Kawanishi has worked on a few Shiden-Kai carrier prototypes, it hasn't borne much fruit, but the J6K "Jinpu" land-based interceptor still on the drawing boards has some potential. Reticent to let an opportunity for a production order slip by they said, "Oh yes! We have our new Jinpu almost ready to go!"

Wanting to one-up Mitsubishi and curry favor with the IJN hierarchy, Kawanishi decides to take short-cuts to speed up the development and tooling process. Though now calling this new aircraft the Jinpu, the center wing-and-fuselage of the current Shiden-Kai is used as a basis.  An all-new new vertical stabilizer and rear fuselage section is built with an enclosed arrestor hook out the back.  Because of the near-desperate war situation, Nakajima agrees to help out and supply some components, notably the cowl and supercharged engine configuration from its developing Renzan bomber and horizontal stabilizers from it's Tenzan attack plane (presuming they will both be on Japanese flight decks soon!).  Kawanishi knew that a folding wing was a necessity and would either need to design a new one or use an existing wing design and modify it. A mock-up with a Tachikawa Ki. 36 light attack plane used as a factory hack worked well, and the tooling was still intact (Tachikawa eager to get rid of old, unused machinery taking up storage space).  Some ducting and fairings had to be added to bring the design all together, but in the incredible space of 90 days a prototype was ready to fly. Because there had been much discussion about and drawings of the J6K Jinpu in official circles this new plane was called the "Jinpu-Kai" (Jinpu improvement #1) even though it had little to do with that project.

>great start! cant wait to see more. Do you have a scheme picked out?<

It will be a carrier-based plane from a fictional carrier, possibly "Nibai" (see my "Nibai" at: http://www.combinedfleet.com/furashita/nibai_f.htm .), the catamaran carrier often used exclusively for fighters since it had two flight decks for simultaneous launching and recovering   Paint will be possibly a duck-egg-green overall, with a turquoise-gray mottle-blotch over the top surfaces. Insignia will be for Lieutenant Sugita of the 343rd Naval Air Group. Possible command stripes, victory markings, and of course the yellow wing leading edges. POSSIBLY the rising sun emblazoned on the lower wing tips (a la one of those civilian "Babs").

This will likely soon be on the back burner, because I have nearly all the pieces conceptualized, but I have another project under way, and limited "play" time.  I will make some additional progress, but deliberately won't complete it until my Avatar project is finished. I will certainly bring this back up when that happens!
My mind is like a compost heap: both "fertile" and "rotten"!


I just KNEW I would have to pirate the second Shiden kit, and so I have. The "normal" wings and the Ki-36 extensions matched up in planview perfectly, but the Ki-36 wings are a little thicker, so.... I have put a spacer (white strips) in the wing leading edge of the second set of wings, and soon I will saw THEM to use with the extensions. I have both the "extended" wing and the normal Shiden wing so you can compare.

The next step is to break off the extensions from the practice Shiden wings (just BARELY tack-glued on so that they would stay but could be removed easily), saw the "new, improved" wings at the appropriate places, file down the spacer to the airfoil, and attach the new extensions much like the practice dummy. I decided to break off the plastic 20 mm cannon and will substitute, in the same holes, "surgical" stainless Steel tubing that I have.

I have not yet decided if I will bother with the tedious doll-house door hinges to make the wings actually fold (I have already done this some twenty years ago with an Italian tri-motor, tri-tailed carrier torpedo bomber---see pic). I **LOVE** the look and it would give me some photo options later, but...

In the lower left-hand corner of the picture is the inside of the new cowl. The "Rita" cowl had nice radiator openings, but no backing, so I retrieved some fine, brass mesh, cut it to shape, and attached it with white glue to the inside. The "flywheel" propeller hub backing (note in "tips and techniques" my article on making props spin freely) can be seen as well.

I **DID** also do a little work on my "Avatar" to assuage my guilt at abandoning it for a sexier model, but the Jinpu-Kai is stirring my imagination, so I am working more on it at the present.

My mind is like a compost heap: both "fertile" and "rotten"!


Any more pics of this?


All hail the God of Frustration!!!


>Any more pics of this?<

Unfortunately, no. This model was heavily damaged during my last move and hasn't yet been repaired.

This "Macchi-Castoldi MC 605 Vendetta" was made from a Bf-110 with a 1/200 Connie tail, three MC 205 engine/nacelles, and components of an Me-410 (canopy and remote guns). The wings fold and unfold manually via dollhouse door hinges. Shown in "US" livery of the Italian Cooperation Forces aboard the Italian carrier Aquila requisitioned to sail with the Allies to invade Java.
My mind is like a compost heap: both "fertile" and "rotten"!


Neato! I wish I could do things like that.
Getting back into modeling


I amuse me.
Huge fan of noisy rodent.
Things learned from this site: don't tease wolverine.
Eddie's personal stalker.
Worshippers in Nannerland

Dork the kit slayer

Both interesting projects...well thought out and built. You da man :bow:
Im pink therefore Im Spam...and not allowed out without an adult