My next build is the 1/48 Hasegawa Aichi B7A2 (Grace) Attack Bomber. It was a Japanese dive bomber/torpedo aircraft with a gull wing configuration. I will be building it as the torpedo version from the 752nd Naval Flying Group. As usual the cockpit is always the first thing that gets built and detailed. I did not like the kit instrument panel and the Eduard gauge film lacked character. So I went online and found two photos of a B7 instrument panel and made a decal of it. I then sanded the kit panel and painted it white. Added the decal then used the top part of the photo etch panel and then painted the knobs and switches as they were on the reference photo. The bulkhead between the pilot and gunner was shaved down and photo etch braces for the seat were added. I then added more photo etch details like replacing the kit pedals with photo etch and replaced the thick pilot seat with the photo etch replacement. The gunners seat had a burlap pad (made with cloth tape) and photo etch seat belts.
I added some cables and wires to the cockpit walls and weathered everything with pastel chalk. As soon as the seat is fully dry I will weather it then assembly the rest of the cockpit. Next I will be assembling and detailing the engine and fuselage.
The build of this kit is going well. With the cockpit assembled I installed into the fuselage. The fuselage fit together very well with only some minor putty in the seams. I then painted and detailed the engine. The photo etch set provides the ignition wiring so this was added. I mounted the engine, cowl, and the propeller hub. The hub is very large and hides most of the view of the engine. The wings were assembled and the landing gear added.
I base coated the underside and then started work on the torpedo details. The plastic fins and propellers were replaced with the photo etch replacements. The torpedo was painted and then mounted with photo etch straps. I then painted the upper areas and added some more details like the ammo belt for the rear gun. I weathered the fuselage with some minor staining on the wings and exhaust. To finish up this week’s work I painted the canopy sections and used some EZ-line to run the antenna cable from the equipment thru the canopy to the top of the mast. This will run to the top of the rudder when installed. Next will be decals and final weathering.
The B7A2 “Grace” is now complete! This was a very nice kit to build. Everything fit together nicely. The instructions were laid out well t make the build go smoothly. The decals went on well. Just a couple of things about the decals, First the dark green outline on the fuselage and upper wings are an identical match to the Tamiya XF11 J.N. Green paint so they blend in too well, and the insignia’s are two part decals. Getting them line up requires careful alignment. I would recommend applying the base decal first and let it dry then place the top red one. This will keep the bottom from shifting while centering the top. If you are looking for a nice WWII Japanese aircraft that was unique I would recommend this kit. Thanks for following along.