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1/48 Mitsubishi J2M3 Raiden (Jack) Type 21

by  Hasegawa
Product Description
This item is an injection-plastic aircraft model kit. 81 parts.   Click here for sizing chart.

Hasegawa has produced another winner! I haven't built this new kit, but a serious modeler friend of mine who has, and who has also built the new Tamiya Corsair, says the fit on this kit is even better! Includes bomb and drop tank parts as well as two different propellers (high-altitude and normal). The flaps are not separate parts. If you like the box art (shown at left), be sure to pick up a copy of the 1997 Hasegawa catalog, which contains a poster of this beautiful Shigeo Koike painting.

From the beginning of hostilities in China in 1937, the Japanese Navy had been the target of small but annoying bombing attacks by Chinese air forces. Feeling the need for a high-speed, quick-climbing interceptor to combat such raids, work began on what was to eventually become the Raiden ("Thunderbolt") in 1938.

Slowed by priority work on the A6M Zero, Jiro Horikoshi's team at Mitsubishi eventually chose to employ the powerful 14-cylinder Mitsubishi Kasei 13 radial engine in the new plane despite concerns about it's large size and high fuel consumption. To combat the big powerplant's drag, it was decided to mount it deep within a long, tapered cowling, connecting the propeller via an extension shaft and incorporating a cooling fan. The first prototype flight finally took place in March of 1942, but problems with the engine and its cooling system, poor pilot visibility and sub-specification performance led to numerous modifications. These included replacement of the engine and extension shaft system with the smaller Kasei 23a, resulting in a shorter nose and improved visibility.

Satisfied, the Navy ordered production of the Raiden Model 11 (J2M2) beginning in September 1943. Work also quickly began on the Model 21 (J2M3), which boosted armament from the two 7.7mm machine guns in the fuselage and two wing-mounted 20mm cannon of the Model 11 to four wing-mounted cannon, dropping the MGs completely. This was by far the most-produced variant of the plane. Other minor variants included the turbo Ho-supercharged Model 32 (J2M4) and larger-cockpit, supercharged Model 33 (J2M5). Total production of all Raiden variants totaled approximately 500 aircraft by war's end.

In service, the Raiden -- code-named "Jack" by the Allies -- proved a fine aircraft and it was the preferred bomber-destroyer of IJN pilots late in the war where it frequently faced incoming U.S. B-29s. Nevertheless, confusion over its role in the Navy -- many advocated the faster Shiden in the interceptor role -- and persistent technical problems slowed its production to levels where its impact on the outcome of the conflict was limited.

DATA: Crew: 1; Wingspan: 10.795m; Length: 9.70m; Height: 3.81m; Max Gross Weight: 3,300kg; Wing Area: 20.05m2; Engine: Mitsubishi Kasei 23 Ko (1,820hp takeoff power); Max Speed: 596 km/h; Armament: 20mm cannon x 4

Assembly Guide
JT Series (1/48 WWII, New)
Date Released:
November 1996
Package Size/Weight:
34.0 x 19.0 x 5.0 cm / 270g


Out of Stock
Usually ships within 4 to 6 weeks

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