login   |    register

Scale Modeling Sponsors

See Your Ad Here!

Hasegawa Models [ MORE REVIEWS ] [ WEB SITE ] [ NEW STORIES ]

In-Box Review
148
A6M2-N ''Rufe''
Nakajima A6M2-N Type 2 Fighter Seaplane (Rufe) 'Yokosuka Flying Group' Limited Edition
  • move

by: Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]


Originally published on:
AeroScale

Nakajima A6M2-N Type 2 Fighter Seaplane (Rufe) 'Yokosuka Flying Group'
Series: Limited Edition
Item: HSGS7325
Scale: 1/48


Introduction
Hasegawa released their 1/48 Rufe floatplane Zero a few years ago to a modeling world anxious for an up to date A6M2-N to compare to the Tamiya 1/48 Rufe released in the early 1970s. In this review we can judge if the wait was worth it.

Meet Rufe
Imperial Japan knew that their far flung Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere (大東亜共栄圏 Dai-tō-a Kyōeiken) would need to be defended with aircraft. They knew that they would not be able to build land bases quickly and commissioned floatfighters units (Nihon Kagun Suij Sent-ki Ta.) Taping the great performance of the Mitsubishi A6M2 Model 11 Reisen Zero fighter, Nakajima Aircraft Company was ordered to design a Reisen on floats to operate across the vast Pacific. The prototype flew in August 1941. Designated the A6M2-N Type 2 SuiSen (Float Plane Fighter) the sleek seaplane fighters were deployed to oceanic battlegrounds, predominately the Aleutians and Solomons. Allied intel code-named the aircraft "Rufe." A total of 327 built between December 1941 and September 1943. During late 1942, roughly twelve fighters were built per month. During this period, half of the production was sent to the Aleutians.*

The first Rufes into action appear to have been of the "Hama Ku": Yokohama K (Kokutai). Hama Ku's fighter bunta arrived in Rabaul 3 June, 1942, and fought their first combat on the 10th. Soon they deployed to Tulagi in the Solomons where they fought frequent small scale actions against USAAF bombers until the 7 August American invasion of Guadalcanal. The unit was wiped out and reconstituted farther up the Solomons. On 5 July Yokosuka K Type 2 SuiSen departed for the Aleutians aboard HIJMS Chiyoda. Several more units were formed and mainly fought in the Aleutians, Dutch East Indies, Marshals and Solomons.

A6M2-N intercepted Allied bombers and fighters, flew CAP (Combat Air Patrol) sorties, attacked PT boats night and day, and flew bombing missions. Type 2 SuiSen were also used by Japanese surface raiders in the Indian Ocean.

Rufe is a popular subject for modelers and artists due to a controversial report that some encountered over the Aleutians were painted a lilac color!

in the box
Packed in a conventional lid-tray box with decals and an instruction sheet are two plastic bags holding 10 sprues of:

75 x gray plastic parts
9 x clear plastic parts

Not all are used on this Rufe model. Hasegawa includes a beaching dolly.

The parts are excellently molded with no flash, sink marks, noticeable mold seams. Surprisingly there are a few slight visible ejector circles, one is on the clear gun sight. Surface texture is smooth with fine engraved panel lines and some raised airframe detail, as appropriate. However, while distortion-free, the canopy pieces seem to have much fine scuffing, although a dip in Future will cure that. Fabric texture is faintly simulated on the control surfaces.

Hasegawa continued their modular engineering of some models with their early Zero. As such there are many unused parts. Except for the fuselage halves, one could assemble a conventional 'Zeke.' The Rufe's empennage is different from A6M2 with this kit. Your reviewer has the bright idea to use these spare landing gear and other parts to upgrade an older 1/48 Reisen. The sprues are:

Sprue A Main float
Sprue B (2) Wing floats; beaching dolly wheel; miscellaneous
Sprue C Upper wing halves and land-based Zero lower wing
Sprue D Type 2 SuiSen lower wing, struts; beaching dolly; miscellaneous
Sprue E Engine; cockpit; horizontal stabilizers; miscellaneous
Sprue G Three-piece canopy and other clear pieces
Sprue J J(b) Type 2 SuiSen fuselage; powerplant and propeller components
Sprue K One-piece cowling
Sprue M Clear piece

Interestingly, Hasegawa engineered their A6M models with a separate top fuselage deck between the windscreen and the cowling. I suspect that is to mitigate molding the compound curves on that part of the airframe rather than any difference in Zero variants.

Detail
An included 950 hp Nakajima NK1C Sakae 12 fourteen-cylinder air-cooled radial is assembled with four parts. The propeller assembly is build with the spinner, hub, and separate blades.

The cockpit is constructed of 14 parts including individual side walls, head rest, and machine gun butts. The floor is not impressive although the separate rudder bar, stick and another lever, seat, console and instrument panel, and gun sight. The seat has lightening holes molded as dimples. They should be easy to drill out. No seat belts are provided.

Aileron balance masts are molded for those control surfaces.

Nine parts build each bomb and bomb shackle.

Decals, instructions, paint
The instructions open into a tri-fold. Black and white line art illustrate the 11 steps and sub steps that build the model.

Smooth, registered, opaque, sharp decals are provided and are impressive. Hasegawa includes propeller tip stripes, plenty of data stenciling, and leading edge yellow identification stripes. Like many Hasegawa kits you are provided sharply printed instrument panel dials in case you do not want to brush paint the dials. Hasegawa also printed a reticle for the reflector sight.

Decals are nicely printed and sharp, seem thin, without excess carrier film. Markings are provided for four Rufes in their overall gray scheme N-01 or green over gray scheme N-02:

I.J.N. Yokosuka F.G. Code: ∃-173
I.J.N. Yokosuka F.G. Code: ∃-176
I.J.N. Yokosuka F.G. Code: ∃-180 1942
I.J.N. Yokosuka F.G. Code: ∃-181 (white)

Note that '∃' is the Japanese symbol for "YO:" Yokosuka K.

Only two paint brands are keyed to parts, not surprisingly, Mr. Color and GSI Creos Aqueous Hobby Color. (Noted Japanese researcher Jim Lansdale, who personally possesses a part of a Rufe from Tulagi and has inspected a Kiska Rufe, has closely matched the gray color to FS-16160 - FS-24201 {Tulagi} and FS-26350 {Kiska}.) Paint suggestions are keyed to most parts at each stage.

Conclusion
I have been fascinated by the Rufe since my 4th model - Revell's 1/32 P-40E 'Aleutian Tiger' - with box art of John "Jack" Chennault engaging a purple Rufe! Hasegawa has kitted yet another wonderful model for fans of seaplanes and Imperial Japanese subjects. The molding is top-notch except for some ejector marks. Cockpit detail is good and the instrument decals for modelers who do not wish to hand paint the dials is a great idea.

Aside from the scuffed canopy and aforementioned ejector marks, there are not any drawbacks. I am happy to have a modern model of the Type 2 SuiSen and happily recommend it.

Please remember to tell vendors and retailers that you saw this model here - on Aeroscale.

Yokosuka Kokutai (Flying Group)
Yokosuka Naval Base included Yokosuka Airfield and Yokosuka Seaplane Base were the site of the Japanese Navy technical air arsenal (Kaigun Koku-Gijutsu-Sho /Kugisho). It was a training and evaluation facility. A6M2-N units were formed at Yokosuka K.
_______
Sources

* Pacific Wrecks.com. Nakajima A6M2-N Type 2 Float Plane Fighter (Rufe). [Web.] March 5, 2013.

Pacific Wrecks.com. Yokosuka Airfield & Seaplane Base.

J-Aircraft.

Luca Ruffato, Pacific Air War History Associates.
SUMMARY
Highs: The molding is top-notch except for some ejector marks. Cockpit detail is good and the instrument decals for modelers who do not wish to hand paint the dials is a great idea.
Lows: Scuffed canopy and ejector marks.
Verdict: This modern model of the Type 2 SuiSen is a worthy addition to fans of seaplanes and Imperial Japanese subjects.
Percentage Rating
88%
  Scale: 1:48
  Mfg. ID: 07325
  Suggested Retail: $44.99
  Related Link: History of Type 2 SUISEN ''Rufe''
  PUBLISHED: Aug 12, 2013
  NATIONALITY: Japan / 日本
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 87.00%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 86.04%

Our Thanks to Hobbico!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

View This Item   View Vendor Homepage  More Reviews  

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...

Copyright 2017 text by Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of ModelGeek. All rights reserved.


Reader Reviews
Do you own this item and want to review it? You can add your review of the item here. Please read the reader review instructions before posting.


Comments

Thanks for the look. #2 son just finished the Tamiya offering and it is clearly outpaced by this kit.
AUG 12, 2013 - 11:00 AM
May be! But a precise study will show you that the tamiya kit is much more accurate than the hasegawa one. Check with the plans in the Aerodetail and make yourself an objective opinion! Cheers, jean.
AUG 16, 2013 - 12:29 PM
I'll take a better kit over a more accurate kit any day of the week.
AUG 16, 2013 - 02:34 PM
Tip: Just hit enter to submit your reply!
   

What's Your Opinion?


Photos
Click image to enlarge
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move