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Old 05-04-2009, 06:28 PM
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Marek Marathon: Nakajima 'Kikka' 1/33

For my first (only?) entry into this contest, I chose one of the Marek models that I knew I'd have to build eventually. It's the Kikka or 'Orange Blossom' - the Japanese jet that was inspired by the ME262 and in development near the end of WW2. The research I've done indicates it flew once and a second flight was attempted and aborted. It differs a bit from the Schwalbe though - it is a bit smaller and did not have a swept wing configuration. The similarity in appearance to this plane is the reason this one is on my build list. The Wilhelmshaven ME262 1/50 scale is the first kit I built to get me back into paper modeling after my first 10 year absence, and I've always found it to be a very aesthetically pleasing plane.
The Japanese plan was to have a plane with a speed of 695 km/h, range of 200 km, bomb load of 250 kg, landing speed under 150 km/h and takeoff distance under 350 m. In addition, the plane was to have folding wings to allow it to be hidden in caves and tunnels. The takeoff distance was to be achieved using rockets (RATO).
One curiosity I have found is that the published (Answer) kit of this model is labeled as 'J8N1' Kikka and the Wikipedia site lists it as a J9Y. I hazard a guess that they are designating different functions of the intended craft, but maybe somebody with more Japanese aircraft knowledge can clear this up? (My one source, 'Complete book of World War II Combat Aircraft', Enzo Angelucci - Paolo Matricardi, 1988, pg. 344) has no alpha-numeric designation indicated for the Kikka.
The actual prototype made it's way to the US after the war, and is currently housed at the Smithsonian. I believe this to be an image of it:

As far as the model, it consists of the nice color cover page, 1 history page, 2 pages of instruction diagrams and 4 A4 pages of parts. I printed it on legal cardstock. I collected the parts indicated to be laminated (as seems typical with Marek models, they are scattered around the rest of the pages) and laminated them to 3 extra sheets of the cardstock. The thickness measures 0.9-0.95mm (spray glue thickness accounts for the variation).
The kit includes a detailed cockpit interior. For the contest, I believe it qualifies for extra points for 2 engines, detailed cockpit and landing gear enclosure detail. The picture attached is the sheets laid out on my work desk. You can see the typical tools, although the top drawer of the desk includes my paints, hole punch and a quite a few other tools that are used less often.
Assembly numbers start with the nose, work back to the tail and then into the cockpit details. You really couldn't assemble it this way, so I'll be starting with the cockpit.
I do not believe that the RATO units are modeled.
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Marek Marathon: Nakajima 'Kikka' 1/33-marek-kikka-1.jpg  
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Old 05-04-2009, 06:35 PM
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This is a good choice! I'm looking forward to your build...
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Old 05-04-2009, 07:04 PM
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Good choice. Good write up. Good workbench shot. I, too, am looking forward to the build.

Don
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Old 05-04-2009, 07:52 PM
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Dan,
Answer title is wrong.
Kikka did not have any alphanumeric designation and was simply known as Nakajima Kikka.
There was a Mitsubishi J8M1 Shusui rocket fighter - it was heavily inspired by Me-163, but it was not a copy, since most of the plans of the German fighter were lost together with the U-boat carying to Japan.
As for the model itself, all fuselage formers are to small, but if you create connecting strips and get rid of one of the formaers, you will be fine.
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Old 05-04-2009, 08:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GreMir View Post
Dan,
Answer title is wrong.
Kikka did not have any alphanumeric designation and was simply known as Nakajima Kikka.
There was a Mitsubishi J8M1 Shusui rocket fighter - it was heavily inspired by Me-163, but it was not a copy, since most of the plans of the German fighter were lost together with the U-boat carying to Japan.
As for the model itself, all fuselage formers are to small, but if you create connecting strips and get rid of one of the formers, you will be fine.
Thanks for the tip I just started cutting the cockpit section out and was doing some measuring and it's too long to fit in the section it's supposed to - so using a single former instead of double formers will solve that problem too. Do you know if the engine formers suffer the same issues?
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Old 05-04-2009, 08:51 PM
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Engine formers fitted without any adjustments but I build the pre-printed kit with lasercut formers. Electronic version might give you different experience....
There were some problems during construction though - take a look at my build report on Zealot Answer Nakajima J8N1 Kikka - Zealot Hobby Forum
Amazingly all the photos are still there....
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Old 05-04-2009, 09:53 PM
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As Mike says, no IJN alpha-numeric designation, Shi (experimental) number, or Kōki (imperial year) model number appears to have been assigned to the Kikka, but I think there was an additional designation for the aircraft: Kōkoku Nigō Heiki (皇国二号兵器), meaning, "Imperial No.2 Weapon."

I’m on the way to bed and can’t put my hand on a source for this, other than my notes on the aircraft, but I think that information comes from Famous Aircraft of the World no.76: Japanese Army Experimental Fighters, Tokyo: Bunrin-Do, August 1976.


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Old 05-05-2009, 04:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boosed View Post
As Mike says, no IJN alpha-numeric designation, Shi (experimental) number, or Kōki (imperial year) model number appears to have been assigned to the Kikka, but I think there was an additional designation for the aircraft: Kōkoku Nigō Heiki (皇国二号兵器), meaning, "Imperial No.2 Weapon."

Iím on the way to bed and canít put my hand on a source for this, other than my notes on the aircraft, but I think that information comes from Famous Aircraft of the World no.76: Japanese Army Experimental Fighters, Tokyo: Bunrin-Do, August 1976.


Don
I have read that designation in one of the online sources I was going through as well. After pondering Mike's build of the Answer version, one of the first things I need to do is cut out a regular fuselage section and the formers and do some test fitting. The comments indicate there is a possibility that the digital kit has correctly sized formers and the issue was in the printed kit only. Will be nice to know that for sure to plan the build.
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Old 05-05-2009, 07:05 AM
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Actual airplane it had folding wings. and unlike Messerschmitt jet it was built as bomber and carry no cannons. It need extra get engines for take-off for special attack suicide mission. The real airplane shown survive in the Smithsonian collection but its engine jets are reconstruction and not accurate for how it look in Wartime. Real aircraft was also painted in red-orange color only. I had found nice small model of this interesting air plane before.
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Old 05-05-2009, 07:30 AM
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Hmm - well now I have a dilemma. I made a fuselage section up, cutting slightly outside the lines of the former, and got a pretty good fit (pic attached). So now I can cut the rest of the formers simliarly and build as intended (butt joint method) or cut all the formers down a bit and build with joining strips. Right now I'm pondering but leaning towards building as intended (since it is a 'test' of sorts for the commercial kit at Chris' store at this point).
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