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Mitsubishi A7M2 Reppu

by Joe Youngerman

Mitsubishi A7M2 Reppu


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The Mitsubishi A7M Reppu “Sam” was the intended replacement for the Zero. The program was poorly executed with constant changes in the aircraft’s requirements. The lack of a suitable powerplant was another major hurdle for the Reppu. After making its first flight in spring of 1944, it was clear that the aircraft was underpowered and the Navy decided to shelve the project. Only after Jiro Horikoshi convinced the Navy to allow the installation of the Mitsubishi MK9A engine, did the aircraft begin to show its full potential. The Reppu was now designated the A7M2 and plans for full scale production were finally made.

Production plans were never to be realized, however, due to continued bad luck for Mitsubishi. In December 1944, an earthquake and B-29 bombing raids severely damaged the engine plant in Nagoya, and three of the prototypes were destroyed by US aircraft! By wars end, only a single production aircraft had been produced.


Fine Molds 1/72 Scale Reppu

The Fine Mold’s kit in 1/72 scale of Mitsubishi’s impressive A7M2 Reppu has been around for some time but has always been outrageously expensive. Thanks to the miracle of Ebay, I was finally able to pick one up at good price. The first thing that struck me is how big this aircraft was. The wing area is roughly fifty percent larger than that of the Zero it was to replace. The kit comes well packaged in the usual Fine Molds style with excellent instructions. The decals were the high quality one should expect from a kit so high priced.



Building the kit presented no major challenges, although the fit of the wing to the fuselage was rather poor and required some filler and sanding for a neat appearance. I added only some Eduard photo etch seatbelts as the cockpit has plenty of detail for this scale. The landing gear wells are also nicely detailed and the engine looks the part also.



Painting and Finishing


Once assembly was accomplished, I finished the kit using Aeromaster Acrylics Mitsubishi Navy Green and Mitsubishi Underside Grey. The prop was painted with Polly S Brown Primer. I painted the wheel wells natural metal using Testor’s Aluminum.

After coating the model with Polly S clear gloss, I applied the kit decals which went on beautifully. The instructions show a white surround on the bottom markings, but all the photo evidence I have shows none. The Hinomaru decals come in two parts, so you have this option. This particular aircraft also had the landing gear pennants, so I robbed a Zero kits decals for them.



As you may know, photos of the Reppu are rather rare but most show considerable weathering. I think most of these photos were taken after the end of hostilities, so it is difficult to know how much of this occurred due to neglect after the war. I chose to give mine a mildly worn look.

I love the way this aircraft looks and would highly recommend adding one to your collection!



Additional Images


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Model, Images and Article Copyright © 2002 by Joe Youngerman
Page Created 29 August 2002
Last updated 04 June 2007

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