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G3M "Nell"

by J.C Houg

G3M Nell


Hasegawa 1/72 G3M Nell is available online from Squadron.com




The Mitsubishi G3M "Nell" was the bomber used by the Japanese Navy at the beginning of the war. Modified version of this plane set a lot of records before 1941. It was the main type in service into the IJN at this time.

This plane was, like the Zero, an unpleasant surprise for Allied forces. It was a very fine plane, which was quite efficient.  It was Nells that sunk the "Repulse" and the "Prince of Wales" in late 1941.





I chose to build my Nell out of the box. Actually I built it during a show at Buhl (Alsace, France) in late 2001. Since I did not have all of my workshop with me, I build the model with an X-Acto and plastic/Cyano glue - nothing else (I painted it after being back home...)

I started constructing it as per instructions, starting as usual by the cockpit. The Eduard photoetch went to help me with detailing this part, and this Eduard reference is a good, complete one.

Once the cockpit was completed I built the main airframe, without having painting the interior (no paint).  The Hasegawa kit is very fine, and putty is not absolutely needed. I did use a little, but it was after my X-Acto cut a little too much plastic.



The full kit was built in the two days that during the show, and then I went back home and began the paint job.


Painting, Weathering and Decals


I chose to finish my Nell in the well-known scheme of the aircraft that sunk the HMS Repulse. It is the standard scheme for IJN bombers - IJN gray, IJN green, and IJN brown. The IJN gray is Aeromaster Enamel, The IJN brown is Aeromaster Water-based, and IJN green is X-tracolor enamel. In preparation, I airbrushed a thin layer of Humbrol 56 (aluminium) for the metal scratches.

I used the kit decals without any problems - as usual with Hasegawa.



The plane was again left to dry overnight and the following day I added the metal scratches using 600 paper and water. A coat of future, and a coat of Matt varnish (Humbrol) finished the job.



Finishing Touches


Final construction included adding the canopies part, which were vacuformed with clear acetate and a candle. Then I added little details such as antenane and the Torpedo, painted with Testor Metalizer (Steel).



I used pastel chalk to dirty-up this bird (just a little) and I was quite pleased with the result.




I really enjoyed Hasegawa's Nell kit because there was no additional work required to obtain a pleasing result. Next will be the MPM Ki83, but for this one I imagine there will be a lot more work!

You can see more pictures of this Nell at my club's web site : http://clubalpha.free.fr, in the Hangar section by choosing IJN gallery.

References: Model Art "Camouflage and markings of the IJN bombers"


Model and Article Copyright 2002 by Jean-Christian HOUG
Page Created 11 May, 2002
Last Updated 04 June, 2007

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