North Wing Model Craft 1/72 P-2J Neptune Conversion
By Fotios Rouch
|Date of Review||March 2008|
|Manufacturer||North Wing Model Craft|
|Subject||P-2J Neptune Conversion|
|Pros||Interesting subject, nice details|
In 1963 the JMSDF (Japan Maritime Self Defense Force) could see that their P2V-7 was reaching the end of its useful life and no suitable replacement was available to them at the time. To extend the aircraft's service life and performance Kawasaki was to convert the Neptune piston engines to turboprops.
In 1965 Kawasaki's plans included a 54-inch fuselage extension starting from the wing leading edge and ending behind the cockpit that accommodate added electronic equipment. The APS-20 search radar was replaced with the P-3 Orion shorter wavelength PS-80 radar that required a smaller radome since it used a smaller antenna dish. The rudder area was also increased in chord and height. Two General Electric licensed T64-IHI-10 turboprop engines were used driving new variable pitch three blade propellers. Also two Ishikawajima-Harima Heavy Industries (IHI) J3-IHI-7 turbojets were installed on pylons mid wing. With the new power gear the Japanese Neptune could reach speeds close to 650 KPH and weighed 10,000 lbs less than the piston engine variant.
The new designation for the Japanese Neptune was P-2J and 83 aircraft were delivered by Kawasaki spanning from 1969 to the last delivery in 1979. The last P-2Js were retired in 1981 as the P-3 Orion was becoming fully operational with the JMSDF.
This is another great conversion from NMC. Opening the sturdy cardboard box reveals a comprehensive conversion that includes everything the modeler would need to turn the Hasegawa Neptune to the turboprop P-2J.
The P-2J is done again in the white resin that NMC uses and although it has a little bit of smell to it seems pretty good in picking out detail and in my example it looked very well formed and was free of bubbles and pinholes.
The main parts of the conversion are the two forward fuselage parts and the turbo prop engine nacelles. The fuselage parts were straight, fit well with each other and were very light, much like if they were done in plastic. The engine nacelles are solid chunks of resin and they will require careful cleanup from their pouring stubs before they can be mated to the engine fronts.
I did like that NMC has incorporated metal rods inside each of the prop blades. This will help with positioning them inside the prop bosses.
The same is true for the sturdy landing gear.
All the lumps and bumps are present and also material and templates are provided for creating the reinforcing plates that go on top of the wings.
The instructions are well written and the scale drawings are very comprehensive and remind me a bit the way Famous Aircraft of The World publications do theirs.
The decals are done on an inkjet printer and although they look very nice, saturated and vibrant they will be translucent when placed on top of the dark blue wing and fuselage. To solve that NMC has provided waterslide white templates that will go on before placing the inkjet decals on.
I am glad I came across this company of nice products of obscure subjects. I recommend this conversion to all modelers with experience in using resin conversions and to all the lovers of the Neptune that want to have the last incarnation of this great aircraft in their collection.
You can find this conversion on the manufacturer's website. http://nmc.amuse-net.biz/index_e.html