The Mitsubishi G4M Hamaki (Cigar) was the most-known Japanese bomber in Second World War. It was used in most operations in the Pacific War and was nicknamed “Betty” by the Allies. The G4M was also used as torpedo bomber.
If Lindberg had taken it’s Mitsubishi G4M2 kit out of production a quarter century ago, it could have become a sought-after collector’s piece or a veritable rarity by now. Instead, the simple plastic model has not reached any significant level of recognition besides some nostalgic flair. Still, it is interesting to analyse it here, precisely because of it’s low recognition.
In 1966 Lindberg decided to use 1/72 as standard scale, publishing some interesting warplanes that were not available as plastic models before. For the most part, competing companies made the better kits, but in this special case, it would take almost a quarter century! This is extraordinary and shows that sometimes, the makers can be very ignorant, indeed.
The kit consists of few parts that are, typical for Lindberg, only fastened to a central runner. The fuselage and wing parts are loose, horizontal stabilizer surfaces consist of one continuous upper and lower part. They are simply applied to a slit in the fuselage after gluing them together. Luckily, flash is kept to a minimum, which also applies to the ejector pins. There are a few sink marks that need to be filled, but the raised rivet lines are not damaged or touched upon in the process. They only provide a symmetrical grid, anyway. Correcting any mistakes should be very hard, since no single example of the original exists anymore.
Considering the date of issue, the level of detail is barely sufficient. Many objects were simplified and some are even missing completely! This is especially true for the cockpit and the defensive weapon systems, which feature a wrong Browning machine gun. Since Lindberg uses the Browning MG for all of it’s 1/72 scale, as well as 1/64 scale kits of WWII bombers. The engine fronts feature primitive, implied cylinders, at least. Even if they are overly simplified, too, the model even features wheel wells. Both engine nacelles are too bulky, most probably because they were still designed with 1/64 scale in mind. Additionally, the specific version chosen here had four leaves VDM propellers mounted, which featured a bigger diameter than the contained airscrews with three leaves.
The decals contain only the Hinomarus and a digit code, which is a bit of a letdown. As an absolute peculiarity, the sheet features replicas of the windows for the fuselage! At least one can find fitting profiles in special literature for the only featured painting option.
The overall result presents a somewhat realistic model, albeit with a lot of goodwill. The 30 years younger kit by Hasegawa is much better, as expected, and becomes more attractive .
Highs: Interesting subjectLows: Older kit, barely sufficient detailsVerdict: Somewhat realistic model, albeit with a lot of goodwill