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1:32 Yokosuka MXY7 Ohka Type 22 RB Productions Catalogue # RB-K32003 Available from RB Productions for €64,50 The Japanese named the Ohka Type 22 ‘Cherry Blossom’, however, the Allied codename of ‘Baka’ (fool) was probably more appropriate. As the war had already started to go badly for the Japanese in 1943, plans were drawn up for design and production of a small, one-man suicide aircraft that could be used against enemy shipping. Essentially, the Ohka was a rocket powered flying bomb, flown onto target by a pilot with a death wish. Unlike German guided rocket systems, this small bringer of instant death was to be carried and launched by the Mitsubishi ‘Betty’ bomber aircraft. Having its first manned test flight in late 1944, the Ohka was designed by Mitsuo Ohta, and was designed to initially glide towards its target upon release, and then it would activate its solid rocket boosters once on target. This would essentially make the aircraft nigh on impossible to shoot down simply due to its speed. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xN4fZcXrkiY Ohka was also no folly. Its deployment saw it destroy seven US ships, including the USS Mannert L. Abele in April 1945. A real Achilles heel was the slow speed of the launch aircraft, with many of them being shot down and prematurely launching their ill-fated suicide aircraft. Despite their being over 750 built, and their relatively low success rate, these were composed of the earlier Type 11, and not the Type 22 which this kit depicts. This particular version used a simple Campini-type Ishikawajima Tsu-11 motorjet engine which was designed to overcome the short range of the earlier rocket powered version, and could be launched from a more agile and smaller Yokosuka ‘Frances’ in order to deliver its 1,320lb warhead. Records show that none of these type were ever used in action. This last year or so has certainly been very kind to those who like to build the more esoteric suicide aircraft employed by certain Axis powers. Last year, HpH released a 1:32 double kit comprising of both a Fieseler Fi 103 Reichenberg, and the more numerous Type 11 Ohka. Modellers can now add to that the new Type 22, motorjet-powered machine into those ranks, thanks to RB Productions. As with the HpH release, this is also a resin kit, and it is packed into a small but beautifully presented, sturdy corrugated cardboard box, complete with an attractive artwork showing a photo of a surviving Ohka located at the NASM, plus a number of profile images, clearly indicating that this kit also comes with a ground-handling trolley and booster rocket. Whilst RB Productions aren’t newcomers to resin releases, this particular kit does herald a new cooperation with them and CMK, who are the producers of the resin with thin this release. Kit statistics are: 60 resin parts 57 Photo-etched brass parts 1 clear resin part 1 vacuum formed part 1 decal sheet printed by Fantasy Printshop When ordering, you will be immediately sent the link for the downloadable instruction manual. Of course, you may choose to access this on your computer or tablet, or you could print it out in the old fashioned way. I prefer the latter, and do this with the CD manuals supplied by HpH also. Inside the box, there are five zip-lock bags. These contain the numerous light grey (and a few darker grey) resin parts, with the clear resin windshield and vac-form sliding hood being bagged separately. Underneath these, a single, small brass PE fret is separately packed, as is a single decal sheet. You might think there won’t be too many decals for this model, but think again. Also in here is a set of Radu’s Imperial Japanese seatbelts. After all, you need your suicide flight to be safe! The fuselage halves are wrapped in a cellophane bag, and well protected. Fuselage Of course, the Type 22 fuselage differs significantly in appearance from the Type 11 of the HpH kit, having the opening for the Ishikawajima Tsu-11 Motorjet at the rear and separately moulded rear fuselage intakes. Externally, detail is superb, with finely recessed panel lines and access ports along the nose/warhead area. To enable clean fitting of the small wings, the roots are cast in situ, along with their fairings, and the wing connected by a tab/slot mechanism as is common with regular injection-moulded kits. Those ports along the nose are slightly off centre, which is of course correct, but the seam unfortunately has to pass through the edge of them. Be careful on clean-up. A neat recess exists so that you can easily attach the resin windscreen. Internally, the Ohka is no less impressive, with some excellent cast detail for the cockpit sidewalls, including ribs and stringers, complete with fasteners, and numerous other structures. Again, this is highly impressive. What has really aided the amazing production of this model is the fact that it was designed in CAD (ok, not unusual these day), but then it was 3D printed and the resulting parts were then cleaned up and polished in order to remove any tell-tale signs of layering. The result is what you see here, and I admit that I very much like it. Casting tabs will need to be removed from the adjoining connection surfaces, and several openings are lightly flashed over with resin, for casting purposes. Wings and stabiliser Both the stabilisers and wings have separate control surfaces, which is a very nice touch. Port and starboard stabilisers sit neatly into an undercut on the rear of the fuselage, and a hole is located in the fuselage area behind this into which the elevator connecting rods fit. You’ll note that there isn’t too much detail on the flying surfaces, simply because the real thing was sheeted in thin plywood. However, the wingtips were moulded metal parts, and they can clearly be seen here, along with their fasteners. Some very nice detail is present on connecting faces of the aileron to wing area, including the aileron control rod fairing on the upper wing face. Ailerons and elevators exhibit some beautifully fine detail and look very impressive. Unusually, it was decided to cast the vertical fins onto the stabiliser parts. I actually quite like this approach as it removes one potential screw-up in fitting them at a slightly incorrect angle. As with the other control surfaces, the rudder parts are cast separately and can be posed if required. Propulsion Whilst this model doesn’t sport a fully detailed engine (that would be pretty pointless), it does supply all the elements that can be seen. These include the intake fan, and a couple of other internal components, plus the mixing/combustion section, and the exhaust nozzle. For ease of painting, the nozzle can be fitted after main assembly. Detail is very good, and certainly more than adequate for what you will be able to see within the intakes and exhaust pipe. Those intake fairings are also cast separately, with superb fastener detail and evenly cast, thin intake edges. The intakes will also be supplemented by PE vanes. A solid rocket booster is supplied, cast a single piece, and designed to fit under the fuselage, at the wing intersection. This part itself has sharp detail and a nice thin wall for the exhaust nozzle. Other Parts Getting about This kit actually provides the ground-handling trolley which would have been used to manoeuvre this Ohka into position underneath the wings of the carrier bomber. This consists of the main framework which supports two elevated brackets onto which the wings sit and are held by means of a leading edge hook-over. Also supporting the aircraft are two profiled wooden frames onto which the fuselage sits. The whole lot moves on two main wheels and two smaller forward wheels that are mounted on a moveable bracket to aid towing. Two ‘T’ shaped towing bars are also included, of different lengths. A small number of other resin parts are provided for such things as internal cockpit detail, trigger fuse, motor exhaust stubs and venture etc. but the rest of the model detail is provided as photo etch parts. All resin parts are thoughtfully connected to their casting blocks, meaning clean-up should be easy and minimal. My sample also has zero flaws, and no trace of mould residue, although you are still advised to wash in a mild detergent. Clear Parts As mentioned, the windscreen is made from clear resin, and this very good. It might not be quite up to the standard of HpH clear parts, but it’s certainly some of the better clear casting I’ve seen. Short range clarity is very good, which is all that’s required on a model of this size. As tends to be normal practice with vac-form parts, TWO main hoods are included…just in case you screw one up. I would pack the interior out with a little Blu-Tak to provide rigidity, and then carefully score until cut. Gently finish the edges with a fine sanding stick. Frame definition is excellent and so is clarity. Photo Etch This single sheet provides enough parts to keep you busy! These include the complicated rudder cable drum assembly for the rudder bar, and numerous other internal cockpit parts such as the seat and frame, fuel cap, head armour, and cockpit floor. Externally, there are in the intake vanes and sighting devices etc. Production quality is excellent, despite the fret not having the shiny appearance of those from Eduard etc. Seatbelt If you’ve never used one of Radu’s seatbelts, then you’re in for a treat. These are supplied as die-cut, coloured paper, with PE buckles etc. Assembly is advised with something like stick-glue (Pritt etc.), and although they can take a little longer to assemble than other belts, they look great when finished. Decals You won’t be exactly spoilt for choice as with other kits when it comes to colour scheme options, and the decals reflect that. Apart from the beautiful Cherry Blossom emblems that are used instead of Hinomaru markings, you are also provided with numerous airframe stencils, cockpit instruments, airframe numbers and red decal strips that run down the length of the upper fuselage. Printing is excellent, being thin, having minimal carrier film, authentic colour, and of course in perfect register. I expect nothing less from Fantasy Printshop. You probably won’t need decal setting solutions on this model, but I do know from experience that they do work well with this manufacturer’s decals. Instructions These are supplied in PDF format, and have been meticulously drawn and are clear to follow.All illustrations are CAD format and in greyscale, with colour added for notation and PE parts. Simply, these are very easy to follow, and even more so as each step has descriptive text. You don’t see that so often! Well done Radu. Colour notation is also described in the text, but the main scheme image provides you with something even more solid. Those scheme images show every profile in colour, including the ground-handling trolley, and paint reference is made for Gunze. Decal positioning notation is easy to follow too. If you’d like some actual photo-reference, this is also included with 17 colour images of the NASM example, spread over the final two pages. You should have everything you need here. Conclusion This really is a superb little kit, and bang on with detail. It certainly is ideal for a first time resin kit project, and there are no corners cut when it comes to photo etch either, with plenty of both internal and external detail to make this a very eye-catching little project. Production quality counts for a lot, and you have nothing to worry about in that respect, with superbly fitting parts being manufactured by CMK. At €64,50 too, I also think it provides very reasonable value for money, and even more so with the current weakness of the €uro against the £ and $. If you have already purchased the HpH twin Reichenberg and Ohka Type 11 kit, it really is crazy not to include this in the stash alongside it. VERY highly recommended! My sincere thanks to RB productions for this review sample. 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