1/48 FineMolds Nakajima J9Y Kikka

by Rai



Greetings from Singapore!

The Kikka (Orange Blossom) was Japan's first jet-powered aircraft. It was developed late in World War II and the first prototype had only flown once before the end of the conflict.  The original IJN request was for a fast attack bomber with foldable wings, easy enough for unskilled labor to build.  However this consideration was not meant for carrier use but rather for hiding the Kikka in caves and tunnels save from the B29 raids!  The aircraft bore a strong but superficial resemblance to the Me262, the Kikka being significantly smaller with straight wings and tail surfaces instead (see pic for comparison).  The axial flow turbojet powerplant was reversed engineered from the German BMW003.  Maximum speed was 852 km/hr and range was 980km for the interceptor version.  By 1945, the IJN changed the Kikka’s designation to ‘special attacker’ denoting for Kamikaze-use (max speed 677 km/hr).  Only one prototype made it into the air before the war ended.  Under construction at war’s end were several versions for a fighter, interceptor, recce-bird and 2-seat trainers.

This is the ‘Special Attacker’ version from FineMolds, the only one of the type to have actually flown.  From the box inspection, the detailing and quality looked okay, with recessed panel lines.  I built the kit OOB and very soon encountered some mismatched fit problems with the fuselage halves and engine nacelles.  This took quite a bit of sanding, filling and sanding again to rectify.  Considering this was from FineMolds, I was quite surprised.  Strangely a friend who’s building another Kikka did not experience this. Maybe just my luck to have gotten a bad batch.  Apart for the problem mentioned, the other parts and fit was perfect.

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The cockpit detailing was basic and you either have to live with it or do some scratch-building.  No aftermarket products for this.  Hardly any information either.  The canopy was molded in one-piece and when finished in ‘closed’, it wasn’t too bad.  For flavor sake, I added a set of Eduard IJN Late-War Seatbelts and ‘opened’ the cockpit.  It was hell trying to cut the canopy.  I am all ears if anyone has a better way.  There were no weapon fitted whatsoever perhaps for lack of more information on this part.  A pair of RATOs (which were clearly visible in the prototype flying trial photos) is included with the kit and you have the option to have them installed or not.  There were no engine details. There is an upgraded Kikka kit from FineMolds in the market that do offer the full engine detailed option.  More bang for the buck if you ask me.

The instructions offered painting guides for the flying prototype and an imagined unit deployment.  As both were similar in appearance – I opted for the unit version.  Painting was the usual IJN Green top and IJN Grey bottom.  I used Tamiya’s enamel for both, over a base coat of Tamiya’s Chrome Silver.  The entire finish was then sealed with Future.  Weathering was kept to bare minimum considering the machine only flew once. Again I tried something new, picked up from my expert bros right here in ARC.  I applied the panel wash using a marker pen – the Gundam ‘Black’ Real Touch Marker.  It was easy to use.  Just draw over the panel lines and smudged them with a Q-tip or your fingers.  Not bad to my taste although you need to experiment quite a bit to get the right effect.

Apart from the tedious rectification of the misfit fuselage and engine nacelles, I enjoyed this build.  I enjoyed the experiments even more.  Thanks to all the bros that helped me along.


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Photos and text © by Rai