AML's Nakajima J1N1 "Gekko" Decals

By Chris Banyai-Riepl

With the recent release of Tamiya's 1/48 Gekko kit, it was only a matter of time before someone came out with aftermarket decals for it.  AML is the first to come out with a set, with this sheet providing markings for four planes split evenly between J1N1-S and J1N1-Sa aircraft.  This sheet is also available in 1/72, designed for the Fujimi kits.

The first J1N1-S is the only one on the sheet in dark green over gray (the rest all being overall dark green).  Coded U1-13 in white on the tail, this plane also has white-edged hinomarus for the fuselage & upper wing.  Flown by CPO Shigetoshi Kudo and Lt. Akira Sugawara of Kokutai 251 out of Rabaul-Lakunai, July 1943, this plane had a total of nine kills and one probable.  The second J1N1-S was flown by CPO Tetsuya Hatao and CPO Nanpachi Yamada of Kokutai 202 out of Manggar Air Base in Borneo, January 1944.  This team was the most successful night-fighter team over Indonesia, with several kills to their name including a pair of B-24s shot down on the night of January 13, 1944.  These two kills are silhouetted in white on the tail underneath the red code '02-03'.

Moving to the two J1N1-Sa planes, the first choice is coded YoD-187 and was flown by Lt. Sachio Endo & Osamu Nishio of Kokutai 302.  Flying out of Atsugi Air Base in 1945, this plane shot down a total of five B-29s and had a probable count of nine.  The kill markings are depicted as flower blossoms on the fuselage side.  The second J1N1-Sa also carries kill markings, this time in the form US stars with an arrow in the center.  Flown by CPO Ykzu Kuramoto and Shiro Kurotori, this team had a total of six confirmed kills and two probables, all B-29s.  This plane is the only one of the four on the sheet equipped with the FD-2 radar.

These decals are well printed, with each scheme providing a full set of hinomarus.  A single set of yellow leading edge markings is included as well.  If you're looking for something different to finish your Tamiya kit, definitely grab this sheet.

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