From the box review Tamiya M6A1 Sieran
by Bill Schurr
Upon initial examination, the kit looks very streight forward in terms of parts breakdown i.e. the fuselage is divided in halves, blah blah. The model is molded in gray, not the medium gray of the Beu or Meteor, but more like gull grey for what it's worth. Of course, the surface detail is very, very nice and probably a speck better than the Meteor or Beu because there are more details appearing on the surface such as a tiny tie down ring on the extreme aft fuselage!
Starting with the cockpit, there is a floorboard/consoles piece. This supports the pilot's and gunner's seats. The gunner's seat mounts in a neat framework that accommodates the seat and the flexible small calibre machine gun. The shoulder harnesses are in the form of decals. The consoles molded to the floor are nicely detailed, again better than the 2 models mentioned above. The stick, rudder pedals, and trim wheel are all seperate parts. So is the radio gear and other "boxes". Only problem here is the canopy, although crystal clear, is molded in one piece. Tamiya gives the modeler decals for the instruments like they did with the Beau and Meteor.
The panel has raised bezels though for those wanting to paint their instruments. Two different gunsights are included as are two windsrceens. One gunsight is the older telescope type, the other, a reflector sight. One windscreen accomodates the telescopic sight. While on the topic of alternative parts, Tamiya includes two spinners, one is slightly longer and more pointed. Let me make mention of the nice detail inside the fuselage halves before I move on. There is structural detail and various "boxes" molded integrally to the inside fuselage surfaces. Modelers might want to embellish this detail with soft copper wire to simulate wire bundles and maybe replace the boxes with plastic scrap to offer more relief.
Moving to the wing assembly, the first apparent feature is the seperate flaps. Aichi had unique sloted flaps (kinda like what you see on airliners when extended) that enhanced lift but also acted as dive brakes. This is a super little feature to give the modeler a little more choice and create interest in the finished model. Otherwise the wing is conventional in construction.
Other noteworthy things about this kit are the nicely molded floats which fit in to nice grooves on the wing lower surface. The model is replete with a very nice transportation trolley for the completed model to be displayed in. It comprises 8 or so pieces alone. Tamiya provideds a nice piece of metal stock dowling to balance the model while it rests on its floats. External weaponry includes a nice replica of a 800 kg bomb to be carried on the centerline.
The Sieran didn't appear in a wide array of schemes...only 28 were completed. The decals Tamiya provides are by Invisiclear and are quite acceptable. Several serial numbers are provided for a green over gray scheme model. One could concievably do a prototype in green over orange I suppose.
The decal provides the orange yellow ID panels for the wing leading edge and the red prop warning bands for the floats. This is a beautiful model. Japanese lovers must add this to their collection and modelers of anything would enjoy the kit because of the splendid detail and the "hassle free" pleasure it will provide while assembling. Seiran, which roughly meant "dark thunderstorm againts tall blue mountains" (or something like that) was an interesting airplane designed to be launched from big submarines to bomb the Panama Canal. The whole idea behind it makes this a particularly appealing airplane and it was a good looking "airchine". The kit cost me 1900Y purchased from Hobby Link Japan so it's not too pricey.
Return to M6A Home Page