PROS: EVERYTHING!!!! This is such a sweet kit!!! I'm almost
thinking about buying another just to paint it in a different
color. The instructions provide a detailed background of the
Rufe's origin, and two pictures of the Rufe in light gray and I.J.N. green are provided as an example to paint by. The
instructions also provide detailed painting instructions and
color matches for every part of the aircraft. The cockpit is
perfectly detailed and the instrument panel decal is nicely
visible through the canopy. A rolling stand that the Rufe sits on is included with the kit; as are 2 pilot figures; one for the cockpit another to stand outside of it. Everything fits together perfectly, and the holes for the wing floats are squared perfectly, and provide a perfect, accurate fit. The detail put into this kit is truly
astounding. Also, at only $13, it's affordable for us younger modelers.
Cons: There really arent any. I had a little bit of trouble fitting the center pontoon into the fuselage, but I just widened the fuselage hole for it a little bit. Also, it is very hard to find Japanese Navy Green in an aerosol form (bottle paint is a pain in the ass, and I can't afford an airbrush).
Overall: BUY THIS KIT!!! IT IS SOOOOOOOO AWESOME!!!Also, if
you've built any prior Tamiya Zeros, the canopy is the same, so
if both of the ones provided smudge or break, you can use a
compatible one from another kit. This is a welcome addition to
any Japanese aircraft lover's kit. Some things you may want to
include are a fishing weight in the front of the center float for
balance, some very thin string or wire for the antenna wire, and
a hot needle to make the machine gun holes in the cowling. Also,
after I painted it, the aileron, elevator, and rudder lines had
been kind of absorbed by the paint, so I used an X-acto knife
to trim the paint out of the detail line to make it more visible, and cut slits at the edges of each aileron, elevator, and rudder to make them seem more realistic, in that they actually moved and werent a solid piece of the wing. As far as painting goes, I find the light gray looks okay, but it reminds me too much of a Zero (even though this is simply its seaborne brother). The I.J.N. green is where it's at. It looks, SOOOO much better than the white. The only thing is, I.J.N. green is really hard to find, and there's no other color that really looks like it. But if you can do it, it's well worth the effort. Tamiya (I'm pretty sure) puts out IJN green in a spray paint, or you might be able to find an airbrush version. If you ever see this kit in a store, buy it. There aren't that many out there, and if you havent already built one, you don't know what you're missing. Tamiya has really outdone themselves with this fine addition to the Zero family.
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