Sweet 1/144th Mitsubishi A5M4 Claude
If Cartman were a model builder he would agree with this company name as these kits are indeed "Sweet". This is a tiny model, the wingspan being just under 3 inches, yet the detail and finesse of the mouldings have to be seen to be believed, rivalling and even surpassing that of many larger scale kits.
I added an instrument panel, control stick, seat belts, a bit of detail to the cockpit sides and a pitot made from brass rod but other than that it's straight out of the plastic bag. No filler was used, only a touch of Mr. Surfacer 1000 here and there but the fit was so good even that was probably overkill.
The Cartograf decals lived up to their reputation; thin, good registration and colour density and they settled down beautifully into the panel lines with a bit of Micro Sol. Only one marking option is included, that of Saburo Sakai's aircraft.
Paint is Testors Metalizer Aluminium and Humbrol 19 Red, darkened a bit to match the decals. There is controversy over whether Claudes were bare metal, painted Aluminium or had a varnish overcoat. I opted for the bare metal finish but being a naval aircraft it could well have been painted or varnished. We'll probably never know for sure.
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