M6A1 Seiran
Tamiya 1/48 scale
by Steve Kasza


This article came about by the continual asking of how long it takes me to build a kit. I hope this will give those of you asking some idea.

Saturday 16 June 2001 (Building Day 1)
7:30pm - 9:15pm
I stared the kit by assembling the interior parts. There is a hard to fill ejector pin mark on the side of the machine gun. Don't worry about the back of the radio being hollow, this won't be seen. The interior was now painted RAF interior green (which was darkened with some Dark Green). Hmm…what else can I do …Ahh - on to step 4, put the radiator together, painted the inside black. Ok, now on to the wings. The top and bottom wings halves were assembled, no problem. Floats are next. Don't forget to put the weight in the front of the floats. Ok, anything else I can do tonight…oh yeah - put together the bomb!!

Sunday 17 June (Building Day 2)
7:15am - 8:20am Yes I know it's early. Anyway, started off the day by brushing a black wash over the cockpit parts. While this is drying, sanded the seams on the parts I had assembled last night (wings / floats). No filler was needed on any of the parts. The molded formation lights on the wing tips were cut away, and pieces of Lite-Brite pegs were cut, glued, and sanded to shape, and polished.

9:10am - 10:30am OK, I'm back after a short break for some chow (we all need to eat don't we?). The interior was dry brushed, and the remaining cockpit details were painted. The decals were added to the instrument panels. The canopy was dipped in future and set aside. 2 types of windscreen are provided - one with and without a telescopic sight. I choose the one without it. The decal seat belts (oh how I hate these) were applied to a piece of masking tape, then cut out and glued to the seats. The transport dolly was also assembled now.

12:20pm - 12:40 pm The instrument panel and gun sight were glued to the left fuselage half, and the dials on the panel were given drops of Krystal Kleer to represent the lenses. The interior was installed in the left fuselage half, and the fuselage was assembled. Next the wings and radiator were attached.

3:00pm - 3:50pm I now sanded the seams, and rescribed the panel lines where needed. NO filler was needed on any of the joints. Now on to adding the rest of the parts before painting. All of the remaining parts were assembled, except for the following: tail wings, propeller, exhausts, and bomb. The flaps have some ejector pins marks, which need to be filled. There is no option for an open canopy.

4:30pm - 4:50pm Painted the yellow ID panels on the wing fronts. I also darkened a little of the yellow paint and "shaded" the panel lines in the yellow areas. I now put it aside to dry…Guess that's all I can do for today.

Thursday, June 21, 2001 (Building Day 3)
6:00 pm - 7:00pm      Masked the yellow ID panels, sprayed bottom surfaces with Tamiya JN Green and shaded the panels with the gray darkened with a little black.

7:40pm - 8:10pm     Painted the upper surfaces tamiya JN Green.

Friday, June 22, 2001 (Building Day 4)
12:00pm - 12:40pm     Shaded the upper surface panels with darkened IJN Green. Removed masking from ID panels.

1:10pm - 1:30pm     Aircraft was sprayed with a coat of clear gloss (Future).

8:10pm - 8:40pm      Decals were applied. Some have complained that Tamiya's decals are too "thick", but I found that they went on with out any problems, and conformed nicely with an application of Solvaset.

Saturday, June 23. 2001 (Building Day 5)
4:45pm - 530pm     Painted the bomb, propeller (2 types of spinner are provided - I chose the more "rounded" one), and exhausts.

Sunday, June 24, 2001 (Building Day 6)
11:00 am - 12:15pm Attached the floats and tail wings. I finished painting the prop, exhausts, and boarding ladder. Started painting the beaching trolley. Applied awash to the panel lines. I stronger wash was used for the green areas than for the gray ones.

1:45pm - 2:00pm Attached the exhausts. Sprayed a coat of clear flat on the model (Testors Dullcoat)

Saturday, 30 June 2001
4:30pm -4:50pm Attached the remaining parts (prop, bomb, flaps, antenna, boarding ladder).

Overall this was an EXTREMELY easy kit to build - I basically just sat here and the kit built itself! Not bad for 11 hours and 15minutes of work!!