by: Frederick Boucher [ ]
IntroductionType 10 1MT1N Carrier Torpedo Bomber by Marusan Shoten Ltd is an incredible 1/48 (plus-or-minus) injection-molded model of an obscure naval triplane.
Marusan was the first plastic model maker in Japan, with roots going back to 1923. Their first plastic model was the nuclear submarine USS Nautilus, released in 1958. Many models of obscure and ubiquitous subjects followed. This Mitsubishi 1MT carrier torpedo triplane was fielded in 1922 but quickly withdrawn after only 20 were built. An excellent history of the company, A Brief History of Marusan – the First Japanese Plastic Model Kit Manufacturer, can be found at Old Model Kits.com via the link Click here for additional images for this review, below.
The KitRecently I saw this model and it checked many of my "must have" boxes at once:
* Imperial Japanese
* Peculiar subject
* Old model company
* Never knew it existed
The kit arrived in an end-opening one-piece box with a plastic window on the back. The kit was sealed inside a plastic bag. (Unfortunately, there was a tear and one of the cabane struts is missing, as is the generator propeller.
Marusan's molding was quite good. All the parts are cleanly molded with a smooth external finish although there is light flash on many of them. Surprisingly, there are no noticeable seam lines, but there are many visible ejection circles, and some sink marks. Not bad for 1958.
Surface detail is molded on including the insignias. However, Marusan made those insignia marking as recessed lines. Marusan did not attempt to simulate a fabric texture.
The model has 46 parts of dark green or clear plastic:
8 x airframe (sans landing gear and bracing struts)
12 x interplane struts
11 x landing gear
2 x cockpit
6 x torpedo and mounts
5 x miscellaneous (propeller, radiator cap, propeller cap, ram-air generator and propeller
1 x clear windscreen
1 x thread for rigging
Marusan helped out the modeler by engineering holes in the struts for the rigging thread. The airframe parts are pretty robust. I am concerned as to how well the thin landing gear will support the model not to mention the interplanes struts holding up all that wing area.
DetailNot much. The cowling and exhaust are primitive. The radiator is clunky. The cockpit is merely a sorry looking seat with an instrument panel.
Very fine propellers for the torpedo were molded onto robust sprue connectors. Most of the propellers are broken and gone.
Decals and InstructionsBoth are simple. The instructions are clear and the decals, although thick with too much excess carrier film, seem to be well registered.
ConclusionMarusan's Type 10 1MT1N Carrier Torpedo Bomber is an incredible model in that it is a bizarre subject and yet for 1958, molding is commendable. Not without flaws but commendable. I don't think anyone will come out with a photo-etch detail set for it, nor resin upgrades.
I look forward to building this unique 1/48 subject. If one like the IJNAF and multiple-airfoil aircraft then this is certainly a special subject.
Click here for additional images for this review.