Platz 1/144 C-46ECM

The previous C-46D release is reviewed here, so I won’t go into any great detail about the history of the aircraft. However, of the C-46Ds delivered to the JASDF, 3 were converted to ECM aircraft, tail numbers 140, 143 and 145, and any of the 3 can be built. Each aircraft had a different aerial configuration and this is accurately represented in the kit. Two of the aircraft are now on display at Japanese airbases. You can find images of these aircraft online.

The top opening box has some nice images of the aircraft on the bottom with views of the 3 different aircraft that can be built as well as an image of the decal sheet. The box contains one plastic bag containing the 3 sprues and an individually bagged clear parts sprue. The decals are also in their own bag and the 6 sides of instructions are in the bottom. The 2 large sprues and clear parts sprue are exactly the same as in the C-46D kit, so if you want to look at the close ups of those then go to the C-46D review. Sprue C is the new addition to the kit and is a small sprue that contains all the lumps and bumps you would expect to find on an ECM aircraft. The sprues have fine recessed detail and some raised detail where appropriate. Overall the sprues look very nice and I anticipate a nice model can be built with subtle surface details.

The instructions are in black and white will colour references in Mr Color and Model master. Everything is clearly laid out and pretty straightforward. Text is in English and Japanese.

The build is divided into 7 steps.

Step 1
This is the cockpit; quite basic, but then again not much of anything will be seen. Simply add the 2 control sticks to the cockpit floor and you’re done. The seats are moulded as part of the floor.

Step 2
Join the 2 fuselage halves together trapping the cockpit inside. Now you need to choose which of the 3 decal options you’re going to build. Then add the nose cone appropriate to the version you want to build, cockpit glazing and elevators.  The 4 windows on each side of the fuselage are represented by decals.

Step 3
Wings & Engines. Join top and bottoms of the wings and then add the engines. Each engine is made up of a central ‘cylinder’ with nice engine detail at one end. The sides of the ‘cylinder’ are covered by a 2 piece cowling with an exhaust to be added to each. Finally add a circular cowling ring to the front and a 4 bladed propeller  Four blades is the correct number of blades for the C-46D, very early C-46s had a 3 bladed propeller.

Step 4 & 5
Main undercarriage. The main gear consists of a pair of undercarriage doors with nice subtle detail on the inside. There’s a single main strut and a separate part to represent the retraction jacks. The wheels are in 2 parts, hub and tyre, which makes for easy painting.

Step 6
Wings and lower lumps & bumps (aerials). Add the built wings to the fuselage. Install the tail wheel and 2 tail wheel doors. Now drill some 1.0mm and 0.3mm holes for 9 aerials being careful to make sure you have things in exactly the right place. The 3 options in the kit all have different aerials configurations. The options are clearly marked out in the instructions so there shouldn’t be any problems.

Step 7
Upper aerials. Drill more 1.0mm and 0.3mm holes to install 7 aerials on the top of the fuselage. Same as before, everything is clearly labelled as to what you need for each option.

Decals
The decal sheet is comprehensive as all Platz decal sheets seem to be. The orange areas of the aircraft on the box top are supplied as decals. There are decals to make all 3 of the aircraft if this type that existed. If the decals are the same as other Platz kits then I expect they will behave very nicely and look good when finished.

Conclusion
This is a very nice kit, well detailed with good instructions and will build into an accurate and detailed model. It will certainly be a one of a kind C-46 on the shelf. I can highly recommend this kit.

Many thanks to Platz for the review sample.

Paul Tosney – Model Builder International – www.modelbuilderinternational.com

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