G4M3 BettyItem#: HN-TAMC226
- Japanese medium bomber
- Prop-driven aircraft, two engine
- Handcrafted, hand-painted mahogany construction
- Scale: 1/48th
- Operators: Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service
- Time in operation: 1941-1945
- World War II era
- Manufacturers: Mitsubishi
- Length: 16.5 inches
- Wingspan: 20.5 inches
Code-named "Betty" by Allied forces, the G4M was the primary land-based bomber for the Japanese Navy in World War II, often being used in torpedo attacks. Since it was designed with range and speed as priorities, several survivability measures were left out of the design, particularly self-sealing fuel tanks (a problem that Japanese Zero's also had). Combined with the simplistic flight patterns of a torpedo attack, the G4M made a very easy target, and was derisively called 'lighter' or 'cigar' by both Allied and Japanese pilots.
The G4M did have several good qualities despite its flaws, including good speed and 20mm cannons for defensive armament, much heavier and more dangerous than the .50 caliber machine guns carried by similar Allied aircraft. In cases where the Betty did not catch fire, it proved a very sturdy airframe, able to return to base despite heavy battle damage. Later in the war, the G4M began to carry the Okha to battle, a rocket-propelled kamikaze aircraft.
Reproduced here is the G4M3 variant, with dramatically increased survivability and defensive armament, but less than a hundred examples built. Superb quality of construction and a finely detailed finish make this model an excellent choice for any collector or enthusiast.
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