The Betty was a staple in the IJN's arsenal throughout the war. It gained fame for being the plane primarily responsible for sending the HMS Prince of Wales and Repulse to the bottom early in the war, and infame for being the plane in which Admiral Yamamoto was riding when U.S. P-38s shot him down. In addition, the Betty is included in Bill Yenne's The World's Worst Aircraft. The primary reason he cites is that the "one-shot lighter," as it was nick-named by Allied pilots, had massive, unprotected fuel tanks throughout its wings making it quite easy to set the plane on fire. While that's true, these fuel tanks were also one of the plane's strengths, giving it a tremendous range and helping make it the most important Japanese bomber of the conflict -- hardly one of the "world's worst aircraft" in my book. The Japanese nicknamed the plane hamaki, which means "cigar," due to its bulbous fuselage, designed to allow internal storage of all ordnance and facilitate crew movements within the plane. Late in the war, the Betty (not the type represented by this model) was used as the mother plane for launching Ohka suicide rocket planes, and was also the aircraft in which the Japanese surrender delegation was transported. Isshikiriko, by the way, translates as "Type 1 Land-based Bomber."
Tamiya's gorgeous new kit includes bombs and torpedoes, and three crew figures. The interior is also fully detailed.
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