Kyushu J7W1 Shinden 


A simple conversion project to make an unusual subject.


By a strange coincidence, all the major combatants In world War ll began the development of canard, or tail-first, fighters during the early forties. However, only the American Curtis XP-55 Ascender and the Japanese Kyushu J7W1 were actually flown.


The J7W1 was designed as a short-range bomber interceptor. The canard concept was extensively tested, using three tail-first gliders, and in July 1945, the first of two J7Wl Shindens (Magnificent Lightning) was readied for flight. Unfortunately, during the take-off run, the Shinden was over-rotated and the pusher propeller dug into the ground, causing minor damage to the plane. On August 3, the first flight was successfully concluded. The radical plane showed a performance potential with considerable promise, so a production schedule was set up which was intended to produce over l,000 Shindens per year. This plan was never fulfilled, though, due to extensive bombing raids by American B-29's, the Shinden's intended opponent. Ultimately, only the prototype was flown, and this for only a total of 45 minutes acquired in three hops. A second airframe was constructed, but the War ended before testing could begin.


The original Shinden was shipped to the United States after the War, and eventually found its way into the great Smithsonian collection, where it is destined to become a part of the National Air & Space Museum.




  • Wingspan: 36 feet, 5.5 inches

  • Length: 30 feet, 5.5 inches

  • Power plant: One Mitsubishi Ha.43-42 Radial engine of 2,13n hp

  • Maximum speed: 466 MPH @ 28, 500 feet.

  • Armament: Four 30 mm Type 5 cannons

  • Four 132 lb. bombs


This kit is produced by Minicraft/Hasegawa and is available again. My kit is numbered 1189 and was purchased several years ago. You’ll find a crisply molded kit with little flash and great fit. The canopy is crystal clear and is only one piece. The decals laid downed with the use of SolvoSet.


The conversion is a proposed version by the manufacture mounting the same jet engine in the ME 262. The conversion is simple and would be good for a first try.


First remove the auxiliary air intakes from the sides of the fuselage (see illustration), fill with sheet styrene, putty, and sand. Now assemble the kit per the kit instruction but leave the wings off. Remember to weight the nose or it will not sit on its nose. 






















The jet exhaust will replace the prop so consign it to the parts box. The exhaust can be grafted on the from the rear of the Monogram Me 262 kit or built up from tubing and putty. The kit I built had the tailpipe built around a piece of brass tubing of the correct diameter with epoxy putty around the outside. I turn this part in a lath, sanding it to the correct profile. I also cut a lip to fit into the kit part # B10. Now you can assemble the wings to the fuselage and the assemble is complete

Paint the aircraft in the kit recommended colors and markings or chose your own.his is an easy conversion and makes an interesting subject. Have fun.