Monday, August 17

In-Boxed: Meng Model's 1/9th scale Kawasaki Ninja H2 ("Pre-coloured" Edition)

Meng's new pre-coloured version of the amazing Kawasaki Ninja H2 road-legal superbike in 1/9th scale has already hit the shops. This special edition has the parts moulded or painted in the correct colour & chrome. The kit comes in a snap-together form, the premise is that it will look as promising as the real thing once put together. Pre-coloured kits can be difficult to make look real, so let's look at the kit to see if Meng has made this one ready to ride or not in our review...

In-Boxed: Meng Model's Kawasaki Ninja H2R Pre-coloured Edition
From Meng Models
1/9th scale
Kit No #MT-002s
Kit Includes 210 parts:
Plastic injection kit with photo-etch, decal + chromed sprues, photo-etch, metal parts, screws + screwdriver, rubber tyres + hoses, clear parts.
Available from Hobby link Japan at this link
Product Link on the Meng Website
The subject: The Kawasaki Ninja H2:
The “Ninja” name is synonymous with Kawasaki performance and has been shared by many legendary models over the years. Representing Kawasaki’s leading-edge, Ninja models have always been the performance leaders of their time, and have shown their prowess time and time again on the race track. The Ninja H2 is the cornerstone of the range of Kawasaki motorcycles.
Ninja H2 development pursued two paths. The first was the Ninja H2™R, which is a closed-course model that allowed the unadulterated pursuit of performance without the limitations of street homologation. This motorcycle is followed by the Ninja H2 street model, which is based closely on the H2R but meets all market regulations. The results are incredible, with both models offering a sensory experience surpassing anything else that riders can find today. The concept behind the H2 was the desire for a new type of high-performance experience consisting of intense acceleration, extended top speed, and supersport-level circuit performance. Two bikes were developed, a track-only 300hp Ninja H2R and a street variant, the Ninja H2.

A walk around of the bike's specs...
Key to the performance was the company’s in-house supercharger. Ninja H2 has a maximum output of 212hp (158kW) and 134Nm coming from its 998cc in-line four engines. Its supercharger is unusual in that it produces very little heat as air is compressed, meaning no intercooler is needed. It offers high efficiency over a wide range of engine and vehicle speeds, the result being a wide powerband for effortless and strong acceleration.
Designed to be the ultimate motorcycle, the street-going Ninja H2 is based closely on the closed-course Ninja H2R. Powered by a 200 PS supercharged engine, it offers intense acceleration, superb high-speed riding potential, supersport-level handling performance, and a sensory experience surpassing anything that riders can find today. The Ninja H2 power unit is loaded with technology developed specifically for this supercharged engine. 

A video showing the bike from Kawasaki - wowsers...
In order to accommodate the higher air pressure from the supercharger as well as ensure high reliability with the over 300 PS output of the closed-course Ninja H2, the whole engine was designed to be able to handle stresses 1.5x to 2x greater than on a naturally aspirated litre-class engine. In fact, aside from its camshafts, head gaskets and clutch, the engine unit is exactly the same as the unit on the Ninja H2R.
If you would like the real version you can snap yours (the 2020 version in Australia) up for a sweet (UDS$) 29 grand!
This series so far: MENG's Kawasaki Ninja H2 kits:

The MT-001 Kawasaki Ninja H2™R kit and the MT001(s) were released at the same time for modellers who prefer to paint the model themselves. The MT-001 kit did not contain pre-coloured or electroplated parts, whereas the MT001(s) (pre-coloured) is for those who want to save on work and maybe gain in precise detail.

The non-coloured kit of the same bike MT001 on the left, and the pre-coloured edition MT001(s) on the right
This kit - MENG's Kawasaki Ninja H2™R (Pre-colored Edition) 1/9th scale no #MT-002s
MENG's new kit no #MT-002s Kawasaki Ninja H2™R (Pre-colored Edition) is a 1/9th scale snap-fit model kit licensed by Kawasaki Motors Corp. in the U.S.A. This kit contains 165 parts over ten plastic sprues, but 210 in total with the addition of photo-etch, decal + chromed sprues, photo-etch, metal parts, screws + screwdriver, rubber tyres + hoses, clear parts. It was conceived as a premium kit in the top end of their range.
The kit is a cement-free construction (a snap-fit kit)  and the finished model is 230mm long and 130mm tall. The parts like bodywork and cylinders are presented in a pre-coloured finish which attempts to replicate the colours and textures on the real vehicle. This kit includes stainless steel brake discs and pre-coloured photo-etch air intake screen meshes. Front and rear shock absorbers on the bike and the steering damper are movable on this kit. The model also features decals to place over the completed bike...

The major change on this kit compared to the earlier kits from Meng are of course the pre-coloured parts, the new compliant exhaust and the black mirror finish on the fairings and tank...
What's in the booooox?
The black, very "schmick" box in a matte finish opens up to reveal a space full of many-coloured parts. this box really is FULL, you can't fit anything else in there. Smartly and right on as this is a premium product - the sprues, parts, screws, metal and other bits are all either protected by individual plastic bags or in the case here but a box with packing foam housing the black-chrome body kit parts. There were no problems with the condition of any o the parts of the kit on opening the box.
The instructions:
I have included all of the instructions of the kit at the end of the review, but we will look at some of the sample pages here to give an understanding of them. The coloured instruction booklet is a matte finished their five-page piece with a black, lime and white themed motif that fits in well with the bike.
A lot more of the bike than you might know about is included in the booklet, with the workings of the bike included in four different languages illuminating the real thing to the modeller's eye.
The instructions themselves are shaded to easily show the modeller what is being used and what part glues to which and these included the names of the real parts of the bike.
 The rear of the book sees the "painting" instructions of the bike, or how it should look once this paint-free kit is completed.
Let's look at the parts of the kit now, the sprues then all of the other parts after that.

The Sprues:

Sprue A houses several of the larger structures of the bike that are kind of hard to place on such an intricate design. The one-piece handlebars make for an easy construction, the curved radiator and support for the seats is mostly hidden by the bike's construction.
Sprue B houses most of the black parts of the engine, and it again is moulded in black, so no problems with removal of parts here. You can see the slide moulding technology at work here on the sides of the sprue.
Parts like the engine casing are not needing any paint as the shade of the black plastic is perfect keeping with what you see on the bike.

Sprue C houses most of the parts of the 1 litre, 300horsepower, supercharged engine. All of thee are of a  silver (kind of AS12 Tamiya rattle-can aluminium) shade.
The silver-coloured sprue features a nicely moulded 998 cc inline-4, four-valve, dual overhead cam design with a two-speed, centrifugal supercharged engine. The blocks made of four main larger parts with lots of other layers of the engine over that. It is made in a way that you cannot see the exposed joints after it is constructed.
The comparison with the real thing shows a similar matte-silver shade, but several pars in a more chrome-like finish are not included in this kit, they are just a single colour. Many modellers will change that to give some depth and difference to the universal silver shade offered by Meng.
Sprue D gives us the main fairings and petrol tank on the bike. All presented in that pre-painted black chrome with a layer of silver to give it that reflective finish.
The part presentation and colour really is beautiful to behold, with the right shade presented here and all attachment points of the sprues either hidden or on the reverse (show) side of the kit. Nice engineering here.
Although this is the H2R shown below (note carbon fibre front finish) the pictures is there to show you the shade and shape of the fuel tank
More parts of the H2's fairings in that lovely black chrome finish. These show every mark and every reflection in the foreground just like the real thing...
Sprue E is an interesting one, with a black sprue painted over in the appropriate places with silver. This sprue raised some issues for me.
The front KYB AOS-II Air-Oil separate inverted 43mm front forks are a bit of a potential problem. Of the snap-together kits of this type I have seen (and all of the hydraulic or front forks of bikes,) the chrome needs to be moulded as one part, these are divided in half so you can see the slit vertically down them if they are not glued tight together. I have seen a  few of the earlier pre-coloured kit put together and if not glued they all slowly force apart with he posable suspension that works just like a normal shock absorber. these shocks should also be in a more chrome finish rather than the aluminium colour they are presented in here.
As a solution to this MENG has made its own aftermarket solution. Their upgrade kit  MTS-069 Kawasaki Ninja H2™R Movable Metal Front Fork set. contains four machined metal parts and a brand-new tooling plastic parts sprue. The upgrade kit has kept the movable design of the real part and it helps make the whole structure firmer and more durable. Thanks to the real metal colour and appearance, the motorcycle will look more realistic. This upgrade kit can be used with MENG MT-001 Kawasaki Ninja H2™R and MT-002s Kawasaki Ninja H2™R (Pre-coloured Edition) kits. If it was me, I would be offering this as a standard rather than an optional upgrade costing 60 bucks more. This is a premium product and the upgrade option should be included.
Also on this sprue is the large aluminium intake chamber attached to the supercharger and is hidden below the fuel tank, but it is still represented n that silver colour in case you want to show the bike being repaired. or with the tank off.
The cast aluminium wheels with machined finish are included - with some ingenious pre-painted finish of the lime green inset on both front and rear wheels...
To get this effect on a model would be really hard work, the thin lime line here is of course following the wheel contour, and I would thank that if you did not have this solution you would have to opt for maybe decals - and I am not sure that these exist. A definite positive turning factor of this kit for me.
The reverse side showing how the wheels snap together to fit and the rim around the outside that captures the rubber tyre.
The 530 chain and front and rear sprockets are presented in two colours, with the sprockets in black and the chain in that AS12 shade aluminium colour. I would be adding some light wash to this chain to better define the links.
The Kawasaki lime green trademark trellis frame of the motorcycle comes on Sprue F. Two main parts in that lime colour simply come together at the front and join to the rest of the bike at the rear.
You can see the real thing wrap around the bike in that shape...
A word or two about this frame and the shade. It is the correct colour, but there are some very slight seam lines on the kit plastic (red arrows) and when you scrape this off you will have some fine black underneath it that peeks through. This isn't cool as far as I am concerned, they should have been moulded in the lime green colour to avoid having to respray them later if you want to remove the sprue seam lines (of course you would).
The shape and look of the real thing in isolation
Sprue H: The supercharger plenum surrounding the impeller is painted in that kid of "Ferarri orange" colour that just screams hot, I suppose it would be powder coated in high-temperature paint on the real thing.
The H2 and H2R share the supercharger (with a lower boost level on the H2) and many other components, with the exception of the head gasket, cam profile and timing with ECU mapping, and exhaust system, as well as the R's clutch, has two additional plates.

As you can see by this picture of the reverse, this is a black sprue painted int he red colour. YOu do not see any of this black once the two parts are together...
The adjustable seat on the real bike is of an interesting design that helps keep the rider firmly seated on the bike. Here it is presented to the modeller in a soft vinyl material.
You can see on the real H2 the way that the seat sits and is cushioned to give the modeller firm support.
The chrome exhaust parts on sprue M: This is a split camp as far as modellers go, with some liking the chrome plate, and others throwing it straight in the bleach to strip the parts off and then repaint them...
The H2R track version has an open exhaust with a slash cut tip that stops right at the front lip of the rear wheel. The H2, on the other hand, has an under-engine pre-chamber followed by a rather large and obtrusive, stacked dual muffler that covers nearly the entire top half of the beautifully machined wheel. Obviously, with no muffler, the closed-circuit H2R will be much louder.
As you can see by the chrome plated model part and the real thing here the colour of the chrome can sometimes change a little (and not just with the reflection of the surroundings) the twin exhaust is a major identification point of the H2 street-legal bike.
The twin rear pipe is shown herein correct shape and with the fallen key bolts in the correct spots. This is a big part of the bike and the insides will need a charcoaled wash.
The tubing of the exhaust on the kit is nicely moulded in chrome-plated silver with attachments to the sprues. In real life, these exhausts are affected by great amounts of heat, and even on new bikes, they are coloured with these stresses. If you want to show a normal, street bike you will either ignore this or get the airbrush out to add the heat stress colours on the exhausts. Again, this is not a completely pre-coloured kit for a lot of modellers.
Sprue N features several fairings, wingtip indicator shrouds and several other parts moulded in black tat appear in black on the bike also.
 Front Air Ram Intake Covers are here - one side louvred and the other that is hollow...
Shown below are the real things, albeit the carbon fibre ones on the H2R bike.
One of the more interesting parts are next. Safely stowed away in padding inside this lime green box are the major parts of the bodywork of the kit.
The parts are placed safely and individually in foam packing so you do not have to remove anything from sprues and they are not able to be damaged short of a complete box crushing incident! It is great to see these parts so securely packed away.
The parts in packing removed from the box
The parts exposed from left to right, the front fairing, the lower front frame, the number plate bracket and two parts of the single-sided swingarm, which was incorporated into the design to eliminate drag of the bike and reduce the bike's width.
The front fairing of the H2 from two angles. Kawasaki’s silver-mirror paint is a first for a mass-production motorcycle, appearing black in the shade but mirroring the surrounding scenery in sunlight, emphasising the sculpted bodywork. I actually had to remove the box of the kit away as it was reflecting very green in the mirror-like flawless finish.
The fairing on the real thing. Ont he Carbon bike the carbon fibre texture is another telling point of recognition between these two H2 versions. On the Kawasaki website, you can buy the carbon fibre cowling for over four grand!
The red LED rear lights are moulded here in clear red plastic. It would be very nice to light this thing up with your own LED's!
The clear sprue with the large front windscreen of the bike prominent. YOu can see the very clear transparency showing the Meng log clearly. Also included are the clear front indicators, headlight and smaller front lights of the bike.
The H2R has slicks as of course, it is a track bike, but another identifying feature of the H2 is the treaded tyres that are moulded in this kit in rubber in a pretty convincing tyre colour. The logos of the tyres are not included.
On a photo-etched sheet are three brake disks to suit the bike. On the H2 on the front, you have two massive 330 mm Brembo semi-floating discs are gripped by dual radial-mount Brembo monobloc callipers for superb braking force. In the rear, a 250 mm disc was chosen for strong performance. Here it is replicated in scale-thickness metal and it is pretty nice. Some might want to add their one brake dust to the disks though.

The black painted photo-etched air intake cover is also scale-thickness correct for this bike and a nice inclusion.
The large lime green spring is her painted already, along with that two front smaller springs for the front shocks. Some vinyl pipes are also included for flexible plumbing on the bike.
The Decal Sheet is included her for the small number of markings that included in the kit. I am not sure who printed these but for the most part, they are clear and in register (for the most part).
The decals cover all of the stuff on the instrument panel and speedometer, the KIBS (Kawasaki Intelligent Anti-lock Braking System), the ESD (electronic Steering Damper), a Rain mode indicator, gear, speed and a plethora of other details are captured in good detail here. The lime green stripes on the front farings are also included, as well as the decals for the Brembo brakes, ignition key, "supercharged" log are all included n the decal sheet. Ont he "supercharged" logo there is some problem with the register of the print but not a fatal flaw.
Called "Mirror film" the raised transfers (stickers) are simply peeled away and then placed with the help of the clear film they stay attached to - on to the bike.
The raised detail of the river logo is included, the Ninja H2 series is the first Kawasaki product to bear the Kawasaki River Mark logo - the historic emblem of Kawasaki Heavy Industries on the front of the bike.
The "Ninja H2" logo on the fairing is shown here in that raised appearance, just as the sticker would represent on the kit
Screws of several different sizes are included as well as a little (fittingly lime green) screwdriver to secure the main parts of the bike together - those that cannot be snap-fitted of course. Understand if you want to bike to stay together you will need some glue on this kit.
That is the contents of this kit sorted.

Ninja or Minga?

OK, so on first impressions really blew me away. the coloured parts, the presentation and packing of the kit, the excellent instructions and the thoughtful moulding and engineering of the kit that make such an impressive model once finished. This kit looks so promising.

However, the modeller in me was more cautious of the pre-painted kit. If you want to do this kit justice as a serious model, you will need to paint and weather it, and on some pieces like the exhaust and the front shocks (these should have been the metal versions in this boxing),  you may have to maybe strip the paint and re-paint them completely. In my mind, a pre-painted kit should not need anything done to it after construction to render it authentic straight from the box. Otherwise, you could buy the much cheaper non-painted kit and D.I.Y.

However, with a bit of work and attention to detail, some glue, assembly and decalling IS required as is some painting and weathering if you want to get the most out of this premium kit. This bike is a rather large kit is almost as impressive as the real thing in the finished photos I have seen of the kit completed.

Adam Norenberg

Thanks to MENG who sent us this kit to review for you - you can find out more about this kit or the others in the range on their website
A full scan of the instruction manual...