Japanese Aircraft Online Model Contest 014

Sunday, 19 January 2020


Bunrindo's latest release in their FAOW series is Special #8 on the 47 Sentai, entitled "Pictrial (sic) History of Japanese Army 47th Flying-Sentai".

This new special FAOW is of the usual size in the series with 128 pages and about 300 b/w photos. Artwork is by Ninomiya Shigeki with seven side and two (small) top views. As with the previous FAOW Special, it is all written by Watanabe Yoji based on a series of articles published in "Koku Fan" magazine.

It seems that Bunrindo is following the steps of "Dai Nippon Kaiga" and for the first time has released a special dedicated on an IJAAF unit. Plenty of colorful "Shoki", "Hayate" and "Hayabusa" photos, some well known, some less so, with even more photos of the unit pilots and personnel. A really very nice publication although unusual in that it deals with only one unit. Ofcourse it's all in Japanese, which means the rest of the world will just have to stare at the photos. Personally I like it more than the "DNK" ones. Better photo quality, publication size and overall information. Clearly Watanabe knows his subject a lot better than the "DNK" authors.

Highly Recommended!
Naturally available from our on-line store, HERE, for $US20 (postage not included).

Friday, 17 January 2020

Japanese Aircraft Online Model Contest 014 - PAT DONAHUE

Tamiya 1/72 A6M2 (Nakajima built)
Kit built out of the box with painted Hinomarus and Rising Decals for Hiyo Fighter Group, Operation I-go, Buin, Bougainville, April 1943.
Colorcoars and Testors enamel used.

Pat Donahue - USA


Wednesday, 15 January 2020

Japanese Aircraft Online Model Contest 014

ARAWASI would like to invite you to our fourteenth and last online model contest.
Theme: "A6M2"

Submissions: Send as many photos as you like of your model and accompanying information to contact@arawasi.jp or arawasi_g2@hotmail.com.
At the very least please send: your name and country, model scale and kit maker. Your entry will be posted very soon. You can enter the contest with more than one model in any scale.
If you decide to start a model for our contest you can send work-in-progress photos.

Voting: you can vote for each model from 1 to 10 either by leaving a comment on each entry or by sending an email to the above addresses. No anonymous votes will be taken into account (nicknames are ok). The model with the most points wins.

Deadline: March 15 (but it can be extended) 

Prizes: The winner will receive a book, a kit and a decal set from our on-line store, free of any charge, courtesy of Arawasi.

Monday, 13 January 2020

IJAAF & IJNAF photos & more

Yet another photo from the "Asahi Shimbun" collection, this one featuring a scene inside the Mitsubishi factory in Nagoya at the end of the war. According to the caption of Model Art #470 which includes a similar photo, the "Raiden" in the photo is a Model 11 or J2M2, serial number 2024 and it belonged to the first unit to be equipped with the type, the 381 Kokutai. We included a brief history of the unit with their "Raiden" in an old post, here, so I will connect the two posts.

The first unit to receive the "Raiden" was the 381ku organised on October 1, 1943, in Tateyama base, Chiba Prefecture. The unit was to be assigned to the protection of the Balikpapan oil fields of Borneo so it was deemed a suitable unit to receive an interceptor fighter. The unit relocated to a bigger base in Toyohashi, Aichi Prefecture, but "Raiden" were barely delivered! In February 1944, the unit had only ten "Raiden" even though the unit was to be equipped with at least 36. On January 5, 1944, during shooting training the engine mount of the 30th production J2M2 lost its strength and dissolved in the air resulting in the death of the pilot. Due to such accidents, further modifications to the type were required causing further delays in the production. So the 381ku quit to be a "Raiden" unit and changed to Zero 52s and relocated to Borneo from March of the same year.

Friday, 10 January 2020

Mitsubishi Ki-51 "Sonia" by Jean Barby

My first take of the year, the Ki-51 from Wingsy kits. Nice kit but I run to some unexpected problems like a bad reaction of the plastic to any kind of glue, larger pins than holes in general, a different fuselage width than the wings, a clear moving part of the canopy which could have been thinner. Apart from those comments, it gives a good looking Ki-51 and I wish this kit to last as long as the Nichimo one! Plane from the 6th Hikotai in China in 42, no decals, all masks. 

Jean Barby


Tuesday, 7 January 2020

IJAAF & IJNAF photos & more

Another photo from the "Asahi Shimbun" collection, featuring various derelict Japanese aircraft found at the end of the war at Nagoya at the "bombed ruins of of Mitsubishi airplane factory September 8, 1945". 
Apart from the Mitsubishi "Nells" and the "Raidens", a few other types of aircraft are also visible. Can you spot them?

Jan Kanov sent over an excellent email with his take

1. - J2M Raiden
2. - G3M Nell
3. - G4M Betty
4. - L2D Tabby
5. - K5Y Willow

There are tail marking barely visible on two "Raiden". The more clear is definitely "ヨD-11??" (YoD-11??) which means it's a 302Ku aircraft. I believe the second has a "YoD" marking too on its tail but can't make out the number.

The marking "YoD" means "YOkosuka Defence" or YOkosuka and the letter D denotes that it's the fourth unit under Yokosuka Chinjufu (Yokosuka Naval District). The 302Ku had about 40 "Raiden" in its strength and they had tail numbers either in the 100s or the 1100s. I wasn't able to find any reason for that in my Japanese sources.
Note also that the hinomaru of the Willow have already being removed by souvenir hunters

Monday, 6 January 2020

Japanese Aircraft Online Model Contest 013 - And the winner is...

...well, very few people voted. The contest ended on December 31 and I gave it one more week for those who would like to compare the models and vote for the best.
If you don't care to vote, I'll simply decide on my own.
So, all three modellers are winners. Different scales, different kits, different subjects.

Congratulations to:


for their really beautiful kits.
You all get a book and kit from our on-line store, free of any charge, courtesy of Arawasi.
Thank you all for your participation.

The theme for the next and last on-line model contest is "A6M2" and will start from January 15.

Saturday, 4 January 2020

VIPs - Fokker Super Universal - Manshu Koku K.K.

We start the year with more stills from an "Asahi Shimbun" collection video dated January 1, 1935. It features extremely rare footage of a Fokker Super Universal flown by Manshu Koku KK. The registration is not clearly visible but I believe it's "M-138" (Super Universals M-135 & M-139 were added to the MKKK fleet some time in 1935). The airfield setting with the mountains in the background closely resembles Lianshan airfield in Lianoning Province
Unfortunately the video narration caption are generic and do not offer information as who were the VIP's on-board the aircraft.
The video is HERE.

Tuesday, 31 December 2019


2020, the year of the mouse

More than 120 posts this year. We hope you found at least some of them to your interest. 
You think we are slowing down after 8-9 years? We have just started!

Four modelling contests this year. We would like to thank everybody who participated, left comments and voted. We asked for your suggestions as to the theme of the next contest but nobody bothered to leave even one comment. It seems you got tired of them and therefore the next contest will be the final one.
The theme is "A6M2" and will start from January 15.

A special thank-you to everybody who contributed to this blog this year: Terry Jones, Harold K, Allan Jeffery, Jean Barby, Vladimir Martinicky, Jan Voorbij, Joe Falen, Jan Kanov, Michael Furry, Gary Wenko and Doug Beardsworth.

 And finally a HUGE "thank you" to our good friends:
Sinang Aribowo, James Boyd, Devlin Chouinard, Danilo Renzulli, Zygmunt Szeremeta and Eric Vogel.

 All the best for the new year to everybody out there.

Monday, 30 December 2019

VIPs - Junkers Ju 86 - Manshu Koku K.K.

Apart from photos the "Asahi Shimbun" collection also includes videos. Below are stills from a video dated November 30, 1940 and the caption mentions: "Delegations arrive for signing of China-Japan Treaty Concerning Basic Relations in 1940".
The aircraft is a Junkers Ju 86 belonging to the Manshu Koku K.K. (Manchukuo Aviation Co., Ltd.) fleet. It's name was "Shoryu" (ascending dragon), written on the nose sides, and had the civilian registration M-222. A VERY rare footage of a MKKK Ju 86.
The politician that disembarks from the aircraft is Zang Shiyi, who was serving as ambassador of Manchukuo to the collaborationist Reorganized National Government of China headed by Wang Jingwei. On that day, Zang Shiyi signed for Manchukuo the Japan-Manchukuo-China joint declaration, in which the Wang Jingwei regime recognised the country. It was part of the Basic Treaty by which Japan recognised the Reorganised National Government.
HERE is the link for the complete video.

Note the letter "M" written on the wing and the hinomaru instead of the MKKK roundel.