Sunday 21 April 2024

Kawasaki Army Otsu-1 (乙-1) Reconnaissance Aircraft (Salmson 2) - video

During the First Shanghai Incident of 1932 the 3rd Independent Chutai, part of the 1st Hiko Rentai based in Kakamigahara, was assigned to Kunda Airfield in Shanghai in early February 1932, when this video was taken.  
Some beautiful views of the Type Otsu-1 Reconnaissance right out of their shipping crates and then getting assembled at the airfield. Note also the Army Ko-4 Fighters (Nieuport 29C1).  
Some model manufacturers have suggested that these Japanese Army aircraft types were in overall NMF. In reality, according to official IJAAF regulations they were finished in the Army version of hairyokushoku.
Special thanks to Yokokawa Yuichi for helping identify the unit.

Saturday 20 April 2024

Kawanishi N1K "Kyofu" (Rex) & Mitsubishi F1M "Pete" - video

A bunch of seaplanes found in badly damaged condition at Imajuku, Fukuoka Prefecture, at the end of the war.
They are Kawanishi N1K "Kyofu" (Rex) and Mitsubishi F1M (Pete) seaplanes. Only the tail markings on a couple "Petes" are visible and they show the letters "KEA-38", which means they belonged to the 901 Kokutai
The unit was organized on December 15, 1943, at Tateyama for patrol and ship escort missions. In the beginning, it was equipped with 24 "Nell" and 12 "Mavis" flying boats. Later it received a variety of types and in May 1945 the unit had no less than 212 planes. 
In the middle of June 1944, the 901Ku moved to Donggang, Pingtung County, Taiwan, and then to Maizuru, Kyoto Prefecture where they sent various dispatch units to different locations. The main mission of the unit was sea patrol and the protection of the south-west ship routes.
On January 1, 1945, it merged with the 254Ku, 953Ku and 954Ku and on March 1, 1945, the unit had 24 carrier fighters, 24 interceptors, 24 carrier attackers, 24 "Nell" and "Betty" bombers, 64 "Jake" floatplanes, 40 Kyushu Q1W "Tokai" and 12 flying boats. On June 1, the unit had a mixed force of 12 carrier fighters, 12 "Nell" and "Betty", 80 "Jake" and 42 "Tokai".

Thanks to Józef Nawrocki for spotting the video and to our good friend Jan Kanov for helping out.

Friday 19 April 2024

Aikoku Nakajima Type 91 Army Fighter

The Aikoku (Donation) ceremony took place on June 26, 1932, at Kyoto's Fukakusa Drill Grounds. The citizens of Kyoto gathered enough funds to donate a variety of military hardware including one Nakajima Type 91 Army Fighter which received the aikoku number #38.

Wednesday 17 April 2024

Hokoku Aichi D1A "Susie" & more

The hokoku ceremony featured in the short clip took place also in Haneda Airport but on October 30, 1937. A total of nine aircraft were "named":
three Yokosuka B4Y "Jean" that received hokoku numbers #123 and #124 that were donated by the ship owners of the Taiheiyo (Pacific Ocean) Fishery Co., Ltd. as well as #130 that was donated by the Tokyo City Educational Corps, 
three Mitsubishi A5M "Claude" that received hokoku numbers #128 donated by linen manufacturer Teikoku Seima Co., Ltd. a company that was founded in the Meiji era and still exists today, #141 and #143 were donated by Tokyo City Murakami Kiyoji Shoten, a pig iron wholesaler, 
and finally three Aichi D1A "Susie" that received hokoku numbers #131 donated by Greater Ginza Neighborhood Association, #133 donated by volunteers from all over Japan and finally #134 that was also donated by the Tokyo City Educational Corps.

Note at the closing of the clip the Mitsubishi G3M "Nell" making a flyover the Mitsubishi "Kamikaze-go".

Tuesday 16 April 2024

Hokoku Mitsubishi A5M "Claude" & Mitsubishi G3M "Nell" - video

The Hokoku (donation) ceremony was held on March 17, 1938, at Tokyo's Haneda Airport. One Mitsubishi A5M2bs and one Mitsubishi G3M "Nell" with hokoku numbers #185 and #205 respectively were donated by the "Great Japan Youth Group". 
Also, two Nakajima E8N "Dave" seaplanes with hokoku numbers #165 and #168 were donated by the "Pearl gathering Japanese ship owners and crew members of the Arafura Sea" and the "Citizens of Kamaishi, Iwate Prefecture " respectively.

Saturday 13 April 2024

Mitsubishi G6M1 by Sakaida Yoji

Tamiya in 1/48, modified by Sakaida-san. 
The kind of model you don't see every day.

Wednesday 10 April 2024

Spring in Japan!

 Went out for a walk today and here's what greeted me.


Sunday 31 March 2024

Mitsubishi A6M2b by Matteo Reich

An exquisite baby Zero by Matteo Reich today. I absolutely love it!!! Note the subtle difference in the color of the control surfaces, exactly as it's supposed to be.
Matteo explained: Airfix A6M2b in 1/72nd scale. I used Tamiya Rubber Black for the anti-glare, as it's lighter than pure black and doesn't have bluish hues.

Saturday 30 March 2024

Mitsubishi A6M5c cowling question

While revisiting older postings of this blog on Facebook, we noticed something puzzling on the cowlings of Model 52 Hei or A6M5c Zeros.

From the Model 52 Ko (A6M5a) onwards it became standard practice to paint white stripes of 500mm length, 120~140mm on the port side of each machine gun trough to help with the synchronization of the guns.

In the Model 52 Otsu (A6M5b) a 13mm machine gun was installed on the starboard side of the cowling, and the synchronization white lines became as shown below.

But in the Model 52 Hei or's what Wikipedia says about the type:
"A6M5c, Model 52丙 (Hei, 52c) – Armament change: One 13.2 mm (.51 in) Type 3 machine gun was added in each wing outboard of the cannon, and the 7.7 mm gun on the left side of the cowl was deleted."
Francillon also mentions only "One 13.2 mm Type 3 machine-gun in the upper fuselage decking, two wing-mounted...".
ALL Japanese publications, without exception, agree with the above. The 7.7mm machine gun in the cowling was removed.
Nevertheless, in all the A6M5c photos in all Japanese publications, machine gun troughs can be seen on the starboard AND the port or "left" side of the cowling and, as we can see in the attached photos, they had rather long synchronization lines painted as well.
I could maybe understand using A6M5b cowlings but without having the machine gun trough faired over? And if there isn't a 7.7mm machine gun under the A6M5c cowling, why are there synchronization lines?
Did the A6M5c actually have two guns in the nose or one? Leave a comment if you know what's happening.