Japanese Aircraft Online Model Contest 014

Friday, 10 April 2020

IJAAF & IJNAF wrecked aircraft #4 - Tachikawa Ki-36 "Ida" & Nakajima Ki-27 "Nate"

This next short film features two of my most favorite IJAAF types, a Tachikawa Ki-36 "Ida" ground attack and co-operation and a Nakajima Ki-27 "Nate" fighter (or is it a Mansyu Ki-79? What do you think?) found on Kikaijima Island, right next to the "Suisei" of the previous post. Unfortunately, their tail markings are not visible and therefore their units cannot be discerned.
Note the RED IFF stripes on the Ki-36, not unusual for an aircraft in overall hairyokushoku. Of course I can already hear the voices saying that it's "dark orange yellow" or that the film is panchromatic or that there is a small cloud right above the plane when the film was shot...yada yada. 
Anyway, here's the video.

We reserved a whole page in our Eagle Eye #1, explaining the differences between the Ki-36 direct cooperation and the Ki-55 trainer and how to tell the two types apart but it seems there are still people who don't get it.
So, in a nutshell, here they are:
The Ki-36s were ALWAYS overall hairyokushoku because that's how they left the factory.
The Ki-55s were ALWAYS trainer orange, again, because that's how they left the factory.
Yes, both types received camouflage on the upper surfaces, in most cases at the depot, so it's difficult to tell them apart if they have green top camo. Which brings us to...

The Ki-55s ALWAYS had their cowlings (and almost always the spats) painted in anti-glare, some say dark blue or brown, I strongly believe it was semi-gloss black. The same with all other IJAAF a/c with anti-glare pannels (I'm talking about the color, not the glossiness).
The Ki-36s NEVER had their cowling or legs painted in anti-glare, just like "Sonia" never had. 
So, yes, the Ki-55 trainer in the Bangkok museum should have its cowling painted black. There is actually a photo, which I will not share here, showing exactly the same a/c after the war with a black cowling.

The Ki-36s ALWAYS had windows on the fuselage sides for the machine gunner to take photos from.
The Ki-55s NEVER had fuselage side windows because the rear pilot could face only forward where the second set of controls was.

The Ki-36s almost always had radio antennas. The planes that didn't, usually had them removed.
The Ki-55s almost never had radio antennas.

The Ki-55s never had any bomb racks or rear flexible machine guns.

The presence or absence of spats is NOT indicative of the type. There are many, many Ki-55s with spats and many, many Ki-36s without. Why do I mention this? Because Francillon on p.252 says:
"All unnecessary equipment was removed to conserve weight, as were the observation windows under the fuselage and the wheel spats. Designated Ki-55, the trainer was adopted..." Note that he doesn't mention the fuselage side windows.

Wednesday, 8 April 2020

IJAAF & IJNAF wrecked aircraft #3 - Yokosuka D4Y3 Model 33 "Suisei" (Judy)

Another video today featuring a beautiful Yokosuka D4Y3 Model 33 "Suisei" (Judy) found wrecked on the island of Kikaijima the airfield of which was often used as an emergency landing option for both IJAAF and IJNAF pilots during operations against Okinawa.

In the still below showing the port side of the aircraft, the very first number of the unit tail marking is a "2" followed by two indiscernible numbers and the first number of the individual aircraft "6". So the tail marking must have been "2XX-6X".

The still showing the starboard side is less clear, but since the tail marking were written from rear to front a number which is probably a "2" followed by the previously mentioned "6" can be discerned.
This would make the marking as "2X2-6X".

There were three IJNAF units equipped with "Suisei" their marking started with a "2"; the 201Ku, the 210Ku and the 252Ku.

The 201Ku was organized in December 1942 as a fighter unit. During the battle of the Philippines in October 1944 the Kogeki 105 equipped with "Suisei" was only temporarily attached to the unit. According to Akimoto, the tail marking of 201Ku was a "01-". So, we can safely exclude this unit.

The 210Ku was organized in September 1944 as a trainer unit with a variety of aircraft types. and from December 1944 participated in the defence of the Kansai area, but from March 1945 they became a battle unit involved in the Okinawa operations and were based in south Kyushu. By the end of the mounth, though they returned to their original Meiji base, in Aichi prefecture. From May 5 became an exclusively fighter unit. Akimoto mentions that the unit marking was "210-". Although they briefly took part in the Okinawa ops, we can safely exclude this unit too. 

The last and most possible unit is the 252Ku which was organized in September 1942 based on the Genzan Kokutai. In March 1945 the Kogeki 3 unit equipped with "Suisei" was attached to the unit, half of which relocated to Kyushu to provide escort for tokko missions. Akimoto mentions that the unit marking was "252-".
From the 252Ku a tokko unit was organized called "Dai 3 Mitate-tai" (can be translated as "protectors of the Emperor") equipped with Zero-sen and "Suisei" based in Kokubu, Kagoshima Prefecture, south Kyushu. 
The "Suisei" of the unit flew on April 3rd (2 a/c), 6th (4 a/c), 11th (3 a/c) and 17th (4 a/c) attacking the enemy combined fleet in the Amamioshima area, except on the 6th when three "Suisei" attacked enemy forces in Okinawa's Naha.
So, from this information we can conclude that the unit that in all probability best fits the time and place is indeed the 252Ku. Perhaps the aircraft in the video had mechanical problems and made an emergency landing on Kikaijima where it was found by U.S. forces at the end of the war.

Monday, 6 April 2020

IJAAF & IJNAF wrecked aircraft #2 - Ordnance & Aichi E16A "Zuiun" (Paul)

The videos today were taken on the island of Amami Oshima and the first features an assortment of IJNAF ordnance, including cluster bombs. Then there are plenty of Navy Type 1 7.9mm flexible machine guns (licence copy of the German MG 15) that were installed on later types of IJNAF aircraft and curiously some Lewis guns normally installed on Japanese ships, not aircraft.
Finally, we can indulge ourselves on very rare footage of a wrecked Aichi E16A "Zuiun" (Paul) seaplane as well as one more seaplane of unknown type; maybe another "Zuiun" or a "Jake".

Saturday, 4 April 2020

IJAAF & IJNAF wrecked aircraft #1 - Showa L2D "Tabby"

The first video in this series features a quite wrecked Showa L2D "Tabby" found on Tokunoshima, at the end of the war. Unfortunately no tail marking is visible. Also, plenty of junk lying around like engines etc.
Will post the source of the video at the end of the series.


Thursday, 2 April 2020

Thank you coronavirus and Japan Post!

Japan Post has announced a temporary suspension of the acceptance of international mail from 126 countries for EMS and Air Mail, and for all types of mail from 27 countries. The change is due to a significant decline in flights to and from Japan, and various safety measures being put in place to counteract the coronavirus pandemic.
The temporary suspension also extends to Japan Post’s Economy Air (SAL) Service, and to all 86 countries where the service is available to.
The EMS and Air Mail suspension includes countries like Italy, Russia and Brazil. Meanwhile, countries like India, Indonesia and New Zealand are affected with a broader suspension of all types of mail. However, mail coming from the United States, France and the United Kingdom are unaffected.
According to a report by NHK, the suspension started Wednesday. International postal items that have already been received by April 1 from the aforementioned countries will be returned to their point of origin.
Japan Post has not announced when they will resume the acceptance of international mail from the affected countries.

This means we can't send (or receive) postal mail except from the USA, Canada, UK, France, Germany, Australia & New Zealand. As a result we can process orders only from these countries.
Let's all hope things will get back to normal soon.
Stay safe and keep modeling everyone.

Tuesday, 31 March 2020

Kawasaki Ki-78 Ken-3 Video discovered!!!

Footage of the Kawasaki Ki-78 (Ken3) has been unearthed and is absolutely amazing!
Here's the link for the video and the story of the discovery.
Most probably the pilot is Kataoka who did the reccord flight reaching 699.9km/h.
Special thanks to Gary Wenko for the heads-up.
Some stills below.

Sunday, 29 March 2020

Japanese Aircraft Online Model Contest 014 - JAN KANOV - WIP #3

I just want to add some information. The model was equipped with a cockpit from CMK (Czech Master Kits). It is not directly on the model 11, but originally on the model 52b / c (rolled in the cabinet). Nobody knows this when looking into the cockpit. From this set I used only the most necessary and the pilot's seat was supplied from the kit.
 The seat is completed with textile belts from the set HGWmodels. The assembly of belts is not recommended for people with weak will !!! The number of suicides could increase.:D . . . . But the result is phenomenal !!!!!!
 To diversify the model, I decided to try another novelty (at least for me) namely WET TRANSFER from HGWmodels. This excited me. And so much so that it perfectly outweighs the time needed for their application. It is true that the smallest things must not always be done, but if they succeed, they have no competition.
 Propeller, so here you can see the fineness of Transfers. Others will show up in the final work on the fuselage and wings.
I did not use a single decal from the kit. I used hair spray masks for matriculation of the machine and other markings. Hinomaru and red border on wings as well.

- Jan Kanov - 

Saturday, 28 March 2020

Japanese Aircraft Online Model Contest 014 - JAN KANOV - WIP #2

More photos of the WIP of Jan's Mitsubishi A6M2a Type 11, Hasegawa 1:48