Arawasi Contest 010

Monday, 14 January 2019

Mitsubishi Ki-46 "Dinah" & more by Doug Beardsworth

Here's the Mitsubishi Ki-46 "Dinah" that I designed and built. Twin rubber power ships are a bit trickier to fly, but when they are "on song", they are gorgeous in the air. This one is built to a 44" span, and competes in the Giant Scale class. It also uses traditional stick and tissue construction.  I drew up these plans using some very detailed 1/72 scale drawings as the basis. I draw my plans in the "old school" manner, using a pencil, straightedge, French curves ...and lots of eraser  (smile).
Taking the 1/72 drawings to a commercial copy center, I then enlarge them to the span of the model I want to build, in order to establish the correct outlines. I then lay transparent vellum over these enlarged drawings, and then begin drawing  in the structure for the outlines and other structural elements. Wings and stabilizers get an outline, then spars and ribs are sketched in. Often the 1/72 drawings have accurate fuselage cross sections from which fuselage formers can be drawn, and then stringers placed running nose to tail.
Canopies are made from clear heat shrink tubing stock- the same material used to make tamper evident seals on vitamin bottles and similar. First, full size balsa patterns are  carved and sanded to shape. I don't find the need to seal the balsa at all like a vacuum-formed pattern would need. The plastic is drawn over the shaped balsa patterns using a hair dryer to heat the plastic, and pull it into shape by hand over that pattern. Finished thickness of a typical canopy is approximately .005 inches. 
Anyway, I find the entire process very gratifying and challenging at the same time. 
My good friend Mike Stuart shot the video below (link HERE) this past July of a nice flight, with a few thermalistic bumps adding to the duration:
Best wishes for 2019!
Doug also send over two videos featuring his brilliant Kawanishi "Kyofu" he took part in our latest contest with (HERE). In the first video below the "Kyofu" is flying under rubber power (link here)
In the second video (link here) is flying with electric power.
I hope you enjoy this fantastic post as much as I do. Thank you so much Doug!

Friday, 11 January 2019

Zoukei Mura - Kawasaki Ki-45 "Toryu" (Nick) - NOW ON SALE!

YES! Finally, the most anticipated kit of the year is finally on sale!
The brand new Zoukei Mura Kawasaki Ki-45 "Toryu" (Nick) in 1/32, number 13 in their Super Wing Series,  has hit the shelves and is HUGE! If you think the new Hasegawa "Emily" is a big kit, thing again.
Price at the stores is about $US140.
If you have difficulty ordering one and you need help, I can go to Volks and get one for you. Email me at:
All photos below from the Zoukei Mura* site.
* "ZO" as in zo-mbie, "Kei" as in ke-ttle, "Mu" as in moon but shorter, "Ra" as in ra-bit

Monday, 7 January 2019

Japanese Aircraft Online Model Contest 010 - And the winners...

Jean Barby #1 - 8, 9, 8, 9, 10 - 8.8
                    #2 - 9, 9, 9, 9 - 9
Rene de Koning - 9, 8, 9, 8, 8 - 8.4
Allan Jeffery - 8, 8, 8, 8, 8 - 8
Mirek Kadič - 10, 9, 9, 10 - 9.5
Zbyszek Malicki - 8, 8 - 8
Radek Pelikan - 10, 8, 10, 10 - 9.5
Aleksandar Andrić - 9, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 9, 10, 10 - 9.7
Miro Herold - 8, 10, 8, 8 - 8.5
Victor Klochkov #1 - 10, 9, 10, 10, 10 - 9.8
                             #2 - 10, 9, 10, 10 - 9.7
Gustavo Antonelli - 6, 7, 7, 7 - 6.7
William Adair - 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 9 - 9.8
Michael Thurow - 9, 9, 10, 9 - 9.2
Mike Driskill - 8, 9, 9, 8, 9 - 8.6
Doug Beardsworth - 9, 9, 9 - 9
...are William Adair in 1/144, Aleksandar Andrić in 1/72 and Victor Klochkov in 1/32.
Kiri said that they should all get a T-shirt and I fully agree with her.
So, guys take a look here and email us with your preferences.
Small detail: I chose "George" to be the subject of the contest because last year I turned 50. I think I have a few years left to release more issues of the magazine and Eagle Eyes.
Thank you all for participating, voting and your contributions of any kind.
The theme for the next online model contest is Japanese Prototype & Experimental Aircraft in any scale (no what-ifs) and will start from February 1 (because I need time to finish the 6 models I'm working on).


Didn't we wish this year to be more enjoyable and fun than the last one? Well, whenever I spot something I will post on this blog.
So, today I just couldn't resist and I felt I had the obligation to repost this photo from an otherwise completely serious on-line article by Nikkan Sports. It's not just that the sumo wrestlers are caught in a very inappropriate pose, it's just amazing that out of the hundreds of photos, the editors felt that this one was best suited to be featured in the article. Enjoy! (or something...)

Saturday, 5 January 2019

Betty & Zero - video

A video from the NHK collection entitled "Seinan Taiheiyo Sensen" (Battle Front of the South West Pacific). Nothing really interesting by the narrator except that the whole video shows training. The Mitsubishi G4M "Betty" unit featured in the news reel is a small mystery. First of all there at least 27 "Bettys" flying in perfect formation. The planes nearest the camera all have two white lines on the fin and a 3-digit number that is placed towards the rear signifying that either the first part, which would have been the unit letter or number  was deleted or is in red. The video was taken on July 13, 1943 and the closest we could get was a photo featured in FAOW#59, p.29 where according to the caption: "Crew and a news reporter are taking a commemorative photo in front of Model 11 early production type in the South battle area (possibly in Rabaul)." Photo date is unknown but notice again the two white lines on the fin. Kisarazu Ku, which is shown in artwork to have a similar looking marking, moved in the area in the end of August 1942 and had the letter "R" to signify the unit. In November 1, 1942 the unit was renamed 707Ku and continued using the same marking. The unit though was dissolved on December 1, 1942 when most of their planes were destroyed. What remained was transferred to 705Ku which used the marking of their original Misawa Ku "H" but also just a number. From June 20, 1943 though it is said they used "TI-" (or "T1-") until they changed again to "705-" from March 1944. So, it is possible that these planes belonged to 705Ku during their marking transition period.
Note the "Betty" flying over a Minekaze-class destroyer and ofcourse the Zeros doing their thing.

Thursday, 3 January 2019

Monday, 31 December 2018


2019, the year of the wild boar
Another year has passed and I don't know about you but even though Japan was hit by a number of natural disasters, 2018 was more relaxed and enjoyable for Arawasi. No we didn't release out line of haute couture t-shirts since we got zero feedback from our readers. We had planed to release a new Eagle Eye by the end of this year (actually in 2017) but the volume of the material we have gathered needs a few more months to put together in a really high quality publication as you have been used to. More soon...
Five very successful modelling contests this year. We would like to thank everybody who took part, voted and left a comment. Hub Plott, Dizzyfugu, Derek Cooper, Mark Jahsan, Gustavo Antonelli,
Alexander Nam Tran, Leon Kloke, Mikhail Ageenko, Sawai Nobuyuki, Gary Wenko, Mike Grant, John Tate, Jacob Terlouw, Eduard Badescu, Tim Hortman, Will Silk, Bill Weckel, Zbyszek Malicki, Mirek Kadič, Michał Danielak, Miro Herold and Radek Pelikan.
Starting from contest #9 and following your suggestions we changed the voting from 1~10 (no decimals) but very few follow this. No worries! The winner will be announced in a week or so. 
The theme for the next contest is Japanese Prototype & Experimental Aircraft in any scale (no what-ifs) and will start from January 15.
A special thank-you to everybody who contributed to this blog this year: Michael Furry, Claudio Luchina, Gary Wenko, Jean Barby, Bill Weckel, Michael Thurow, Bill Bosworth and Allan Jeffery.  
And finally a HUUUUGE "thank you" to our good friends:
Sinang AribowoJames Boyd, Devlin Chouinard, Danilo Renzulli, Eric Vogel and Zygmunt Szeremeta (welcome back).
Last year the community of Japanese aviation enthusiasts was hit by the deaths of a number of distinguished members, some friends of ours, some less so. So a big sayonara to Henry Sakaida, David Aiken and James Lansdale. I hope the jacom group will find their footing and keep the legacy of the site in a more friendly and inclusive environment.
All the best for the new year to everybody out there. Let's hope 2019 is really productive and, more importantly, enjoyable than 2018. Have fun and enjoy modelling!

Sunday, 30 December 2018

Mitsubishi G3M1-L/L3Y1 "Tina" - video

A video from the NHK collection entitled "Gakudo Akogare no Ozora e" (School students in the longing sky). The narrator explains:
"On July 18, 1943 school students, who will become pilots in the future, visited Haneda airfield in Tokyo in a short flight training experience. They put on pilot's flight suits and their hearts leaped with joy when they got on an airplane for the first time."
The officer at the end of the video asks the students:
"How did you feel flying on an airplane for the first time?
And one of the students replies:
"Yes, it was amazing. When I grow up I will become a superb pilot and get ready to shoot from the sky every single US/UK airplane."
Of special interest though, is the Mitsubishi G3M1-L/L3Y1 "Tina" transport and the extremely rare cabin shots. Note that the bomb attachment points under the fuselage have been replaced and probably strengthened. Also note how weathered the aircraft is at places in close-ups but how pristine looks from afar.

Thursday, 27 December 2018

Japanese Aircraft Online Model Contest 010 -DOUG BEARDSWORTH

I have been building plastic models since the age of four. However I also had a strong interest in rubber powered scale models made from balsa and covered with Esaki tissue that has overlapped my plastic model building.
I designed and built a Kawanishi Kyofu flying scale model with a wingspan of approximately 19 inches. My interest in this aircraft started upon seeing one on outdoor Display in Warminster, Pennsylvania back in the early 1980's. In 2007, I drew up a set of plans for a 1/24 scale Free Flight rubber powered Kyofu, using the Hasegawa  plastic kit as the primary reference for my drawings.  Construction took place over the winter of 2007 and 2008 using traditional methods of rubber powered model construction.
The model is a stable flyer, and it scored well in static scale judging in the Flying Aces Club  "Rubber Scale" competition category in 2008. However its duration was never much more than 30-35 seconds due to the limitation on propeller diameter, which was restricted  by the main float. Flights were "short and sweet" as they say.
After flying it for several years in this "Rubber Scale" class, I converted it from rubber power to electric powered Free Flight. This change moved the model into in a new class called "Power Scale ". The electric motor spun a much smaller two bladed prop, and it continued to be a stable flyer. The model made numerous flights of 2 minutes or more in this class.
- Doug Beardsworth, Thomaston CT, USA -
Check this AMAZING video:

Tuesday, 25 December 2018

Heads up!

For the latest release by "Le Fana de l' Aviation - Hors-Serie No 62" entitled "La chasse japonaise face aux B-29" by Bernard Baeza, illustrated by Vincent Dhorne.

A nice short version of the Osprey publication, including the IJNAF, with a nice collection of photos and artwork. 132 pages, all in France.