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Sunday, 15 January 2017

Japanese Aircraft Online Model Contest 003

ARAWASI would like to invite you to our 3rd online model contest.

Theme: Civilian Aviation
Submissions: Send as many photos as you like of your model and accompanying information to or At the very least please send: your name and country, model scale and kit maker. Your entry will be posted within 24 hours. 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 5 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 1st  
Prizes: The winner (or winners) will receive a copy of the book "J-BIRD", here, free of any charge, courtesy of Arawasi.
The theme for the next online model contest is "Nakajima Ki-43 "Hayabusa" (Oscar)" and will start from March 15.


Two posts today, starting with a reminder of our Special Holiday Offer that ends on January 25; HERE.
We have just replenished our stock and here's the list with the immediately available titles:
18. Nakajima B5N (Kate)
19. Kawanishi H8K (Emily)
21. Kawanishi N1K "Shiden/Shiden-Kai" (George)
22. Mitsubishi G4M (Betty)
23. Yokosuka P1Y "Ginga" (Frances)
25. Nakajima Ki-27 (Nate)
27. Yokosuka D4Y "Suisei" (Judy)
28. Mitsubishi A5M (Claude)
29. Mitsubishi Ki-21 (Sally)
30. Nakajima B6N "Tenzan" (Jill)
31. DC3 / Type 0 Transporter (Tabby)
32. Mitsubishi Ki-67 "Hiryu" (Peggy)
33. Nakajima Ki-84 "Hayate" (Frank)
34. Aichi D3A (Val)
35. Mitsubishi Ki-51 (Sonia)

36. Kawanishi E7K (Alf)
Also the following double titles are now immediately available for $US15 each!

45. Nakajima Ki-43 "Hayabusa" / Kawasaki Ki-61 "Hien"
46. Yokosuka P1Y "Ginga" / Mitsubishi G4M (Betty)
47. Nakajima B6N "Tenzan" / Nakajima B5N (Kate)
48. Yokosuka D4Y "Suisei" / Aichi D3A (Val)

Send over a list of the titles you are interested in to:

Friday, 13 January 2017

Kawanishi H8K 二式大艇 pt.1

While waiting for the brand new Hasegawa “Emily” kit we start this series of postings on the Kawanishi H8K “Emily” or Type 2 Flying Boat.  
There are not that many photos showing tail markings but first up is one from Vol.3 of “Japanese Military Aircraft Illustrated” by Bunrindo.
According to the caption this is a “Type 2 Model 11 flying boat (H8K1) being hoisted by a crane. The aircraft in this picture is No. 13 Type 2 flying-boat of the No. 802 Naval Flight Corps (ex-No. 14 N.F.C.) which was put into operations in the central Pacific and the south-east operation area. The No. 801 [?] Naval Flight Corps used the identifying marking N-1 from Hanuary [sic] to August 1943.”  
On November 1, 1942 the second 14Ku was renamed 802Ku and had Kawanishi H6K “Mavis” flying boats sent to Jaluit Atoll in the Marshal Islands and Nakajima A6M2-N seaplane fighters based in Shortland Island in the Solomons.
Apart from Jaluit, the flying boats operated from Makin Island and performed patrol and reconnaissance as well as night bombing missions against  the airfield, military facilities and anchored ships of Espiritu Santo and Kanton Island.
The first “Emily” started to arrive in January 1943 and by the summer of the same year they were the mainstay of the unit.
The seaplane fighter unit based in Shortland cooperated with seaplanes from the seaplane tender Kamikawa Maru and engaged in patrol and interception missions.
From March 18, 1943 the seaplane fighters joined the flying boats in Jaluit and continued with patrol and anti-submarine missions.
On September 21, 1943 the seaplane fighter unit with seven A6M2-Ns as well as the pilots and maintenance crew members were permanently attached to the 902Ku.
On January 29, 1944 the 802Ku relocated to Saipan and some flying boats to Truk from where they transported personnel and supplied the garrison in Maloelap atoll.
The unit was disbanded on April 1, 1944.
On November 1, 1942 the 802Ku was equipped with 16 flying boats and 12 seaplanes. A year later it had only 16 flying boats.

According to FAOW#49 which features the same photo, “Emily” number 13 of the 802Ku experienced fire in the engine(s) when taking off from Shortland in March 1943 and was carried to Rabaul on board the seaplane tender Akitsushima. On March 12, 1943 Akitsushima arrived in Jaluit atoll and left on June 6 carrying damaged flying boat(s?) and personnel, then made a stop to Shortland on June 10 and Rabaul on June 11 before arriving to Yokosuka on June 25.
The Wikipedia entry for Akitsushima has this photo of “N1-13”; obviously the above photo is a close-up of the one below. The Wikipedia photo caption mentions that it was taken in 1942 but obviously this is not correct since the 802Ku started receiving their first “Emily” from 1943.
Right after changing from 14Ku, the 802Ku used for its tail marking the letter “W-”. From January 1943 the marking changed to “N1-” and from September 1943 changed again to “Y4-”. Below is artwork created by our good friend Devlin Chouinard of the tail of this rather interesting “Emily”.

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Artist - Vladimir Martinicky (3)

The first 2017 painting by Mr. Vladimir Martinicky from Slovakia has for its subject an Aichi D3A-1 "Val", Zuikaku aircraft carrier.
Moc ďakujem.
Check HERE and HERE for more art by Mr. Martinicky.

Friday, 6 January 2017

Model Art No. 950 & Kariki 117

As you are well aware by now this blog stays away from all things color and paint related (well...usually). Nick Millman's blog is the place to go to for answers as to how to paint your Japanese aircraft model. But I'd like to give a big heads-up to a new publication by Model Art; their October 2016 issue, magazine number 950.
In the old issue #9 of our "Arawasi International" magazine, Apr-Jun 2008, we featured an article by Watanabe Ryoichi about the "Kaigunkokukiyo Toryo Shikibetsu Hyojun, Kariki 117 Bessatsu" (Paint Identification Standard for Naval Aircraft, Supplement to Provisional Regulation 117); in short "Kariki 117".
As Watanabe-san explained in the article:
"The IJNAF's Naval Air Headquarters stipulated the colours that were to become the standards for painting aircraft on November 26, 1938. Kariki 117 contains the colour samples that were produced at that time."
Here's the story of the "Kariki 117" as I know it.
Watanabe-san is probably the first to have discovered a copy of this invaluable document in the National Diet Library of Tokyo and Japanese Aircraft Paint Expert Owaki Katsushi was working on a publication with the "Kariki 117" as its centerpiece. Unfortunately a "researcher" that calls himself "Summer" spilled the beans, as he often does destroying efforts for serious research, obtained photocopies from the library and started selling photocopies (of the photocopies) around the world. Owaki-san was left with no other option but to release his copies of the "Kariki 117" on-line leaving his publication dream unfulfilled due to his very untimely passing a few years ago. His blog AFAIK is still on-line as a rather sad testament of his legacy.
Various Japanese aviation experts, with or without inverted commas, around the world have been using the "Summer" photocopies of the photocopies of the "Kariki 117" as their main tool to offer expert advice on Japanese aircraft colors and that would have been the end of this story.
Well, Model Art went to the National Diet Library, was able to scan each individual color sample of the "Kariki 117" together with color chips from the "Nihon Toyoo Kogyokai" (Japanese Paint Industry) Color Chart, QP card 101 and color chips created by Hasegawa Ichiro and present all the colors useful for a Zero-sen model in their October 2016 issue, magazine number 950. And as if this was not enough, they also have a special section with paint samples of grays and greens by the various Tamiya, Mr. Color and GSI Creos Acrysion. Plus various details and amazing Zero models. 

I can't stress enough how useful, important and highly recommended Model Art #950 is.
It is available from our on-line store for only $US9 (postage not included). Check HERE for more In Print and Out-of-Print Model Art titles.
Or you can simply email us:

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Kyushu J7W "Shinden" Oh, my goddess! by DizzyFugu

Hasegawa 1:72 Kyushu J7W "Shinden"
2nd, resurrected (fictional) prototype,
based on the Aa megamisama!/Oh, my goddess! manga
"On a Wing and a Prayer", 1997
An old kit I hold pretty dear: because it was an accidental find (and never expected that such official merchandise existed at all!) and because I like (if not love) the manga where it comes from and in which the J7W has a brief appearance in one of the series' early stories.
I found this Hasegawa kit in a (long gone) specialized model kit shop for Japanese animation in Berlin, in a VERY dark shop corner - or did it find me?

The "paradigm" for this machine, which is supposed to be the (fictional) second Shinden prototype which had been buried before the American invasion and lost, stems from a special edition of Kosuke Fujishima's famous and very popular "Oh, my goddess" manga, a one-shot story during the first or second series of books called "On a Wing and a Prayer", published around 1997. In a nutshell, the machine "calls" from its hiding place, wanting to fly again (things bearing a spirit and animated nature are not uncommon in Japan), and finally it is re-assembled again by a group of tech academy students (the machine actually bears their club's colors) with some, err, divine help, and soars again through the sky.

The kit itself is the standard 1:72 Hasegawa scale model of the real WWII Shinden prototype, but the kit came with new water sliding decals and painting instructions for the manga aircraft.
The model was mostly built "out of the box", just some small details were added.

Actually, I was a bit surprised by the kit's colors. I knew the aircraft from the manga, but it's only B/W. In the manga, a "green fuselage" is mentioned, so I expected standard IJN colors with some white trim - but this turned out to be a kind of translation error which is actually none: later I found out that "green" and "blue" use the same word in Japanese, so the confusion was induced by the outsider's point of view. ;)
The color is still debatable, though (see below). Hasegawa recommends white and a dark petrol blue, which is a non-standard color and has to be mixed. Other weird color details include the brown propeller (O.K., it's IJN primer, but looks pretty weird in the overall combo!), the chromate green cockpit and the bright red landing gear insides... but since there are no other color references available (the manga is B/W) I stuck with Hasegawa's official instructions.
The tricky job was the painting process, though, with lots of white (*shudder*) and the very complicated blue contrast areas with hard and straight demarcation lines, which are especially hard to paint on the round fuselage, because of the air intake bulges. Everything was done with brushes and free-hand, I did not get it as good as I wanted to...
Another tricky part were the decals which are provided for some of the blue areas. While the idea of having some of the delicate shapes as a water decal at hand is nice, placing them without wrinkles and matching the blue color of the decals for the rest of the aircraft (e. g. the wings and some parts of the fuselage) was another daring task - you will certainly recognize some areas with color differences ;)
Anyway, overall it's a very good kit, and very decorative. But due to the delicate color scheme it's certainly nothing for beginners or those faint at heart!

As a side note: In the meantime (well, many years have passed since I built this one, must have been before 2002!), there's an 1:32 OOB offering of this specific bird from literature available, from Zoukei Moura. The manga still seems to have some die-hard fans, and the storyline was actually finished only a couple months ago, after roundabout 20 years! Interesting to see that Zoukei Moura chose a much brighter, less greenish blue for their model, and it differs in some other details from the much older Hasegawa kit, too, e. g. featuring a white canopy framing.


Saturday, 31 December 2016


2017, the year of the rooster.
Last year was the worst for Arawasi; ever. We finished 2015 very optimistic and in high spirits but we spent most of 2016 full of health problems, disappointment, depression and plain boredom. As a result we published nothing even though there were various projects almost finished. One of the worst features of last year was the constant ball-busting bombardment of demands for free help from free "friends" who remember us only when they are building a new Japanese aircraft model.  
The blog was sometimes a pleasant escape and we would like to say a big thank you to everybody who stood beside us, helped, contributed, emailed us a few kind words or simply left a comment keeping what we've been doing for 15 years now still alive and kicking. Bruised and down but definitely not out. We love what we do, Japanese aviation is our passion and rest assured we will continue to publish magazine issues and Eagle Eyes as well as posting on this blog.
So, here are our plans for 2017. We have promised ourselves to release issue#13 of our magazine and at least one Eagle Eye. Be prepared for surprises! We are also determined to post more on the blog and make it even more interesting. The modelling contests will continue build build!
As always we would like to thank everybody who left a comment:
Dizzyfugu, Jacob Terlow, Jon Yuengling, Jon Godwin, Panagiotis Koubetsos, Max Brandt, Dan Salamone, David Brizzard, Wind Swords, Ron, Fluffy, Rene de Koning, Roel, Bob Alford, Gary Lai, Alcides, Gustavo Antonelli, Andreas, justforever96, George Bryant, Jan Voorbij, Cheesehat, Fugaku, Scoobs, Bernhard, Harold K, Laurent Chambon, F_IV.
A special thank you goes to everybody who contributed to this blog and participated in the contests:
Charlie Swank, Vladimir Martinicky, Mikhail Ageenko, The kit slayer, Jean Barby, Rui Lerias, DizzyFugu, Jan Goormans, Alexandros Angelopoulos, Allan Jeffery, Otsuki-san, Cameron Lohmann, Zbyszek Malicki, Calin Ungureanu, Adam O'Brien, Miro Herold, Michael Williams, Gary Wenko, Richard Brooker, Prof. Nemisis Goosehabit, Luigi Scarano, Ryszard Holak, Mariusz Kogut, Andrey Temnyy.
And finally a HUUUUGE "thank you" to our good friends:
Sinang AribowoJames Boyd, Devlin Chouinard, Danilo Renzulli, Eric Vogel and Zygmunt Szeremeta (wherever he may be). 
Let's hope 2017 is better in every respect than 2016. All the best for the new year to everybody.

Thursday, 29 December 2016

Mitsubishi G4M2-E "Kamo" (Duck) by George Eleftheriou

What if Mitsubishi had experimented with a canard version of the G4M "Betty"?
In Japan canard designs were known as "ente type" from the German, therefore this Betty version could be designated G4M2-E and nicknamed "Kamo" (duck in Japanese). The design could offer many advantages like plenty of space for the crew in the completely empty fuselage, from the wing main bar all the way to the nose, larger bomb bay and therefore increased bomb load, excellent arc of fire for the dorsal gunner and since it had a nose wheel lifting the tail, a ventral gunner position could also be installed deleting at the same time the two side-gunner positions.   

For my "Duck" I used the old Hasegawa G4M1 kit. It took me quite some time to locate spare parts from the new Hasegawa G4M2; the guns and the engines, cowlings and props are from the new kit. I could not find any spare G4M2 dorsal turret and although I was very tempted to use one from a "Renzan" kit, I opted for a turret from an LS "Hiryu", another Mitsubishi design. The ventral turret is from an LS "Nell", yet another Mitsubishi design.
The biggest modification was the elongation of the fuselage in two places. With a normal length fuselage and by just relocating the wings, the whole design looked too short and weird plus it offered zero advantages over the conventional G4M1/2 design. I used two large chunks of balsa behind the dorsal turret and in front of the canopy in order to incorporate the nose wheel.

The overall paint job and the weathering to a large degree as well as the markings and the hinomaru for my "Duck" were from a real G4M1 belonging to the 732 Kokutai.
Just when I called my model finished, I discovered the following illustration from here
My main objection would be the two gunners on the fuselage sides from where they would be shooting the engines of their own aircraft. 

Sunday, 25 December 2016


50% off!!!

For one month and until we are out of stock ALL Maru Mechanic titles from #1 to #37, featuring Japanese aircraft are no more $US25 but..............only $US12*.  

Here is the list **:
1. Kawanishi N1K "Shiden-Kai" (George) - GONE!
2. Kawasaki Ki-61 "Hien" (Tony) - GONE!
3. Mitsubishi A6M2 Zero-Sen - GONE!
4. Mitsubishi A6M5 - GONE!
5. Mitsubishi A7M "Reppu" (Sam) - GONE!
6. Nakajima Ki-43 "Hayabusa" (Oscar) - GONE!
7. Mitsubishi J2M "Raiden" (Jack) - GONE!
8. Nakajima Ki-84 "Hayate" (Frank) - GONE!
9. Nakajima Ki-44 "Shoki" (Tojo) - GONE!
11. Kawasaki Ki-45 "Toryu" (Nick) - GONE!
12. Aichi E13A (Jake) - GONE!
13. Mitsubishi Ki-46 (Dinah) - GONE!
14. Mitsubishi A6M - GONE!
15. Nakajima C6N "Saiun" (Myrt) - GONE!
16. Kawasaki Ki-48 (Lily) - GONE!
18. Nakajima B5N (Kate)
19. Kawanishi H8K (Emily)
20. Mitsubishi F1M (Pete) - GONE!
21. Kawanishi N1K "Shiden/Shiden-Kai" (George)
22. Mitsubishi G4M (Betty)
23. Yokosuka P1Y "Ginga" (Frances)
24. Kawanishi H8K Special (Emily) - GONE!
25. Nakajima Ki-27 (Nate)
27. Yokosuka D4Y "Suisei" (Judy)
28. Mitsubishi A5M (Claude)
29. Mitsubishi Ki-21 (Sally)
30. Nakajima B6N "Tenzan" (Jill)
31. DC3 / Type 0 Transporter (Tabby)
32. Mitsubishi Ki-67 "Hiryu" (Peggy)
33. Nakajima Ki-84 "Hayate" (Frank)
34. Aichi D3A (Val)
35. Mitsubishi Ki-51 (Sonia)
36. Kawanishi E7K (Alf)
37. Kawasaki Ki-61 & Ki-100 "Hien" (Tony) - GONE!

Also the following double titles are now immediately available for $US15 each!

45. Nakajima Ki-43 "Hayabusa" / Kawasaki Ki-61 "Hien"
46. Yokosuka P1Y "Ginga" / Mitsubishi G4M (Betty)
47. Nakajima B6N "Tenzan" / Nakajima B5N (Kate)
48. Yokosuka D4Y "Suisei" / Aichi D3A (Val)

For those who encounter this series for the first time, all the titles are in Japanese and were released from 1976~1984 so please don't expect any English text or mint condition.

Send over a list of the titles you are interested in to:

*postage not included, but no postage charge for orders of more than five titles.
**missing numbers are those of German or US a/c. For a full list check here.

Friday, 23 December 2016

Japanese Aircraft Online Model Contest 002 - CHARLIE SWANK

Okay, I need to explain this first. The contest was scheduled to end on December 15 but because there were no new entries for quite a few days I decided to end it two weeks earlier since there were too much material I had gathered to post. Charlie Swank wanted to contribute to the contest and sent photos of his wonderful model after I had declared the winner. So, that was a “FAIL!” from my part and a lesson not to do that again. Also, I would like to ask you, if you have a model you are about to finish to enter in the contest and the deadline is approaching, please email me. We organised this contest to have fun so deadlines can be extended (but never again shortened) and since personally I'm a big fan of X-planes and What-ifs I plan to have contests of the same subjects again next year. So even if you haven't made it this time or you're working on an idea, you can always enter your model in 2017. Also, feel free to send photos of your work-in-progress, start a discussion and ask questions.
And so, without further ado, here's Charlie's model...

1/48 Raccoon Resin Kawasaki Ki-64 “Rob”
By Charlie Swank

Considered highly unorthodox due its in tandem liquid cooled engines and contra-rotating propellers, the Kawasaki Ki-64 “Rob” was designed to meet a specification for a highspeed fighter that would have a maximum speed of 435mph at 16,405ft and climb to 16,405 in 5 min. The aircraft utilized a steam vapor cooling system in which wing and flaps provided the cooling surface area for the engines.
Raccoon Resin kits are rare, but offer the opportunity to build unique aircraft in 1/48 scale. The fuselage interior halves were thinned out and cockpit parts from a 1/48 Hasegawa Ki-61 were modified to fit. Landing gear doors were scratch built from sheet plastic and new clear parts were vac formed over a resin master provided in the kit. All of the markings were painted using stencils made on a plotter cutter. If you are interested in stencils for painting your own markings, please contact Mike or Charlie at
What if the 39th Rensei Hikotai, Yokoshiba, Japan flew the Ki-64 in the fall of 1946? The model depicts what I feel allied pilots may have encountered if the war continued and this unique aircraft had its chance to prove itself in combat.

Thank you very much Charlie for the photos of your exquisite model and please accept my apologies for the mess.