Arawasi contest #9

Monday, 24 September 2018

Japanese Aircraft Online Model Contest 009 - George Eleftheriou #3

Another model I recently finished for this contest. Although it needs a couple of hours of extra work to bring it to a more satisfactory level I decided to take photos during the few minutes of sunshine we had today.
Tamiya "Dinah" in 1/48 oob with MrColor paints as usual. Tail markings and fuselage hinomaru are from Tamiya. Wing hinomaru were from Tamiya but were destroyed when I applied "Tamiya Mark Fit" (3rd or 4th time this shitty stuff destroyed the decals) and used spare Arawasi decals from the "Hayabusa" set; they ended up slightly larger than they should have been. The bomb is from the Nichimo "Kate" kit with Tamiya "Hayate" bomb attachments. Seat belts from Fine Molds.
The kit had a very nice and smooth fit and was an overall very easy built.
The "Shitei Shimbutai" ("Shitei" - "Shireibu Teishatsuki" - Command Reconnaissance) a.k.a. "Shimbu Sakura Tokubetsu Kogekitai" was organized on March 4, 1945 in Tokyo's Chofu airfield with 14 members and seven "Dinah" Ki-46-II & Ki-46-III armed with 800kg or 500kg bombs. It belonged to the 6th Air Army and after moving to Mushiroda Airfield, Fukuoka Prefecture, on April 7 advanced to the Navy's Kanoya base. On that day commander of the unit, 2Lt Takenaka Takao with observer Sgt Yoshiwara Shigehatsu took off at 13:00 on a "Dinah" Model 3 armed with an 800kg bomb and attacked enemy ships in the Okinawa area at 14:40. At the same time a Yokosuka "Suisei" belonging to the 131Ku with tail marking "131-34", assigned to observe the results of the mission also perished in a suicide attack.
On April 12, 2Lt Higashida Kazuo and Sgt Nakazawa Tadahiko perished in a suicide attack followed on March 14 by 2Lt Furuyama Hiroshi with Sgt Atsuta Toshio and 2Lt Yamaji Minoru with Corporal Keimasu Zeiichi. Finally on March 23 Sgt Morikawa Fujio didn't return from a reconnaissance mission over Okinawa.    
No matter how much I searched I could find no reference to any IJAAF 800kg bomb so I concluded that the "Dinah" used Navy bombs; note that they operated from a Navy base. There is only one photo of this particular aircraft showing very little details. In artwork it is usually depicted as overall "brown" but I opted for the dark green usually associated with tokko planes. Tamiya gives iff stripe decals I found too thick and too prominent. So I painted narrower ones. I might have made a mistake with spinners. The plane probably needs the ones with the starter attachments. Again, no details of this particular plane are known, so...

Friday, 21 September 2018

Hasegawa - New Releases!!!

Three most interesting new releases from Hasegawa since July.
The "Ginga" "Mukade" is absolutely amazing as a subject although I'm not sure about the tail markings.
The "Tokko" "Lilly" is also fantastic and ties perfectly with our contest. 

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Antenna Wiring - Michael Thurow

Following some comments I made on this blog George asked me to summarize my technique in a short article.
For antenna wire material I have used sewing thread from the early beginnings (my wife worked in the fashion industry and is usually my last resort if I need special stuff for my hobby). My favourite is thread as needed for Overlock sewing machines. It is from plastic fibre (not wool or cotton), very thin, extremely resistant and has a nice shimmer. Due to the plastic basis it reacts well with super glue and it can easily be pulled off without damage in case of a mistake. The downside is the price and the large size of the roll.
Regarding colour I prefer black for various reasons: (1) I want the wire to be visible, (2) if you look out of your window at any wire around they appear black (not copper or silver), (3) I also build biplanes and the antenna needs to look different from the rigging which is aluminium or grey, and (4) as follows:
For the wire end that runs into the fuselage I use hair from a brush or broom, which is also black. There is an incredible lot of useful material in the household! Depending on required thickness I cut it from a hand broom or from a painter's brush. The hair needs to be stiff but flexible. Due to the plastic material it again attaches easily with super glue. Any excess can be cut off with scissors.

 I start wiring from the rear. Depending on the original wire attachment I have two basic methods: If the wire runs directly out of the tail plane I just leave the upper end un-glued when merging the fuselage halves and insert the wire later, then close it and touch it up with enamel. If there is a small stump (like most Japanese planes have) I drill a small hole into the top of the stabilizer and insert a piece of very narrow photo-etch sprue bent around to form a double layer. Thus the short end showing out is split at the top and the wire can be squeezed in-between.

To fix the wire to the front mast I cut a small cleft into the top of the mast with the cutter - just very slightly without accidentally splitting it - and attach the wire in there with superglue. Then cut the surplus. If the wire ends a little further down on the antenna mast I first top 1 mm off and add this piece again after the procedure. The cleft prevents that the wire end sits on top of the mast (you could hide it under a drop of glue, though).
You may create isolators by fixing a small drop of thick acrylic glue to the wire, form it with pincers while drying and paint it white (bakelite).


With a little practice the procedure is quite full-proof. What really throws me off is when I inadvertently break the antenna mast, but there is a technique to resolve this, too...
(Sorry, not all pictures show Japanese planes but I took what I had available)
Thank you very much Michael for the quick answer and very useful advice. I will try it with my next model. But I would also like to hear from others. What are you doing with the antenna wiring? What technique and what material do you use?

Monday, 17 September 2018

Mitsubishi C5M2 "Babs" by Jean Barby

As you can see I wasted no time with my prize! So here are pictures of the Fine Molds C5M2 from the Tainan Kokutai in Lae when the unit left Lakunai to push against Port-Moresby!
- Jean Barby -

Sunday, 16 September 2018

Japanese Aircraft Online Model Contest 009 - George Eleftheriou #2

Below are photos of my recently finished Nakajima Ki-27 "Nate", Hasegawa 1/48, belonging to the 68th Shimbu-tai. I had no problems whatsoever with the fit of the classic kit, removed the flares on the starboard wing rear edge and the drop tank access holes. There are no references showing what kind of drop tanks these "Nates" used or how the 250kg bomb was attached to the fuselage so I decided to leave them out. The decals are from the Create 301 (Aeromaster?) "Special Attack Squadrons" (1996) which had fantastic rendering even though they were very delicate and cracked. I feel though that the front part of the thunderbolt should not reach the front edges of the cowling. They overall result is really beautiful. There are only two photos of the unit featured on p.92&93 of MA#451 and they show the aircraft with the hinomaru having a darker green surround, to cancel the high visibility white surround. The Create 301 decal set does not provide hinomaru with the surround, so I had to mask. As always, I used MrColor paints.
About the base. I used the chocks and the barrel from the Hasegawa set and added the ropes, scratch built the ladder and attempted to replicate the pieces of cloth often used to cover the aircraft to protect from the elements with cigarette paper. I used the Tamiya "Soil Effect- Dark Earth" from the "Diorama Texture Paint" series for the airfield ground with sprinkles of grass from KATO railway diorama accessories. I wanted to add a bit more ground equipment and a pilot with a ground crew but wanted to finish it as soon as possible. More about the base soon. 

The 68th Shimbu-tai was organized on March 23, 1945 with 12 Nakajima Ki-27 "Nate" from Hitachi Kyodo Hikoshidan (Flying Training Division). On March 30 seven planes led by unit commander 2Lt Yamaguchi took off from Maewatari airfield, Ibaraki Prefecture which was the name of the airfield of the Mito School and after stops at Sagami, Tenryu, Kakogawa and Ashiya airfields finally reached Chiran on April 5. The 68th was to take part in the Dai 1ji Koku So-Kogeki (First Massive Air Attack) but the planes were in badly need of maintenance so none participated. On April 8, at 6:30, 2Lt Katayama took off and attacked enemy ships in the Okinawa area. On the same day at 19:30 2Lt Yamada took off from Kikaijima with the same target. On April 9, at 17:40, 2Lt Yamaguchi also took off from Kikaijima and also perished in the Okinawa area.