Friday, 24 March 2023

Quiz #3 - Answer

Okay. That seemed to be easy enough, right? Jean, Terry and Brett all correctly identified the aircraft as a Kyushu Q1W "Tokai" (Lorna).

Nevertheless, there are some clear and confusing differences, like the bulging things on the nose side and, if the cockpit photo belongs to the same aircraft, the weird canopy frame.

After further research, I was able to identify this (or these) aircraft specifically as Kyushu Q1W1-K, "Lorna" trainer(s). Kevin Bade and Richard were the first to correctly and fully identify the aircraft and cockpit in the photos.
I searched in all my usual Japanese sources for photos of this "Tokai" version and I was able to find only two photos in the old "Japanese Military Aircraft Illustrated Vol.3 - Reconnaissance/Flying-Boat/Trainer/Transport" Bunrin-do, 1983. Here's one that showcases the bulges and the metal frame, about which Richard said: "Apparently, it was used as a guide to help keep the aircraft level during take-off and landings."

But how many of these were built? 
Francillon says: "the Q1W1-K Tokai Ren (Eastern Sea Trainer), of which only one prototype was completed, was an all-wood four-seat version intended for training of operators of electronic equipment."

Encyclopedia Vol.8, adds that the all-wood trainer was officially adopted in July 1945 and that only one example was built by Kyushu before the war ended.
The aircraft in the photos do not look very "all-wood" to me and if there is a second "Lorna" trainer in the quiz photo, it does not add up with the story.

Actually, Akimoto in his "All the Regular" IJNAF book, has even more, very interesting information that clears the air: 
"(The Q1W) was officially adopted in January 1945, and equipped with a 7.7mm machine gun (Prototype Tokai), received the name Model 11 (Q1W1). The version of the aircraft equipped with 20mm cannon (Prototype Tokai Ko), was named Model 11 Ko (Q1W1a). In February 1945, the Navy ordered the beginning of the mass production of the type.
Around that time, in order to train crews for the "Ginga"[!!!], two "Tokai" were modified as trainers with twin controls, and were named "Prototype Tokai Trainer" (Q1W1-K). Prototypes #1 and #2 were completed and tested, and in July 1945 the new model was officially adopted.
Before that, in April 1945, the Navy ordered the development of an all-wood trainer version, called "Prototype Tokai-kai Trainer". The design of the project was undertaken by Kyushu and production was given to "Kurashiki Koku Kako" (Kurashiki Aviation Chemical Co., Ltd.; present-day Kuraray. Also built a number of "Shiragiku"). The main and tail wings as well as the rear fuselage were all made of wood, but the war ended when strength tests had been completed."            

Sunday, 19 March 2023

Quiz #3 - twist

This one wasn't too difficult for you guys, right? But check this out!
Does the photo below show the cockpit of one of the planes? If not, can you identify the plane?

Tuesday, 14 March 2023

Quiz #3

 Can you identify the aircraft in the photo? Are they Japanese types?

Tuesday, 7 March 2023

Quiz #2 - Answer

Thank you all for leaving comments and contributing to this quiz.

As before, let's see what this aircraft is not.

Not a Tachikawa Ki-74. Good suggestion, though.
Gakken #56
Arawasi Collection

Not a Mitsubishi G3M "Nell". The dorsal blister had thinner frames and couldn't be opened forward.
FAOW #91
FAOW #91
FAOW #91

Could it be a Mitsubishi G4M "Betty"?
FAOW #59
The radio antenna mast is in the wrong position. Instead of being on the port side of the dorsal blister, it's in front of it.
There was one more "Betty" type with this kind of antenna position. The G6M1-L2 transport.
You can see the differences in this FAOW illustration.
FAOW #59
And here's a very good photo showing the blister opening forward.
FAOW #59
It's my impression that the dorsal blister of all early "Bettys" could open forward.
FAOW #59
I think it's an interesting small detail that could make a diorama of a "Betty" getting maintained on the ground even more special.

Brett and Kevin Bade correctly identified the type and sent over some photos. Thanks Kevin!

Of course, for those more versed in the development history of the "Betty", it's a moot point whether the original photo shows a G6M1 escort fighter or a G6M1-L2 transport.

Thanks again everybody for leaving a comment. I hope you enjoyed this quiz. More coming up!

Sunday, 5 March 2023

Heads Up!

Arma Hobby released a new "Hayate" kit, in 1/72, dedicated to Shimbu-tai

The decals include the aircraft flown by Kono Tadashi of the 57th Shimbu-tai

one of the "Hayate" of the 58th Shimbu-tai (unit history, here)

and previously unknown markings of the 195th Shimbu-tai.

The decal artwork of the last "Hayate" was based on a model built by Arawasi friend and Master Modeler Saito Hisao,

who contributed to the Arma Hobby page a most interesting article about this previously unknown unit,  with photos that confirm the specific markings.

You can read the article HERE

Let's hear now from the 1/48 guys the usual cries for a larger-scale release...(yawn!)

Wednesday, 1 March 2023

Quiz #2

 Can you identify the aircraft type?

Saturday, 25 February 2023

Aichi M6A1 Seiran, 1/72 Tamiya by Andriy Kudelin

On the anniversary of Putin's war against Ukraine, we are happy to present an Aichi M6A1 "Seiran" model by our Ukrainian friend Andriy Kudelin. He explains:

The 1/72 model from Tamiya depicts a floatplane of the 631 Kokutai, circa June 1945.
The Eduard 72250 photoetched set was used. All identification markings, except for the fuselage data plate, were made with hand-cut masks, as they have incorrect dimensions in the decal.

Like other kits from Tamiya, this one assembles quite well, only a few weights were needed for putty, and the bottom of the center section of the fuselage did not fit perfectly. During the building proces,s I had to modify a number of details:
a) added missing parts in the cockpit,
b) machine gun converted to type 2,
c) very thick trailing edges of the wing, stabilizer and fuselage brought to scale thickness,
d) added missing trim tab on left aileron,
e) added rudder and elevator trim rods,
f) made a rectangular hole in the rudder and missing holes in the canopy,
g) an air outlet channel from the oil cooler was made and the radiator shutters were replaced,
h) added mooring rings on the floats and under the stabilizer,
i) the radio antenna mount was moved to the port side,
j) the bomb was redone and hung correctly, not as suggested in the kit (as it turned out, the Edward photo-etched fins from Eduard are a bit wrong),
k) the transport trolley has been slightly altered - a towing bracket has been added and the side deck boards have been sawn in two.

Painted overall with Gunze water-based acrylics. Bomb, propeller and markings with Arcus enamels, Tamiya X22 gloss varnish, art oil wash, Humbrol matt varnish.

- Andriy Kudelin -

Wednesday, 15 February 2023

Quiz #1 - Answer

Thank you all for leaving comments and contributing to this quiz. It wasn't easy, right? It got me confused too.

First, let's start with what this aircraft is not.

Not a Kyushu K11W "Shiragiku"

Not a Manko MT1 "Hayabusa"

Not a Clark GA-43

Not a Junkers 160

So...what is it?

Erik Faustus (Nickname Fugaku) and Richard (HantsBirder) correctly identified the aircraft as a Hansa Reconnaissance Seaplane
Both correctly mentioned that it's a civilian version and "Fugaku" specified that it probably belonged to the Ando School. He also sent over photos from his collection with Ando Hansas.

Thank you very much, guys!
The particular Hansa in the ebay photo has a number of similarities that confirm that it is indeed a Hansa seaplane but also a number of details not found on any Hansa seaplanes of the Ando School.
Below is an original photo from the Arawasi collection of an Ando Hansa seaplane, taken from about the same angle as the ebay photo.

The similarities with the ebay plane are in red, the differences in blue.

Furthermore, none of the Ando Hansas has the anti-glare paint of the ebay plane, and the canopy of the ebay plane seems to reach too far forward, covering the pilot's cockpit area.

In my opinion, the seaplane featured in the ebay photo, is Hansa J-BBCI.
Photo credit: "J-BIRD" (here)

According to "J-BIRD" the seaplane was built by Aichi, c/n 81. It belonged to "Nihon Koku Yuso Kenkyujo", Sakai City, Ohama, in Osaka, and it received the sliding canopy cover on June 12, 1936.
Here's another close-up photo of J-BBCI from the Arawasi collection.
In the photo above, the anti-glare paint is also visible. 
As can be seen in both photos, the sliding canopy covered both the pilot and the passenger, unlike the Ando Hansas. 

Thanks again everybody for leaving a comment. I hope you enjoyed this quiz. More coming up!

Sunday, 12 February 2023

Kawanishi E15K "Shiun" (Norm) in 1/72 by Andriy Kudelin pt. 2

This is the finished model.

Thank you very much, Andriy for finding the time to contribute to our blog during these very trying times for Ukraine. Stay safe!