Thursday 28 February 2013

Library - Model Art #553 I.J.N. Carrier Attack Bomber

If you are into Pearl Harbor, Midway and other Carrier battles, then Model Art #553 I.J.N. Carrier Attack Bomber by Nohara Shigeru, published by Model Art February 2000, is one of the most important regarding Japanese airplanes. It covers all the "Carrier Attack Bombers" of the IJNAAF, i.e. the torpedo not the dive bombers, from the earliest types like the tri-plane Type 10 Carrier Torpedo Bomber or Mitsubishi 1MT1, the Type 13 or Mitsubishi 2MT/3MT, the Type 89 or Mitsubishi B2M, the Type 92 or Kokusho (Yokosuka) B3Y, the Type 96 or Kokusho (Yokosuka) B4Y to the ones that saw extensive action during the Pasific War like the Type 97-1 or Nakajima B5N (Kate) and the Type 97-2 or Mitsubishi B5M (Mabel) but also later types like Nakajima B6N "Tenzan" (Jill) and the Aichi B7A "Ryusei" (Grace).

The book has 238 pages with 158 photos of which 6 in color, plus 30 pages full of modeling photos and illustrations. The book also features very useful reproductions of the maintenance manuals of the Nakajima B5N (Kate), Nakajima B6N "Tenzan" (Jill) and the Aichi B7A "Ryusei" (Grace) as well as detailed multi-views of the three previously mentioned types plus Mitsubishi B5M (Mabel) in 1/48.
It should be noted that this is the only publication that covers all these types in one volume and is truly invaluable especially to modelers.

Unfortunately MA#553 became fast out-of-print and Nohara-san decided to reprint it in 2006 with Kojinsha entitled "KUBO KIDOBUTAI NO DAGEKIRYOKU"
but of smaller size (15X21cm), 304 pages, 162 photos of which 23 in color, without the 1/48 fold-outs and the color artwork. Biggest difference is that the author decided to include the dive bombers too like the Type 96 Carrier Dive Bomber or Aichi D1A "Susie", the Type 99 or Aichi D3A "Val" (not the night fighter version), the experimental Kugisho (Yokosuka) D3Y "Myojo" and the Kugisho (Yokosuka) D4Y "Suisei" (Judy). It also includes the manuals for the Aichi D1A2 and the Aichi D3A.

Both publications are highly recommended to Japanese airplane fans but to modelers with only passing interest the Kojinsha is recommended for the price and contents.
BOTH publications are now available through our on-line store. 
There are only VERY limited numbers available of MA#533, though. Price is US$40 (postage not included). Send us an email if interested.

Monday 25 February 2013

Film: "Shonen Kokuhei" - Civilian types #4

Apart from the Navy aircraft the film features a very interesting collection of civilian types, all belonging to the fleet of Asahi Shimbun.

J-BAWA was the fourth D.H.80A Puss Moth and the 10th aircraft in the Asahi Shimbun fleet and was purchased by the newspaper in March 1931. The aircraft was named "Ruri" (Lapis Lazuli).
In this first series of stills J-BAWA is taxing probably in Haneda airfield and comes to a stop in front of a big concrete hangar.

Note the Pou du Ciel on the left side of the still
The hangar in the still above reads "Asahi Shimbunsha Kakunoko" (Hangar of Asahi Shimbun)

After the pilot, actor Hirose Toru, gets off the Puss Moth he walks towards the side of the hangar where he meets his "girlfriend", beautiful actress Miyake Kuniko, in front of another Asahi aircraft; Dornier Komet C J-BAMA. It was one of the three Komets and the 102th aircraft in the newspaper fleet. Kawasaki originally purchased one Komet C for the Army and one D seplane for the Navy but both failed to attract attention. Kawasaki modified them as passenger aircraft and sold Komet C to Asahi together with two (or three) more they built themselves. The original registration of J-BAMA was J-COHJ and became part of the fleet in February 1927. By the time this movie was shot it was on permanent display.

The last civilian aircraft appearing in the film is the Isikawajima T3 with the registration J-BBCA. Interestingly the inscription on the fuselage side says that it is the 58th aircraft in the newspaper fleet; not the 53rd.  
The type was an experimental reconnaissance aircraft that failed to win in an Army competition of 1928. Ishikawajima eventually sold it to Asahi after modifying it into a communication aircraft for civilian use.
Note the beautiful paint job. Overall silver, with blue line on the fuselage top and Asahi markings on the top wing tips.

We hope you found this series of postings to your liking. 

Sunday 24 February 2013

Film: "Shonen Kokuhei" - Various types #3

The film gives us the rare opportunity to see many of the types the IJNAF had in their fleet at the time (1936).

A Type 90-2-2 Reconnaissance Seaplane or Nakajima E4N2 in a storage room together with a selection of engines.

Two seaplanes are being pulled up on the concrete slipway of Kasumigaura. The one in the background is a Type 90 Training Seaplane or Yokosho K4Y1. In the second still the crew can be seen pushing the trailer for the K4Y1 into position while a Type 13 Trainer or Yokosho K1Y2 is already on the slipway.

A flight of Type 90 Carrier Fighters or Nakajima A2N1 are taking off in front of a huge hangar possibly for airships.

Two stills of a Type 93 Advanced Trainer or Yokosuka K5Y1 "Akatonbo" (Willow), "カ-759" (KA-759),  in the typical finish of the time, silver overall, red tail, black markings on the fuselage sides and on the wings.
Plus one more still with "Willows" getting their engines started.

A top view of a line-up of "Getabaki Akatonbo", as the seaplane version of the K5Y1 was known at the time.

A line-up of Type 90 Crew Trainers or Mitsubishi K3M "Pine".

A rather interesting still showing ground crew members pulling a bomb on a dolly in front of a Type 13 Carrier Attack Bomber or Mitsubishi B1M2.
And last but not least a still with a big selection of Kasumigaura Kokutai seaplanes.
The four on the left row are probably Type 14 Reconnaissance Seaplanes or Yokosho E1Y2. In the foreground on the right is a Yokosho K5Y2, next to it a Type 15 Reconnaissance Seaplane or Nakajima E2N1 and then a Yokosho K1Y2. All the seaplanes in the back and on the seashore are probably Type 90 Training Seaplanes or Yokosho K4Y1. 

Thursday 21 February 2013

Film: "Shonen Kokuhei" - Yokosho K2Y #2

Our good friend Zygmunt Szeremeta created, especially for our blog, some amazing artwork of the K2Y posted yesterday. Dziękuję bardzo Zygmunt.

More stills with K2Ys from the movie.

Two stills from the rather interesting "KA-470. Note that the area around the cockpits is of darker color than the rest of the fuselage.

 A dramatic shot of "KA-451" and "KA-455" just taking off from the airfield of Kasumigaura.

A rather odd K2Y creeps in the movie in this in-flight scene. It belongs to the Yokosuka Ku as indicated by the "ヨ-601" (YO-601) marking.

Wednesday 20 February 2013

Film: "Shonen Kokuhei" - Yokosho K2Y #1

Title: "Shonen Kokuhei" (Youth Aviation Seamen)
Studio: Shochiku, sponsored by the Japanese Navy
Release date: September 1936
Directed by: Sasaki Yasushi
Starring: Hongo Hideo
             Ryu Chishu
             Hirose Toru
             Miyake Kuniko

Story: Two young boys want to become pilots and take the exam of "Shonen Kokuhei". One failed in the final test and although he begged to be given one more chance he was rejected. As an alternative he joins a Civilian Aviation Company and is trained to become a maintenance crew member with a civilian airline. During his very first flight with a civilian pilot, they fly over the young boy's village but suddenly there is engine trouble...
The other teenager becomes a Navy pilot offering us some very rare scenes of IJNAF aircraft types in flight, especially of Navy Type 3 Primary Trainer or Yokosho K2Y.
Below are some stills from the film.
Most of them feature the K2Y2 "カ-469" (KA-469) belonging to the Kasumigaura Kokutai since that was the aircraft our hero flew with. Overall silver with red tail and black markings on the fuselage sides and wings.

Sunday 17 February 2013

Visitors: The Danish Connection

On March 16, 1926 two Fokker C.VE belonging to the Danish Air Force took off from Copenhagen in an effort to reach Japan. Their crew members included pilot Capt Botved with mechanic Olsen and pilot 1stLT Herschend with mechanic Petersen and the Southern route, via India, was chosen.

On the 21st the two aircraft managed to reach Yesilköy in Turkey. The next they tried to reach Aleppo but only one aircraft reached the city due to bad weather. Capt Bodved landed in Eskisehir, and the following description is from his memoirs:
“The reception was polite although somewhat formal.
We were taken to the Chief of the Aviation Forces, a slight brown man with pitch black
well groomed hair. He greeted us standing on a leopard skin in front of his desk. We were given delicious Turkish coffee in small cups and had to tell details about our trip. Because of unfavourable weather forecasts we decided to wait until next day for our departure. We went into town on a small cart on a narrow gauge railway as no paved road existed. In the afternoon we visited the highest military authority an Army Corps General. Surprisingly we had to climb a ladder to reach his office on the first floor. Many civil authorities were also present, but nobody really addressed us and after half an hour the audience was over. In the evening the Turkish officers invited us for dinner in the town’s best restaurant. The take-off the next day was difficult as the propeller whirled mud up into our faces and it took three attempts to get airborne.” (Source: a quite interesting paper, HERE)

Unfortunately only one of the two aircraft R1 piloted by Capt Botved reached Japan arriving in Tokorozawa on June 1st, 1926 at 11:8 o' clock in the morning.
We had great difficulty finding information about these Danish aviators. Another interesting link with good information is THIS. Perhaps friends from Denmark reading this posting might be interested to send us more information.

Photos: Arawasi Collection

Friday 15 February 2013

Mitsubishi Ki-46 "Dinah"

A Type 100 Command Reconnaissance Model II or Mitsubishi Ki-46-II "Dinah" which according to the caption of the vintage publication is "just back to base after another bombing mission against American Army bases in China; the Army Eagle pilot first gives his sword to the ground crew member". Unlikely that a "Dinah" made a "bombing mission", more probably she reconnoitred the area after the Army bombers have finished their job.
Note the pilot and the observer canopy hatches folding to the starboard side. 

Thursday 14 February 2013

Showa L2D (Douglas DC-3)

Three photos from a vintage publication of Navy Type Zero Transport-plane or Showa L2D leaving the production line.

Wednesday 13 February 2013

Kawasaki Ki-48 "Lily"

A cockpit photo, from a vintage magazine, of a Type 99 Twin-engined Light Bomber or Kawasaki Ki-48 "99 shokei" (Lily).

Monday 11 February 2013

Collector's items

Our friends Jim Nicoletti, Jacob Terlouw and Mark Smith send us the following scans of kits and models from their collections. Thank you all!

Was checking out your super blog and thought I would share the following with you. Until recently I had the following in my kit collection. Look at the price: $4.00 USD! I always wondered if that was a deal or was I over charged. Anyway, sold it recently...can't remember for how much.
Keep up the good work!
-Jim Nicoletti

Here's a scan of the first LS-A6M2N box and a scan of the profiles of that came along with the Fuji Ki-46-3. Also an 1/144 LS Emily and two Aoshima boxes.
-Jacob Terlouw