Wednesday 31 July 2013

Mitsubishi A6M5b Model 52Otsu - 653Kokutai

The last posting of the month presents a number of stills from a very short vintage film featuring Mitsubishi A6M5b Model 52Otsu belonging to the 653Kokutai. The time is September 1944, when the unit was located in Oita base in north Kyushu to train new pilots and replenish losses from the Battle of the Marianas. The intense training resulted in accidental loses though. At that time the unit used only the number "653-" as tail marking and all the planes in the stills were built by Mitsubishi.
The first three stills are brilliant close-ups of a Mitsubishi built, as indicated by the straight green camo reaching the tail tip, plane with tail marking "654-42". Behind is "653-28". Note how clear and brand new all the planes are without the slightest of damage. A note to all modellers who overdo it with weathering. The Mitsubishi built 52s had a 75mm white band surrounding the fuselage and wing-top hinomaru, while on the Nakajima built the width of the white band was about 30mm.    

In the next set of stills below three 653Ku "Zeros" are taxing in full speed just before take-off. Note that two have unpainted spinners while one has a dark probably red brown one.


In the final set of a splendid close-up of "653-45" shows all the characteristics of the A6M5b Model 52Otsu especially the Type 3 13mm cannon on the starboard side of the cowling with the particular cartridge exhaust and the bigger gunport. Note also the separate exhausts and the barrel of the 20mm cannon.


Anonymous said...


A portion of the original movie from which these stills were taken ("Raigekitai shutsudo") is available at: Do you know if the film in its entirety is available anywhere, whether on the 'Net as an MP4, or for sale - someplace! - as a DVD?

In a larger sense, is there a master list or directory of the titles (in both Japanese and English) of Japanese WW II films pertaining to aviation themes?


Arawasi said...

Thank you for the link sir. I'm afraid my answer to both your questions is "Sorry I don't know".

Panagiotis said...

A very informative link which gives wild diorama ideas, too!

masanissa said...

Here's the link to the full film. Not the best quality, but they show off the Tenzan near the end when the pilots sacrifice themselves attacking the American convoy.