Thursday 25 July 2013

Mitsubishi J2M "Raiden" (Jack) #1 bibliography

While unxiously waiting for the forthcoming Zoukei Mura 1/32 model we start this long series of postings on the Mitsubishi J2M "Raiden" (Jack) with a selective bibliography of Japanese publications.

BUNRINDO has released four publications in their Famous Airplanes Of the World series.

FAOW (Blue) #7, April 1968
FAOW (White) #7, July 1973


FAOW (White) #150, July 1985 
FAOW #61, November 1996

For non-Japanese speakers the FAOW series offers the best sellection of photos both in quality and number but less technical details. FAOW#61 shouldn't be absent from the library of any Japanese aviation fan with 104pages, 83 b/w photos and one vintage in-colour. 

The same year FAOW #61 came out, MODEL ART released their first "Raiden" special, "I.J.N. Interceptor Fighter RAIDEN (J2Mseries)" or simply MA#470.

MA#470, May 1996

Pages180, Photos 167b/w, 42 in-colour. There are 74 vintage b/w photos, one in-colour, 93b/w and 41 in-colour showing details of the restored J2M in the "Planes of Fame". In comparison, all the FAOW photos are vintage, none from the PoF.
Model Art #470 also includes drawings from the maintenance manual of the type and multi-view illustrations in 1:48 in a centerfold spread.   

In 2011 MODEL ART released a special in their "Profile" series since the older MA#470 was out-of-print. It's "Profile 11" or MA#831.

MA#831, October 2011
Pages 136, 42b/w vintage photos, 59 in-colour from the PoF and many in-colour in the modeling guide. There are again the maintenance manual drawings but most importantly there are 11 pages full of beautiful and most detailed illustrations by Saito Shigeo & Saito Kunihiko. The centerfold spread is not included but there is English translation of most photo captions.

GAKKEN has released Gakken #29 on the "Raiden" in their "Rekishi Gunzo-Taiheiyo Senshi Sirizu" (History Collection-Pacific War History Series).

Gakken #29, November 2000
Pages 182, Photos 51b/w vintage, 115 in-colour from PoF. The Gakken publication offers the best quality of photos of all the previous publications, even though their vintage photos are less numerous. It also includes the 1:48 multi view spread and plenty of aircraft details.

USHIO SHOBO released their first "Raiden" book 1977 in their Maru Mechanic series as number #7 and released it again together with #1 on the "Shiden/Shiden-kai" as number #43.

MM#7, November 1977
MM#43, November 1983

The Maru Mechanic series is world wide known for their old but excellently detailed publications. Unfortunately the very first nine numbers in the series are the least well done, with very few photos and details. As a result they are not particularly recommended.
All the above publication are 18X26cm or A5 size.

BUNRINDO has also released a brilliant photo-collection publication on the 302Kokutai; Koku Fan Illustrated series #96 (KFI#96). 

Pages 175, Photos 371b/w all vintage, Size 21X28cm. The publication is basically a photo album including photos of various types of aircraft as well as members of the unit and more. It is long out-of-print but VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

Finally BUNSHUNBUNKO has released a pocket publication by historian Watanabe Yoji entitled "Kyokuchi Sentoki - RAIDEN" (Interceptor Fighter - Raiden).

"Raiden", July 2005
Pages 368, photos 94b/w all vintage, Size 11X15cm. Although an excellent publication detailing the history of the type and the units that flew it, it is all in Japanese, the photos are very small and therefore it is only recommended to very fluent Japanese speakers.

IN COMPARISSON: FAOW#61 offers the best sellection of vintage photos but little technical details; it's In Print. MA#470 (OOP) has more vintage photos and the in-scale drawings but MA#831 has the Saito illustrations and is In Print. Gakken #29 (OOP) has the best sellection of high quality photos but does not offer any artwork. The MMs are unfortunately outclassed. So for those who are only partially interested on the "Raiden" get either FAOW#61 or MA#831. For those who want more technical stuff, MA#470 or MA#831 and Gakken #29 are the best. And finally for those who really love Japanese aviation...need I say it?

NOTE: ALL publications (even the OOP) are available from our on-line store HERE, except ofcourse from KFI#96 which is highly sought after and only few small numbers eratically turn up. Don't hesitate to send us an email asking for availability.  

In my collection FAOW '73-7 has This cover!
-Jacob Terlouw

1 comment:

Jacob Terlouw said...

The very first time I saw this plane was in the cinema in 1960. My brother and I went to a documentary about the Pacific War- titled From Pearl Harbor to Hiroshima.
My brother was a fanatic aeroplane spotter at the time and as always he had his camera with him. During the show he took some pictures and one of 'm was a 'still' of this Raiden scene - taking off from Atsugi airbase.Two years later I bought my very first Tamiya Raiden kit in a hobbyshop in Rotterdam. It is still one
of my favorites.