Tuesday 31 December 2013

Vintage Magazine Cover

"Asahi Graph", July 22, 1942 issue

Friday 27 December 2013

Nakajima built A6M2

  Two photos from a vintage “Domei Graph”, March 1943 issue featuring a Zero transported somewhere in the Pacific. Photos of the same ship and aircraft are featured in many publications.
  In FAOW#5 (1987), p.26 the caption says: Summer 1942, a photo of a Nakajima Model 21 transported by ship from the mainland. Photo taken in Rabaul. The white surround of the fuselage hinomaru indicates that this is a Nakajima produced aircraft. Mitsubishi stopped producing the Model 21 and started producing Model 32 from May 1942. Production of the Model 21 was taken over by Nakajima which begun the mass production of the type from November 1942. .
  On the other hand, in the later published FAOW#55 (1995) p.58, the caption says that the photo taken around the end of 1942 and that the Zero Model 21 was transported by ship to Truk island.
  The ship and the exact location remain unknown.


Wednesday 25 December 2013

IJNAF Pilots

"Asahi Graph" January 25, 1939
The vintage captions reads:
"Navy Wild Eagles wearing pilot uniforms on stand-by to bomb the enemy positions, spend a few idle moments playing with a small bird. Upon hearing the brun brun sound of the propellers, they will say goodbye to their friend, put it back into its cage an will run to their planes. The airplane flying in the blue sky towards the enemy base looks like a small bird.
Photo taken at an airfield somewhere in Southern China."

Monday 23 December 2013

Mitsubishi A7M "Reppu" by Fabrice Fanton

These are some photos of my Mitsubishi A7M-1 "Reppu" in 1/48th scale from Fine Molds, finished in 2011. I have used Fine Molds phototched and brass parts to enhance the kit. Figures come from Model Kasten for pilots, and kit for the mechanic.
-Fabrice Fanton-


Sunday 22 December 2013

Vintage magazine cover

"Asahi Graph", February 25, 1942

Thursday 19 December 2013

Yokosho E1Y2-D

A few days ago we posted some photos of Yokosho E1Y seaplanes.
Today we post a photo of one of the experimental versions, the Yokosho E1Y2-D or Type 14 Reconnaissance Seaplane Model Kai-1-D. It was a completely different design than the rest of the E1Y series and was basically the prototype for the Type 90-3 Reconnaissance Seaplane or Kawanishi E5Y. Main differences were the Jupiter Model F8 450hp engine, installed for the first time, the extensive use of steel piping and the installation of a ventral machine gun position.

Engine: Jupiter F-8, 450hp air cooled radial 9-cylinder
Hp during take-off: 520
Propeller: wood, fixed pitch, 2-4 blades, diameter: 3.55m
Span: 14.50m
Length: 10.552m
Height: 4.10m
Wing area: 55.00sqm
Weight: 1,800kg
Load: 1,200kg
Fully equipped: 3,000kg
Wing load: 54.5sqm
Power loading: 6.67kg/hp
Max speed: 96kt
Cruising speed: 70kt 

Tuesday 17 December 2013

Kyushu J7W1 "Shinden" by Bernhard Tomaschitz

I must admit that at first I knew nothing about the kit. On my first visit to Japan I saw it in the VOLKS shop. Until then I thought it was fictional. At that time I knew nothing about Japan and its history. All this changed rapidly and I became so much involved with Japan, the language and the history that my life was changed.
The J7W1 "Shinden" is a remarkable aircraft. The futuristic and advanced design goes far in detail. Some of its design steps were finally used for the first time in the 1980s. External panels in the cockpit area for maintenance took decades to be used again. And also the canard development without electronic calculations is a masterpiece by its own. Like many other Japanese aerodynamic designs this aircraft is a milestone of flight.
The kit by itself is a masterpiece. I am familiar with most aircraft kit manufacturers of the world but Zoukei-Mura is the best in its scale and the best injection molded kit I have ever built. All the details are properly researched and for sure it was great fun as a project.
- Bernhard Tomaschitz -

Saturday 14 December 2013

Imon bukuro & Omamori

Japanese servicemen who served overseas were often too far away from their homeland, occasionally isolated, with provisions arriving irregularly and never in sufficient quantities. Sometimes within the cargo there were special packages from Japan called "imon bukuro" (relief or console packages).
HERE you can see a short news clip from the NHK collection talking about these "imon bukuro" and the effort behind the people in the homeland to send the servicemen in the front little things to show their support.
Women from an "Aikoku fujinkai" (patriotic women's association) gathered together on a hot summer day to make little cute appreciation presents to cheer the hearts of the soldiers.
The 8th elementary school of Yamagata prefecture organised an excursion and encouraged the students to create Japanese landscape sketches to show their support to the soldiers at the front.
In a Tokyo elementary pupils made camouflage nets in the hope that they could be of use to the servicemen.
Another NHK clip, HERE, shows how appreciated these little objects were by the soldiers, especially the little dolls. The unit is the 44th Sentai, somewhere in China, and the aircraft in the background are Type 99 Assault Planes or Mitsubishi Ki-51.
Below are two photos from vintage publications showing these dolls adorning a Type 96 Attack Bomber or Mitsubishi G3M "Nell" cockpit in the top photo and an IJAAF aircraft in the bottom. 

We are not sure about the aircraft type in the bottom photo. Note that the canopy folds to the starboard. Possibly a Mitsubishi Ki-46-II "Dinah" but the shape of the fuselage behind the canopy is not right. Any ideas?
Hi, the cockpit in today's blog is a Kawasaki Ki-48 Lily.
- Joe Picarella -
Thanks, Joe!
Finally we would like to mention that many Japanese servicemen carried with them omamori (amulets, φιλακτά in Greek). These were sometimes taken as souvenirs by Allied soldiers and many years later we have found ourselves in the rather awkward if not gruesome position to be asked to translate what the contents include; cultural differences and ignorance are understandable as long as they are always accompanied by respect towards the opponent.  

Friday 13 December 2013

Mitsubishi 2MR4

Type 10 Carrier Reconnaissance aircraft or C1M1 or Mitsubishi 2MR4.

Wednesday 11 December 2013

The Luigi Scarano Collection Pt. 7

Some photos of my Mitsubishi J2M3 "Raiden", 302 Kokutai, pilot NAP1/C Sasazawa Hitoshi, Hasegawa kit 1/48. I hope you like it, it's a model I finished a few years ago.
Thanks for your attention.
- Luigi Scarano -

Check here the other models of the Luigi Scarano Collection: 1 2 3 4 5 6

Monday 9 December 2013

Vintage magazine cover

"Asahi Graph", Februray 4, 1942.
Front cover photo by Navy reporter Ishige.

Revell Ki-84 "Hayate" by Jacob Terlouw

This is a Revell Ki-84 that I built in the mid- sixties.
I knew I had it somewhere stored in a box with some unfinished other ones. The unit decal came from a hobby shop in the city (Rotterdam).
At the time no other Ki-84 kits were available and my friend and me considered that it was a lot better than the Revell Ki-61 and Ki-43  kits. A nice and easy build.
-Jacob Terlouw-

This is the building instruction of the first issued Revell Ki-84-1a.

Saturday 7 December 2013

Yokosho E1Y

Photos of Navy Type 14-3 Reconnaissance Seaplane or Yokosho E1Y.

First, two photos of a Yokosho E1Y probably an E1Y2 belonging to the Yokosuka Kokutai. Note the two blade propeller.

And a photo of an E1Y3. It's an early photo of the first plane of the type that served on battleship "Kongo". Check this last year's posting on our blog for more photos and info on how the plane looked later on its career.


Various vintage kits on sale on Japanese ebay.

ODK - "Toryu" - Scale: 1/55

Marusan - Kawasaki Ki-61 "Tony" - Scale: 1/50

Imai Kagaku - "Hayate" - Scale: 1/50

Fujimi - "Hopping series: Zero-sen Taicho" - Scale: ?
A "kit" from the '60s by Fujimi. The pilot figure was positioned over a rubber base with a spring; hence the "hopping series" name.  

Thursday 5 December 2013


Three Japanese publications I just picked from the bookshop, one brand new, one a reprint and one released a few months ago.

Title: "Kanbaku Taicho no Senkan" (Battle lessons of a dive bomber unit commander)
Author: Abe Zenro
Published by: Kojinsha, August 2013 p/b, in print
Pages: 219, Size: 10X15cm
Abe-san graduated in 1937 from the Navy seaman school, then joined the dive bomber group of aircraft carrier "Soryu" in October 1940. In April 1941 he was assigned to "Akagi" as buntaicho (division officer) of the ship's dive bomber group. With "Akagi" he took part in the Pearl Harbor attack, in various operations in the seas of SE Asia, attacks against NW Australia and operations in the Indian Ocean. In April 1942 he participated in the Aleutian operations as buntaicho on "Junyo" and in July 1942 he was assigned to "Hiyo" where he took part in the Guadalcanal operations. In March 1944 he served as hikotaicho (group leader) with the 652Ku in the battle for the Mariana Islands during which he had to make an emergency landing in the island of Rota. In October 1944 he was promoted to Lieutenant Commander and became CO of the Navy unit on Rota. In September 1945 he was transferred as POW at the US Marine camp on Guam. He was repatriated in November 1946.
I'm sure you will find of particular interest everything he has to say about his experiences in the book which is a paperback reprint in small size of the original first published in 1997.   
 Title: "Ginyoku Minami E Kita E" (Silver wings in the South and the North)
Author: Watanabe Yoji
Published by: Kojinsha, October 19, 2013 p/b, in print
Pages: 262, Size: 10X15cm, Photos: 90 b/w

A collection of particularly interesting short articles, written by the author, that appeared in various magazines.

Title: "Reisen Saigo no Shogen" (Last Zero-sen testimonies)
Author: Kodachi Naoki
Published by: Kojinsha, December 21, 2013 (!),  p/b, in print
Pages: 399, Size: 10X15cm, Photos: 140 b/w

Kodachi Naoki is the chairman of the "Zero Pilots' Association" of Tokyo and this book includes conversations he had with the following Zero pilots: Shiga Yoshio, Nakashima Mitsunori, Tanaka Mitsunori, Tanaka Kuniyoshi, Kurosawa Takeo, Sasakibara Masao, Miyazaki Isamu, Kato (Ito) Kiyoshi, Nakamura Yoshio, Yamada Ryoichi and Matsudaira Tadashi. 
None of the above books is recommended except to readers fluent in Japanese.

Tuesday 3 December 2013


Various kits today. Some old, some new, some fairly unknown.

Saw the two new releases by Revell in 1:72 on the net but not the actual kits. We would like to hear from you if you have more info, have built one of them or would just like to share your thoughts on this market opening of Revell.

Jacob Terlouw:
I wouldn’t be surprised if Revell re-released the old kits again- as they did in the past.
See this trio: the picture was sent to me by someone of the Dutch IPMS branch.
Don't know if it's old news but just saw that MPM released a Douglas DB-7C "Captured Boston" in 1/72. It seems to include hinomaru, "Fuku-chan" and Java unit tail marking decals. Again feel free to leave a comment if you know anything more about this kit.
For those who remember we had a lengthy article on the "Captured Bostons" in the sold-out issue #11 of our magazine.

A brilliant J. X-plane set. The old Nakajima G8N "Renzan" kit with the jet version of the Kyushu J7W "Shinden-kai" plus an I-Go guided bomb, all in 1/72. Only thing I didn't like was the totally unnecessary Luft markings included in the decal set. Pricey set though.

Found a couple old LS "Hiryu" kits on the Japanese ebay. Hadn't seen this box art before.
Didn't know this "Gekko" kit even existed. Terrible box art! Is it a "Gekko", is it a "Toryu", who can tell?

Creat 301
Don't know if you've ever seen a Creat 301 "Ohka".