Sunday 28 September 2014

Nakajima Ki-84 "Hayate" 1/48

This is my first model in 1/48 in more than 20 years! The kit is the very old and terrible in every respect Otaki. Very poor wing-fuselage fit, misaligned wings and fuselage and too many "rivets". Didn't care about detailing, wanted to practise with the paints, wash and just have fun with it which I did. 
Paints: I used Mr Color #127 Nakajima cockpit color, Mr Color Spray #129 Dark Green (Nakajima) for the upper surfaces and the propeller and Tamiya TS-17 gloss aluminum for the lower surfaces.
I used the kit's terrible hinomaru decals that turned out more brown than red and for the first time used Flying Papas decals to depict a "Hayate" belonging to the Army Special Attack Unit 185th Shinbutai.

The Flying Papas decals were simply amazing and I highly recommend them!!! Thin with excellent registration they look absolutely fabulous. They are exclusively available outside Japan through our on-line shop (HERE) and for those interested in more non-Japanese subjects check here for 1/144, here for 1/72 and here for 1/48 and 1/32. Simply send us an email ( with the decal sets you are interested in and we'll get back to you with prices.

Saturday 27 September 2014

Kawanishi K-7A

Continuing with the seaplane posting streak, a rather rare photo of a Kawanishi K-7A, registered J-COBC. As wiki says (HERE) "The K-7A entered service on Nippon Koku's service between Osaka and Fukuoka in January 1925, mainly carrying airmail rather than passengers. The K-7A proved successful in service, one carrying mail from Fukuoka and Shanghai, China, a distance of over 950 kilometers (590 mi) in May 1926...".
Note the mail marking behind the civilian registration. As wiki again explains: "The symbol of a post office in Japan is a stylized katakana syllable te (テ), 〒. This is used on the signs of post offices, on post boxes, and it is also sometimes used before the postcode on letters. This mark is derived from the Japanese word teishin (communications)."

Thursday 25 September 2014

Kawanishi H6K "Mavis" by Mark Jahsan WIP#1

Greetings all. First I want to thank Arawasi for letting me post some pictures of my 1/48 Combat Models H6K "Mavis". Trust me, I will learn more about the Mavis than I’ll teach, but I have found a method for building large vacuform kits that works for me. Hopefully it will motivate others to try something unusual- if I ever build a 109, it will be the Japanese test aircraft! 
  The picture on the plans shows my start. I cut partial bulkeads, then use lots of scrap triangles to buttress them. Most planes will use a pass-through spar, Mavis used a bunch of struts to attach the parasol wing. You can see the support I put into the midsection, struts will pass through the cut slots and be epoxied into place.
Once that’s done, I’ll go back and start adding detail. Not a whole lot on the interior for reference, so I make my best guess and install some equipment. Once it’s sealed up, it’ll look like there’s something in there, not just an empty cavern. The cockpit crew stations sit on supports above and next to the central walkway.  
In the shot of the cockpit, you can see how I filled the keel with epoxy- easier than trying to match angles for joining tabs. Next step will be to do seams and the surface of the fuselage- you can see what looks like wood grain in the plastic, like they didn’t seal the forms after carving.
  That way I can do all the dirty work and wash it out real good, then finish by installing the cockpit (not done yet) in through the top. Last will be all the glass, I’ll tape over the strut slots and it should be sealed with no chance for dust to get inside- fingers crossed.
I’ll post progress as I make it. I started a new restaurant four months ago, so it may be sporadic, but model building is a good escape, I need to keep up with it for my own sanity!
Mark Jahsan - Michigan, USA

Tuesday 23 September 2014

Seaplanes in the South Pacific

Some stills today from a vintage news reel from the NHK collection. The date is October 1942 and the exact location is not specified except for the general South Pacific.
In the first three a number of Type 0 Reconnaissance Seaplanes or Aichi E13A1s are seen resting on a beech. The tail marking of one of them is fairly visible and it looks like starting with the letter "R". This would mean that they probably belong to the Seaplane Tender Kiyokawa Maru which was operating in the Rabaul, Kavieng, Salamaua and Tulagi areas at the time.  

The rest of the stills feature Type 95 Reconnaissance Seaplanes or Nakajima E8N having their engine dismounted, their crews briefed and taking off armed with two 30kg bombs on another mission. Unfortunately the tail marking is not visible.


Sunday 21 September 2014

Mitsubishi J2M3 "Raiden" (Jack) by Bernhard Tomaschitz - WIP#6

The sixth part of building SWS J2M3 "Raiden", the finish, final assembly and detailing.
I added some details like lighting unit on the right and left cockpit sides and four fuel caps on the wing and fuselage. The model is represented in the state of a finished engine overhaul, refuelling and rearming.
All the assembling steps of the kit are wonderful. But I miss on the instruction some detailed information about the real operative aircraft, like the positioning of the aerial. The lighting units in the cockpit are also omitted. The information of the real aircraft in the concept note don't explain how rearming and refuelling was done. Moving such big panels for rearming on the wing of such a big plane must have been a burden. Whoever worked on such a plane or whoever climbed in such a cockpit can tell you.
The weathering was done in the fast way by chipping and painting. No oil color in the panel lines since pre-shading was done. Otherwise it would have been overdone.
IN CONCLUSION: This kit is wonderful!!! Nevertheless, the extra parts like the interior etched parts and the outer canon barrels must be corrected and improved (Zoukei Mura told me to do so). More accurate drawings in the instruction manual for the gun sight assembly would help more unskilled and uninformed modeller. Decal quality should be improved to a standard used in Tamiya kits. It is a pity, to spoil at the very end such a wonderful model.
The way Zoukei Mura is going is to my opinion the best trend-setter in the modelling world. In combination with more accurate etched parts and more operative information, they could achieve a further milestone.
DI Bernhard A. Tomaschitz  IPMS-Austria
P.S. Special thanks to Arawasi for the kit.
Thank you too Bernhard for the WIP which we are sure many modellers will find most helpful.

Saturday 20 September 2014

Mitsubishi F1M "Reikan" (Pete)

A Type 0 Observation Seaplane or Mitsubishi F1M "Reikan" (Pete) is flying over Rabaul, New Britain island. It belongs to the 958th Kokutai which was organised on December 1, 1942 in Rabaul with floatplanes from the seaplane tender Kiyokawa Maru becoming part of the 8th Fleet. On May 1, 1944 the unit became part of the 11th Air Fleet and was based in Rabaul until the end of the War. The photo was taken in the spring of 1943. 

Friday 19 September 2014

Yokosuka K4Y1

A Navy Type 90 Seaplane Trainer or Yokosuka K4Y1 is pushed inside the hangar after the completion of the days training. It belongs to Tsuchiura Kokutai as indicated by the tail marking " ツチ-610" (TsuChi-610). The fuselage hinomaru with the white surround indicate that this particular seaplane was finished in overall trainer orange/yellow.

Wednesday 17 September 2014

Nakajima Ki-44 "Shoki" by Andrey Temnyy

An excellent Nakajima Ki-44-II Hei "Shoki" today by Andrey Temnyy. 70th Sentai, 3rd Chutai, flown by Makoto Ogawa from Kashiwa, June 1945. Scale is 1/72, kit by Sword. Andrey was not particularly impressed with the kit experiencing fitting problems and he suspects there might be some inaccuracies with the fuselage size but it's the best kit around at the time. He finished the model before Sword released their photo-etched set. Enjoy!


Monday 15 September 2014

Gliders - Ito A-1 Primary & "Dai 1kai Zen Nihon Guraida Taikai"

Today we would like to share with you a number of very interesting glider photos and material but we would also like to show you the tedious and time consuming process necessary to gather all this information and material.
Everything begun about two weeks ago when our good friend Jacob Terlouw sent us the photo below (with permission to feature it on this blog) asking for further information.

Immediately we consulted the best post-War source for Japanese gliders, the Model Art publication "NIHON NO GURAIDA 1930-1945" (The gliders of Japan 1930-1945) by Kawakami Hiroyuki.

Unfortunately we couldn't spot any photo or illustration that would have a glider like the one in Jacob's photo therefore we turned to the best two vintage glider publications. First "Kakuki 1890-1941" (Gliders 1890-1941) by Asahi Shimbun in August 1941. 
We found that the glider in Jacob's photo, registered B-202 and the one behind it, B-203, were in the truly amazing photos taken during the "Dai 1kai Zen Nihon Guraida Taikai" (1st All Japan Glider Competition) held in mount Kirigamine, Nagano prefecture. 
But nothing else is mentioned. The second vintage book "Kaku Nihon Rekishi Shashin-shu" (Glider  Japan Historical Album) by Koku Jidai-sha, published in August 1943, had some more photos of the event but of poor quality.

According to the accompanying text the event took place for three day starting on September 2, 1936 and was sponsored by Asahi Shimbun. 75 were the competitors in the primary glider class, 22 in the secondary glider class and five in the soarer.  
Before the beginning of the competition a referee is explaining to the competitors some of the things they should be careful about.
 Some of the spectators that gathered to watch the competition.

Members of the competition committee and a journalist. From right: captain Fujita Yuzo, major Suzuki Masahiro and Watanabe Kazuhide. 
Going back to the "Nihon no guraida" book the event is mentioned but the only additional information is that the event was supported by the Ministry of Communication, the Army headquarters and Imperial Aviation Society. 20 primary gliders, six secondary and six soarers were flown by no less than 42 glider groups. Much to our frustration the glider types were not mentioned in any publication, therefore we couldn't identify the glider in Jacob's photo.
While going through a vintage magazine, "Hiko" (Flight) April 1939 issue,  for our current publication project (secret!), we encountered two photos of the same glider type.
According to the captions: "First time in Japan gliders on ice! The Kamisuwa Glider Research Group is training on the frozen lake Suwa." In a small article featured in the same issue it is explained that the Kamisuwa Glider Research Group borrowed from the Nagano headquarters of the Aviation Society one Type Ito Primary with the registration B-203. Thus we found the type of the glider. Going back to "Nihon no Guraida" we found that the type was named Type Ito A-1 Primary and was based on the Schneider Grunau 9 glider. Wing span: 10.3m, length: 5.54m, weight: 90kg. The glider was built by Ito Hikoki Seisakujo (Ito Aircraft Factory).
Unfortunately we were not able to find out who exactly the officer in Jacob's photo was but most probably he is a Marine.
We hope our readers will acknowledge and appreciate the fact that our blog is the only one among the well-known blogs and message boards that touches on the highly overlooked subject of the Japanese gliders.