Sunday 29 January 2017

Japanese Aircraft Online Model Contest 003 - Rene de Koning

Attached are my entries for the Civil Aviation competition.

Hasegawa 1/72 Mitsubishi Ki-15-1 Kamikaze and Asakaze
Platz 1/144 C-46 Commando, Everts Air Fuel and Everts Air Cargo

Rene de Koning - Melbourne, Australia

Wednesday 25 January 2017


More really cool T-shirt designs by OSABETTY'S are now available exclusively from our -on-line store!!!
Check HERE and email us for availability and total pricing:
Aichi M6A1 "Seiran"
& I-400 Submarine

Mitsubishi A6M3 "Zero-sen" 202ku

Nakajima B5N2 "Kate"

Nakajima Ki-43-I "Hayabusa" 64sentai

Aircraft carrier "Zuikaku"
& Mitsubishi A6M

Mitsubishi G4M1 Misawa ku

Kawanishi N1K2-J"Shiden-kai" 343ku

Kawanishi H8K "Emily"

Sunday 22 January 2017

Kawanishi H8K "Emily" 二式大艇 pt.2

A photo from FAOW# 49, p.50, featuring a Kawanishi H8K Model 12 belonging to the 801Ku in Kagoshima bay in South Kyushu with Sakurajima mountain in the background.
On the same and previous page are two photos of the same flying boat being shot down by a PB4Y. Fire is seen coming out from the two inner engines as the aircraft is trying to alight.    

Originally named "Yokohama Kokutai", the unit changed its name to 801Ku on November 1, 1942 patrolling the sea east of Yokohama. Became part of the 25 Koku Sentai and relocated to Rabaul patrolling the surrounding area. On May 18, 1943 became part of the 27 Koku Sentai and relocated to Paramushir joining the campaign against the Aleutians. At that time the unit was equipped with 16 flying boats. On February 3, 1944 seven flying boats relocated to Truk and for five days rescued aviation personnel from the Marshal islands. On February 12 two 801Ku flying boats together with one from the 802Ku raided Roi in Kwajalein atoll. On July 10 the 27th Koku Sentai became part of the 3rd Air Fleet and the 801Ku relocated to Yokohama patrolling the eastern sea towards Ogasawara islands. At that time the unit was reinforced with 24 recconnaisance seaplanes. 
On January 1st the unit became part of the Maritime Escort General Headquarters and it was reinforced again with eight reconnaissance seaplanes and 48 field attackers. On February 11 became part of the newly reorganized 5th Air Fleet. At that time all the flying boats were assigned to the Takuma Kokutai
The 801Ku was equipped with Kawanishi H6K "Mavis" from the beginning until August 1942 and with Kawanishi H8K "Emily" which became the unit's main flying boat after the October 1942 reorganization. The unit also had an attachment of Nakajima A6M2-N "Rufe" seaplane fighters as escorts in April 1942 in Rabaul but from January 1945 it was mainly equipped with Mitsubishi G4M "Betty" and Nakajima C6N "Saiun" (Myrt).
In August 1943 the unit used "U3-" for its tail marking but changed to "801-" from 1944.
As in the previous posting below is artwork created by our good friend Devlin Chouinard.

Friday 20 January 2017

Artist - Vladimir Martinicky (4)

Another beautiful painting by Mr. Vladimir Martinicky, this time a Mitsubishi A6M2b model 21 Zero, Zuikaku aircraft carrier.
Moc ďakujem.
Juan Carlos Castilla from Mexico City asked: I know that the full name of the Japanese fighter Mitsubishi A6M is rei-shiki kanjō sentōki but I was wondering, how would you say or pronounce Model 21 or Model 32, in Japanese?
Answer: Nijūichi Gata (Model 21), Sanjūni Gata (Model 32), Gojūni Gata (Model 52).
The word Model is translated as Gata, Type is Shiki.
Be careful to pronounce kanjō correctly with an English J, because kanchō means enema!

Sunday 15 January 2017

Japanese Aircraft Online Model Contest 003

ARAWASI would like to invite you to our 3rd online model contest.

Theme: Civilian Aviation
Submissions: Send as many photos as you like of your model and accompanying information to or At the very least please send: your name and country, model scale and kit maker. Your entry will be posted within 24 hours. You can enter the contest with more than one model in any scale.
If you decide to start a model for our contest you can send work-in-progress photos.
Voting: you can vote for each model from 1 to 5 either by leaving a comment on each entry or by sending an email to the above addresses. No anonymous votes will be taken into account (nicknames are ok). The model with the most points wins.
Deadline: March 1st  
Prizes: The winner (or winners) will receive a copy of the book "J-BIRD", here, free of any charge, courtesy of Arawasi.
The theme for the next online model contest is "Nakajima Ki-43 "Hayabusa" (Oscar)" and will start from March 15.

Friday 13 January 2017

Kawanishi H8K "Emily" 二式大艇 pt.1

While waiting for the brand new Hasegawa “Emily” kit we start this series of postings on the Kawanishi H8K “Emily” or Type 2 Flying Boat.  
There are not that many photos showing tail markings but first up is one from Vol.3 of “Japanese Military Aircraft Illustrated” by Bunrindo.
According to the caption this is a “Type 2 Model 11 flying boat (H8K1) being hoisted by a crane. The aircraft in this picture is No. 13 Type 2 flying-boat of the No. 802 Naval Flight Corps (ex-No. 14 N.F.C.) which was put into operations in the central Pacific and the south-east operation area. The No. 801 [?] Naval Flight Corps used the identifying marking N-1 from Hanuary [sic] to August 1943.”  
On November 1, 1942 the second 14Ku was renamed 802Ku and had Kawanishi H6K “Mavis” flying boats sent to Jaluit Atoll in the Marshal Islands and Nakajima A6M2-N seaplane fighters based in Shortland Island in the Solomons.
Apart from Jaluit, the flying boats operated from Makin Island and performed patrol and reconnaissance as well as night bombing missions against  the airfield, military facilities and anchored ships of Espiritu Santo and Kanton Island.
The first “Emily” started to arrive in January 1943 and by the summer of the same year they were the mainstay of the unit.
The seaplane fighter unit based in Shortland cooperated with seaplanes from the seaplane tender Kamikawa Maru and engaged in patrol and interception missions.
From March 18, 1943 the seaplane fighters joined the flying boats in Jaluit and continued with patrol and anti-submarine missions.
On September 21, 1943 the seaplane fighter unit with seven A6M2-Ns as well as the pilots and maintenance crew members were permanently attached to the 902Ku.
On January 29, 1944 the 802Ku relocated to Saipan and some flying boats to Truk from where they transported personnel and supplied the garrison in Maloelap atoll.
The unit was disbanded on April 1, 1944.
On November 1, 1942 the 802Ku was equipped with 16 flying boats and 12 seaplanes. A year later it had only 16 flying boats.

According to FAOW#49 which features the same photo, “Emily” number 13 of the 802Ku experienced fire in the engine(s) when taking off from Shortland in March 1943 and was carried to Rabaul on board the seaplane tender Akitsushima. On March 12, 1943 Akitsushima arrived in Jaluit atoll and left on June 6 carrying damaged flying boat(s?) and personnel, then made a stop to Shortland on June 10 and Rabaul on June 11 before arriving to Yokosuka on June 25.
The Wikipedia entry for Akitsushima has this photo of “N1-13”; obviously the above photo is a close-up of the one below. The Wikipedia photo caption mentions that it was taken in 1942 but obviously this is not correct since the 802Ku started receiving their first “Emily” from 1943.
Right after changing from 14Ku, the 802Ku used for its tail marking the letter “W-”. From January 1943 the marking changed to “N1-” and from September 1943 changed again to “Y4-”. Below is artwork created by our good friend Devlin Chouinard of the tail of this rather interesting “Emily”.

Tuesday 10 January 2017

Artist - Vladimir Martinicky (3)

The first 2017 painting by Mr. Vladimir Martinicky from Slovakia has for its subject an Aichi D3A-1 "Val", Zuikaku aircraft carrier.
Moc ďakujem.
Check HERE and HERE for more art by Mr. Martinicky.

Friday 6 January 2017

Model Art No. 950 & Kariki 117

As you are well aware by now this blog stays away from all things color and paint related (well...usually). But I'd like to give a big heads-up to a new publication by Model Art; their October 2016 issue, magazine number 950.
In the old issue #9 of our "Arawasi International" magazine, Apr-Jun 2008, we featured an article by Watanabe Ryoichi about the "Kaigunkokukiyo Toryo Shikibetsu Hyojun, Kariki 117 Bessatsu" (Paint Identification Standard for Naval Aircraft, Supplement to Provisional Regulation 117); in short "Kariki 117".
As Watanabe-san explained in the article:
"The IJNAF's Naval Air Headquarters stipulated the colours that were to become the standards for painting aircraft on November 26, 1938. Kariki 117 contains the colour samples that were produced at that time."
Here's the story of the "Kariki 117" as I know it.
Watanabe-san is probably the first to have discovered a copy of this invaluable document in the National Diet Library of Tokyo and Japanese Aircraft Paint Expert Owaki Katsushi was working on a publication with the "Kariki 117" as its centrepiece. Unfortunately, a "researcher" that calls himself "Summer" spilt the beans, as he often does, destroying efforts for serious research, obtained photocopies from the library and started selling photocopies (of the photocopies) around the world. Owaki-san was left with no other option but to release his copies of the "Kariki 117" online leaving his publication dream unfulfilled due to his very untimely passing a few years ago. His blog AFAIK is still online as a rather sad testament to his legacy.
Various Japanese aviation experts, with or without inverted commas, around the world, have been using the "Summer" photocopies of the photocopies of the "Kariki 117" as their main tool to offer expert advice on Japanese aircraft colors and that would have been the end of this story.
Well, Model Art went to the National Diet Library, was able to scan each individual color sample of the "Kariki 117" together with color chips from the "Nihon Toyoo Kogyokai" (Japanese Paint Industry) Color Chart, QP card 101 and color chips created by Hasegawa Ichiro and present all the colors useful for a Zero-sen model in their October 2016 issue, magazine number 950. And as if this was not enough, they also have a special section with paint samples of grays and greens by the various Tamiya, Mr. Color and GSI Creos Acrysion. Plus various details and amazing Zero models. 

I can't stress enough how useful, important and highly recommended Model Art #950 is.
It is available from our on-line store for only $US9 (postage not included). Check HERE for more In Print and Out-of-Print Model Art titles.
Or you can simply email us:

Tuesday 3 January 2017

Kyushu J7W "Shinden" Oh, my goddess! by DizzyFugu

Hasegawa 1:72 Kyushu J7W "Shinden"
2nd, resurrected (fictional) prototype,
based on the Aa megamisama!/Oh, my goddess! manga
"On a Wing and a Prayer", 1997
An old kit I hold pretty dear: because it was an accidental find (and never expected that such official merchandise existed at all!) and because I like (if not love) the manga where it comes from and in which the J7W has a brief appearance in one of the series' early stories.
I found this Hasegawa kit in a (long gone) specialized model kit shop for Japanese animation in Berlin, in a VERY dark shop corner - or did it find me?

The "paradigm" for this machine, which is supposed to be the (fictional) second Shinden prototype which had been buried before the American invasion and lost, stems from a special edition of Kosuke Fujishima's famous and very popular "Oh, my goddess" manga, a one-shot story during the first or second series of books called "On a Wing and a Prayer", published around 1997. In a nutshell, the machine "calls" from its hiding place, wanting to fly again (things bearing a spirit and animated nature are not uncommon in Japan), and finally it is re-assembled again by a group of tech academy students (the machine actually bears their club's colors) with some, err, divine help, and soars again through the sky.

The kit itself is the standard 1:72 Hasegawa scale model of the real WWII Shinden prototype, but the kit came with new water sliding decals and painting instructions for the manga aircraft.
The model was mostly built "out of the box", just some small details were added.

Actually, I was a bit surprised by the kit's colors. I knew the aircraft from the manga, but it's only B/W. In the manga, a "green fuselage" is mentioned, so I expected standard IJN colors with some white trim - but this turned out to be a kind of translation error which is actually none: later I found out that "green" and "blue" use the same word in Japanese, so the confusion was induced by the outsider's point of view. ;)
The color is still debatable, though (see below). Hasegawa recommends white and a dark petrol blue, which is a non-standard color and has to be mixed. Other weird color details include the brown propeller (O.K., it's IJN primer, but looks pretty weird in the overall combo!), the chromate green cockpit and the bright red landing gear insides... but since there are no other color references available (the manga is B/W) I stuck with Hasegawa's official instructions.
The tricky job was the painting process, though, with lots of white (*shudder*) and the very complicated blue contrast areas with hard and straight demarcation lines, which are especially hard to paint on the round fuselage, because of the air intake bulges. Everything was done with brushes and free-hand, I did not get it as good as I wanted to...
Another tricky part were the decals which are provided for some of the blue areas. While the idea of having some of the delicate shapes as a water decal at hand is nice, placing them without wrinkles and matching the blue color of the decals for the rest of the aircraft (e. g. the wings and some parts of the fuselage) was another daring task - you will certainly recognize some areas with color differences ;)
Anyway, overall it's a very good kit, and very decorative. But due to the delicate color scheme it's certainly nothing for beginners or those faint at heart!

As a side note: In the meantime (well, many years have passed since I built this one, must have been before 2002!), there's an 1:32 OOB offering of this specific bird from literature available, from Zoukei Moura. The manga still seems to have some die-hard fans, and the storyline was actually finished only a couple months ago, after roundabout 20 years! Interesting to see that Zoukei Moura chose a much brighter, less greenish blue for their model, and it differs in some other details from the much older Hasegawa kit, too, e. g. featuring a white canopy framing.