Thursday 31 May 2018

Japanese Aircraft Online Model Contest 008 - BILL WECKEL #1

This is Hasegawa’s great 1/32 Scale Nakajima Ki-84 Hayate kit. It’s a simple and well-engineered kit that builds easily. Mine is out-of-the-box with masked and painted markings for an aircraft of the 29th Sentai operating from Formosa in 1944–45. I used Tamiya rattle cans for the natural metal finish.
- Bill Weckel -

Tuesday 29 May 2018


Title: HIEN SHUFUKU NO KIROKU - Model II Kai Shisaku 17GoKi no Aratanaru Hakken ("Hien" Restoration Record - New Discoveries of the Model II Kai 17th Experimental Aircraft)
Published by: Model Art, April 2108 pb, in-print
Pages: 148, Size: 21X30cm, Photos: 400+ in color, about a dozen b/w
An extremely luxurious publication by Model Art I got in the Shizuoka Show. I can say without reservation it is one of the best publications ever on a Japanese aircraft considering the quality of the color photos, the incredibly detailed presentation and the quality of the publication itself (paper quality and overall lay-out). This is a publication that details the restoration efforts of Kawasaki to restore the Experimental "Hien" No.17, a Model II Kai. This first release focuses on the fuselage only while another one on the engine is to follow, (and probably a third on the landing gear and other details). The publication is all in color with hundreds of high-quality color photos (stopped counting at 250 in the middle of the book) detailing every nook and crany of the aircraft and the effort to restore it. Plus many CG illustrations showing various details, plus a multi-view detailed spread-out drawing in 1/48, plus photos of color chips placed next to remaining color and more. 
The whole publication looks a lot more like a motorbike restoration or build-up presentation than a simple plane book on the "Hien".
ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL if you want to seriously super detail your "Tony" or if you're building in big scales or for RC models. The only draw-back is that it's all in Japanese but the price of about $US20 is ridiculously low for such a beautiful publication.
A HUGE BRAVO to Model Art!!!
The book is available from our on-line store, HERE.

Saturday 26 May 2018


Title: Famous Airplanes of the World #184 - Type 2 Flying Boat
Authors: Ebi Hiroshi, Torikai Tsuruo, Ishimaru Kanji
Artwork: Ninomiya Shigeki, Suzuki Yukio
Published by: Bunrindo, May 2108 pb, in-print
Pages: 88, Size: 18X26cm Photos: 141 (35 in color)
Very happy to see another Japanese aviation subject in the FAOW series and I love the many clear color photos of the sole surviving "Emily", especially those of the interior but that's the only good thing I can say about this new FAOW.
This is not the first FAOW on the "Emily". The previous one, FAOW #49 was long out-of-print.
Title: Famous Airplanes of the World #49 - Type 2 Flying Boat
Author/artwork: Nohara Shigeru
Published by: Bunrindo, 1994 pb, out-of-print
Pages: 88, Size: 18X26cm Photos: 149 (21 in color)
So naturally I will compare the two publications. Starting with the artwork, Nohara's is much much better, especially the spread-out which is no longer there in the new FAOW. Although I appreciate the side view of the "Emily" prototype the artwork of #184 looks too digitized and unrealistic, especially the planes with the green camo. I suspect something went wrong with the printing process.
Photos. As mentioned above the color photos of #184 are superior and much more detailed. Very helpful to modelers who want to detail the interior of their new Hasegawa "Emily". Although the AeroDetail #31 on the "Emily" has many more color photos of the restored "Emily", I find the #184 color photos of much better quality. A combination of the two would be the best.
Vintage photos. #49 had 63 wartime "Emily" photos, #184 has only 41. So obviously some are missing. Furthermore the quality of some is much worse in the new book than the older, with noise here and there. And to make matters really frustrating, the full page clear photos of #49 have been substituted by long articles (in Japanese ofcourse) entitled: "development and use of the aircraft systems", "flying boats in comparison", "from "Emily" to the Shinmaywa US-2", "Japanese Navy flying boats in action", "technical problems of flying boats and the evaluation of US Navy". The main source for the last one was an article written by Robert Mikesh which appeared in the September 1965 "Koku Fan" issue. And actually this new FAOW looks more like a collection of magazine articles than a proper FAOW.
FAOW#136 on the "Pete" was really amazing, this one is simply...meeh. Get it if you can't find the old one but you don't need it if you have Aero Detail #31 (which is available from our on-line store, here).
Disappointing, Bunrindo!    

Wednesday 23 May 2018

East of England Show - Hinckley

We had an invitation to put on a display of scale models at the East of England show. JASIG had four tables at the Hinckley show on May 20. Richard Brooker, Mike Starmer, Johathan Stilwell and I contributed models for the table. It was good to see other SIG members who were there, Malcolm Barratt, Julian Dixon and Glenn Wilson.
Hinckley is a good show and their new venue is light and airy and it was a pleasure to have attended.
- Gary Wenko - 

One of the clubs put on a really nice display of models with a Japanese maritime theme with participation by two JASIG members, Glenn Wilson and Jonathan Stilwell. I thought I would share photos of their models too.


Monday 21 May 2018

Shizuoka 2018 pt.8

In this last set note the U-Boat in 1/48 with all her sides clear to show the interior details and also the absolutely amazingly bonkers idea of having two of the same ships glued up-down (I so much want to build one too!!!).