Thursday 31 March 2022

Nakajima Ki-43 "Hayabusa" - 33 & 59 Sentai pt.1

A number of quite interesting Nakajima Ki-43 "Hayabusa" photos were offered on ebay this week but they went too high for my badget.

The first photo features a "Hayabusa" belonging to the 3rd Chutai of the 33 Sentai, most probably in Hollandia, New Guinea. 

Top green but note the unpainted canopy. It could have a hidden-by-the-tarp number on the fuselage between the hinomaru and the tail.
Voytek Kubacki noticed that it's the same aircraft in the photos below.

Note in the photo below the 77 Sentai, 1 Chutai Model 2 Ko in the foreground. The white band right behind the fuselage hinomaru, probably indicates that it was flown by a hentai commander.

A close up of the tails and a comparison of the scratches, proves beyond and doubt that it is indeed the same plane.

The second photo, from a different set, features in the foreground another 3rd Chutai, 33 Sentai "Hayabusa" with the number "2" painted on the fuselage.

Of particular interest is the other "Hayabusa" in the background. Arawasi believes it belonged to the commander of the 3rd Chutai of the 59th Sentai, as indicated by the three yellow fuselage bands and the yellow tail marking. Since this photo was also taken in New Guinea, the unit had two (three) commanders during its time there: 1. Capt Mizoguchi Yuji who was shot down over Tsili Tsili airfield in August 1943 and bailed with his parachute. He was temporarily replaced by Lt Atarashi Tadanobu until 2. Capt Kobayashi Kenjiro took over command of the 3rd Chutai, from November 1943 until December 1944, during the time the unit fought in New Guinea. 
Quite unlikely that Mizoguchi's plane survived the crash and was brought by U.S. troops to an airfield, so the only other possibility is that it belonged to Kobayashi.
The chutai of the 59 had the unit tail marking painted in white for the 1st, red for the 2nd and yellow for the 3rd.

Voytek Kubacki noticed that in the Australia War Memorial, there is another photo of the same scrapyard with the same aircraft from a different angle. Notice the 248 Sentai "Hayabusa" on the left.
In this case the fuselage number looks more like an "8" but in the closeup of the photo further above looks to us more like a "2". Could be an "8" though.

 Three more photos from the same collection.
Note Kobayashi's fighter in the background.

Note the IFF stripe, not being straight but following the curve of the wing edge near the fuselage. A common mistake in illustrations and models.

Saturday 12 March 2022

Eduard A6M2b I-GO Sakusen by Jean Barby

Here is the very nice Eduard’s Zero in the markings of the Hiyo during the I-Go Sakusen operation in April 43. It is out of the box except for the markings made with my own masks.The model is pretty good but has some weak points. The undercarriage is tricky to instal and remains fragile. The cockpit must be built following the instructions, otherwise you‘ll be in trouble. Guess how I know! 

- Jean Barby -

Wednesday 2 March 2022

Tamiya 1/48 A6M3 Model 22 Ko by Woody Kubacki

The kit was painted with AK Real Color and Mr Color paints, and the Honomaru and fuselage stripes were hand masked. Oils and panel line washes were used to weather the model.  There are some errors (no arrestor hook and interior of canopy is painted the wrong colour), which I would like to remedy in a future build, but I am happy with how it turned out.

- Woody Kubacki -

An excellent model indeed. It's rare to see a properly weathered Zero where the red brown primer is seen under the top paint. Good job Woody!