Saturday 31 December 2022


2023, the year of the rabbit

The zodiac sign Rabbit "represents good year and patience in Chinese culture, which means that the Year of the Rabbit 2023 will offer us the tranquility and success we were missing in 2022. The impact of the rabbit will moderate those who are very reckless or have their heads in the clouds. Because of this, you can successfully carry out your ideas if you deliberate before acting."
"As rabbits live peacefully in groups, this symbol represents “well-being of a family”. It also represents “great progress in business” because of the way they leap forward."

So, yet another Covid year is behind us. Japan has currently a daily average of 300 deaths due to Covid but the event of the year in the country was the assassination of the former PM Abe. 
More horribly, this year, the Russian invasion of Ukraine is still ongoing with no end in the immediate future. Let's hope the Ukrainian people will show the same strength in 2023 and victory and peace to come quickly with the whole country back under the blue and yellow flag. SLAVA UKRAINI!

Unfortunately, no new Arawasi publications this year, but we manage to put something together for Osprey, due next May.
Don't expect a publication as good as our Eagle Eyes, though. We promise to give the bomber the attention it deserves some time in the future. 
Meanwhile, rest assured we didn't stay idle this year and new releases are forthcoming.

This blog did not do so well in 2023. We had very few contributions and there is a feeling that the interest is wavering. Regardless, we will persevere and hopefully, you will find something you like here in 2023 as well. 
Our FB page is doing great though. So perhaps you prefer this medium? 

As always, a HUGE "thank you" to our good friends:
Sinang Aribowo, James Boyd, Devlin Chouinard, Jan Kaňov, Danilo Renzulli, Zygmunt Szeremeta and Eric Vogel. AND JEAN BARBY!!!!

All the best for the new year to everybody out there.

Wednesday 28 December 2022

Heads Up! - Mitsubishi Ki-21 Model 1 Ko from ICM

ICM announced that the Mitsubishi Ki-21-1a or Model 1 Ko in 1/72, is forthcoming!!!
The box cover depicts the very first pre-production aircraft built by Mitsubishi, when it served with the 60th Sentai in the China front. Not in Manchuria, as Thorpe has captioned all the 60 Sentai photos in his book. The 60th Sentai never served in Manchuria. As we first showed in our book, the particular paint scheme was not a "pattern" for the "Sallys" as Thorpe had suggested, but only the first 2-3 pre-production Ki-21s were painted this way by Mitsubishi. Soon after these first few camouflaged examples, Mitsubishi and Nakajima started producing "Sallys" in overall hairyokushoku. These were sometimes, but not always, camouflaged at the unit level. Most remained in overall hairyokushoku.
Photographic evidence we obtained after the publication of our book, confirms that this particular aircraft did not have any fuselage windows whatsoever! There were no windows on the port, starboard, or ventral positions, and therefore no gunners. This changed when the Model 1 Ko went into full production, and windows were added on the starboard side and in the ventral position. No side gunners were included though.
Nine Nakajima-built Model 1 Kos were delivered to the RTAF, so hopefully, this new kit will include appropriate decals with roundels and elephants in red squares. 
I also hope the kit will include decals for civilian M-21 "Sallys".

Monday 12 December 2022

ICM Mitsubishi Ki-21 "Sally" in 1/72 by George Eleftheriou - W.I.P. pt.1

ICM very kindly presented Arawasi with their wonderful brand new "Sally" kit and I'm going to build it Out-Of-The-Box. Really happy with their present and can't thank them enough.
The box I received included, apart from the kit, a set of ICM paints for it. Great surprise and can't wait to try them out.

The instruction sheet.

Here we go. Very clear instructions and the parts fit quite nicely. 
Some imperfections were quickly fixed with drops of Mr Surfacer 500. 

The side windows must be masked inside and out before any paint is applied. Hmmm...

16/12 Update:
Made quite some progress and finished, give or take, the cockpit and the starboard side of the fuselage.
There are some tinny tiny parts like D5, D45 and D11 I'm not sure I understand the point of having them separately and asking the modeller to handle and glue them. They would make sense in a 1/48 kit but in 1/72 I think they are unnecessarily complicated challenges. Same with the fuselage interior side wall and the tail. What's the point of including these parts separately?
I appreciate the inclusion of the seat pillow for the pilots but the back pillow should also have been included. And it would have been much better to include seatbelts too.  

There are issues if you follow the instruction to the letter and, once done, then paint the whole interior before closing the two halves. Step 2 needs you to attach decals, which means you cannot paint this part afterwards. And there are a bunch of windows in the rear of the fuselage that will need to be masked first if the interior is to be painted.
So, best to paint the interior at this stage and then attach smaller "movable" parts like the windows, the bomber's aim or the machine gun spare magazines.

20/12 Update:
Okay, "short" update today.
I finished the base colour for the fuselage interior. I decided to use the Vallejo paint you recommended. This time I used AK11900, which according to the bottle, is " BRAND NEW FORMULA 3rd GENERATION"...that "beats any other acrylic type paint". 
I've been struggling the past few days with the damn thing and I had to spend quite some time I'll never get back, disassembling and cleaning three different clogged airbrushes about a dozen times. I always got "spider webs" and...yes, I know, maybe it needed more or less thinner, different pressure settings for the compressor or different size needles or maybe I didn't shake the bottle enough or too much or maybe it's because I didn't use a "retarder". OR maybe I should have used my good old MrColor paint instead! How about that!
In the end, it came out not bad at all and I like the colour hue but this is the very last time I'm buying Vallejo paints. I'll try to use what I've already bought but never again. Modelling is supposed to be fun and this exercise definitely wasn't. I know many of you guys love Vallejo, you're used to them and can achieve great results. Good for you but for me, no thank you. For a novice modeller like me, Vallejo is too fastidious and finicky for my tastes with too many parameters that could go wrong. So, I'll stick to Tamiya and MrColor I know and trust. I'll try mixes of MrColor H-54 and Tamiya XF-50 to bring them closer to the Vallejo hue and we'll see about the results.