Saturday 25 February 2023

Aichi M6A1 Seiran, 1/72 Tamiya by Andriy Kudelin

On the anniversary of Putin's war against Ukraine, we are happy to present an Aichi M6A1 "Seiran" model by our Ukrainian friend Andriy Kudelin. He explains:

The 1/72 model from Tamiya depicts a floatplane of the 631 Kokutai, circa June 1945.
The Eduard 72250 photoetched set was used. All identification markings, except for the fuselage data plate, were made with hand-cut masks, as they have incorrect dimensions in the decal.

Like other kits from Tamiya, this one assembles quite well, only a few weights were needed for putty, and the bottom of the center section of the fuselage did not fit perfectly. During the building proces,s I had to modify a number of details:
a) added missing parts in the cockpit,
b) machine gun converted to type 2,
c) very thick trailing edges of the wing, stabilizer and fuselage brought to scale thickness,
d) added missing trim tab on left aileron,
e) added rudder and elevator trim rods,
f) made a rectangular hole in the rudder and missing holes in the canopy,
g) an air outlet channel from the oil cooler was made and the radiator shutters were replaced,
h) added mooring rings on the floats and under the stabilizer,
i) the radio antenna mount was moved to the port side,
j) the bomb was redone and hung correctly, not as suggested in the kit (as it turned out, the Edward photo-etched fins from Eduard are a bit wrong),
k) the transport trolley has been slightly altered - a towing bracket has been added and the side deck boards have been sawn in two.

Painted overall with Gunze water-based acrylics. Bomb, propeller and markings with Arcus enamels, Tamiya X22 gloss varnish, art oil wash, Humbrol matt varnish.

- Andriy Kudelin -

Wednesday 15 February 2023

Quiz #1 - Answer

Thank you all for leaving comments and contributing to this quiz. It wasn't easy, right? It got me confused too.

First, let's start with what this aircraft is not.

Not a Kyushu K11W "Shiragiku"

Not a Manko MT1 "Hayabusa"

Not a Clark GA-43

Not a Junkers 160

So...what is it?

Erik Faustus (Nickname Fugaku) and Richard (HantsBirder) correctly identified the aircraft as a Hansa Reconnaissance Seaplane
Both correctly mentioned that it's a civilian version and "Fugaku" specified that it probably belonged to the Ando School. He also sent over photos from his collection with Ando Hansas.

Thank you very much, guys!
The particular Hansa in the ebay photo has a number of similarities that confirm that it is indeed a Hansa seaplane but also a number of details not found on any Hansa seaplanes of the Ando School.
Below is an original photo from the Arawasi collection of an Ando Hansa seaplane, taken from about the same angle as the ebay photo.

The similarities with the ebay plane are in red, the differences in blue.

Furthermore, none of the Ando Hansas has the anti-glare paint of the ebay plane, and the canopy of the ebay plane seems to reach too far forward, covering the pilot's cockpit area.

In my opinion, the seaplane featured in the ebay photo, is Hansa J-BBCI.
Photo credit: "J-BIRD" (here)

According to "J-BIRD" the seaplane was built by Aichi, c/n 81. It belonged to "Nihon Koku Yuso Kenkyujo", Sakai City, Ohama, in Osaka, and it received the sliding canopy cover on June 12, 1936.
Here's another close-up photo of J-BBCI from the Arawasi collection.
In the photo above, the anti-glare paint is also visible. 
As can be seen in both photos, the sliding canopy covered both the pilot and the passenger, unlike the Ando Hansas. 

Thanks again everybody for leaving a comment. I hope you enjoyed this quiz. More coming up!

Sunday 12 February 2023

Kawanishi E15K "Shiun" (Norm) in 1/72 by Andriy Kudelin pt. 2

This is the finished model.

Thank you very much, Andriy for finding the time to contribute to our blog during these very trying times for Ukraine. Stay safe! 

Kawanishi E15K "Shiun" (Norm) in 1/72 by Andriy Kudelin pt. 1

In general, there is very little information about this aircraft (I found only 10 wartime photos), which made it difficult to work on the model... Also, I found a few photos of a Shiun wreck near Palau and a YouTube video of a wreck at Truck lagoon, which added more info about this plane. And, of course, I looked at N1K1 Kyofu as it may have a lot in common with the Shiun.

The model is a short-run kit from RS Models, quite good quality, although there are some differences with what can be seen in the photos of the real E15K. 

The panel lines are rather thin and accurate, but sometimes they are blurry and too shallow, the surface of the plastic is a bit rough, so I polished it and rescribed all panel lines.
The trailing edges of the wing halves are very thick so I sanded down them before glueing them together. 

The central float has slightly warped halves, so I glued a piece of plastic in it to strengthen the seam and added a lead weight in the nose. 

But when I looked at Shiun and Kyofu photos I noticed, that the float stand of the model is too thick. So I glued a piece of plastic inside of it and sanded its sides from 5 mm to 2.8 mm of thickness - it looks more realistic to me.

Also, I corrected the shape of the stabilizing floats according to what could be seen in the photos of Shiun.

I added some details in the cockpit, 

transparent navigation lights on the wing and tail, 

and rebuilt the engine cowling (it seems to me that it is more cylindrical in plastic like in E13A, but I think it was more conical as I can see in photos or when I look at the cowling of N1K1 Kyofu). Added engine cylinder details - they can be seen in a narrow gap between the cowling and airscrew, but there is an empty place in the kit.
Some sources report, that unlike prototypes (which have exhaust collectors and two exhaust pipes underneath) serial aircraft have a newer engine model - Kasei 24, and individual exhaust pipes. You can notice the presence of individual exhausts in the video of the Truk lagoon wreck. So I made them similar to J2M3, which also has Kasei 20th series.

Also, I changed and corrected some other details according to what can be seen in the photos. To depict the Type 92 machine gun I slightly modified the brass Lewis Mk III from Mini World and chemically blackened it.

The model depicts the hypothetical appearance of one of the aircraft on the island of Arakabesan, with the markings painted on (except for a few technical inscriptions and tail numbers) because the kit decals have a very unrealistic bright red colour for the hinomaru.

AK and Arcus acrylics are used, as well as Revell and Arcus enamels. Traces of operation were kept to a minimum - it is unlikely that these aircraft during their short service managed to get significant paint damage and pollution.

- Andriy Kudelin, Ukraine -