Saturday 30 September 2023

Destroyed IJAAF aircraft - video pt.4

The last part of the "Showakan" video features Japanese aircraft getting destroyed by fire at Kumagaya airfield.

The stills.

Thursday 28 September 2023

Destroyed IJAAF aircraft - video pt.3

Part #3. Mostly gliders but a few very interesting aircraft types as well.

And the stills.

In the first, we can see some Tachikawa Ki-54 transports of the 105 Kyoiku Hiko Rentai (24 Rensei Hikotai), The rear of a Nakajima Ki-49 "Donryu", the front of a Tachikawa Ki-55 trainer and a quite interesting closeup of the engine machine gun area of a Nakajima Ki-43 "Hayabusa" Model 3.

In this still, apart from the glider in the foreground and the wrecked Tachikawa Ki-9 "Akatonbo" on the right, the most interesting aircraft is hidden in the background. 
This one.

It's the extremely rare Mitsubishi "Hato-gata" (Pigeon-type), only one example of which was ever produced. 

The gliders are all, what the Japanese called, "secondary". I could not identify the type beyond any doubt. Probably "Kirigamine".

Tuesday 26 September 2023

Destroyed IJAAF aircraft - video pt.2

Part #2. There are many more aircraft types, all very interesting.  

Here are the stills.

In the first, below, we can see the tail of a Ki-109 on the left and another next to it. The camouflaged "Ida" in the middle is a Ki-36 Direct Cooperation (if it was a Ki-55 it would have a black cowling) with a mysterious tail marking; more about it below.
On the right, is a Tachikawa Ki-54, most probably a Model Hei transport.
The tail marking of the Ki-54 is tiny but there is no doubt that the aircraft belonged to a "kokuki join yoseijo" (aircraft crew training school) and looked like that:
The tail behind the "Hickory" most probably belonged to the Nakajima Ki-49 "Donryu" (Hellen) we see on the right of the still below. 
There are many Ki-55s and Ki-36s as well as "Hayabusa" fighters in the background but the tail marking of the aircraft on the right indicates that it was flown by the Hamamatsu Bomber School.
I'm not sure about the type. My best guess is that it's a Kawasaki Ki-48 "Lily" but rather unlikely that Hamako (the nickname of the bomber school) had a "Lily" in its inventory.

In the stills below, US personnel torture a "Hayabusa" trying to remove its tires before moving it to a pile to get destroyed. Why they don't remove the tires after they bring the aircraft to the burning area, is beyond me. Probably they're just having fun and the whole thing is staged for the camera.
Anyway, the "Hayabusa" is a Model 3, in overall brown and note the anti-glare panel covering the air intake of the cowling.  
In the still below the tail markings of two aircraft can clearly be seen on the left side behind the "Oscar".
The big one with the white marking is a Mitsubishi Ki-21 "Sally" flown by the 105 Kyoiku Hiko Rentai (105 Training Flight Regiment), which in the last year of the war had changed its name to 24 Rensei Hikotai.  
The other marking is painted on the tail of a Tachikawa Ki-36 (probably). It's the same on the tail of the camouflaged "Ida" of the first still, and it looked like that:
A circle with a propeller in the middle. The unit, AFAIK, has not been identified. 

More aircraft getting abused...the one behind the "Hayabusa" with the tail up in the air, is another Hamamatsu aircraft that looks like a Mitsubishi Ki-51 "Sonia". but I could be wrong. Any ideas?

More "Hayabusa" in the still below, but the most interesting aircraft is the "Chokyo" (Ki-36) with the civilian registration in the background. It's most probably J-BARE but it's not included in the "J-BIRD" book. 

In the still below, we can see the fore section, minus the engine, of a Ki-55 trainer in the foreground, a brown Model 2 Otsu "Hayabusa" and another camouflaged "Oscar"; I'm confident I've seen this tail marking before but at the moment it eludes me. Leave a comment if you have any ideas.   

Saturday 23 September 2023

Destroyed IJAAF aircraft - video pt.1

This is part one of a b/w NARA video, spotted in the "Showakan Digital Archive" by "Shu". 
It's a long video and due to blogger video size limitations, it will be presented in small parts.

The beginning of the video features a farrago (new word I learned today) of Japanese Army aircraft getting burned in Kumagaya airfield.
The one in the background on the left with the "snake pattern" camouflage is a Mitsubishi Ki-109 Interceptor with the huge 75mm Type 88 Cannon. 
It's this aircraft (photo from Wikipedia)
According to Japanese sources, it's the first prototype with dorsal turret and fuselage blisters. The video confirms the absence of any form of tail marking but frustratingly, the dorsal turret is not visible.

In the foreground on the right of the above still, is another Ki-109 and at least one of the burning aircraft is a Tachikawa Ki-54 "Hickory". 

Thursday 14 September 2023

Nakajima Ki-84 "Hayate" by Jean Barby

Hot off the press, here is my rendition of a Ki-84 from the 10th fighter Training Hikotai based in Kita-Ise, in August 1945. The Hasegawa kit has been improved with the SBS cockpit set, the model has been riveted and all markings were made using homemade masks. I have used the Life-decals 48-031 as a pattern for the white tail markings. As there is no picture of the complete aircraft, I let the spinner in light green like the propeller. The figurines are from Sol. I am now finished with the updates of my Japanese models. 

- Jean Barby -

Wednesday 6 September 2023

Mitsubishi F1M2 "Pete" by Jean Barby

Here are some pics of my latest build which depicts a "Pete" from the 958Ku. I was inspired by the pic on page 97 of Pacific Profiles Vol 8 from J. Claringbould and all markings were done with masks. This Kokutai created in Dec 42 went to fight hard in the Southern seas with heavy losses of both planes and crews, until it was transferred back to Rabaul where it remained until the end. The very nice Hasegawa kit in 1/48 is OOB, I only did the riveting.

- Jean Barby -

Monday 4 September 2023

IJAAF Bomber Cockpit(s)

"Patrick" and Kevin Bade noticed that my identification of the cockpit views in the latest video, here, was a bit fishy. Let's see...

Patrick noticed that the control columns, a.k.a. yokes, were "linked by a horizontal bar". 
Based on the position of the windows too close to the cockpit, I identified this cockpit as belonging to a Mitsubishi Ki-67 "Hiryu" (Peggy). Let's try to see if this is correct; all photos from "Japanese Aircraft Interiors" by Robert Mikesh. 

It's not a Mitsubishi G4M "Betty"

Definitely not a Kawasaki Ki-48 "Lily"

How about a Mitsubishi Ki-21 "Sally"
The control columns in the "Sally" were not connected with a horizontal bar. Such a bar would be in the way when the co-pilot moved to the nose to take his position as bombardier.

A "Peggy" perhaps?
Unlikely, since the yokes look quite different from the ones in the video and there is no tunnel on the starboard side. 

How about....a Tachikawa Ki-74 "Patsy"??!! That would be so cool!
Unfortunately, no. There is the tunnel on the starboard side but the co-pilot didn't sit next to the main pilot of the bomber; he sat behind him.

So. Could it be a Nakajima Ki-49 "Donryu" (Hellen)?
Mikesh has no photos or illustrations of a "Hellen" cockpit and no known Japanese publication features one either. But issue #9 of our magazine, Apr-June 2009, which was a short special on the "Hellen", included a rough illustration of the bomber cockpit based on a Koku Fan drawing.
You can see the control columns connected by a bar and you can also see how close to the cockpit the nose windows are depicted. 
I believe Patrick and Kevin are correct and the video in the beginning is featuring a "Hellen" cockpit indeed. There are no known photos of this bomber's cockpit, so, this makes it even more rare!
Good eye guys!

How about the rear of the cockpit?
As Kevin correctly noticed "looks like Helen fuselage by squarish framing, observation bubble offset to port. Both Ki-21 &Ki-67 are circular in shape."
I would add the dorsal gunner's position seen further in the back of the fuselage that confirms that it's neither a "Peggy" nor a "Sally".

But then the video, shows a different cockpit.
Kevin identified this as belonging to the "Peggy" and comparing it with the Mikesh photo above, I agree with him.

Thank you guys for the most satisfying challenge.