Tuesday, 6 February 2018

AviS 1/72 Ki-10-I

With the imminent re-release of the AviS 1/72 kit of the Kawasaki Ki-10-I 'Perry' aficianado Ken Glass has kindly shared some observations about it, enhanced by images of a very finely finished example made by Alexey Klyuyev and shown here with his kind permission via Dmitry Korolkov and Alexander Sibirev. Alexey's full build article can be found here complete with nice clear sprue frame images, and there are other examples of his aircraft modelling skills here.

Ken writes: "I doubt that there has been any change to the original AviS tooling.  In March 2016 I made a basic comparison of the three 1/72 kits - AviS, ICM & Aviation Usk (AvUsk - later Xotic-72).  That effort was not really a kit review.  The AviS is arguably a best of three.  It looks most like a Ki-10 of the three when built up and has the characteristic down slope from the cockpit opening forward & aft which the ICM & AvUsk kits lack.  The AviS kit matches exactly the 1/72 Ki-10-I variant drawings in the 2007 Tenzan Publications monograph on the type by Tadeusz Januszewski and Zygmunt Szeremeta. 

"I now have an AviS kit fully prepared for pre-painting prior to assembly.  It has no major issues, but is definitely a limited run kit. Each part must be worked at the mating lands, to smooth and flatten them. The external surfaces of all parts will benefit from a light rubbing down with a very worn foam backed sanding pad or similar flexible abrasive film.  Some fine builds feature removal of the relief moulded slats at the radiator intake face and replacement with individual slats from strip stock. There is a span-wise raised line across the top and bottom surfaces of the lower wing, that is most likely  meant to represent the rear spar.  Both lower wing spars show up in the skeletal drawings in the Tenzan monograph, but those spar lines are not apparent in photos.  I recommend sanding them off as I plan to do for both the AviS and ICM kits.

"The kit has no locating pins.  That should not pose a problem and fuselage halves mate nicely with only a rubber band to hold them.  The locations for strut end placements are indicated by small indentations on the underside of the top wing, top of the lower wings & forward fuselage for the cabane strut lower ends. There are no placement marks for the landing gear struts. Since the AviS kit appears derivative from the ICM mouldings I suspect the strut lengths of the AviS kit may need adjustment as do those of the ICM kit.  I feel sure an AviS kit build would benefit from use of a jig for its wing placement.

"The carburetor intake trough should be drilled out at the intake face as it will show on the finished model.  The exhaust ports and cover strip depiction is a best in scale although the small indentations of the exhaust stubs would benefit from being drilling out.  The balloon tire option of the box art image is catered for.  There is no aftermarket photo-etch fret for the kit, but that included with the AvUsk kit can be adapted, the most important part being its instrument panel.  The box art shows placement for most of the flying wires, which are not provided in the kit.  Suitable photo-etch fret flying wires are available from Steelwork Models, run by Uwe Borcher in Berlin.  The modeler will have to provide the ‘broom handle’ stabilizers that ‘ride’ within the ‘X’ where the wing flying wires cross.  The cockpit has molded-in side wall detail, which appears a little soft.  Super detailers may want to remove those raised indications and replicate it using the 1/48 Fine Molds  kit as a guide.  But I think most modelers will be more than satisfied w/ cockpit internals as provided.  The windscreen treatment is the same as with the ICM kit - a small flat sheet of acetate, just like that provided for instrument panels, but with a printed outline of the framing.  It must be cut out, folded and affixed, probably with super glue.

"There are three markings options in the kit, the first being that of the box art and first Ki-10 ace Lt Kosuke Kawahara.  The katakana character 'ha' ハ for the rudder and three vertical rear fuselage bands are printed in red, which until recently I considered to be an error.  Since the April 1969 AirReview magazine Ki-10 article they have usually been shown as orange.  But the recent re-boxing of the ICM kit by Hasegawa also resorted to all red markings for Kawahara's aircraft. Even the spinner is shown as red in the AviS box art image but I have no doubt that at least is in error, as a red spinner denoted the 3rd Chutai of the 2nd Daitai - the former 9th Independent Flying Squadron.

"The second option is for Capt Tateo Kato, again with all red personal markings including the katakana rudder character 'ka' カ, except for white victory claim 'wing' markings. Kato's markings should be all orange, including the 'wing' victory markings, except for the 1st Chutai small red eagle.  The spinner caps for all three options should be orange, the 1st Chutai colour since some time at Tianjin, China during August and September 1937.  I speculate that prior to August the spinner cap colour and rudder katakana character could have been the Kelly green colour of the 4th Chutai of the 5th Rentai, from which the 2nd Daitai was formed in mid-July 1937.  If 2nd Daitai's 1st Chutai did use a Kelly green spinner cap colour then it did so for only a month or so at most.  

"Although not identified as such in the kit instructions the 3rd markings option, with white katakana character 'ta'タon the rudder is the aircraft of Sgt Maj Renpei Tanaka, (Ed. as Alexey's model depicts) one of the 2nd Daitai/64th Sentai top pilots, who had quite a career, if not a victory claim score.  He was there as wing man to many of the top scorers and in due course selected by 2nd Daitai-cho Maj Tamiya Teranishi to be his wing man."

With special thanks to Ken for providing these notes about the kit and to Alexey, Dmitry and Alexander for the images of Alexey's excellent model. The combination of both should prove useful to anyone embarking on a build of this kit or any other Ki-10 project.

Airframe Colours 

The Ki-10 was finished according to the 1936 IJAAF requirements. External fuselage surfaces were finished with a primer coat of # 3 Hai Ran Shoku (ash indigo colour - grey[ish] [dark] blue) paint for light metals, followed by an intermediate coat of # 17 Tan Sei Shoku (pale blue colour but in appearance a light blue-grey) and then an overall top coat of # 1 Hai Ryoku Shoku (ash green colour - grey-green) The latter two coats were carefully sanded and polished to achieve a smooth surface. The wings were clear doped and the # 1 grey green colour applied. Photographs reveal no apparent difference between the appearance of the painted and doped parts of the airframe although one or two show an overall finish which appears distinctly darker than the grey green. The interior was finished in a single coat of the # 3 colour without the need for first applying a clear coating to the metal which had previously been specified. 

There is no close match to the # 3 colour in FS 595. The colour is more greyish than FS 35045 but more blueish than FS 36076. In Methuen it is around 21 F 3-4 - dark blueish grey/dark blue. RAL 5008 Graublau is a little darker and RAL 7026 Granitgrau a little too greyish and not quite blue enough. Humbrol 77 Matt Navy Blue is ok as an approximate match. Revell 69 Granite Grey (which is equivalent to RAL 7026) is a good basis for the colour, but needs lightening slightly and a dab of blue. Vallejo Model Color 816 Luftwaffe Uniform WWII is matched to RAL 5008 whilst their 964 ‘Field Blue’ is lighter and perhaps more suitable for such small scale interiors.

Image credits: Box art © 2018 AviS via Alexey Klyuyev; all model photographs © 2018 Alexey Klyuyev

Saturday, 3 February 2018

Imminent & Missed New Releases in 1/72 ~ Aircraft Kits

Due in March is Tamiya's new tool Kawasaki Ki-61-I Tei with two markings options for 244th Sentai commander Kobayashi's '24' and an aircraft of 19 Hiko Sentai.  About £8.50 direct from Japan - and probably a lot more if you buy it in the UK.  

Also due in March RS Models Nakajima Ki-67 with a couple of 'what-if' options, one more probable than the other. About £16 (€22) direct from RS. A Ki-67-II is also forthcoming. Both kits have splendid box art.  

Due this month is AviS Ki-10-I. Not sure if this is a straight re-issue of their previously released limited run kit or incorporates any improvements/changes. About £13.50 direct from Japan. 

Also due this month is a re-issue of the neat resin Platz Ki-78 Kensan with a "Girls und Panzer" anime makeover. But pricey at about £45 direct from Japan. The real Ki-78 in two guises can be also be made from the kit and decals are by Cartograf.  

I missed this Hasegawa re-release of their Mitsubishi G4M2 as a Philippines campaign Limited Edition kit. It was out last month and already showing as 'Backordered' at HLJ. About £17.50 direct from Japan but around £40 in the UK (if you can find one).  

Same deal with the Hasegawa S2F-1 (S-2A) Tracker in JMSDF guise also released last month. About £14.45 direct from Japan and £35 in UK. 

The Brengun Yokosuka MXY7 Model 11 Ohka was due out at the end of January but still showing as 'Order Stop' at HLJ. About £10 from Japan. This kit is all plastic with an injected moulded canopy, trestle stand and decals for three options. An obvious partnership arises!

AZ Models Nakajima Type 91 in Kwangsi Air Force guise is also due and 'Order Stop'. About £15 from Japan and £12 in UK.

If I've missed any other important Japanese aircraft kits in 1/72 please drop me a line to let me know, thanks!

Image credits: All box art © 2018 Tamiya, RS Models, AviS, Platz, Hasegawa, Brengun & AZ Models via HobbyLink Japan

Wednesday, 31 January 2018

John Haas' 1/48 Ki-78 Project ~ Part Three

In the third part of his 1/48 scale Ki-78 scratchbuilding project, with the basic structure now completed, John found that adding the small details took just as long as crafting the larger pieces. He started by constructing the interior of the wheel wells, improvising as no clear photographs of them were available.  The interior colour of the wheel wells and covers seemed to be rather dark, so John chose a medium green. 

Next the cockpit interior, again no photographs to work from, so John had to create everything with just a nod towards the cockpit of the Ki-61. 

For the undercarriage John thought he might be able to find suitable parts from the spares department, but alas, nothing was usable - everything was sold out! So the struts were handmade from spruce,  including the tiny scissors. He had more luck with the wheels, which came from an old Tamiya 1/50 scale Ki-100. Very old indeed! And the Ki-100's prop blades proved to be spot on too!

So far so good. In the next part John will be the fabricating the exhausts, and the last important hurdle - the fitting of the canopy. That is a tricky business, where it is quite easy to remove too much material and then have to start all over again. Until next time . . . 

(Parts One and Two of John's Ki-78 project may be found here and here).

Image credits: All photos © 2018 John Haas

Monday, 22 January 2018

Another Emily!

Another fine and beautifully displayed model of 'Emily', this time crafted from the Arii Microace (ex-LS) kit in 1/144 scale. The model was built by Alexander Sibirev (whose G10N Fugaku featured here last September), photographed by Pavel Bruk and shared with Aviation of Japan via the kindness of Dmitry Koralkov.

The model represents a Kawanishi H8K2 Type 2 Flying boat, Model 12 (early version) of 802 Ku, s/n 426, tail code 'N1-26' at Shortland island in 1943. Dai 802 Kaigun Kokutai was re-organised from Dai 14 Kaigun Kokutai in November 1942 and used the tail code 'N1' from January to September 1943.

The model was painted with Vallejo Model Air acrylics using 71.134 IJA Midouri Green (sic) for the dark green upper surfaces, with 71.050 Light Gray (FS 36375/RAL 7040) for the under surfaces and 71.080 Rust (FS 30166) for the props. Despite the smaller scale the model is approximately 19.5 cm (7.7 inches) long, with a wingspan of  26.4 cm (10.4 inches). 

With special thanks to Dmitry, Alexander and Pavel for sharing these images of Alexander's excellent model with Aviation of Japan.

Image credits: All model photos © 2018 Alexander Sibirev & Pavel Bruk via Dmitry Korolkov; Box art © 1994 Arii Microace & © 1980 LS 


Sunday, 21 January 2018

Hasegawa New Tool Emily in 1/72 by Stewart Nunn

Stewart Nunn has very kindly shared these images and details of his excellent build of the Hasegawa new tool Kawanishi H8K Type 2 Model 12 Flying Boat 'Emily' - that "tough old bird".  

Stewart built the kit almost entirely out of the box and found that it is beautifully moulded and engineered. The kit includes a choice of bombs or torpedoes, a complete and beautifully sculpted, multi-part, crew of 12 – most of whom will never be seen again once the model is completed - and canopy masks for the main glazing. Stewart used an Eduard masking set for the fuselage windows which are not included in the kit's masking set.

Stewart had no significant problems in construction and those small problems he did encounter were mostly down to him and his unfamiliarity with building such large models. Some clever engineering reduced the stress factor a bit, such as double spars moulded integrally with the fuselage bulkheads onto which each wing fits, which allows them to be removed for storage, and Hasegawa's usual poly-caps to retain the propellers without the need for glue, which made masking and painting easier too.

The undersides were painted in Alclad Semi-matt Aluminum with the doped fabric sections represented using Citadel Runefang Steel. The uppersurfaces were finished in Colourcoats ACJ01 IJN D1 Deep Green Black, with the doped fabric surfaces painted using the same colour mixed with a little ACJ18 IJN Interior Olive Green. The floats were rigged using Infini Lycra thread (white, 110 denier) and the R/T aerial wires with Infini's white 70 denier thread as he wanted the float bracing wires to look beefier than the R/T wire.

The kit decal sheet was used to represent the third option provided in the kit, an aircraft coded '86' of the 801st Flying Group. The decals seem quite thick but a review advised that they were perfectly usable. Stewart found that they worked very well after a few coats of Mr Mark Decal Softener despite the large area of carrier film between the printed lines of the wing walkways. He had a couple of issues with the leading edge orange-yellow IFF strips, and that was the one thing that with hindsight he would have done differently – instead spraying them on and masking prior to applying the main colours – but in the end he felt that they didn't look bad.

Stewart says that all in all it was one of the nicest kits he ever built and certainly the nicest large aircraft kit he has ever built, and he was very pleased with the end result. He should be!  

Dai 801 Kaigun Kokutai (801st Ku) was established in November 1942 from a cadre drawn from the Yokosuka Ku to conduct maritime patrols from Yokosuka over the Eastern waters of Japan. The aircraft originally utilised was the Kawanishi H6K Type 97 Flying Boat 'Mavis'  (Kyu-nana Shiki Hikoh-tei - 九七式飛行挺) with the tail code 'U3' but the unit was later re-equipped with The Kawanishi H8K Type 2 Flying Boat 'Emily'  (Ni Shiki Hikoh-tei - 二式飛行挺), the subject of the Hasegawa kit. After participating in the Aleutians campaign the 801st returned to Japan, based at Yokohama. In November 1944 the unit adopted the tail code '801' and was expanded to include the Saiun reconnaissance aircraft, Zuiun reconnaissance seaplane and Mitsubishi G4M2 'Betty'. The H8K flying boats then operated as Dai 3 Kaigun Hikotai with the Zuiun seaplanes. The flying boats participated in the Okinawa campaign conducting long range maritime surveillance patrols and a variety of supporting duties.  

The other decal options included in the kit are for an aircraft of the Takuma Ku with tail code 'T-31' and an aircraft of 802nd Ku with tail code 'N1-26'. The kit was subsequently re-issued as the Model 11 variant (shown below) with markings options for an 802nd Ku aircraft with tail code 'N1-13' and a 14th Ku (later 802nd Ku) aircraft with tail code 'W-47'.

With special thanks to Stewart for sharing these images and details of the build with Aviation of Japan.

Image credits: All model photos © 2018 Stewart Nunn; Box art © 2017 Hasegawa Corporation via Hobby Search




Sunday, 31 December 2017

John Haas' 1/48 Ki-78 Project ~ Part Two

In the second part of the 1/48 scale Ki-78 scratchbuilding project, John has assembled the fuselage (above) with some difficulty due to the thin and flimsy edges of the vacformed parts, requiring a lot of additional support using thin strips on the inner sides. These can be seen in the wheel wells (below). John then added the fin and rudder, crafted from thick plastic sheet.

Construction of the wings proceeded quite smoothly. John made four wing spars and after some careful filing and sanding the two halves matched each other. The trickiest stage of assembly was to mate the wings to the fuselage and John followed a construction method often used with mainstream kits of fixing the lower wing first and then adding each top wing separately.

Next the distinctive fuselage radiators were crafted using the process Frank Mitchell calls "heat and smash". John made a plastic master form and heated plastic sheet on the electric oven to produce two radiators.  

And there we are. The model at this stage begins to look like a Ki-78 but there is still a lot of work to do! As the last hours of 2017 tick away the project will be continued in Part Three next year . . . 

Thanks again to John for sharing these inspiring images and notes. And best wishes for 2018 to everyone. 

Image credits: All photos © 2017 John Haas