Thursday 26 November 2009

A8V1 Update

Following the blogpost about Kora's A8V1 resin kit, Sidnei Maneta kindly sent these images of 12th Ku 'Dick's operating in China trawled from the web. In addition to showing the tail codes clearly there is a hangar view of an apparently camouflaged example as depicted in Kora's third kit of the type. The cockpit view, although not from a Japanese machine, may assist those struggling with Kora's less than helpful instructions for locating the various bits and pieces included.

The blogpost 'Painting Into A Corner Pt 2 ~ Exploring J3' has been updated to include a copy of the CAL Report originally referred to. I have also taken the opportunity to add the sRGB values to the rendered chips, mentioned in the original text but not actually done (oops)! In addition I have tidied up the text to improve its reading and included some relevant observations translated from Ichiro Hasegawa's article 'The Basic Paint of Zero-Sen'. Hasegawa-san was actually there and saw real Zero fighters up close so his words carry some weight.

One thing I should perhaps add. And that is that I am not promoting a particular agenda in respect of Zero colours but only applying the discipline of colour science to the information already known, adding to it where I can and exploring it as objectively as possible. Unfortunately much modern debate and discussion seems increasingly to fall into vehemently articulated "right" or "wrong" camps. From my own experience such camps are often both "right" and "wrong" - but in different ways - and a big dollop of "don't know for certain" dampens all proceedings. That is not to suggest I lean towards the "don't know for certain so anything goes" camp which seems to be growing apace on modelling fora and is now sometimes vehemently deriding any attempt to bring precision to the subject. From a collective of evidence - and all evidence not just the bits that fit a particular argument - reasonable conclusions may be drawn. But these reasonable conclusions are inevitably subject to individual preference and prejudice and ultimately to individual choice.

Image credit: www via Sidnei Maneta

Tuesday 24 November 2009

JASIG Corner Bulletin # 3

That Fokker!

My earlier comment about there being a Fokker D.VIII in Japanese markings, as interpreted from a published black and white photograph proves wrong, despite the translated caption appearing in Vol 6 of the Japanese language Encyclopedia of Japanese Aviation. The aircraft pictured was a sample machine marked to seduce the Dutch military into purchasing the aircraft after the war It was on display at the first aeronautical exhibition in Amsterdam, the Eerste Luchtvaart Tentoostelling Amsterdam (ELTA), in 1919. It was part of a great many aircraft, parts and tooling brought out of Germany to Holland by Anthony Fokker after the war. As history has shown, the Dutch purchased the proven Fokker D.VII and the sample D.VIII was scrapped. I'm informed by Richard Ansell, an accomplished aviation artist living in Japan, that the Kitagawa collection, which contains photos of all of the aircraft sent to Japan as war reparations after the First World War, shows that those aircraft carried only the national markings of origin, not the Hinomaru.

Kit News

Unicraft has been busy. They released two kits in the last couple of months, the Kayaba Katsuodori and the Ki-62. Both are subjects more of a What If? nature. These guys use a really brittle porous resin, but with a bit of work, you can put together a really unusual model, certainly something that isn't mainstream. In 2010 they plan to produce a J4M, Senden, a Ki-119 and also a Ki-88, all paper projects subject matter. Hannants carries most of the line, but Unicraft has their own website and kits can be viewed and purchased directly.

The Ki-62 was to be a kind of super fighter comprising bits of the Ki-43 and Ki-84 with the license built in-line DB601 engine of the Ki-61. No prototype was ever constructed, but it was a paper project. The kit suffers from really brittle resin and they even include a warning slip to that effect. Sadly, no markings are provided in either the Ki-62 or the Kayaba kits.

In the past few weeks, Aki, a Japanese resin kit company, have released a kit in 1/72 scale of the Ki-12, experimental fighter. Influenced and based upon the Dewoitine 510, the Ki-12 failed to meet standard for acceptance into the inventory, being out performed by the Ki-27. I have never before seen such a detailed kit in resin with such quality of fine detail. When I first opened the box I thought it was injection moulded. My kit came directly from Japan, brought in for Scale Model World by Hobby Link Japan. I've made some photos and hope you like what you see.

JMSDF PV-2 Harpoon

Seventeen PV-2 Harpoons were supplied to the JMSDF in January 1955 and given the Japanese serial numbers 4101/4117. One (#4101) subsequently crashed in April 1957 and the remainder were later renumbered 4571/4586. Early on in Japanese service the aircraft were painted dark blue-grey overall with white lettering with all six hinomaru outlined in white. Photos exist of Japanese PV-2's in an all over natural metal sheme too.

The photograph shows Brian Prior's model of the JMSDF Harpoon in 1/72nd scale. Brian commented that the only problem in making the kit was the decals with the Japanese writing. He painted dark sea blue onto paper, put a white decal on it, scanned to Word, adjusted the decal to size, then printed it to decal paper.

Monday 23 November 2009

Stick To 109s!

The "previously undiscovered discovery" of a Midway combat report describing Zero fighters as "greenish brown" posted on a well-known forum made me yawn, but the piss take of the Munsell color system that was included in the post made me frown, especially as the originator usually demonstrates and expects objective precision when it comes to matters Luftwaffe.

Here are some more descriptions from actual combat reports at Midway for you:-

"ash gray"

"light tan, very shiny or slick"

"brownish colour"

"ash gray" (again)

"khaki colour"

"ash gray" (yet again)

These are remarkably consistent and the two colour groups may be reconciled quite simply (but that's another story). And from various other combat and intelligence reports, some of which refer to downed aircraft (seen closer up and in slightly less traumatic circumstances):-


"very smooth light gray, tinted with blue light green"

"soft pale green"

"pearl gray"

"dove gray"

"bluish silver"

"glossy greenish gray"

"light grey"

"Other Type "O" SSFs have been variously described as being painted "dark green", "brownish green", "shiny jet black", "light brown", "orange" and "silver"" (from a report dated December 1942)

"Zeros were intercepted at Moresby which were completely white except for their National markings"

And a whole stack more, etc., etc. Gosh.

And some translated Japanese descriptions:-

"Grey rat colour" (top illustration)

"Ash colour slightly tinted amber" (bottom illustration)

Brought to you in the interests of balanced reporting and guaranteed free from Munsell values for allergy sufferers ;-)

Image credit: I forget, but email me if you've got a problem.

Saturday 21 November 2009

Painting Into A Corner ~ Part 2 - Exploring J3

Zero colours continue to be the subject of interest - and confusion - online. In my previous post on this subject I included a "J3" sample which was actually a facsimile of the 2-6 swatch included in the 8609 joint Army/Navy standard of February 1945. To be precise 2-6 was the colour standard which superceded J3. In respect of J3 itself there is still some doubt concerning the precise appearance of this colour.

In a two-part article at in August 2004 leading artifact collector and Japanese aircraft colour researcher James F Lansdale discussed the IJN paint colour standard J3. In doing so he drew attention to Reisen metal fragments submitted by Robert C Mikesh for a detailed examination by the staff of the Conservation Analytical Laboratory (CAL) of the Smithsonian Institute in 1992. What the report stated is as follows (my emphasis):-

"Based on the information gathered so far, it is likely that the original color of these fragments is not very different from the present color; the present color is slightly more yellow than the original, due to yellowed binder, but, whilst this could cause a shift from white to tan, it would not cause a shift from grey to olive green."

"Not very different" does not imply no difference at all and in fact CAL note the yellowing of the binder and the probable shift from a white to tan this might cause in a hypothetical situation.

However, the report goes further than this:-

"The colorimetric data suggest that the olive and tan paints may have yellowed; the FTIR data identify the binders as ones which yellow over time, and with exposure to sun and heat."

"It is possible to imagine a scenario in which the large fragment might have had a grey color in place of the olive color, and the degradation of the nitrocellulose (which releases nitric acid) caused the pigments to change color. However, it seems extremely unlikely that the small fragment, which has very little nitrocellulose in the binder, would have changed to almost the same color."

"For an accurate determination of the original color, pigment identification would be necessary; this requires the destruction of some of the sample, and would be best done by commercial paint analysis labs."

A copy of the relevant page from the actual report is shown here (Fig.1 above) to demonstrate that the quotations have not been taken out of context.

This report appears to be inconclusive in determining the actual degree of colour shift but more significantly it does not rule it out - in fact it confirms a probable shift. In addition the broad terms "grey" and "olive" used in the report when discussing the probability of colour shift are ambiguous given the subtle colour space occupied by the paint.

The yellowing confirmed by the report may be significant when it comes to the shift of a warm grey to an olive/khaki grey. A "warm" grey is already on the peripheral of this colour space and only a small amount of yellow tinting is required to shift it towards a more olive/khaki appearing grey, especially in visual perception. This yellow tinting, implicit in the original colour, is exacerbated by the age and heat induced yellowing or ambering of the binder over time. It is paradoxical too. UV exposure and other environmental factors (especially heat and moisture) will degrade the upper surface of the paint film, breaking down the molecular structure and breaking up the constituent pigments, resulting in the chalky surface familiar from heavily weathered artifacts. The yellowing in the binder is "bleached" away in exactly the same manner as "yellowed" decals may be corrected by UV exposure. However those areas of the surface protected from UV exposure will still be subject to age and heat induced changes and will gradually show an increased yellowing and darkening over time. Incrementally this shift may be small but in terms of precise colour definition it is significant. When examining an artifact where both conditions of surface are present or where the "chalked" surface has been rubbed back to reveal an underlying level of "original" paint it is necessary to bear in mind that both appearances of colour represent two probable shifts not related to the original appearance of the paint - the one being the degraded paint surface resulting from UV and environmental exposure and the other the yellowed, darkened surface resulting from age and heat induced changes. Therefore the original appearance of the paint surface at the time of application may have been somewhere between the two current appearances suggested by the metal paint example illustrated in Fig.3 above.

Fabric Samples

Throughout the artifact research much has been made of the fact that the fabric surfaces were (are) apparently painted in a neutral grey, sometimes identified as J3, whilst the metal surfaces were painted in the "olive grey" paint. So far there has been no explanation as to why this was done other than an acknowledgement that the painting processes for fabric and metal surfaces were different. That this difference in appearance was contemporary is confirmed by photographs which do appear to show lighter toned flying control surfaces.

It appears also that the yellow (or amber) appearance of the metal paint (a probable consequence of both binder and pigment) was apparent almost immediately after application. Ichiro Hasegawa, in his article 'The Basic Paint of Zero-Sen', comments on this impression:-

"I used to visit the base (Oppama); Zero-sens were grey-green, presumably built by Nakajima. The color was different from that of 97-sen types often seen in Army airfields in Ibaragi. The former were painted in a lighter shade of (grey) green, a little yellow or beige."

The Yokosuka 0266 report reinforces this impression, describing the current Zero fighters as being painted J3 grey slightly tinted towards amber.

Over time UV exposure arrested and reversed this impression making the paint appear more blue-grey. It is probable that the J3 paint used on the Zero was deliberately tinted towards amber as the result of a specific pigment or additive, such as yellow oxide, which would have resulted in both the ambering and a slightly greenish caste to the paint. The variable purity of yellow oxide (hydrated iron oxide) could explain some of the differences seen on Zero artifacts. Over time and on protected surfaces the yellowing and darkening binder would have increased the perception of an olive or khaki colour. The shift from a warm, slightly amber dove grey to the more brownish "olive grey" is a small one in terms of the adjacent colour spaces occupied. The bright, grey-green hues promoted in Japan are much more difficult to reconcile with the physical evidence. The difficulty the Japanese were experiencing in achieving a stable grey paint for the Zero has already been commented on by a leading Japanese researcher.

In another posting about the fabric samples from Reisen s/n 2266 & s/n 5289 Mr Lansdale commented that the colours of these samples were both matched to Munsell 10Y 5/1 or "close to FS 16357", (Fig.3 above).

From a precise colour measurement perspective FS 16357 is not close to 10 Y 5/1. The actual DE2000 difference calculation is 11.5 (where a calculation of 2.0 or less is required to produce a close match). Actually FS 14201 is a closer value, with a calculation of 5.40 (and that particular FS value has featured before in the study of paint colours on Zero artifacts). However, as any calculation more than 2.0 equates inversely proportionately to a close match it may be said that it is not possible to provide a meaningful FS equivalent for 10 Y 5/1 and that the DE2000 calculations for both 16357 and 14201 render them arguably superfluous to any scientific study of these particular fabric samples.

The closest match in a commercial colour standard (other than JPMA which uses Munsell directly) is RAL* 7003 'Moosgrau' (Moss Grey), which is a very close match indeed at only 1.08. In the schematic of rendered chips (Fig.4 above) the sRGB values are shown within each chip and the differences may be noted (especially how far the values of 16357 are from the Munsell chip). The DE2000 calculation from 10 Y 5/1 is given in brackets on each chip. The value 10 Y 5/1 is not obviously J3 either (see below) which rather discourages the idea that the metal airframes were painted an "olive grey" whilst the fabric flying surfaces were painted in the "more neutral" grey of J3. The conclusion, at least from these particular samples, is that the fabric surfaces were painted in a similar hue to the main airframe, a warm, slightly brown (or yellow) looking grey but that the application process or the type of paint used resulted in a lighter toned appearance.

* RAL = Reichsausschuss für Lieferbedingungen" - (Committee of the German Reich for Terms and Conditions of Sale) - from 1925

J3 Described

In addition to the 2-6 chip (and the extant Kariki 117 colour standard sample chip for J3), a chip of the colour was also included in the Yokosuka 0266 report on Zero camouflage schemes, both of which are reproduced at Fig.2 above.

Regarding the actual 2-6 chip in Document 8609, Donald W. Thorpe has matched it to the Munsell value 5 GY 6/1. This 8609 colour was reported to represent a rationalisation of the Army Hai Ryoku Shoku (Ash Green Colour) and the Navy J3 Hai Iro (Ash Colour). The closest FS match to 5 GY 6/1 is 16307 with a DE2000 difference calculation of 2.07 - so it is not exact but it is quite close. However, referencing this value to the Reisen fabric samples above, 5 GY 6/1 is quite a distance from 10 Y 5/1 at 9.63.

Referring to the 2-6 chip the Japanese researcher "Summer" described it as follows:

"It has a faint yellow colour and is somewhere between CN-55 and CN-60 (JPMA). It is approximately ash green colour, identical to J3".

The CN-55 to CN-60 comparison equates approximately to Munsell N5.5 and N6. These are neutral greys (consisting of black and white only) and it is apparent that the comparison is approximate and does not allow for the "faint yellow" impression. The closest FS match to the median of Summer's comparison is 17178 at 2.51 (a metallic colour in FS 595b so useless for direct visual comparison), but closer is RAL 9022 Perlhellgrau (Pearl Light Grey) at 1.60.

In respect of the 117 J3 chip Summer describes it, identically to 2-6, as being somewhere between N5.5 and N6 but with a faint yellowish caste. He notes it as almost identical to the 2-6 chip reproduced in the Gakken book.

Japanese researcher Watanabe-san has not, AFAIK, revealed a comparison for the 117 J3 or the 8609 2-6.

Mr Thorpe's comparison of 5 GY 6/1 appears closer than the approximate neutral greys cited by Summer but the precise appearance of J3 remains problematic. In fact I think those neutral greys may be something of a red herring and the FS/RAL comparisons superfluous to the study. In the chips a faint yellow caste to 5 GY 6/1 is apparent, especially when compared directly to the pure neutral grey of N 5.5-N 6, which is entirely consistent with the historical perception of the ash or ash grey colour (see below). The yellow caste has the effect of making the grey appear slightly greenish to most visual perception. These comparisons are shown in the schematic of rendered chips at Fig.4 above.

When the median value between the two extremes of the colour values of the artifacts (the "chalked" grey and the "olive grey") is computer modelled the resulting colour value is close to Munsell 5 GY 6/2. Now there's a funny thing . . .

An Ash Distraction

The colour description "ash" or "ash grey" is, according to Methuen, one of the oldest in existence. The Munsell identification of this colour as 1B2 brings to mind immediately Summer's description of the J3 chip as having a faint yellow caste. Methuen mention the yellow caste associated with the colour and the adjacent 1B3 would certainly not look out of place on a Zero. The yellow hue, combined with black and white, create the perception of greenishness to the colour, which is largely illusory (although at this stage the use of a direct green tinting additive to the paint cannot be ruled out.).

Painting A Model

In modelling terms it is understandable to take the extant appearance of the artifacts and replicate them exactly. On the other hand it seems some modellers still prefer the traditional whiteish-grey "chalked" colour. In Japan the image of a bright, pale grey-green (the classic hairyokushoku) appears to be favoured (and this perception should be considered in light of the above - especially the 5 GY 6/1 value). The reality was perhaps somewhere in the merging of all three perceptions but I have yet to see a Zero model precisely replicated in the dull, warm dove grey suggested by the Aichi D3A1 painting, not least perhaps because it is so difficult to arrive at this colour without it shifting too much towards one of the other interpretations. Therefore one tends to see models which appear to be too brown, too grey or too green - and often too bright.

The starting point, in terms of pure primary pigmentation, is black and white. To this is added yellow ochre (not yellow) to the degree of "warming" the grey but not turning it too brown - a delicate operation. The choice of white - whether "cold" or "warm" - also affects the final appearance. The choice of yellow ochre will also affect the degree of "greenish" caste, if any, in the final result which should always appear to be slightly more grey than brown. The advantage of using primary colours is in avoiding the odd colour shifts produced by using ready-mixed "authentic" hobby paints or other subtle hues which have untypical and/or tinted pigments. Have fun with this and don't sweat it. When the wet colour looks right make sure the ratio is recorded and then wait for it to dry on a test sample. If this still looks right you are in business. If not you need to calculate the shift from wet to dry, plan accordingly and begin again. If the final result has a very low reflectivity, is difficult to determine in hue from warm grey to brown to green under various illuminants, could be described as "grey slightly towards amber" or "grey mouse colour", suggests a convincing military paint colour from the 1940's and has lustre you can feel justly pleased with your achievement. If it just looks brown you better start again!

Note: The footnote to the caption of the second illustration in the first plate above refers to the translation by Ryutaro Nambu in the article ‘Out of Ameiro Cloud into Hai-Ryokushoku Sky’ by Yoshihito Kurosu. Inevitably there are variations in wording to this version.

Acknowledgement - Since first publication this post has been corrected with valuable input from James F Lansdale.

Image credit: James F Lansdale via; rendered colour chips ©2009 'Straggler'

Friday 20 November 2009

Kawanishi N1K2-J Shiden-kai in 1/48th scale

When I first saw these beautiful pictures kindly contributed by David Walker I assumed this was a very large scale model - possibly the Doyusha 1/32nd scale kit to which he had done wonderful things. I was amazed to discover that it is in fact the Hasegawa 1/48th kit.

David described the build as follows:-

"This was painted using the Aztek airbrush as an aircraft of the 343rd Kokutai (Naval Air Group) flown by Lt Takashi Oshibuchi ( six kills ). His aircraft has been wrongly depicted as having 2 red fuselage stripes and is incorrectly shown in the Hasegawa kit artwork and also in the kit instructions (always re-check your sources). In fact the aircraft had white stripes!

It is notable for the Montex masks for the national insignia and unit markings which were used instead of the kit decals - and can then be weathered over - try doing that to a decal. The Eduard photo-etch set was used and also a new item - Fukuya brass barrels for the 20mm cannon and pitot tube. The kit engine was replaced with a Vector resin engine (made in Russia) - and available from Parade Figures in the UK . This was built as a kit in its own right, replacing the single kit part which looks like a blob. This replacement engine is so much more detailed and realistic in appearance and it also has individual push rods made from brass. The guns and pitot tube (if you can see from the pics) have hollow ends, and another benefit is that everything is very strong as its all brass."

Lt Takashi Oshibuchi was the leader of Hikotai (Squadron) 701 'Ishin-Tai' within the 343rd Ku and was reported as missing in action in this aircraft on 24th July 1945.

A superb looking model and thank you, David, for sharing it with us.

Image credit: Photographs ©2009 David Walker

Thursday 19 November 2009

Airfix Zero Reprise

The venerable Airfix Zero gets another outing, this time as a "Starter Set" with cement, paintbrush and four pots of acrylic paint as kit # A50085.

When I first saw this I thought that perhaps, just maybe, this might be someone else's kit re-packaged or even more hopefully a re-mold. But no, it is our old friend from 1959, 50 years old! What a youngster might make of this kit as a first attempt at plastic aircraft modelling I have no idea but what a more experienced modeller can do with it was shown here.

This issue repeats the markings option for the previous Special Edition 'WWII Aircraft of the Aces' for a Zero of the Tainan Ku flown by Saburo Sakai with the red bordered white tail code 'V-103'. The decals seem to be better printed and more saturated than the last issue but it remains to be seen how they behave. Nowhere is this information provided on the box or instructions, however, which describe it just as a Mitsubishi A6M2 Zero of the "Japanese Air Force" (sic) in 1941. Oh, dear. I'm a fan of Airfix kits and I think the Hornby takeover has given them a new lease of life and much promise, but I do wish they would pay more attention to detail and not pander to the "dumbed down" method of educating the young which seems to prevail on this blighted island (I could go on but I'll spare you that rant).

The box art is new too. Sooty digital darkness showing two identical Zeros (same tail codes) scudding over the Black Sea in dramatic 3D, their dark-tinted cockpits occupied by shadowy creatures of the night. Come back Roy Cross you are sorely missed! The back of the box has an attractive colour four view painting guide with the prop shown separately which reminded me of Frog kits. On the side of the box is a sooty digital profile of the aircraft "Actual Size" (of the model) which is a nice touch.


The paint call out is for Humbrol Matt 64 Light Grey for the main airframe, with Satin 85 Black for the cowling and Gloss 11 Silver for the spinner, these paints being provided in acrylic form, together with Matt 29 Dark Earth for the propeller blades. There is no interior as such but Silver is strangely recommended for the rear cockpit decking, wheel wells and undercarriage door covers. The pilot figure gets a Black helmet and boots, a Dark Earth suit and no face or hands. Humbrol Matt 64 is a slightly "warm", dove grey, which is actually not a bad match for the IJN paint colour standard J3 reported by some to be the factory paint colour for the Mitsubishi-built Zero, although the amount of green in that paint colour is disputed. It is perhaps not quite "warm" enough or green enough and a little too dark for "scale colour" (if you believe in that) but is actually nothing like the pale, creamy colour shown on the box art. The painting guide on the back of the box is better but conveys the impression of a paler silver grey.

We'll have a look at J3 in more detail in the next episode of 'Painting Into A Corner' so this "new" Airfix Zero is a timely introduction to that. Whilst Matt 64 lacks the amber caste recorded on Zero relics and even sufficient warm caste for J3, it is actually not a bad choice by Airfix, certainly a step forward from the very pale, almost off-white of the traditional early Zero and probably the closest Humbrol out of the tin to a colour representing a Zero "average" taking into account all recent revelations and assertions. The main problem is the dead matt finish which is not representative, although in some quarters both the colour and the finish may be seen as depicting the chalked and oxidised "olive grey" quite well.

Image credit: Box art ©2009 Hornby Hobbies Ltd; Decal sheet ©2009 Hornby Hobbies Ltd.

Wednesday 18 November 2009

Kora A8V1 Navy Type S Two-seat Fighter in 1/72nd Scale

Something of a surprise from Kora are a trio of 1/72nd resin kits for the aircraft exported by Seversky as the 2PA-B3 and accepted for operational service by the Imperial Japanese Navy as the A8V1 Type S Two Seat Fighter. The three kits released are 72 121 'Seversky 2PA-B3 Convoy Fighter Press plane of Asahi Shimbun', 72 122 'Seversky A8V1 "Dick" Silver Shadows over Nanking' and 72 123 'Seversky A8V1 "Dick" over China'.

The history of this type in Japanese service is obscure and not covered in any detail in the main English-language references for Japanese aircraft. The aircraft were supposedly imported as a result of Japanese anxiety over escalating losses for their unescorted strategic bombing raids with Type 96 G3M bombers deep into China from bases in Formosa (Taiwan) which had begun in 1937. The purchase contract for 20 Seversky 2PA-B3, c/n 122-141 had been negotiated secretly but was to cause controversy in the USA and subsequent difficulties in Serversky's relationship with the US government and military. Sources differ on exactly when the aircraft were delivered, but it must have been at least prior to October 1938 (see below).

The photographs above, from official Chinese archives, show the wreckage of Type 96 G3M bombers shot down during these raids. The Seversky two seat fighters were to be used as long range escort aircraft with forward firing guns and the observer equipped with a hand-held machine gun. However when they arrived and were tested the Japanese were disappointed with their performance, climb rate and agility in the air. There does not seem to be any record of them being used in the long range bomber escort role for which intended but instead they were relegated to a reconnaissance role over central China with the 12th Kokutai, operating from bases around Nanking. Possibly the successful development of the Zero-sen as a long range fighter was also a factor in their demise. Unfortunately little has been documented about their operational use over China. Information welcome! Kora's kit contains tail codes for '3-54', 3-57' and '3-58' all in natural metal finish with red tails and red-bordered white rear fuselage bands.

Expecting to encounter these aircraft still in service they were given the Allied reporting name "Dick", but by that time they had long been withdrawn from service. Two of the aircraft were passed on to the Asahi Newspaper company to become Shiokaze-go J-BAAN and Umikaze-go J-BAAQ and a third was given to the Tokyo Nichinichi Newspaper company. J-BAAN was registered in October 1938 and J-BAAQ in March 1941 but a registration for the Tokyo Nichinichi Newspaper aircraft cannot be confirmed. It is a pity that Kora's Asahi Shimbun kit contains decals only for the single version Shiokaze-go J-BAAN.

The third kit, in camouflage with deployed rear gun and in combat with a Chinese I-16, as 'Seversky A8V1 "Dick" over China', has not been examined.

The Kora Severskys are welcome as the type is overdue for kitting and an essential addition to any collection of China Air War models but I wish it had been a mainstream plastic kit released in a single edition with optional parts and decals. The kit itself is typical of a modern resin, with parts breakdown similar to a plastic injection molded kit and containing a vacform canopy, a small brass photo-etch sheet and photographic film instruments. A full colour painting guide is included, together with a sheet of Kora's somewhat fragile decals for a single option.

Acknowledgement: Thanks to Ryusuke Ishiguru for additional information.

Image credit: Box art ©2009 Kora Models; Photographs ©2005 Shanghai Library Archives

Saturday 14 November 2009

JASIG Corner Bulletin # 2 ~ Scale Modelworld 2009

Here are some photos of our Japanese Aviation SIG display at Telford on 7/8 November 2009. We had a grand turn out with models from Paul Bebbington, Peter Starkings, John Drummond, Peter James, Glenn Wilson, Bri Derbyshire, Ian Jackson, and Tim Cant. Many manufactureres were there, Revell for one and Airfix had on display a couple of built up examples of their new 1/24 scale Mosquito. The sprues were there too and what a model it makes up into. Sadly, the Japanese didn't have any. Even Hobby Link Japan attended bringing some interesting kits for us.

We awarded two prizes at Scale Model World this year, a silver-plate dish for the best model of a Japanese aviation subject in the IPMS (UK) competition, which was won by an Italian chap, Edoardo Rosso, for a beautiful 1/72 Claude. The second award we made was for the best model of a Japanese aviation subject on display on any branch or SIG stand (not ours), and that prize was taken by a 1/72 Mavis built by Karl Robinson of the newly formed seaplane SIG "Splash". The photo shows, left to right, Karl, John Tapsell the IPMS (UK) Competition Secretary for 2009, and Edoardo. It was kind of Peter Starkings to fund the silver-plate dish for us.

The dates for Scale Model World 2010 are 13th and 14th November. Next year's theme for our JASIG is a split one: half of the table will be Japanese Self Defence Force aircraft and the other half will be Japanese aviation of 1940 with a twist: if you're inclined to make something which has an antagonist and you wish to display an aircraft with its adversary, you may. (Sounds like Perrys and I-15's to me.). We hope to parallel the war years, 70 years on.

Thanks for taking the time and trouble to complete and send in your subscription forms. A new membership listing based upon the forms received will be ready in the New Year.