This neat Mitsubishi J2M3 Raiden duo from correspondent Karel Struna is fine testimony that build and finish matter more than kit origin. Raiden 352-37 was modelled using the classic 1/48th scale Tamiya kit with everything painted on - lightning flashes, tail number, hinomaru - whilst the captured TAIU S12 was modelled from the Arii (ex-Otaki) kit using Dying Sun Pt.2 decals.
The paints used were Tamiya, Gunze (GSI Creos) and Alclad. The subtle wear and tear was achieved with AK interactive Worn Effect.
Raiden 352-37 was flown by Lt JG Yoshihiro Aoki of the 352nd Kokutai from Omura, Nagasaki on Kyushu during the air defence of Japan in March 1945, the lightning flashes being applied to boost morale. The tail markings follow the original Tamiya kit presentation (a colour profile was included).
Raiden S12 was originally c/n 3008 found on Dewey Boulevard, Manila in the Philippines which was in use as an ad hoc airstrip by the Japanese. The Raiden was moved to Clark Field for testing by the Technical Air Intelligence Unit (TAIU) South-West Pacific, where it was stripped of paint and finished in US markings with pre-war tail feathers.
S12 made only two test flights of 3 hours 20 minutes duration before an oil pipe failed causing the engine to seize up. Its ultimate fate is unknown (see photo of wreckage below) but it was not the aircraft now displayed in the Planes of Fame museum which is c/n 3014.
Image credit: All model photos © 2014 Karel Struna; S12 wreck photo: http://www.j-aircraft.com/captured/capturedfrom/TAIC/TAICS12/ap-taic12-5.jpg