Thursday 24 April 2014

Fujimi 1/72 Aichi D3A1 and D3A2

Further to the recent review of Rising Decals the Fujimi 1/72 kits of  the Aichi D3A1 and D3A2 'Val' are scheduled for re-release in May at a price direct from HLJ of approximately £5.58 each. If contemplating purchase of the Fujimi kit this might be useful.

Image credit: Box art © 1987 Fujimi Mokei Co., Ltd.

Thursday 17 April 2014

A 1/72 Fine Molds Ki-100 Build

Correspondent Stefan Sjöberg has very kindly made me aware of an interesting Ki-100 WIP build report in 1/72nd scale using the original Fine Molds kit (the one which included Hasegawa Ki-61-I tei parts and white metal parts) by Swedish modeller Magnus Fridsell here. Kawasaki Ki-61/Ki-100 series fighters seem popular right now and from the work done so far I'm looking forward to seeing how this one progresses.

The original Fine Molds "composite" Ki-100 kits were issued by Hasegawa with Fine Molds logo circa 1989 (together with Ki-61-II kits) but were superceded by all new mould kits issued by Fine Molds in 1999 (Ki-100 "fastback") and 2001 (Ki-100 "bubbletop") and which are still available. The "bubbletop" version shown below was the rarer of the two "composite" kits. The fastback version came with markings for a 111th Sentai, 1st Daitai option (as shown on the box art) attributed in some sources as the aircraft of Major Toyoki Eto the Daitai commander although there is some doubt about that. Two other options were a  59th Sentai, 2nd Chutai  aircraft # 177 and a 244th Sentai example # 32.

Image credit:- Fine Molds Box heading image © 2014 Magnus Fridsell; Fine Molds "bubbletop" box image from eBay (seller vfa127)

Tuesday 15 April 2014

Aoshima 1/72 Ki-100-II Announced

Due from Aoshima in May and following on from their two excellent Ki-100 kits is a new 1/72nd scale kit of the Kawasaki Ki-100-II which they describe as the 'Type 5 Fighter II Exhaust Turbine Type'. Three prototypes were built and it was the lightest turbo-supercharged fighter of WWII. This will be good news for those who like prototypes and experimentals or creating development line ups, also offering plenty of scope for 'what if' builds.

Image credits: © 2014 Aoshima via HobbyLink Japan (HLJ)

Saturday 5 April 2014

New Rising Decals & Accessories in 1/72nd scale

Some very nice new 1/72nd scale Japanese subject decal sheets and combined accessory sets and decals have been released by Rising Decals. Always a favourite subject thanks to the excellent Hasegawa (ex-Mania) kit sheet RD 72-058 offers alternative markings for six Kawasaki Ki-48-II '99-Sokei' (九九双軽 - literally '99 light twin') 'Lily' light bombers of the Imperial Japanese Army Air Force  (IJAAF). The  subjects are:-
  • Ki-48-II of 34th Sentai during the Okinawa campaign, June 1945 - dark green 'snake  weave' mottle over grey green; this aircraft has an unusual tail marking of フ-29 (Katakana character Fu-29) with diagonal white stripe
  • Ki-48-II of unknown unit at Kikuchi, Nagasaki, Japan August 1945 - sparse remnants of dark green over grey-green with red rudder and black Kanji character 大 - Dai
  • Ki-48-II of 34th Sentai, 2nd Chutai, New Guinea, 1944 - dark green mottle over grey-green
  • Ki-48-II of 8th Sentai, 2nd Chutai, Indo-China, 1943 - medium green streaking over grey-green; this aircraft had its spinners removed when photographed; red stripe on fin and rudder  
  • Ki-48-I of 16th Sentai, 1st Chutai, Nanking China, 1943 - dark green mottle over grey-green  with yellow fuselage band; this unit later specialised in moonlight dive bombing and nuisance attacks on enemy airfields.
  • Ki-48-I of 8th Sentai, 2nd Chutai, Burma 1943 - dense dark green mottle over grey-green; white stripe on fin and rudder
  • Bonus Ki-48-II of unknown unit, Hollandia, New Guinea 1944 - dark green snake weave over grey-green; this aircraft has ten bombing mission symbols on the rear fuselage and the speculative nose number '35'

This is a very attractive sheet with plenty of scope for tackling a variety of challenging 'snake weave' and mottle patterns.

Next up is RD 72-063 a set for the Mitsubishi A5M2/4 'Kansen' 'Claude' fighter with six options:-
  • A5M4 of 381st Ku at Tebrau, Malaya in August 1945 - dark green over grey with white  'B1-32' tail code
  • A5M4 of Omura Ku, Nagasaki, Japan in August 1945 - weathered dark green over grey with two alternative tail code numbers - オ-106 or オ-116 with a yellow painted rudder (オ = 'Oh' for Omura)
  • A5M4 off the carrier Hosho in early 1942 - natural metal finish with  CI-106 tail code  in yellow; this colourful aircraft has red full-length trim on the fuselage, yellow rear fuselage  band and a  white Kanji character painted inside the fuselage Hinomaru
  • A5M2b of 4th Ku at Lakunai, Rabaul in April 1942 - overall grey with black tail code F-104; a welcome and unusual option for 'Claude' 
  • A5M4 of 14th Ku at Haikou, South China in October 1940 - silver with red painted tail and white tail code 9-165; this aircraft was equipped with a pair of 30kg bombs on wing racks

This is a welcome set for anyone who wants something different to the natural metal finish usually associated with 'Claude' and will provide some alternative markings for either the Fujimi or Hobby Boss/Doyusha 'quick build' kits. 

Also from Rising four sets that combine decals for one aircraft subject together with resin accessories/conversion parts. RD Acr-001 combines markings for a 3rd Sentai Tachikawa Ki-55 trainer at Hokkaido during 1943 with resin parts for a ski undercarriage. This set could be used to make a striking presentation of a Ki-55 model on a snow scene base as seen in the classic 1972 Bunrin-do book  'The Japanese Army Wings of the Second World War'.

Set RD Acr-002 provides decals and parts for a  ski-equipped Mitsubishi Ki-51 'Sonia' of 1st Hikoshidan  (Air Division) being tested by the Hiko Jikkenbu (飛行実験部 - Flight Test Department) at Obihiro, Hokkaido in early 1945.

Set RD Acr-003 provides decals and parts to recreate our old friend the Ki-51 'Sonia' of the 10th Dokuritsu Hikodan Shireibu (Independent Air Brigade Headquarters) encountered over Miri, Borneo in March 1945. Rising have interpreted the fuselage band as red bordered white rather than the tri-coloured band depicted by Ronnie Olsthoorn here. Command bands were sometimes painted to represent the rank or duty position of staff officers reflecting established uniform distinctions, for example the red and white duty sash of an adjutant or three narrow stripes sometimes representing the three gold bands on the pre-war full-dress cap of a Captain. Conversion parts for the spat stripped undercarriage on this aircraft are included and together with the decals will enable an interesting model to be made of this Army workhorse. 

Finally Set RD Acr-006 provides a spat stripped undercarriage for a dark green Aichi D3A1 'Val' of  the 582nd Ku at Munda, New Georgia in 1943, this aircraft also being  distinguished by a D3A2-type spinner (not included). Decals for  the tail code, fin and fuselage  stripes are included but the Hinomaru will need to be sourced elsewhere. The Fujimi kit is recommended.

This is a useful and  imaginative selection of goodies for the Japanese aircraft enthusiast and ably continues Rising's established reputation for providing high quality aftermarket products. The resin parts are crisply moulded requiring minimum clean up. With thanks to Mirek of Rising Decals for providing these items for review.

Image credit: All © 2014 Rising Decals

Wednesday 2 April 2014

1/48th Kit-bash Ki-61-II Kai 'Bubbletop' Link

The Nichimo retrospective back in October last year included a link to a superb build of their 1/48th scale Ki-51 'Sonia' by Tetsuya Inoue. Now Tetsuya has an impressive build of a Ki-61-II Kai 'bubbletop' on the go here involving a kit-bash from the Hasegawa 1/48th scale Ki-100 Otsu and Ki-61-I  Tei kits and well worth a look. Hope to see more of his Japanese aircraft subjects in future.

Thanks to Tetsuya for kindly providing the link and to Ronnie Olsthoorn for contributing the evocative heading image of his awesome 3D Mitsubishi A6M2 in this 75th Anniversary month of the Zero's first flight.

Image credit: © 2014 Ronnie Olsthoorn

Tuesday 1 April 2014

New Emergency Modelling Law Enacted

In response to what has become an epidemic of abuse since the release of the inexpensive Airfix 1/72nd scale Mitsubishi A6M2 plastic construction kit the British Government has today promulgated an emergency law as a sub-section of the Offences Against Modelling Act 1983:-

Section 52 (c) Representing Excessive Wear on a Zero Model and Failure to Represent Primer

"It is an offence with penalty on indictment of up to 5 years withdrawal of mail order privileges to represent excessive paint wear (in a technique known to addicts as "salt treatment") when building any representation of the Airfix 1/72nd scale Mitsubishi A6M2 "Zero" plastic construction kit. Furthermore the offence will be considered to be aggravated if no attempt has been made to represent the factory applied coat of red oxide primer for which a Judge on conviction will have discretion to extend the sentence by 2 years with a maximum fine of  £172 and confiscation of any Japanese aircraft kits in the stash."

The new law is expected to be enforced by units of Her Majesty's Colour Police who will be patrolling shows incognito and joining model clubs under cover.