Sunday, 12 January 2014

The 1/48th Models of John Haas

Veteran modeller John Haas from the Netherlands has very kindly shared these stunning images of three of his 1/48th scale models of Japanese experimental types. No kits were harmed in the production of these masterpieces - they were all built from scratch in a variety of materials, including wood and plastic, which John declares provides more fun and satisfaction. As the photographs show John is no mean photographer either!  

Yokosuka R2Y-1 Keiun

The Yokosuka R2Y-1 Keiun (景雲 - Scenic Cloud) was a Navy prototype reconnaissance aircraft   with coupled engines driving a single six-bladed propeller. A turbojet powered light bomber version was also envisaged but the prototype was destroyed in a bombing raid after only one test flight in May 1945.

Tachikawa Ki-94-II

Tachikawa's Ki-94-II was a very large single engined fighter developed from an earlier twin boom design and featuring cockpit pressurisation and a turbo supercharged engine for high altitude bomber interception. A heavy armament of two 30mm Ho-155 and two 20mm Ho-5 wing mounted cannon cannon was planned. The first prototype, with a four bladed propeller was being readied for a preliminary test flight when the war ended, whilst the second prototype, intended to have a six bladed propeller, was still under construction. 

Nakajima J5N-1 Tenrai

The Nakajima J5N-1 Tenrai (天雷 Heavenly Thunder) was designed as a fast twin-engined single seat multi-role fighter for the Imperial Navy and John's model represents the third of six prototypes built, two of which were completed as two seat aircraft possibly with the intention of incorporating radar. The first prototype flew in July 1944  but despite Tenrai's  good looks its performance did not match its expected potential. 

Image credits: Models and photographs all ©  2014 John Haas

Saturday, 4 January 2014

Mansyu MT-1 Hayabusa ~ A Falcon of Different Feather

These 'data pages' on the first Hayabusa from Mansyu (or Manshū) originate from an article by Richard Bueschel that appeared in the Air Pictorial magazine of May 1961.

The article presents two remarkably clear and sharp photographs of this aircraft. The colour scheme is presumed to be light grey or light blue (but could it be yellow?) with blue trim.

Image credits: © 1961 Richard Bueschel and Air Pictorial Magazine

Friday, 3 January 2014

Karel Struna's Blue Hayate

As an unexpected addition to the ongoing and somewhat rambling 'Hayate Thoughts' it is an absolute delight to be able to share these images of a 1/48th Hayate model by Karel Struna made from the classic Otaki (now Arii) kit. Karel shows just how good those Otaki kits of very fond memory can look with a bit of TLC. Karel's superb model represents the controversial blue Ki-84 of the 2nd Chutai, 102nd Sentai over Okinawa in 1944.

Karel writes:-

"The kit is very old (more than 30 years), but with negative engraving and beautiful rivets. The same molds are packed by Arii too. The canopy is one piece and must be cut into three parts manually in the case of the opened cockpit.  The cockpit itself is very simple, but it can easily be enhanced with Eduard zoom set. The whole build was very smooth. Only several small gaps were filled with black glue and then "sanded" with the debonder. The overall  precision of the kit is perfect taking into consideration the age of the box. The gun barrels were replaced with the new ones made from syringe needles. Lead wires were added to the engine.

A layer of alclad aluminum was applied on the surfacer. Then the AK interactive worn effect was sprayed and finally the blue top colour and the light grey bottom colour. The blue Hayate is sometimes marked as what-if, but the blue rudder exists until today. No colour picture of the whole aircraft is known. The scratches were created thanks to the worn effective. The surface was wet with water and then the colour was peeled off with a sharp stick and toothbrush. 

The markings were sprayed as was the exhaust staining. MiG dark wash was used to enhance the panel lines and the rivets. A small amount of the dust pigment was applied on the wing roots as a last step.

Ki-84 can be built with or without drop tanks. Their colour can be also discussed. Again, there is no proof against the yellow colour used here. 

I can highly recommend this kit and I will definitely build more Otaki Hayates in the future.

Rivets (someone may disagree, but I do like them)
; Precisely molded; 
Lack of cockpit details; Wheels; 
Thick canopy piece"

In fact there is a surviving yellow-painted Hayate drop tank in Japan. Karel points out a useful comparison of the Tamiya, Otaki and Hasegawa 1/48th Hayate kits here.

Image credits: All © 2014 Karel Struna

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Notice of Update ~ Japanese Twins and Mark Smith's Toryu

I have now added to and corrected the data on the 8th Sentai Ki-48 tail markings discussed here. When that blog was written it was intended to continue with a 'season' on Japanese twins including in-depth explorations of Ki-45 colours and Ki-46 interceptor colours - long and complex articles both. That 'season' appears to have stretched a bit and will now have to extend into 2014! Hopefully it will be worth the wait for regular AoJ readers!

In the meantime Mark Smith has very kindly shared these images of his very sharp looking and seasonal Ki-45 presentation model which rather unbelievably was made from the 1973  Imai kit to 1/144th scale (and subsequently re-issued by Hasegawa with the same box art). Looking good for forty!

Another variant of the Imai Ki-45 box art is shown here together with other interesting box art in a post from Arawasi.

Image credits: Model photos © 2014 Mark Smith; Box art © Imai/Hasegawa via web