Wednesday 3 June 2015

Rising Decals Emperor's Eyes Pt.II RD72069

Rising Decals have recently released Part II of Emperor's Eyes, set RD 72069, with decals for a further selection of IJA and IJN reconnaissance aircraft. The Ki-15, Ki-46, C6N1 and bonus D4Y1-C subjects are well chosen and include some interesting schemes.

The Army aircraft subjects consist of:-
  • Ki-15-II of 8th Sentai - an aircraft with a named crew operating over Burma in 1942 with a disruptive camouflage applied over the base grey-green. This aircraft would make an excellent display companion to an 8th Sentai Ki-48 using the LS/Arii Ki-15-II and Hasegawa (ex-Mania) Ki-48 kits. Note than the fuselage Hinomaru has a rough 'halo' where the camouflage has been applied over it. It is possible that the added camouflage was green and brown creating a three colour upper surface scheme.
  • Ki-15-I of Dokuritsu Hiko 50th Chutai  - an early model in standard scheme. This unit was originally established at Canton, China, from the 1st Chutai of the 15th Sentai in July 1941 and operated over French Indo-China, Malaya and the Dutch East Indies during the Japanese invasion. It was transferred to Manchuria in April 1942 and re-incorporated as the 1st Chutai of the 15th Sentai in January 1944. The unit also operated the Ki-46.
  • Ki-15-II of Dokuritsu Hiko 101st Chutai - a Babs of the antecedent unit of the 17th DHC featuring a welcome tail emblem which will facilitate modelling all the aircraft of this interesting unit. In 1942 the 101st were based at Chofu, Japan as the reconnaissance unit of the 17th Air Brigade.
  • Ki-46-II of 115th Kyoiku Hiko Rentai - based in China during 1943 this training aircraft appears to have a dark green field applied scheme over the original factory scheme. This Kyoiku Hiko Rentai was a development training unit for reconnaissance crews.
  • Ki-46-II of Dokuritsu Hiko 74th Chutai - a Dinah from a well known recce unit operating over the SWPA theatre in standard factory scheme. Although captioned as being 74th Chutai the red 'S' marking is usually attributed to the 76th Chutai, both being original and subsequently re-incorporated component Chutai of the 10th Sentai. An aircraft from this unit was one of the subjects in a 1979 re-issue of the venerable Airfix kit.   
  • Ki-46-II of 1st Yasen Hojyu Hikotai - another welcome marking for the Ki-46 from a specially tasked reserve unit based in Singapore. The Ki-46-III on display at RAF Cosford was from this unit which operated multiple Chutai equipped with many different aircraft types.
  • Ki-46-II of 2nd Dokuritsu Hikotai - with only a single Katakana character ス ('Su') on the rudder this aircraft is distinguished by its unusual camouflage scheme of dark green sworls and dabs - a painting challenge! 
  • Ki-46-III of 141st Kokutai - a Dinah operated by an IJN unit in the Philippines making for an unusual subject. As an alternative to the Army olive brown this aircraft could also be painted in the black green Navy colour.
  • Ki-46-III of 106th Sentai - an unusual emblem attributed here to the "missing" 106th Sentai, although the 'wing' of the design has four tails. Many ad hoc units were consolidated, created and designated during the Philippines campaign.
  • Ki-46-III of 10th Sentai - in late war olive brown this Dinah operated from Taiwan during the Okinawa campaign, the unit being reconstituted in Japan following the New Guinea campaign and adopting the new marking of a stylised representation of the number '10'.
  • Ki-46-III of Sakura Shinbu Tai - a special attacker from one of the units engaged in the Okinawa campaign which flew Dinahs loaded with 500lb bombs and displays a skull and crossbones 'death' insignia. As an alternative to the overall olive brown this aircraft could also be painted in dark blue grey. Shinbu tai (sometimes written as Shinpu or Shimbu) means a unit to inspire a martial spirit.

And for the Navy:-
  • C6N1 of 121st Kokutai - a Saiun operating from Tinian in the Mariana Islands during 1944 in standard scheme with yellow tail code
  • C6N1 of 121st Kokutai - as previous but with a different tail code in white
  • C6N1 of East Caroline Group - a Saiun based at Truk in 1945 with standard scheme but a different demarcation between upper and lower colours.
  • C6N1 of 210th Kokutai - an aircraft based at Korumo in Japan during 1945 with angled tail code and the same demarcation as the previous subject
  • D4Y1-C off Soryu - a speculative scheme for one of the first reconnaissance Judys deployed on operations. The possible appearance of this aircraft has been subject to much debate and it has been depicted before in overall grey. This bonus decal decal includes the tail code and data plate only.

This is another excellent sheet from Rising Decals which continues to plug the gaps in available aftermarket markings for interesting Japanese aircraft subjects. It includes the unit markings and sufficient Hinomaru for one Ki-15, two Ki-46 and one C6N1. 

Image credits: All © 2015 Rising Decals

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