The appearance of Arawasi International magazine, Issue 12 for Spring 2015, is a welcome delight. Issue 11 was published in the Summer of 2009 and the long interval that followed was a cause for concern. The latest issue is, as usual, packed with interesting articles, photographs and superb profiles by Zygmunt Szereneta, with a definite civil focus as follows:-
- Japanese Staggerwings - a thorough examination of the licence-built Beech 17E with full story, many interesting photographs, schematics, interior details, contemporary colour and profiles - almost a mini monograph in its own right and essential for anyone interested in this machine.
- Human Bomb Ohka Pilots Ready For Take Off - a fascinating first hand account by Saeki Masaaki with several previously unpublished photos.
- Through Furnaces and Freezers - an account of the exploits of pioneer civilian pilot Kumakawa Ryôrarô flying the Stinson Reliant and Messerschmitt Bf108 Taifun in the 1930s with photographs and three colour profiles - the camouflaged 108 J-BACC offering excellent inspiration for a model.
- Experimental 6-Shi Two-seat Fighter - interesting account of a little known and unsuccessful biplane carrier fighter for the IJN.
- Tachikawa Ki-36 Accident Report - another gem of an article illustrating a damaged aircraft of the 206th Dokuritsu Hikôtai in photographs and profiles, although the camouflage was probably the standard China-based Chokkyo unit green and brown rather than the grey and green depicted. In monochrome photographs the brown, with its red content, often appears the darker of the two colours although intuitively it is assumed to be the green.
- Model Commentary - a superb and beautifully rendered model of the Experimental 11-Shi Special Reconnaissance Seaplane E11K1 by Bill Sanborn in 1/72 scale using the A&V resin kit. Colour photographs throughout and plenty of them.
- On Location: Matsuyama, Ehime Prefecture, Japan - a potted history and colour photographs of surviving structures at the former IJN base.
Arawasi magazine, available directly from the publisher, retails at US$12 (about £7.80) plus $3.00 postage and packing and is worth every cent. It has far more substance (and less advertising) than many mainstream aviation magazines and a quality and depth of presentation that puts it firmly in the serious journal category. Very highly recommended.
Also from Arawasi, No.2 in their superlative Eagle Eye series features the Yokosuka/Kawanishi K5Y1 and K5Y2 Akatombo training biplane of the IJN in both its land and float configurations. This is a most complete and authoritative account of the type in 81 pages, packed with photographs, schematics and charts as well as fold-out plan drawings and profiles. Anyone who thinks that colour schemes for this particular aircraft are limited will be inspired by Zygmunt Szereneta's 18 superb and colourful profiles.
Fortunately the famous Akatombo is well served by good kits in 1/72, 1/48 and 1/32 scales, the various box arts for which are shown inside the rear cover. There is also a colour feature of a wonderful 1/25 scratch-built model by Tanaka Shôichi. Eagle Eye No.2 retails at US$25 (about £16) which is a bargain for the amount and quality of content provided. The book is an absolute must for anyone contemplating building the type in any scale and is very highly recommended.