Rising Decals have recently released another batch of interesting resin accessory sets for Japanese Navy and Army aircraft featuring specialist underwing air-to-air ordinance. A brilliant feature is that as always the sets are self contained and include relevant decals for one or more subjects together with colour instructions.
Set RD Acr-025 (shown above) contains ten Type 99 No.3 Mk.3 Mod.1 incendiary bombs and racks for a Nakajima-built A6M2 '61-180' of the 261st Ku at the Aslito airstrip, Saipan in June 1944 in sombre dark green over grey finish. The bombs and racks are separately moulded and the decal sheet includes the yellow tail code, data plate and small '2-3' stencil and a full set of Hinomaru with painted out white borders on upper wing and fuselage. This is a welcome set because the Type 99 had distinctive spiral auxiliary fins which are quite difficult to improvise. The Type 99 was a 30kg (66lb) bomb with nose and tail fuzing, a cast picric acid explosive filling and 198 phosphorous filled steel pellets intended for use against aircraft in the air and on the ground. The spiral fins were designed to accelerate the bomb's rate of rotation to 1,000rpm in order for the tail fuze to function. The subject aircraft carried five bombs under each wing and their position is clearly shown in the instructions. This is a useful, innovative set that will dress up an A6M2 model very nicely.
Set RD Acr-026 contains just two Type 99 No.3 Mk.3 Mod.1 incendiary bombs and racks but decals for three different subject aircraft from the 381st Ku at the airstrip on Jefman Island in May 1944. Jefman is a small island at the north-west tip of New Guinea between Sorong and Waiwo. All three aircraft are Nakajima-built A6M2 with tactical markings of grey painted tail fins and wing tips. '81-1142' has a red horizontal tail stripe, '81-1183' a fuselage Houkoku legend for 'Seram No.1' and '81-1146' a white horizontal fin stripe and white forward cowling. The decal sheet contains a set of white bordered Hinomaru and data plate stencil for one aircraft, with white tail codes, tail/fin stripes and Houkoku legend for the options. Another very welcome set that will inspire the building and painting of a very different looking Zero.
Set RD Acr-027 contains two Type 3 No.6 Mk.27 Mod.1 rocket bombs and racks with decals for two J2M3 Raiden interceptors of the 302nd Ku at Atsugi airbase, Japan in 1945. Decals include the Hinomaru for one aircraft, white tail codes for 'YoD-1148' and 'YoD-1140' with a yellow fuselage band for the former which also has colourful yellow trim on the tail fin, cowling and cowling flaps. This type of rocket bomb was developed to overcome the difficulty of dropping the Type 99 bomb to explode close enough to a moving aircraft formation. It was first designed in January 1944 but not adopted for operational use until February 1945 after extensive testing at the Hiratsuka and First Technical Arsenals and Kashima experimental bombing range. The 60kg (132lb) bomb contained 10kg of propellant and the bursting nose cone was filled with 140 iron pellets embedded in 4 kg of white phosphorous. After firing it reached a velocity of 270 m/sec and on exploding the dispersion arc of the pellets was 60°, functioning similarly to an artillery fired shrapnel shell. It was not designed to hit an individual aircraft but to explode within a bomber formation. This is another very interesting set to use to make a Raiden model a little bit different.
Set RD Acr-028 contains four Type 3 No.1 Mk.28 Mod.1 rocket bombs and racks for two Nakajima-built A6M5 fighters of the 302nd Ku at Atsugi airbase, Japan, in 1945. The first, 'YoD-1132', is an A6M5a and the second, 'YoD-131' is an A6M5c. Both carry two rocket bombs under each wing. The decals include Hinomaru sufficient for one model, yellow tail codes and undercarriage numbers for both and the yellow victory mark (?) on the tail fin of 1132. The Mk.28 bombs were smaller versions of the Mk.27, being 7.65kg (16.8lb) in weight with a 0.6kg nose charge and 2kg of propellant accelerating the bomb to 400 m/sec. This set complements the previous set very nicely and together would make an interesting display representing the IJN's air defence of Japan against the B-29 bombing campaign.
Set RD Acr-031 turns to the Army and provides two Ta-Dan cluster bomb containers for a Ki-44 of the 1st Yasen Hoju Hikotai at Singapore in 1944. This aircraft is speculatively attributed to Capt Ryotaro Jobo and is depicted in the late-war olive drab scheme, although shown as dark green on the instructions. Decals are included for the Hinomaru, white senchi hiyoshiki war front band and the unit tail markings with individual aircraft number. The cluster bomb container was made of corrugated steel sheet in three sections and according to the US ordinance manual TM 9-1985-5 was painted black. This type contained 30 Type 2 40mm bombs of 0.33kg weight and could also be fitted to the Ki-61, Ki-84, Ki-100 and Ki-46, the latter pioneering the use of this type of ordinance against the B-29. Each bomb contained the Japanese Army Mk.2 'Tanoyaku' explosive charge consisting of 50% TNT and 50% RDX. When the container was released from the rack the arming wire was withdrawn allowing the container bands to fall away. The three sections of the container then separated allowing the individual bombs to fall free, arming themselves in the process (inside the container they were interlocked to secure the arming vanes). A very nice set for modelling an unusually armed Shoki from a very interesting unit.
Set RD Acr-032 two Ta-Dan cluster bomb containers for a colourful Ki-46-III interceptor of Dokuritsu Hiko No.83 Chutai at Ashiya, Japan, in August 1945. This set contains the larger type of Ta-Dan cluster bomb container holding 76 Type 2 bombs and again the TM describes the container as being painted black. Decals consist of the Hinomaru, striking unit red, yellow and white tail markings and white bordered yellow fuselage bands. The white Homeland Defence 'bandages' will need to be painted on. Again this aircraft is in the late-war olive drab colour although shown as a dark green. The 83rd independent air squadron was originally intended as the reconnaissance element of the 12th Air Division formed from the 19th Air Brigade on 17 July 1944 under Maj Gen Furuya, but as bombing raids increased two-thirds of the unit's aircraft were re-assigned to the Ta-Dan interceptor role. The 12th Air Division was formally assigned to the General Defence Command but operated under Western Army Command and the other units within the Division were the 4th, 47th 59th and 71st Hiko Sentai. The 16th Air Brigade (51st and 52nd Hiko Sentai) and 246th Hiko Sentai were also attached to the Division. The 246th gave birth to the 82nd independent air squadron, designated in February 1945 with a specialist high altitude interception role and also equipped with Ki-46-III fighters. The relationship between the 82nd and 83rd, if any, is unknown.
The Ki-46-III interceptor had a long formal designation - 百 hyaku (100) 式 shiki (type) 三 san (3) 型 gata (model) 司令部 shireibu (headquarters) 偵察機 teisatsu-ki (reconnaissance aircraft) 改造 kaizô (remodeled or modified) 防空 bôkû (air defence) 戦闘機 sentô-ki (fighter). Various abbreviated designations were used to describe the different armament configurations but the variant depicted by Rising was typically referred to simply as san gata otsu ( "3 model otsu" - Ki-46-III kai otsu or Ki-46-III kai b). 20 aircraft of this type, without 37mm oblique armament, were manufactured by Mitsubishi and 55 modified from Ki-46-III in Tachikawa Army Air Arsenal. The Ta-Dan containers were also carried and used by unarmed Ki-46 variants in the Japan-based reconnaissance units.
All the accessory parts in these sets are crisply moulded in grey resin but will need care in removing from their sprues. They are all very welcome additions to Rising's continuing indulgence of Japanese aircraft enthusiasts and highly recommended. With special thanks to Mirek of Rising Decals for the review samples.
Image credits: All © 2016 Rising Decals