Wednesday 31 January 2018

John Haas' 1/48 Ki-78 Project ~ Part Three

In the third part of his 1/48 scale Ki-78 scratchbuilding project, with the basic structure now completed, John found that adding the small details took just as long as crafting the larger pieces. He started by constructing the interior of the wheel wells, improvising as no clear photographs of them were available.  The interior colour of the wheel wells and covers seemed to be rather dark, so John chose a medium green. 

Next the cockpit interior, again no photographs to work from, so John had to create everything with just a nod towards the cockpit of the Ki-61. 

For the undercarriage John thought he might be able to find suitable parts from the spares department, but alas, nothing was usable - everything was sold out! So the struts were handmade from spruce,  including the tiny scissors. He had more luck with the wheels, which came from an old Tamiya 1/50 scale Ki-100. Very old indeed! And the Ki-100's prop blades proved to be spot on too!

So far so good. In the next part John will be the fabricating the exhausts, and the last important hurdle - the fitting of the canopy. That is a tricky business, where it is quite easy to remove too much material and then have to start all over again. Until next time . . . 

(Parts One and Two of John's Ki-78 project may be found here and here).

Image credits: All photos © 2018 John Haas

Monday 22 January 2018

Another Emily!

Another fine and beautifully displayed model of 'Emily', this time crafted from the Arii Microace (ex-LS) kit in 1/144 scale. The model was built by Alexander Sibirev (whose G10N Fugaku featured here last September), photographed by Pavel Bruk and shared with Aviation of Japan via the kindness of Dmitry Koralkov.

The model represents a Kawanishi H8K2 Type 2 Flying boat, Model 12 (early version) of 802 Ku, s/n 426, tail code 'N1-26' at Shortland island in 1943. Dai 802 Kaigun Kokutai was re-organised from Dai 14 Kaigun Kokutai in November 1942 and used the tail code 'N1' from January to September 1943.

The model was painted with Vallejo Model Air acrylics using 71.134 IJA Midouri Green (sic) for the dark green upper surfaces, with 71.050 Light Gray (FS 36375/RAL 7040) for the under surfaces and 71.080 Rust (FS 30166) for the props. Despite the smaller scale the model is approximately 19.5 cm (7.7 inches) long, with a wingspan of  26.4 cm (10.4 inches). 

With special thanks to Dmitry, Alexander and Pavel for sharing these images of Alexander's excellent model with Aviation of Japan.

Image credits: All model photos © 2018 Alexander Sibirev & Pavel Bruk via Dmitry Korolkov; Box art © 1994 Arii Microace & © 1980 LS 


Sunday 21 January 2018

Hasegawa New Tool Emily in 1/72 by Stewart Nunn

Stewart Nunn has very kindly shared these images and details of his excellent build of the Hasegawa new tool Kawanishi H8K Type 2 Model 12 Flying Boat 'Emily' - that "tough old bird".  

Stewart built the kit almost entirely out of the box and found that it is beautifully moulded and engineered. The kit includes a choice of bombs or torpedoes, a complete and beautifully sculpted, multi-part, crew of 12 – most of whom will never be seen again once the model is completed - and canopy masks for the main glazing. Stewart used an Eduard masking set for the fuselage windows which are not included in the kit's masking set.

Stewart had no significant problems in construction and those small problems he did encounter were mostly down to him and his unfamiliarity with building such large models. Some clever engineering reduced the stress factor a bit, such as double spars moulded integrally with the fuselage bulkheads onto which each wing fits, which allows them to be removed for storage, and Hasegawa's usual poly-caps to retain the propellers without the need for glue, which made masking and painting easier too.

The undersides were painted in Alclad Semi-matt Aluminum with the doped fabric sections represented using Citadel Runefang Steel. The uppersurfaces were finished in Colourcoats ACJ01 IJN D1 Deep Green Black, with the doped fabric surfaces painted using the same colour mixed with a little ACJ18 IJN Interior Olive Green. The floats were rigged using Infini Lycra thread (white, 110 denier) and the R/T aerial wires with Infini's white 70 denier thread as he wanted the float bracing wires to look beefier than the R/T wire.

The kit decal sheet was used to represent the third option provided in the kit, an aircraft coded '86' of the 801st Flying Group. The decals seem quite thick but a review advised that they were perfectly usable. Stewart found that they worked very well after a few coats of Mr Mark Decal Softener despite the large area of carrier film between the printed lines of the wing walkways. He had a couple of issues with the leading edge orange-yellow IFF strips, and that was the one thing that with hindsight he would have done differently – instead spraying them on and masking prior to applying the main colours – but in the end he felt that they didn't look bad.

Stewart says that all in all it was one of the nicest kits he ever built and certainly the nicest large aircraft kit he has ever built, and he was very pleased with the end result. He should be!  

Dai 801 Kaigun Kokutai (801st Ku) was established in November 1942 from a cadre drawn from the Yokosuka Ku to conduct maritime patrols from Yokosuka over the Eastern waters of Japan. The aircraft originally utilised was the Kawanishi H6K Type 97 Flying Boat 'Mavis'  (Kyu-nana Shiki Hikoh-tei - 九七式飛行挺) with the tail code 'U3' but the unit was later re-equipped with The Kawanishi H8K Type 2 Flying Boat 'Emily'  (Ni Shiki Hikoh-tei - 二式飛行挺), the subject of the Hasegawa kit. After participating in the Aleutians campaign the 801st returned to Japan, based at Yokohama. In November 1944 the unit adopted the tail code '801' and was expanded to include the Saiun reconnaissance aircraft, Zuiun reconnaissance seaplane and Mitsubishi G4M2 'Betty'. The H8K flying boats then operated as Dai 3 Kaigun Hikotai with the Zuiun seaplanes. The flying boats participated in the Okinawa campaign conducting long range maritime surveillance patrols and a variety of supporting duties.  

The other decal options included in the kit are for an aircraft of the Takuma Ku with tail code 'T-31' and an aircraft of 802nd Ku with tail code 'N1-26'. The kit was subsequently re-issued as the Model 11 variant (shown below) with markings options for an 802nd Ku aircraft with tail code 'N1-13' and a 14th Ku (later 802nd Ku) aircraft with tail code 'W-47'.

With special thanks to Stewart for sharing these images and details of the build with Aviation of Japan.

Image credits: All model photos © 2018 Stewart Nunn; Box art © 2017 Hasegawa Corporation via Hobby Search