Sunday, 22 July 2018

Piebald Army Tanker by Dan Salamone

Dan Salamone, continuing his innovative foray into Japanese airfield vehicles and equipment, has very kindly shared these images, of work-in-progress and completed model, of his skilful conversion of the 1/48 scale Hasegawa Isuzu TX40 fuel truck (Kit # X48-14) with fabric roof cab into the steel cab version. The unusual dazzle painting is based on a colour photograph taken at Kumanosho near Kumamoto city on Kyushu, a 6th Air Army airfield used for operations against Okinawa. 

 In Dan's own words then. . .

"This is my completed 1/48 Hasegawa TX40 steel cab truck conversion project. After finding enough photos of the real vehicle, I started converting it from the fabric roof version as molded in the kit. Evergreen styrene was used for the various parts, the roof is styrene sheet laminated and glued together, then cut and sanded to shape.      

The fuel tank itself in the images I was using as reference showed a smooth surface rather than the ribbed version as molded in the kit. I sourced the fuel hose from my LHS (as was the kit and all other finishing materials).

I used custom mixed Vallejo acrylics for the camouflage, then weathered with artist's oils, AK pigments, and Vallejo washes and acrylics. The final clear coat is Gunze Mr. Super Clear matt, from a spray bottle. 

Normally these vehicles were painted in overall IJA Khaki, however, a series of post war color images show a collection of various fuel and starter trucks left at a base along with some Ki-67 bombers*. The trucks were all painted in a variety of bright “dazzle” schemes, and make for a very unique modeling subject."

*The Ki-67 bombers appear to be from Hiko Dai 110 Sentai which ended the war at Kumanosho (隈ノ 庄). The 110th was formed in October 1944 at Hamamatsu under Major Takeo Kusakari (who survived the war) with only two chutai throughout its existence. The unit conducted bombing raids against Saipan, losing six aircraft on the night of 7 Dec 1944. In an 8-day period during early February 1945 the unit transported 30 tons of material to Iwo Jima via Tachiarai in preparation for the expected  US invasion.  After the invasion began it engaged in daring low-level nocturnal attacks against shipping and landing areas. In one of these attacks on 21 February the tail turret of Lt Nino Sonoda's aircraft was blown off by anti-aircraft fire with the gunner Sgt Jusaku Saito falling to his death. Sonoda managed to fly the badly damaged Ki-67 back to a forced landing offshore at Hamamatsu  On 6 March a Ki-67 was lost attempting to transport replenishment ammunition to the island whilst fighting was in progress (1Lt Kazuo Sakonji MIA). The 110th then moved to Kumanosho on 18 April to conduct attacks against enemy shipping off Okinawa and later against Okinawan airfields. That airfield, although designated for twin engine bomber operations, proved unsuitable for heavily loaded take offs and the aircraft instead sortied for operations from Kumamoto airfield where Hiko Dai 60 Sentai was based. A total of 20 aircraft were lost in those operations, several from forced landings at sea, and seven chutai commanders were killed in action, with the 1st chutai bearing the brunt of five consecutive commanders being lost. At war's end the 1st chutai was commanded by Captain Tatsuhiko Kishimoto and the 2nd by Captain Akira Suzuki. 

With special thanks to Dan for sharing his images and write-up of a brilliant and unique model.

Image credits:- All model photos © 2018 Dan Salamone; Kyushu map © Google Maps
References: Japanese Army Heavy Bomber Units by Dr Yasuho Izawa; Air Operations on Iwo Jima and the Ryukus (Japanese Monograph # 51)/


Michael Thurow said...

A wonderful model, Dan. I love the detail in construction and painting. Can the series of color pictures that you mention be accessed via internet?

Dan Salamone said...

Thanks for the kind words Michael. The reason I didn't include the images was that they have been copyrighted while being posted on other sites. However, if you Google terms such as "TX-40" or 'IJA fuel trucks", they usually show up. A slide from the series recently sold on eBay for a hefty amount....there are TX-40's, Toyota starter trucks, Isuzu Type 1's, as well as the Ki-67's that Nick wrote of. Come to think of it, if you Google "Ki-67" that could also be a great search term to find the images...


Mark Smith said...

Dan, this is a superb model, one of your best. Thanks for the insight into build and the research. Thanks for bringing it to us, Nick.

Dan Salamone said...

Thanks for the kind words Mark, they are greatly appreciated. This has been a project have been wanting to build for awhile, and it felt great to get it finished.


Ronnie Olsthoorn said...

I'm absolutely loving this Dan!!!
So much so, I've ordered one (Ki-45 combo kit). First model kit I order in over a decade.

Dan Salamone said...

Hi Ronnie, that's fantastic! Looking forward to seeing the TX40 receive your digital attention. :-)

I've built three TX40's/variants so far, have a fourth started, and a fifth idea in the works. After the fifth one, think I'll call my obsession done!


Richard Tool said...

Hi Dan - Wonderful job , just as we have all come to expect from your talented hands !

Thanks for sharing - Richard

Dan Salamone said...

Thanks for the kind words, Richard, they're appreciated!


Anonymous said...

Excellent and inspiring.
Thanks for sharing.


Dan Salamone said...

Thank you Carlo, appreciate the kind words!