Thursday, 26 March 2020

Ki-74 'Patsy' in 1/48 by John Haas ~ Part Four


John Haas presents the fourth and final part of his magnificent scratch build Ki-74 'Patsy' project in 1/48 scale. Links to previous instalments: Part One, Part Two and Part Three. In his own words, the finale then:-

'On Finals'

'So finally I arrived at the last chapter of this modelling history. In Part Three I had airbrushed the upper surface in the final JAAF olive green. Now the underside had to be painted in light grey. It was difficult to tape everything for airbrushing so I chose simple brushing by hand. I only taped the edges and everything went well.


'After the paint had dryed I airbrushed a coat of Acryl based satin varnish to obtain a nice even finish. Now it was time for the last details, to paint the wheel wells and undercarriage doors in Aotake. I made my own kind of Aotake by first applying aluminium then over that a coat of metallic green, and finally a wash of dark blue to highlight more details. Finally I applied some panel lines with a black pencil.


'The hinomaru came from the spare decal box. Next were the navigation lights, so back to a study of the photographs and, as I had indeed discovered with other planes, some extended onto the wing upper surface.


'Almost there; glazing the porthole windows. I don't use Micro Krystal Klear as I found a better Dutch alternative - a universal household glue called Velpon, almost as clear but much stronger and easier to use for large windows. The final detail; the wireless atenna - a piece of clear stretched  sprue did the trick - and finally complete!


'I omitted any squadron markings, etc. Firstly I did not find them on the photographs and secondly I like to keep my models mostly in a rather clean finish, just as if rolled out of the factory. This was a long and sometimes complicated build, but I learned some new tricks along the way.'


With very special thanks to John for sharing the ups and downs of this exacting project as well as the work in progress and final images of the wonderful model which resulted - and which began life as pieces of wood!

Image credit: All © 2020 John Haas

Tuesday, 24 March 2020

Dead Design Delivers The Goodies ~ 1/72 scale


Dead Design Models are no less prolific in the 'divine' scale, with canopy masks released for new and old 1/72 Japanese aircraft kits as follows:-

  • VM72060  Canopy masks (shown above) for the Fujimi Aichi E16A Zuiun 'Paul' kit, including masks for both cockpit transparencies and for the beaching dolly wheel hubs. This set retails direct from Dead Design at €6.15 (approximately £5.66 Sterling or US$6.65).
  • VM72061 Canopy masks (shown above) for the Fujimi Aichi E11A 'Laura' kit, including masks for the cockpit transparency, bow machine gun and fuselage transparencies. This set retails direct from Dead Design at €6.15 (approximately £5.66 Sterling or US$6.65).
  • VM72076 Canopy masks (shown above) for all LS/Arii Mitsubishi Ki-15 I/II 'Babs' kits, including main cockpit transparency, fuselage side and ventral transparencies, landing light transparency and main wheel hub. This set retails direct from Dead Design at €6.15 (approximately £5.66 Sterling or US$6.65).
  • VM72077 Canopy masks (shown above) for all LS/Arii Mitsubishi Ki-15 'Kamikaze' kits, including main cockpit transparency, fuselage side and ventral transparencies, landing light transparency and main wheel hub. This set retails direct from Dead Design at €6.15 (approximately £5.66 Sterling or US$6.65).
  • VM72078 Canopy masks for the Clear Prop! Models Mitsubishi A5M2b Late 'Claude' kit, including masks for main wheel hubs.This set retails direct from Dead Design at €3.84 (approximately £3.58 Sterling or US$4.13)
  • VM72079 Canopy masks (shown above) for the Clear Prop! Models Mitsubishi Ki-51 'Sonia' kit, including masks for both types of canopy, fuselage side and ventral transparencies, landing light transparencies, navigation lights and main wheel hubs. This set retails direct from Dead Design at €6.15 (approximately £5.73 Sterling or US$6.61)
  • VM72082 Canopy masks for the Academy/Minicraft Mitsubishi A6M5c Zero kit, including main wheel hubs. This set retails direct from Dead Design at €3.84 (approximately £3.58 Sterling or US$4.13)

In addition several sets of national insignia and markings masks have been released as follows:-
  • VM72083 for Clear Prop! Models Mitsubishi Ki-51 'Sonia' kit, includes tail markings for Hokota Army Flying School. This set retails direct from Dead Design at €3.84 (approximately £3.58 Sterling or US$4.13)
  • VM72084 for the the Hasegawa Kawanishi N1K1 Kyofu 'Rex' kits, includes tail codes for two Sasebo ku aircraft. This set retails direct from Dead Design at €3.84 (approximately £3.58 Sterling or US$4.13)
  • VM72085  for the Fujimi D4Y Suisei 'Judy' kits, for thin white bordered hinomaru, including elevator drift markings. This set retails direct from Dead Design at €3.84 (approximately £3.58 Sterling or US$4.13)
  • VM72086 for the Fujimi D4Y Suisei 'Judy' kits, with plain hinomaru, including elevator drift markings. This set retails direct from Dead Design at €3.84 (approximately £3.58 Sterling or US$4.13)
  • VM72087 for the Fujimi Aichi E16A Zuiun 'Paul' kits. This set retails direct from Dead Design at €3.84 (approximately £3.58 Sterling or US$4.13)  
  • VM72088 for the Fujimi Aichi E11A 'Laura' kits (shown above), including three different tail codes. This set retails direct from Dead Design at €3.84 (approximately £3.58 Sterling or US$4.13)  

Optical illusion masks for control surfaces have been released for the following kits. Prices vary from €3.84 (approximately £3.58 Sterling or US$4.13) to €4.99 (approximately £4.64 Sterling or US$5.36) :-
  • SM72008 Clear Prop! Models Mitsubishi A5M 'Claude' 
  • SM72009 Clear Prop! Models Mitsubishi Ki-51 'Sonia'
  • SM72010 Hasegawa Mitsubishi Ki-51 'Sonia'
  • SM72011 Fine Molds Mitsubishi A6M2b Model 21 Zero
  • SM72012 Fine Molds Mitsubishi A6M3 Model 32 Zero
  • SM72013 Fine Molds Mitsubishi A6M3 Model 22 Zero
  • SM72014 Fine Molds Mitsubishi A6M5 Model 52 Zero
  • SM72015 Fujimi Tachikawa Ki-36/55 'Ida' (shown above)
  • SM72016 Tamiya Mitsubishi A6M2b Model 21 Zero
  • SM72017 Tamiya Mitsubishi A6M3 Model 32 Zero
  • SM72018 Tamiya Mitsubishi A6M3 Model 22 Zero
  • SM72019 Tamiya Mitsubishi A6M5 Model 52 Zero
  • SM72020 Hasegawa Kawasaki Ki-45 Toryu 'Nick'
  • SM72024 Hasegawa Mitsubishi A6M2a/b Model 11/21 Zero
  • SM72025 Hasegawa Mitsubishi A6M3 Model 32 Zero
  • SM72026 Hasegawa Mitsubishi A6M3 Model 22 Zero
  • SM72027 Hasegawa Mitsubishi A6M5a/b/c Model 52 Zero
With thanks to Jan of Dead Design Models for this information. The fact that Dead Design Models include sets for the older kits is much appreciated. The Fujimi Aichi E11A 'Laura' kit (box art shown as heading image) is due for re-release next month.

Image credit: Heading box art of Aichi E11A 'Laura' © 2020 Fujimi Mokei Co., Ltd via Hobby Search; All others © 2020 Dead Design Models

Sunday, 22 March 2020

Dead Design Delivers The Goodies ~ 1/48 scale ~ Addenda


A few items were ommitted in yesterday's mega listing of Dead Design Models goodies. It is easier to include those in a new blog than add them to the existing one as formatting the spacing in Blogger is a nightmare of trial and error! 


Set CM48012 (shown above) provides a vacform canopy and paint masks  for the Hasegawa (ex-Mania) Nakajima Ki-27 kit Ko (early) version. The canopy is moulded in seperate sections for easy removal from the riser, and consists of windscreen, sliding hood and rear fairing.  The set includes masks for the main wheel hubs. The set retails direct from Dead Design at €6.92 (approximately £6.36 Sterling or US$7.40).


Set CM48013 (shown above)  provides a vacform canopy and paint masks  for the Hasegawa Nakajima Ki-27 kit Otsu (later) version. The canopy is moulded in seperate sections for easy removal from the riser, and consists of windscreen, sliding hood and rear fairing.  The set includes masks for the main wheel hubs. The set retails direct from Dead Design at €6.92 (approximately £6.36 Sterling or US$7.40).


Set VM48046 (shown above) provides paint masks only for the Hasegawa Aichi B7A2 Ryusei 'Grace' kits for the canopy and all wheel hubs. The set retails direct from Dead Design at €6.92 (approximately £6.36 Sterling or US$7.40).   


Set VM48074 (shown above) provides paint masks only for both types of canopies in the Hasegawa Nakajima Ki-27 'Nate' kit. The set retails direct from Dead Design at €6.15 (approximately £5.65 Sterling or US$6.58).  

For those interested in the original Mania version of the Hasegawa Ki-27 kit or planning to build any of the many releases there is an excellent retrospective and build at the Replica in Scale blog, which includes some really useful heads ups and tips for building too. The kit was featured here too but in much less detail.  

Image credit: Heading image © 1975 Mania Hobby; All others © 2020 Dead Design Models

Saturday, 21 March 2020

Dead Design Delivers The Goodies ~ 1/48 scale

The prolific Dead Design Models continues the release of vac form canopies and paint masks for Japanese aircraft kits, new and old, in 1/48 and 1/72 scales. 


Beginning with 1/48 scale releases set CM48003 provides a vacform canopy and spray masks for the Fine Molds Mitsubishi Ki-15 'Kamikaze' kit. The canopy is moulded in five sections for easy removal from the riser and for display with the windscreen, pilot's canopy, centre section, observer's canopy and rear section as separate parts. This set also includes spray masks for the canopy, all types of side windows, the ventral window, landing light transparency and main wheel hubs. This set retails direct from Dead Design at €9.61 (approximately £8.85 Sterling or US$10.30).


Set CM48006 (shown above) is designed for  the Hasegawa B6N1/2 Tenzan 'Jill' kits. The vacform canopy is moulded in separate sections for easier removal from the riser, consisting of the windscreen, pilot's sliding hood, centre section, commander's sliding hood, rear fairing and two observer/gunner sliding hoods for easier removing from the riser. The set includes paint masks for the canopy, pilots bulkhead, ventral and side windows, plus main and tail wheel hubs. This set retails direct from Dead Design at €9.61 (approximately £8.85 Sterling or US$10.30).


Set CM48009 (shown above) is designed for that venerable veteran the Nichimo Mitsubishi Ki-51 'Sonia'. The vacform canopy is in separate sections as for the Ki-15 and also importantly corrects the kit's simplified and short rear section. This set includes paint masks for the canopy, ventral windows and main wheel hubs. A most commendable aspect of Dead Design's designs is their attention to improving and upgrading older kits which many modellers will still have in the stash. This set retails direct from Dead Design at €7.68 (approximately £7 Sterling or US$8.22).


Set CM48010 (shown above) will provide the Hasegawa Kawasaki Ki-100 'Ko' (razorback) kit with a vacform canopy split into windscreen, sliding canopy and rear fairing sections, as well as paint masks for the canopy, landing light transparency and main wheel hubs.  This set retails direct from Dead Design at €6.92 (approximately £6.36 Sterling or US$7.40).


Set CM48011 (shown above)has similar provision for the Hasegawa Kawasaki Ki-100 'Otsu' (bubbletop) kit. This set retails direct from Dead Design at €6.92 (approximately £6.36 Sterling or US$7.40).

VM48051 for Nichimo Ki-43-1

 VM48055 for Tamiya A6M3/5 New Mould Kits

The following sets provide paint masks only for the kits as described (click links for prices which vary) :-
  • VM48025 Canopy mask for the Nichimo Nakajima B5N1/2 kit, including masks for all transparencies and main wheel hubs
  • VM48031 Canopy mask for the Nichimo Kawasaki Ki-45 Toryu kit, including masks for all transparencies and all wheel hubs
  • VM48050 Canopy mask for the Hasegawa Kawasaki Ki-45 Toryu kit, with masks for open or closed canopies, side windows and landing light transparency  
  • VM48051 Canopy mask for the Nichimo Nakajima Ki-43-I Hayabusa kit, including masks for all transparencies and main wheel hubs
  • VM48052 Canopy mask for the Hasegawa Mitsubishi J2M3 Raiden kits, including masks for the armoured glass and all wheel hubs
  • VM48053 Canopy mask for the Hasegawa Mitsubishi J2M5/6 Raiden kits, including masks for the armoured glass and all wheel hubs
  • VM48055 Canopy mask for the Tamiya new mould (post 2008) Mitsubishi A6M3/5 Reisen kits, including masks for cockpit floor transparency and main wheel hubs
  • VM48056 Canopy Mask for all Hasegawa Mitsubishi A6M1/2a Model 11 Reisen kits including prototype and including masks for all wheel hubs 
  • VM48057 Canopy mask for the Hasegawa Mitsubishi A6M2b/3/5 Model 21, 22, 32, 52a, b. c, kits, including masks for all wheel hubs 
  • VM48058 Canopy mask for the Hasegawa Mitsubishi A6M2-K Reisen Trainer kits, including masks for main wheel hubs
  • VM48059 Canopy mask for the Tamiya old mould (pre 2008) A6M2/3/5 Reisen kits and Nakajima A6M2-N Suisen kits, including masks for open or closed canopies and main wheel hubs
  • VM48060 Canopy mask for the Hasegawa Mitsubishi A6M5c/7/8 Reisen kits, including masks for armoured glass, fuselage window and all wheel hubs 
  • VM48061 Canopy mask for the Hasegawa Mitsubishi A6M5 Reisen Nightfighter kits, including windscreen mounted gunsight and all wheel hubs

VM48068 National Insignia masksfor Fine Molds D4Y - plain hinomaru
VM48062 National Insignia masks for Hasegawa Ki-43-1
 
The following sets provide masks for national insignia and other markings:-
  • VM48054 National insignia etc masks to replace decals for the Tamiya Kawasaki Ki-61-1d Hien kit
  • VM48062 National insignia etc masks to replace decals for the Hasegawa Nakajima Ki-43-1 Hayabusa kits, including mask for 50th Sentai fuselage lightning flash
  • VM48063 National insignia etc masks to replace decals for the Hasegawa Nakajima Ki-43-II/III Hayabusa kits, including mask for 64th Sentai arrow tail marking
  • VM48064 National insignia etc masks to replace decals for the Fine Molds Nakajima Ki-43-II/III Hayabusa kits, including mask for 33rd Sentai tail marking
  • VM48065 National insignia etc masks to replace decals for the Hasegawa Kawasaki Ki-45 Toryu kits, including mask for 53rd Sentai tail marking
  • VM48066 National insignia etc masks to replace decals for the Hasegawa Ki-61/Ki-100 kits, including mask for 56th Sentai tail marking
  • VM48067 National insignia etc masks to replace decals for the Fine Molds D4Y Suisei kits, including masks for white bordered hinomaru, wind drift and dive bombing indication markings
  • VM48068 National insignia etc masks to replace decals for the Fine Molds D4Y Suisei kits, including masks for unbordered hinomaru, wind drift and dive bombing indication markings

 SM48006 Optical Illusion masks for Fine Molds A5M family

The following sets are optical illusion masks for control surfaces, prices vary from €4.99 to €5.76 (approximately £4.58-5.29 and US$ 5.34-6.16):-
  • SM48005 for Wingsy Mitsubishi A5M 'Claude' kits
  • SM48006 for Fine Molds Mitsubishi A5M 'Claude' kits
  • SM48007 for Hasegawa Mitsubishi A6M2a/b Model 11/21 kits
  • SM48008 for Hasegawa Mitsubishi  A6M3 Model 32 kits
  • SM48009 for Hasegawa Mitsubishi A6M3 Model 22 kits
  • SM48010 for Hasegawa A6M5a/b/c.2-K Model 52 (early wing sprue 'C')
  • SM48011 for Tamiya A6M3 Model 22 
  • SM48018 for Tamiya A6M5 Model 52
  • SM48019 for Hasegawa A6M5c/7 Model 52c/63
The heading photo shows the effect of using the optical illusion mask on an aileron. Instructions for using these innovative masks can be found at the Dead Design website here.

With special thanks to Jan of Dead Design Models for providing this information.

Image credit: All images © 2020 Dead Design Models

Friday, 20 March 2020

Betty Off Malaya


Hat tip to Aviation of Japan's Texas correspondent Mark Smith for kindly alerting to the re-release of the venerable Hasegawa Mitsubishi G4M1 'Betty' in 1/72 scale. This time Betty is dressed for the 'Sea Battle off Malaya' in green and brown, with markings options for three aircraft of the Kanoya Ku, the unit which sank the Royal Navy's battleship HMS Prince of Wales and battlecruiser HMS Repulse on 10 December 1941, off Kuantan on the east coast of Malaya.  They are 2nd Chutai K-315 or K-357 and 3rd Chutai K-338. The G4M 'Betty' was officially the Type 1 Land-based Attack Aircraft  (一式陸上攻撃機 - Ichi Shiki Rikujoh Kohgeki-ki) often abbreviated as Type  1 Rikko (一式陸攻 - Ichi Shiki Rikko). Betty's subsequent misfortunes have somewhat overshadowed the startling success of its torpedo attacks on the two British capital ships.


The splendid new box art appears to follow the convention of Kariki 117 colour standards D2 and H2 for the two-tone green and brown camouflage over natural metal, but the issue of IJN browns was tentatively explored here in no less than five parts (!) during June 2008, with contemporary artwork of a Kanoya Ku Type 1 Rikko over HMS Prince of Wales, courtesy of the late Jim Lansdale, subsequently posted here. The current Hasegawa instructions suggest Gunze Mr Color 124 Dark Green (Mitsubishi) for the green, but a Mr Color mix for the brown of 40% 7 Brown + 30% 4 Yellow + 30% 6 Green.  I haven't tried this yet but presume it results in a colour approximating the box art, perhaps just a little more 'earthy'. It is the same mix suggested in the 2007 release 'Repulse Attack' which offered markings for no less than seven Kanoya Ku aircraft, including K-310 flown by the 3rd Chutai leader Lt Haruki Iki and as shown below on a Hasegawa promotional model.   

2007 'Repulse Attack' release

The Hasegawa kit was released in 1969 as JS-24/450 in its 'King Size' series so exceeds the half century in vintage, first appearing in chunky dark green plastic with lots of rivets and a small tube of glue precariously included in the bag with the transparencies. The markings provided were for two green over grey schemes - aircraft '336' (s/n 5749) of 705 Ku at Rabaul in June 1943 and aircraft '01' of 761 Ku during that unit's establishment training at Kanoya, Japan from July 1943. Originally designated Ryu-Butai (Dragon Unit - 龍部隊) 761 Ku continued to display the character 'Ryu' () for dragon on the tail fin  Since then the kit has been re-released 17 times in various different boxes and guises, including releases by AMT and Minicraft in the USA and Hales in the UK. It was planned to be released in the UK by Frog in 1969 as kit F284*, but that never happened and Hales imported the kit into the UK in 1972, adding their sticker to the then current box which featured the second version of box art with 'Jinrai' markings and the Ohka included in the kit. More Hasegawa Betty 'kitography' in due course. The interior was simplified with a cockpit floor, control sticks, three seats, three identical crew figures and an instrument panel. The finished model conveyed the look of the aircraft reasonably well as photos of it attest. Perusal of the latest instructions indicates no changes to the basic moulding which would benefit greatly from some aftermarket replacement cowlings (hint)! But as well as that promotional model above a photo of Owen Veal's model here, built straight from the kit and painted with Humbrol Authentics, shows how good it can look.

*From 1968 to 1972 Frog released 25,000 kits of the Hasegawa Nakajima G8N1 Renzan 'Rita' in their own boxes as F274 and from 1969 to 1971 20,000 kits of the Hasegawa Kawanishi H8K2 'Emily' in their own boxes as F276. That was followed from 1972 to 1974 with 15,000 kits of the Hasegawa 1/32 scale Mitsubishi A6M5c Zero as F287.

Image credit: Box art © 2020 Hasegawa Corporation; Instructions © 2020 Hasegawa Corporation via Hobby Search; Model photo © 2007 Hasegawa Corporation

Thursday, 12 March 2020

David Walker's 1/48 Mitsubishi J2M3 Raiden


The excellent 1/48 scale Japanese aircraft models of David Walker have graced the Aviation of Japan blog before, with his superb Kawanishi N1K2-J Shiden-kai showcased in November 2009 and his fine Nakajima Ki-84 Hayate 'Frank' featured in September 2017. Both models give the appearance of being to a larger scale and his Raiden model, showcased here, is no exception. 


David's model was built from the 1/48 scale Hasegawa Mitsubishi J2M3 kit, # 09667, first released in 1996. David observes that this kit is similar to many Japanese WW2 kits made by Hasegawa,  generally presenting excellent surface detail, a good tight fit and clear and easy assembly. The photos of the model were taken by David's friend Kevin McCue of Galashiels. David described his build as follows:-

"This model has the AeroMaster Empire Defenders Part 4 aftermarket decals for The 332nd Naval Air Group based at the Naruo Air base in Japan, 1945. I also fitted the extremely rare (and out of production) Moskit exhausts, Air Master 20mm cannon barrels, together with three photo-etched detail sets - Eduard FE117 and 48-201 which are designed for the Raiden (both sets provide important items that the other does not!) with one from the N1K2-J for added handles and switches not contained in those sets, and a Squadron vac form canopy, plus  a Fukuya Pitot Tube.  I also used the ring and bead sight from the N1K2-J etch set fitted to the Hasegawa gun sight part N4 – the existence of this gun sight is not mentioned  by the Eduard etch sets!


"As I had obtained a large number of detailed Raiden cockpit photos and drawings from Japanese aviation magazines from a j-aircraft forum expert  I was able to use those to add a scratch-built radio set and fine brass wiring on the shelf behind the pilots seat so the model was as accurate as I could make it.


"The model was fitted with the alternative high-performance propeller and I used modelling putty to represent the leather head rest which is not provided in the Hasegawa kit. All these additions made a huge difference to the look of the Raiden model and overall I am delighted with it as completed."

And so David should be with such a beautifully presented and imposing model! With very special thanks to David for sharing these images and for his patience in waiting for them to be posted! 

Image credit: All © 2020 David Walker and Kevin McCue