Joe Picarella has kindly alerted me to the complete restoration of the Imperial War Museum's original Ohka c/n 1100 seen above and now on display at their Lambeth building in London.
Joe began providing consultancy for this restoration project in 2017 and was tasked to advise on restoring the aircraft, sourcing missing component details and providing all of the information needed to complete the interior and exterior of the aircraft back to its factory finish. He has personally surveyed 11 of the 13 Ohka survivors and consulted on 3 previous Ohka restorations over the past 25 years during which he amassed a large collection of notes and more than 5,000 restoration photos, which proved to be invaluable to the restoration. Joe spent over 500 hours on this project and was able to reproduce the most complete set of stencils for an early model Ohka-11 seen since December 1944, as well as faithfully reproducing the original paint and application processes.
The complete story of this restoration will form part of Joe's new book on the development and technical history of the Ohka family, planned for the winter this year. Through this and previous Ohka restorations and surviving documents, he will be able to tell the technical story behind the Ohka and also to dispel several myths.
And for those disappointed by the lack of English text in the recent Model Art monograph on the Mitsubishi Ki-15 'Babs' Joe advises that he has now completed his own two-volume book on the type to be published shortly by MMP/Stratos with 150,000 words, 180 photographs and artwork. Hold off on those Fine Molds 'Babs' kits!
With special thanks to Joe for this exciting news. More on the Ohka restoration here.
Image credit: © 2020 G Picarella