Tuesday 30 June 2020

Michael Furry's 1/48 E8N1 'Dave'

An appropriate companion to the recent review of Rising Decals Nakajima E8N1/2 sheets, Michael Furry has very kindly shared these images of his splendid 'Dave' floatplane built from the Hasegawa 1/48 scale kit. 

Michael built the kit straight from the box, adding only photo-etch seat belts, gun sights to the rear machine gun and rudder control cables. The rigging is .010 steel wire. 

The model was painted with Floquil Old Silver and Bright Silver.  Michael used hairspray and grey acrylic paint for the excellent weathering of the floats and metal sections of the fuselage and wings.  The markings were painted on using custom made masks.  Various shades of green and brown water color were utilised to convincingly replicate a well used floatplane.  

Michael's model represents -189 (Yo-189), an early production E8N1 of the Yokosuka Ku without red tail feathers.

With very special thanks to Michael for sharing these images of his excellently crafted and inspirational model. 

Image credit: All photos © 2020 Michael Furry

Saturday 27 June 2020

AVI Models DH Puss Moth Over Asia

AVI Models 'Puss Moth Over Asia' (Kit AVI721013) combines a delightful series of iconic De Havilland DH.80A light aircraft kits with Rising Decals penchant for unusual Japanese aircraft schemes. This neat kit of the popular aircraft features markings for four colourful subjects.

DH.80A c/n 2238 (ex G-ABXJ and J-BEAF) displays the Aikoku presentation legend Hachisuka-114 on an aircraft donated to the Japanese Army in 1935 by Tadashi Hachisuka. In silver dope with red cowling, struts and trim, the fuselage is suggested to be beige (or cream?). G-ABXJ was originally registered to Capt Max H Findlay of London Air Park before being sold overseas, presumably to Mr Hachisuka, in July 1933.

DH.80A c/n 2133 J-BAXA 'Hiwa' (ひわ - Siskin) was operated by the Asahi Shimbum newspaper company from Haneda airport, Tokyo, circa 1939. In overall silver dope with black bordered white fuselage band and small Asahi Shimbum Rising Sun flag logos. 

DH.80A '22' of Manshû Kôkû Kabushiki Kaisha (MKKK - Manchukuo Aviation Co., Ltd.) during 1938. In blue and silver dope with Hinomaru added to wings and the white-painted tail for IJA liaison duty. MKKK had acquired 12 Puss Moths in 1932-33 registered as M-11 to M-22. A further 15 aircraft were manufactured without licence by MKKK using purchased engines and propellers, registered as M-23 to M-37 and designated Mankô-shiki 3-gata (Mankô type model 3).  Some of the MKKK Puss Moths were used to support military operations by transporting senior IJA staff officers and engaging in other liaison duties, as well as bombing using improvised methods during Operation Nekka in 1933.

DH.80A 'M-11' of MKKK based at Chinchow in 1934. In blue and silver dope with Manchurian roundels and tail flash. This was the first Puss Moth acquired and registered by MKKK.   

For some unknown reason the fuselage moldings have omitted any representation of the side doors and those will have to be scribed in by the modeller. Interior detail consists of a floor, instrument panel, control column and three seats but omits the rear bulkhead, which was variously equipped with a luggage rack or radio equipment, and the internal door furniture (see the Britmodeller feature linked below for details). Interior colours are unknown and no clues are given but brown leather upholstered seats and door facings with a wood veneer instrument panel are indicative of the type as manufactured.  

An interesting kit offering something unusual but relevant for Japanese aircraft enthusiasts who may find the choice of subject the most challenging part of a project. A skilful and useful build of the identical 'Puss Moth Over Europe' issue of this kit may be found at Britmodeller, resulting in a superb and exceptionally attrractive little model of the Czechoslovak Baťa OK-ATG.  

With special thanks to Mirek of Rising Decals for the review kit. 

Reference: 'The Eagles of Manchkuo, 1932-1945: An Illustrated History of the Civilian and Military Aviation' by George Eleftheriou and Kiri Domoto-Elftheriou (Arawasi 2011).

Image credit: All © 2020 AVI Models via Rising Decals

Wednesday 24 June 2020

Dennis McCone's 1/32 Mitsubishi Raiden

Dennis McCone has kindly shared these images of his Mitsubishi Raiden model built from the Hasegawa 1/32 scale kit, the second in a trio of large scale Japanese aircraft projects.

Details were mainly painted with Humbrol enamels, whilst the upper and lower surfaces were finished with Sovereign Hobbies Colourcoats which Dennis reports airbrushed beautifully. All markings were painted using masks by Mal of Miracle Paint Masks and again using Colourcoats paints. Very impressive - new to me but I am glad to learn about and link them! Dennis commented that the masking job was tricky but in the end worth it. The only decals used were the data plate on the aft fuselage and the wing fuel filler points.

The seatbelts are from the superb RB Productions IJN seat harness set, which although fiddly came out looking great.

Dennis reports that the kit was a very nice build, as is normal for Hasegawa.  The only aspect that gave him some concern was the fit of the cowling to the fuselage but which in the end also came out well.

With special thanks to Dennis for sharing these images of his impressive large scale Raiden model. 

Image credit: All photos © 2020 Dennis McCone

Saturday 20 June 2020

Sea Boots and Spats from Rising Decals!

Recent Rising Decals releases include two sets for the Nakajima E8N1/2 Type 95 'Dave' reconnaissance seaplane in 1/48 and 1/72 scale, plus two sets in the 'Unknown and Less Known Units' series for the Kawasaki Ki-32 'Mary' and Mitsubishi Ki-15 'Babs'. 

Set RD48030 shown above and below is recommended for the 1/48 Hasegawa E8N1/2 kits and contains markings for four different aircraft as follows:-

  • E8N2 '5-8' Houkoku 168 'Kamaishi Go' of the seaplane tender Chiyoda - the aircraft is depicted in green and brown kumogata style camouflage on the upper surfaces with grey under surfaces but no location or date is mentioned
  • E8N1 'ナチ(NaChi)-4' of the heavy cruiser Nachi during training west of Kyushu, Japan in April 1936 - the aircraft is in overall natural metal and silver dope with red fuselage band, red painted tailfin, rudder and tailplanes, a dark painted cowling, under surface and partial side surface to the main float and undersurfaces of the wing floats for which matt black is suggested.
  • E8N1 'ヨハ (YoHa)-91' of the Yokohama Ku at Yokohama base, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan - the aircraft is depicted in green and brown camouflage on the upper surfaces with grey under surfaces. No date is mentioned.
  • E8N2 '1-5' Houkoku 208 'Dai Ni Chosen Bei Koku Go' of the armoured cruiser Izumo at Shanghai in 1939 - the aircraft is depicted in green and brown camouflage on the upper surfaces with grey under surfaces and has a white fuselage band.

Set RD 72088 shown above and below provides markings for no less than eight 'Dave' floatplanes and is recommended for the 1/72  RS Models kits. This sheet includes markings for the same four subjects as the 1/48 sheet plus the following additional subjects:-

  •  E8N2 'A1-2' Houkoku 352 'Dai Tokyo Tabako Go' of the battleship Nagato deployed to the Seto Inland Sea in October 1941 - the aircraft is depicted in green and brown camouflage on the upper surfaces with grey under surfaces and has a diagonal yellow fuselage band
  • E8N1 '5-1' of the seaplane tender Kamoi deployed to the East China Sea during June and July 1938 - the aircraft is depicted in green and brown camouflage on the upper surfaces with grey under surfaces and has a white fuselage band
  • E8N1 'アマ(AMa)-22' of the Amakusa Ku at Amakusa seaplane base, Shimoshima Island, Humamoto Prefecture, Japan in August 1945 - the aircraft is depicted in green and brown camouflage on the upper surfaces with grey under surfaces but is reported to have been in an extensively worn condition with dirty markings
  •  E8N1 '整練(SeiRen)-65' of the Yokosuka Ku maintenance training unit, Oppama airfield. Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan - depicted in overall natural metal and silver dope. No date is mentioned. SeiRen is an abbreviation for Seibi (整備 maintenance) and Rensei (錬成 training).

The green and brown camouflage on IJN floatplanes is reported to match the colours D2 and H2 in the Kariki 117 Standard. Rising recommend Gunze Mr Color 15 IJN Green and a mix of Gunze Mr Color 4, 6 and 7 in the ratio 30%, 30% and 40% respectively. The H2 colour is approximate to FS 20122. For the J3 under surface grey Mr Color 315 is suggested. That matches FS 16440 whereas FS 16307 is closer in appearance but without a corresponding Gunze paint. Both FS colours are Munsell GY (Green Yellow) but 16440 is significantly lighter than 16307, better representing a faded and chalked surface.

Set RD72090 shown above is a set of markings for a single subject 'Mary' of an unknown unit featuring a Samurai helmet insignia on the tailfin and rudder. The insignia includes a red flash above the helmet which is marked as optional. The rudder tab is marked in red and white stripes which will have to be painted. The aircraft is depicted in the tri-colour 'China' camouflage scheme on the upper surfaces for which Gunze Mr Color 16 IJA Green, 527 Khaki and 526 Brown are suggested.  Under surfaces are depicted as 128 grey green.  Recommended kits are the 1/72 Amodel or Xotic72/Aviation Usk unfortunately neither of which are accurate representations of this aircraft.  

Set RD72091 shown above is a set of markings for a single subject 'Babs' featuring a large yellow arrow symbol on the cowling and fuselage. Three interpretations are depicted in the instructions including that shown in Model Art Profile 14 ('Army Ki-15 "Babs", Navy C5M, Kamikaze and Asakaze') as displaying a red arrow which would require the decal to be painted over. The red border will assist that endeavour. Upper surface camouflage is depicted as green and brown or a tri-colour scheme of green and brown with grey green as suggested in the Model Art book which states that the unit is Dokuritsu Hiko Dai 16 Chutai (Independent Flying No.16 Squadron).  Again Mr Color 16 and 526 are suggested for the green and brown. Recommended kits are the 1/72 Hasegawa (ex-Mania) and Arii Microace (ex-LS).   

The two 'Dave' sets offer interesting alternatives to the kit decals whilst the 1/72 sets are welcome additions to the Unknown and Less Known repertoire.  With special thanks to Mirel of Rising Decals for providing the review samples.
Image credit: All © 2020 Rising Decals 

Monday 15 June 2020

Toltoys (N.Z.) Ltd., Panda Kitset B5N2 Kanko Type 97

Back in December 2014 I blogged a kit trivia feature on the 1/72 Mania/Hasegawa kit of the Nakajima B5N2 'Kate' in which I mentioned the 1/75 scale Nitto Kagaku kit of the type re-released as being to 1/72 scale in 1972. Recently reader G T Roche very kindly got in touch to advise me of a rare re-marketing of that kit in New Zealand during the 1980s as the 'Nakajima B5N2 Kanko Type 97 - Carrier Folding Wing Attack-Bomber' under the 'Panda kitset' logo by Toltoys (N.Z.) Ltd., box art as shown above, contents as shown below. 

There is a company history of Toltoys  here related to their marketing of Star Wars merchandise and the company was also discussed at The Wings Over New Zealand Aviation Forum here. Toltoys also re-issued the 1/73 scale Nitto kit of the Kawanishi N1K2-J Shiden-kai, box art as shown below. 

The original Nitto 1/75 release box art for the B5N2  is shown above. I had blogged a 1968 release date for the original kit whereas Scalemates records 1964 and John W Burns 'In Plastic - WW2 Aircraft Kits' records 1966! From that listing 'Panda' are reported to have also re-released the Nitto B6N2 Tenzan, issuing the trio of former Nitto Japanese aircraft kits from 1980-84. They also re-issued the Airfix Mitsubishi A6M2 Zero as well as other Airfix kits. The Toltoys/Panda kit numbers are as follows:-

335710 Nakajima B5N2 
335711 Kawanishi N1K2-J
335712 Nakajima B6N2  

With special thanks to Mr Roche for alerting me to this byway of kits and providing links for the images and details about Toltoys. Any further information or memories about the kits will be appreciated, thanks. 

Image credit:- Toltoys B5N2 box art and contents via trademe (NZ); Nitto B5N2 box art via Scalemates; Toltoys N1K2-J box art via G T Roche.

Saturday 13 June 2020

Some More Japanese Aviation Vehicle and Equipment Gems from Dan Salamone

Here is a quartet of more Japanese aviation related vehicle and equipment gems from the workbench of Dan Salamone, as described in his own words.


"First one is the Tamiya Kurogane. I built this when it was brand new, back around 2008 I believe. I painted it with Gunze "cowl color" from the Mr. Color lacquer line. It was not heavily weathered, but a few years ago I went back and refinished the model with paints and pigments, and gave it a dullcoat. IMO, the Hasegawa kit of the Kurogane is much better, with more delicate detail and a full engine assembly (the Tamiya kit is a "curbside" model, without engine detail).

"Next the Hasegawa Type 97 motorcycle and sidecar. This was painted using Tamiya spray paint, and weathered with Vallejo paints and pigments. This bike was based on a Harley Davidson design, and was used by both the IJN and IJA.

"Third is the Tamiya Komatsu bulldozer. I have several images of these being used as aircraft tugs (without the dozer blade attached). One image shows an example towing a Pete out of the ocean, and another is from a land based bomber airfield. The paint was again Tamiya spray, and much like the Kurogane, a few years after completion I went back and refinished it with paints and pigments.

"Finally is the Hasegawa airfield fire extinguisher model, which was included with one of the Isuzu TX40 kits. Paint is a custom mix using Vallejo acrylics, same weathering techniques as above. Brengun now makes one of these as well as an airfield oil drum cart, in both 1/48 and 1/32 scale.

"These models add a lot of interest to my display case when set alongside aircraft models. I really wish that Hasegawa had continued with airfield vehicle models, as we really need a model of the Toyota starter truck! I have asked both Fine Molds and Wingsy to fill that void."

With very special thanks to Dan for sharing these images and describing the models. 

Image credit: All © 2020 Dan Salamone

Thursday 11 June 2020

Scott Jamieson's Mitsubishi A6M2b Zero in 1/72 scale

Scott Jamieson has very kindly shared these images of his Mitsubishi A6M2b Zero model made from the excellent 1/72 Tamiya kit.

Scott's extra work on the model included drilling out the cowling gun muzzles and exhausts, adding brake lines and landing gear indicator rods. In the cockpit he drilled out lightening holes in the seat and added the seat adjustment bungee cord. He used EZ Line for the antenna wire.  

Scott painted the model with a lightened mix of Model Master SAC Bomber Tan guided by the information at this blog and j-aircraft.com. He notes that the photos make the colour appear more greenish than it actually is.

Scott's model represents the Zero flown by Lt Fusata Iida from the carrier Soryu during the attack against Pearl Harbor. Lt Iida was a Buntaicho (division leader) in the second wave attack and led nine Zeros in a succession of low-level strafing attacks against the PBYs and facilities at NAS Kanehoe Bay during which his aircraft was hit by anti-aircraft fire and began streaming fuel.

Lt(jg) Iyozi Fujita was leading the second three-plane Shotai (flight or element) in Lt Iida's formation: "We were flying in formation, Iida's plane near mine. I was his senior wingman. Iiida turned and saluted me, then pointed to his mouth and shook his head. This meant he had no more fuel. His plane had been hit. Then he pointed to himself and then straight down. Then he waved goodbye, made a quick sharp turn and disappeared into the black smoke on the ground." Lt Iida's Zero was then seen by USN personnel to make a run towards an aircraft hangar but was hit again by anti-aircraft fire. It missed the hangar, rolled inverted and crashed at a shallow angle into the lower slope of Puu Hawaiiloa, a hill in the centre of the station.    

With special thanks to Scott for sharing these images of his model.

Image credit: All photos © Scott Jamieson

Tuesday 9 June 2020

Dan Salamone's Torpedo Toting TX 40 Truck in 1/48 scale

Hot on the heels of his superlative Ki-15-II model Dan Salamone has kindly shared these images and build notes on his latest Hasegawa 1/48 TX 40 truck project. In his own words then:-

"Hi all, here is my recently completed Isuzu TX40 project in 1/48 scale. The base kit comes from Hasegawa, and is my fourth project using this kit. The vehicle itself is a narrow cab cargo truck, with a cargo bed that was both wider, and longer, than the standard TX40. I have two different images of this rare variant of the vehicle, one carrying a Type 91 torpedo at an airfield where Betty bombers were based, and another immediately post-war.

"I started the process by making drawings of the parts which needed to be changed: fenders, cab, canvas roof, running boards, and the entire cargo bed. In essence, the kit parts used were the chassis, wheels and tires, and the hood and interior (which was heavily modified). I used Evergreen plastic, as well as some brass strips and rod. The spare tire carrier under the rear chassis was created by using brass strips, and a photo etched bending tool. 

"The cargo bed is totally scratch built, and also features detail which even though cannot be seen, was needed to be able to align and attach the finished bed to the chassis. I also had to add to the length of the chassis as well. I used two layers of Evergreen plastic sheet, cut to size. Then I scribed the panel lines in, and then used a metal wore brush to ass wood grain effect to the plastic.

"The torpedo was robbed from a Hasegawa kit of the Kate, the oil barrels and tool box come from the basic TX40 kit. 

"I used a custom mix of Vallejo acrylics for the IJN dark blue paint, and for the wood cargo bed, used the Vallejo acrylic set for old and new wood effects. Weathering for the truck was from MiG 'Oilbrushers', AK Interactive weathering pencils, and Vallejo washes and paints. Final clear coat is Gunze flat lacquer from a spray can.

"The rope is a product called 'EZ Line' which my local hobby shop carries. It was an exceptional product to use, as it stretches, and accepts super glue very well. Prior to attaching the product, I gave it repeated washes of Vallejo acrylic paints to give it some color and subtle detail.

"This project was about five years in the making, from originally seeing the pictures, to  the drawings, then the actual building and painting to completion."

So many details and techniques to appreciate and enjoy in these images. With special thanks to Dan for sharing them here. Keep on trucking and please keep 'em coming Dan!

Image credit: All © 2020 Dan Salamone