Wednesday, 10 February 2021

A 1/32 scale Aichi D3A1 'Val' from Infinity Models

I'm very grateful to several correspondents for alerting me to news of this kit at around the same time and apologise for the time it has taken to mention it here. My thanks to all of you who very kindly sent me emails about it or mentioned it in other emails. The kit has not been released yet but details and progress may be found on the Infinity Models webpage. That suggests that there will be at least two markings options, for the well-known and colourful B1-231 of Lt Cdr Takashige Egusa (although uncoded in the website profile) from Soryu and the overall grey houkoku-adorned AII-256 of Flyers 4/c Shinsaku Yamakawa and Katuzô Nakata from Kaga. The aircraft depicted on the box art is another grey or perhaps slightly greyish-green (!) E1-231 from Shôkaku - all being Pearl Harbor attackers.

Regarding the colour of 'Val', over the years the late and sadly missed Jim Lansdale shared a wealth of valuable paint colour data at j-aircraft.com and via email from various actual D3A1 relics. Broadly speaking those all fall within a category of a warm to distinctly brownish amber grey, with somewhat fugitive greenish undertone, the wartime appearance of which was probably not that far from the box art depiction of EII-233 from Zuikaku for the 1970s Bandai 1/50 scale D3A1 kit (shown below). More precise colour presentations for 'Val' closer to release.

The Infinity Models kit will build into an impressive model of 'Val' with a wingspan of just over 17.5 inches and a length of just over 12.5 inches, but it doesn't appear to have an option for folding wing tips!   

Also being re-released in the autumn is the venerable 1/72 D3A1 kit from Airfix, (original box art by Roy Cross above), unfortunately not (it seems) a new tool to accompany their more recent A6M2 and B5N2 for the 80th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. What a pity because none of the currently available 1/72 kits of 'Val' are without issues. The three box arts shown here usefully present the three main and competing perceptions of D3A1 colour.

Image credit: Infinity Models box art © 2021; Bandai box art © 1970s; Airfix box art © 2021

4 comments:

Michael Thurow said...

Thanks Nick. Although a quarterscale modeller I'm looking forward to your 'Val' colour presentation for the refurbishment of my vintage Fujimi kit.

WD said...

Thanks for this news and update Nick. Yes, I'm saddened we didn't get a new tool Val from Airfix, logic would dictate we would considering their previous releases, but oh well!

Warren

Baronvonrob said...

Great update Nick !...and to echo Mr.Thurow I will also look forward with anticipation to the "Val" color story.

Such a wasted opportunity for Airfix not to have produced a new tool D3A1 version as I'm so sure it would have been (will be someday) a bestseller.

Roy Cross is the Boss!!!

Kevin Bade said...

I'm pretty certain that Roy Cross D3A box artwork is what got me started building/studying Japanese aircraft when I was a young whippersnapper.