Sunday, 27 June 2021

Notice: American Aircraft for the RAF Blog


The 'Amair4raf' blog was closed in 2018 for various reasons but the content is still extant and I have just blogged a short article there about a well-known P-40K. There is a lot more previously unpublished  content on the subject of US export and RAF colours, including SEAC, which I plan to continue to post  albeit infrequently. As before access to the blog will be by invitation and sign-in but on a very limited basis - verified and trusted friendlies only! 

Please email me with a request as I no longer have email addresses for all previous members, thanks. 

Saturday, 26 June 2021

Pat Donahue's 1/48 Model 22 Zero

Another very fine Zero model, this time an A6M3 Model 22 built by Pat Donahue from the superlative 1/48 scale Tamiya kit to represent a field camouflaged aircraft of 251 Ku, often attributed as flown by leading ace Hiroyoshi Nishizawa and as seen in a series of well known photographs taken by Hajime Yoshida, a Nichiei journalist who visited Rabaul, Lae, Buin and Ballale during 1942-43. Pat has described his painting and detailing of the build as follows:-

'I have always been fascinated by this colour scheme and when Tamiya released their beautiful A6M3 model 22 I decided to try to replicate it. With the help of Nick Millman and Ryan Toews I was able to pin down some of the questions I had about the basic aircraft and its colours.  I used circle masks for the red painted Hinomaru areas and then gave the model a base coat of Sovereign Hobbies Colourcoats ACJ 12 which I feel has a nice scale effect appearance for the Mitsubishi gray.  

'The model was overcoated with Future after the base coat of 'olive gray'  then the stencil decals were applied and given several coats of Future overcoat.  Those were polished down with # 12000 Micro Mesh to smooth out the decal ridges. The camouflage was then applied freehand with a Paasche V Jr. using enlarged photos of the actual A/C and the Tamiya painting chart which I felt they did a nice job on. I used Xtracolor IJNAF Dark green for this color after consulting Nick's PDF on Japanese Navy dark greens.   Panel line washing and weathering was done with  Payne's Gray and raw and burnt umber oil paints. The model was then overcoated with Testors Dullcote and more weathering and usage marks applied with pastels and a Prisma color silver pencil.


'The engine has Detail Master .012 red wire for the spark plug wires and white wire with the metal core stripped out for the spark  plug bodies. Additional structure was added to the cowl interior and the flap wells. The brake lines are Detail Master .012 gray wire. The cockpit was painted with Colourcoats Mitsubishi Interior Green, with added details from stretched sprue and Eduard photo etch. Eduard masks were used to mask the canopy (all 25 individual pieces of them)!

'Again my appreciation to both Nick and Ryan for their great help in my building of this kit.'


With very special thanks to Pat for very kindly sharing these images of his superb and brilliantly realised model with such an excellent replication of that tricky to apply field camouflage. Thanks also for his patience in waiting for them to appear here on the blog. Below some additional close-ups to enjoy. 


And not forgetting the cockpit details!


Image credit: All © 2021 Pat Donahue





Wednesday, 23 June 2021

Steve Nelson's 1/72 Jo-Han Rufe

Still on the Zero theme and further to the feature on the Jo-Han A6M kit last month, Steve Nelson has very kindly shared these images of his own Rufe model made from the 1/72 Jo-Han kit, a bargain basement purchase for a single dollar and completed about 25 years ago.  

Steve scratch built a basic cockpit and replaced the kit canopy parts with a Squadron vacform. He also replaced the pitot with brass tube and wire. The neat display stand was also scratch built, intended only as temporary and to be replaced by a beaching dolly which Steve never got around to building. 

Steve painted the model with the then relatively new but now defunct Polly Scale acrylic paints and as the kit decals were unusable he sourced replacements from spares to represent an aircraft from 802 Ku in the Solomons in January 1943 as profiled in the centre spread of Squadron Signal 'Zero in Action' book. He thinks the hinomaru came from an old IPMS Spruce Goose sheet which he had collected over the years, although he now prefers to mask and paint them on.  

The antenna wire went missing at some point over the years and washing the model to remove dust affected the clear coat. Steve observes that the panel lines are on the heavy side but his model shows that this classic kit scrubs up rather well and certainly looks the part. 

With very special thanks to Steve for kindly sharing these images of his Jo-Han model.

Image credit: All © 2021 Steve Nelson