Saturday 25 June 2022

Raiden from Rising

RD72099 is one of three splendid Rising Decals sheets for IJN fighters in 1/72 scale with markings for eight Mitsubishi Raiden subjects as follows:-

  • J2M3 Model 21 '3525-50' of 352 Ku at Omura in March 1945 - a speculative depiction of an aircraft with a large yellow lightning flash on the fuselage in D1 Deep Green Black over J3 Grey. The suggested paint for the upper surface Mr Color 124 Dark Green (Mitsubishi) is closer to D2 Green Black but lighter and greener. Mr Color 35 IJN Grey (Mitsubishi) is suggested for the under surface colour and this is the current 'go to' fad in Japan supposed to represent J3 Hai iro. However Mr Color 35 is a blueish grey - a Munsell B - Blue - and not the supposedly 'neutral grey' of J3, which is, er, not a neutral grey of pure black and white anyway but a Munsell GY - Green Yellow! The original paint was a 'warm', slightly yellowish grey similar to RAL 7034 Gelbgrau (Yellow grey) which chalked with exposure to an appearance similar to FS 36307. J3/2-6 is also close to FS 36307, thus whatever your paint poison all bets should be covered, so don't let Facebook grind you down.     
  • J2M6 Model 31 '352-18' of 352 Ku in Japan, 1945 - D1 over J3
  • J2M3 Model 21 '02-615' of 602nd Hikotai, 381 Ku at Balipapan, Autumn 1944  - D1 over J3. The tail code is depicted as yellow but could have been white and both options are usefully included on the sheet. Raiden is most often associated with the air defence of Japan so subjects representing units operating elsewhere, as in this case for defence of the Borneo oil facilities, are especially welcome.  
  • J2M3 Model 21 'B1-01' of 381 Ku at Singapore, 1945 - D1 over J3. This aircraft was subsequently test flown by ATAIU-SEA with RAF markings. 
  • J2M2 Model 11 '32-101' of 332 Ku at Naruo, Japan in 1944 - D1 over J3. Flown by CPO Akeshi Ochi on 22 December 1944 to claim the unit's first B-29. The white borders of the upper wing and fuselage hinomaru have been over painted in dark green or black.  
  • J2M2 Model 11 '81-101' of 381 Ku at Nagoya, Japan in September 1945 - D1 over J3. An aircraft which had been returned to the Mitsubishi factory for evaluation due to technical problems 
  • J2M3 Model 21 '81-124' of 381 Ku in the Philippines, late 1944 - D1 over J3. 
  • J2M2 'YoC-104' of 301 Ku at Oppama, Japan, December 1943 - overall orange-yellow. A 14-Shi interceptor trial aircraft.

Recommended kits are Sword and Hasegawa, the latter a J2M3 from 1977 but with engraved panel lines and still intermittently available, also in combi special editions from time to time. Sword offered three Raiden kits: the J2M3 Model 21 from 2011; the J2M5/6 Model 33/31 from 2012; and the J2M2 Model 11 Late Version from 2015, although all now seem hard to find. No doubt these decals could also be adapted for the old Tamiya and Nichimo kits for some upgraded retro modelling. Raiden is seemingly a 'marmite' subject, either strongly liked or disliked, and true enough schemes and markings for the type offer little variety. However this set offers something different from the classic and well-known 302 Ku schemes, some of which feature on Rising sheet RD72094 here. The 381 Ku examples are especially welcome but sadly Raiden subjects from the China-based units are conspicuous by their absence.  Maybe next time . . . 

With special thanks to Mirek of Rising Decals for the review sheet and apologies for the delay in presenting it. Late to the party as usual. 

Image credit: All © 2022 Rising Decals  

Thursday 2 June 2022

More John Haas Magic Part Two

Here, later than planned, is the second part of John Haas' wonderful scratch build of the Navy Type 10 Carrier Reconnaissance Aircraft, Mitsubishi 2MR1 in 1/48 scale. Over to John for his build report then.

'Firstly, I would like to thank all the members for their nice comments after Part One. Now my model was more or less complete, the rigging between the wings, undercarriage and tail feathers were in place, so it was time to do some more painting.

'I always use an undercoat of Polly S Acryl dark green first, then a final coat of JNAF dark green. The sides of the fuselage were left unpainted to avoid any damaged through handling as you can see on the first pictures. All painting was done with a brush as it is hardly possible to tape and spray these biplane models without damage. Only on the wing leading edges I used a small piece of tape to get a straight line between the green and grey. The engine panels and the radiator were painted silver, with a drawing pencil, I added some accents for the louvres and panel lines.

'Now I could start with some smaller details. First I made a scarff- ring for the second cockpit. Again I had to use photos of other aircraft; I modified a leftover Vickers MG from a Roden RAF Be-2C; and Francillon's book was a great help in this.

'The next step was the aileron and rudder cables and their levers. On the wings they are placed over the Hinomaru, so I used some decals from the spare box and placed them on the wings. The rudder cables were a bit more complicated, first I had to paint the fuselage in green, then wait a few days, and yes: ....watching the paint dry....:-)

'After the fuselage Hinomaru, I could start the tricky job of getting the rudder cables in the right place. A lot of patience was required here, as there were only very small spots to apply the CA glue. And those cables, you want them straight and tight. I had to print the white squere with black number on the rudder on my PC.

'Now the end was in sight, I added a small indentification plate on the left side of the fuselage and as finishing touch, a small wind driven generator was placed between the undercarriage legs. The rigging of the undercarriage was made of stretched sprue. So finally my model was finished. I hope you enjoy the pictures ! After taking the final photographs, I dicovered a loose aileron- cable on the upper left wing! That's fixed now....(smile).'

With special thanks to John for sharing the details and images of his impressive scratch build and for his patience in waiting for them to appear here.

Image credit: All photos © 2022 John Haas