Saturday, 16 July 2022

Rising Decals 1/72 Shiden & Shiden-kai

Rising Decals latest set RD72101 for the Shiden and Shiden-kai offers markings for no less than 22 schemes in 1/72 scale. The schemes included for Shiden are as follows:-

  • N1K1-J 'Tsu-3' of Tsukuba Ku, Tsukuba, Japan, January 1945 - in D1, described as Ryokushoku (Dark Green), over silver colour (natural metal). However Ryokushoku means simply green colour. In 1942 D1 was officially described as No-ryoku-kokushoku (Deep Green(ish) Black colour) but in the Proposal for revisions of aircraft planning procedures issued by IJN HQ in March 1944 it was described as An-ryokushoku (Dark Green colour). On the subject of Shiden and Shiden-kai colours see also the 2010 blog article on the subject here.
  • N1K1-J 'Yo-168' of Yokosuka Ku, Yolosuka, Japan, August 1945 - in D1 over silver (natural metal).
  • N1K1-J '762-56' attributed to 762 Ku, Tokunoshima, Japan 1945 - the upper surface colour is not specified but depicted similarly to the other subjects whilst undersurfaces are silver (natural metal). The unit identity is speculative based on partial photographs and film. The Shiden equipped 701 Hikotai was transferred on paper to 762 Ku and was one of three Shiden Hikotai operating as a combined force over Leyte at the end of 1944 with tail codes variously seen and depicted. '762-56' was also the featured option in a 2011 special edition of the Hasegawa 1/48 N1K1-Ja kit. See also Pacific Wrecks for colour photo of '2-56' mentioned in the decal notes. Tokunoshima is an island south-west of Kyushu in the Amami archipelago of southern Satsunan Islands, Kagoshima Prefecture. An Army airfield, Asama, was constructed on the island during 1944 and served as a staging base for special attackers during the Okinawa campaign.  
  • N1K1-J '341-6 s' of 402 Hikotai 341 Ku found at Clark Field, Philippines in January 1945  - the upper surface colour is not specified but depicted similarly to the other subjects whilst undersurfaces are silver (natural metal). Colour photographs of this aircraft exist and it has been suggested that the '6' might be 'S'. 
  • N1K1-J '341S-23' of 402 Hikotai, 341 Ku found at Clark Field, Philippines in January 1945 - in D1 over silver (natural metal).
  • N1K1-J '341-56 A' attributed to 701 Hikotai, 341 Ku found at Clark Field, Philippines in January 1945 - D1 over silver (natural metal).
  • N1K1-J '341-16 S' attributed to 402 Hikotai, 341 Ku - in D1 over silver (natural metal).
  • N1K1Jb 'Ge-1174' of Genzan Ku , Kasumigaura, Japan, late 1944 - the colours are specified in plan view as D1 over silver (natural metal) with aluminium doped ailerons.
  • N1K1-Jb '210-149' of 210 Ku Tokushima, Japan, 1944 - the colours are specified in plan view as D1 over silver (natural metal) with aluminium doped ailerons. Both latter Shiden have a small circle containing a character above the tail code. The character was usually the first kanji of the pilot's name with the circle indicating an officer pilot and a triangle symbol an NCO pilot. Enlisted pilots simply had the kanji character without a symbol. The symbols and characters were usually applied for specific sorties corresponding to the assigned aircraft number on the missions board and were applied in a removable white medium. 


The schemes included for Shiden-kai are as follows:-
  • N1K2-J 'A 342-15' of 301 Hikotai, 343 Ku at Matsuuama, Japan, April 1945, attributed to Lt Naoshi Kanno - in D1 over silver (natural metal) with grey painted drop tank and white number '15' applied to the fuselage hinomaru. This aircraft is depicted with twin oblique fuselage bands in yellow.
  • As above but with the addition of five victory markings in two optional styles and the hinomaru number removed but still faintly visible.
  • N1K2-J 'B 343-30' of 407 Hikotai, 343 Ku attributed to Lt Yoshihige Hayashi - in D1 over silver (natural metal) with grey painted drop tank and remains of white number '30' applied to the fuselage hinomaru faintly visible. This aircraft is depicted with twin oblique fuselage bands in white.
  • N1K2-J 'A 343-11' of 301 Hikotai, 343 Ku at Matsuyama, Japan, March 1945, attributed to CPO Shoichi Sugita and Lt Naoshi Kanno - in D1 over silver (natural metal) and remains of white number '11' applied to the fuselage hinomaru faintly visible. This aircraft is depicted with a single oblique fuselage band in yellow and victory markings depicted on the starboard fuselage side , referencing from a photograph in the book 'Genda's Blade' by Henry Sakaida and Koji Takaki, the best English language reference to the operations and aircraft of 343 Ku. 
  • N1K2-J 'A 343-11' of 301 Hikotai, 343 Ku at Kanoya, Japan in early April 1945 - in D1 over silver (natural metal) with grey painted drop tank and white number '11' applied to the fuselage hinomaru. Attributed to CPO Shoichi Sugita this aircraft differs from the previous in having the smaller tail fin.
  • N1K2-J 'A 343-17' of 301 Hikotai, 343 Ku at Matsuyama, Japan in January 1945 - in D1 over silver (natural metal) with remains of white number '17' applied to the fuselage hinomaru faintly visible. 
  • N1K2-J 'B 343-17' of 407 Hikotai, 343 Ku, attributed to Lt Ikuhi Matsumura and CPO Hisamitsu Watanabe - in D1 over silver (natural metal) with remains of white number '17' applied to the fuselage hinomaru faintly visible and three victory markings on the starboard side. 
  • N1K2-J 'C 343-45' of 701 Hikotai, 343 Ku at Omura, Japan in May 1945 - in D1 over silver (natural metal) with twin oblique fuselage bands in optional white or red colour. This aircraft is depicted armed with aerial rocket bombs and is attributed to Lt Takashi Oshibuchi the 701 Hikotai leader.  
  • N1K2-J 'B 343-20' of 407 Hikotai, 343 Ku at Matsuyama, Japan in March 1945 - in D1 over silver (natural metal) and white number '20' applied to the fuselage hinomaru. The caption makes note of the small yellow rectangle on the tail fin containing the names of two ground crew assigned to this aircraft and speculates on the purpose of the white numbers. They were usually applied for example for carrier landing trials to monitor individual performance during training.
  • N1K2-J 'A 343-06' of 301 Hikotai, 343 Ku at Omura, Japan, in August 1945 - in D1 over silver (natural metal) with remains of white number '06' applied to the fuselage hinomaru faintly visible and a single oblique fuselage band depicted in yellow.  
  • N1K2-J 'B 343-03' of 407 Hikotai, 343 Ku at Omura, Japan, in April 1945, attributed WO Hiroshi Ohara - in D1 over silver (natural metal) with grey painted drop tank and white number '06' applied to the fuselage hinomaru.  A single fuselage band in white is depicted near the tail with optional decals for an oblique or chevron style.
  • N1K2-J 'Yo-157' of Yokosuka Ku at Yokosuka, Japan in August 1945 - In D1 over silver (natural metal) with yellow horizontal tail stripe and depicted with a white diagonal 'arrow' applied to the fin and rudder behind the tail code.
  • N1K2-J 'Yo-104' of Yokosuka Ku at Yokosuka, Japan, in February, 1945, attributed to WO Kaneyoshi Mutoh - In D1 over silver (natural metal) with yellow horizontal tail stripe.


This is a bumper set of decals for 1/72 Shiden and Shiden-kai fans offering many good subjects with plenty of optional choices to address issues of uncertainty or controversy. The set offers remarkable value at £12.30 (from Hannants in UK) for a set which might easily have been released as two separate sheets at comparable price. The set is even cheaper from HLJ but alas currently out of stock. Aftermarket decal sheets are just one aspect of the hobby which have proliferated in recent years and in many cases have shown extraordinary price inflation. Rising Decals are to be congratulated for their approach of offering quality decals of interesting Japanese types at attractive cost and presentation.  


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

Image credit: All © 2022 Rising Decals

9 comments:

Michael Thurow said...

A great release. Thanks for sharing it Nick. I hope Rising Decals will produce same for 1/48 one day.
From photo evidence I would conclude that N1K1-J were delivered with silver and grey undersides. Grey particularly in the case of the late version with four wing guns. What's your take on silver vs. grey for the N1K2-J?

Baronvonrob said...

Rising Decals Rule !!!...remember to get them before they all sell out (which is usually very quickly)

Thanks, Nick, for the explanation of the differences between enlisted pilots and officers markings.

Kevin Bade said...

Rising Decals continue their ascendancy to the top with well researched and interesting rarely seen decal sheets. I got this one on the Shiden and also the new 72100 Zero Pt.V which is fantastic. The historical notes and detail on individual aircraft really bring many of schemes to life.I am a big fan. And as Baronvonrob says...get 'em fast while you can. I missed a couple of sheets and cannot find them available anywhere. And thank you Nick for giving us all a place to share our joy (madness?) for this hobby.

WK said...

What a comprehensive decal sheet and explanations, thank you Rising Decals and Nick, I will be sure to refer to this entry and the previous ones on AoJ when I get around to building my Shinden (and finally put my Kawanishi interior paint to use).

Woody

Mark Smith said...

I'm hoping this generous offering will soon be translated to 1/48; though that would probably mean two releases. I doubt any other decal sheet on Shiden or Shiden-kai would be necessary! Thanks Nick.

WD said...

Another one knocked out of the park by Rising Decals!

Warren

Straggler 脱走兵 said...

Hi Michael

Apologies for the delay in responding to your query. I'm not sure that I have a take on this other than to have presumed natural metal from previous reference material. References Aero Detail, 'Genda's Blade' and Peter Fearis' useful guide to Shiden-kai, as well as other Japanese books on the subject are not to hand so I can't shroff through those or review photos for a re-appraisal. I think it can be challenging to discern oxidised natural metal and grey paint in monochrome photos, especially where under surface shadow comes into play.

Most kit instructions suggest 'silver' but I note two outliers. Hasegawa's 2005 1/48 N1K1-Ja Shiden Type11-Otsu painting instructions suggest grey - Mr Color 11 Light Gull Grey or 128 Gray Green - for the under surface colour of ケ-1174 of Genzan Ku (the other options for a Yatabe Ku and 210 example show 'silver'. The 2014 Hasegawa 1/48 kit includes another Genzan Ku option ケ-11742 with suggested grey under surfaces, this time citing Mr Color 35 Green (Mitsubishi) (sic) - the current fad favourite for the A6M2 colour. That paint is actually a blueish rather than 'neutral' grey but, hey, why let inconvenient facts get in the way of a preference? Again the other option in that kit, another Yatabe Ku aircraft, shows 'silver' under surfaces. Unfortunately I do not know the basis for suggesting that Genzan Ku Shiden had grey painted under surfaces. Sorry that I can't be more helpful about it at this stage but I will re-visit the subject when my references are again accessible.

Regards
Nick

Bob O'Connor said...

Nic- Please email me at your convenience. Thanks- Bob O'Connor

Straggler 脱走兵 said...

Hello Bob

I would be happy to if I (still) had your email address! Could you please contact me via the email link in the sidebar of this blog, thanks.

Regards
Nick