It's back to IJN floatplanes for this first blog of the New Year with a companion piece to the 1/72 scale E7K2 'Alf' modelled from the AVI Models kit by Rob Ronconi and shown here in November, Rob's E7K1 is another convincing masterpiece from the AVI Models kit # 72074.
Rob's Hiro-engined Alf bears the kit-provided tail markings of the IJN Minelayer Okinoshima in 1941 and carries a quartet of bombs. In early 1942 Okinoshima was busy supporting the occupation of the Gilbert Islands, the invasion of Rabaul and landing troops at Tulagi. On 4 May 1942 she survived attacks by 13 SBDs and 11 TBDs, managing to evade eight torpedoes launched at her from both sides by frantic manoeuvring at 20 knots. But eight days later she was torpedoed off Buka Island by Lt Cdr Oliver G. Kirk's USS S-42 (SS-153) in a night submerged attack and sank the following day.
Rob observes that AVI Models 'Alf' is 'a bit of a tricky fitting kit' but built the kit out of the box with just the addition of a Fine Molds Nano Aviation 72 Type 92 rear machine gun, and Tally Ho photo-etch ring and bead sight. Rob had always wanted to make one of these seabirds, and considers the AVI kit is the best version on the market. The Nano Type 92 (Lewis) machine gun sets are finely moulded plastic single piece guns with separate magazines to represent both IJN and Allied versions, coming as four sprues of two guns and eight magazines each, moderately priced by today's standards, with English language instructions and well worth the investment for those who like to work in 'plastic purity' without having to use CA glue.
With special thanks to Rob for sharing these images of his excellently presented and photographed model.