Wednesday 3 January 2024

Aichi E7A1 'Alf' in 1/72 by Rob Ronconi

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.

PS Have also updated information about the HMA 1/72 Ki-43-III Ko conversion set for the Hasegawa Ki-43-II kit here.

Image credit: All model photos © 2024 Rob Ronconi; Okinoshima box art © 2009 Fujimi Mokei Co., Ltd.; Nano Aviatio 72 box art © 2018 Fine Molds Corp.


Michael Thurow said...

A great representation of my favourite Alf - Bravo Rob!

WD said...

Beautiful work!

Jim Anderson said...

Agreed, very nice looking build of the other Alf. True workhorse of the fleet and that it could carry a respectable bomb load. The improved machine gun you added is a big plus. I have a 1/700 model of the Okinoshima in the stash complete with a tiny Alf waiting to be built.

Mark Smith said...

Nick, Thanks for presenting this, professionally as always, and also for the update on Oscar items. Another pleasing post!

Rob, you are spoiling us with so many excellent models, but they make a lovely collection, if one only counts the number seen on A of J. The photography is always a further distinction. Thanks for sharing.

Alex said...

Very nice result for so old kit! Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Great work on AVI's kit, Rob, I hope to do anywhere near as well on their E7A2 (radial) Alf kit.

Ken Glass