Friday 8 March 2024

Jake Rides Again

Since the last AoJ surveys of Hasegawa 1/72 Aichi E13A1 'Jake' kits in November 2016 and March 2021 (seems like yesterday!) blog articles 'Jake - A Tale of Two Scales' Parts 1 and 3 here and here respectively, the long running 'only game in town' for that scale has seen further re-releases. Box art and details of the subsequent releases as follows:-

In 2022 a re-release of 'Jake' and catapult with markings options for B3-11 and B3-12 from the battleship Kongô (shown below) in 1943. The accompanying made up model shown as heading image draws attention to the canopy profile but otherwise looks 'no bad'. Perhaps one reason we might not see a kit from any other manufacturer in this scale. But surely Hasegawa know and should at least replace the canopy with a new tooled item? Constructed by Vickers in England as a battlecruiser and launched as Kongô in May 1912 with completion in August 1913, the first of her class, and the first and last IJN capital ship to be built outside Japan, to be followed by Hiei, Haruna and Kirishima. A scandal of corruption pertained to the order for Kongô, disgracing the Navy and ultimately leading to the downfall of Gombei Yamamoto's cabinet in March 1914.

Fast Battleship Kongô - Fujimi 1/350 kit box art 

From 1933 to 1940 three of this class, Kongô, Haruna and Kirishima were re-armed and reconstructed as fast battleships, increasing their speed from 26 to 30.5 knots. In 1935 she was fitted with a catapult and rails for three floatplanes, at that time the Nakajima E8N1 Type 95 and Kawanishi E7K1 Type 94. Kongô had a long and distinguished service with her floatplanes playing a significant part in Pacific War campaigns until she was sunk by submarine USS Sea Lion II (SS-315) in a torpedo attack off Formosa on 21 November 1944.

In 2023 a re-release of 'Jake' and catapult with markings options for a clandestine overall grey 'X-5' on seaplane tender Kimikawa Maru (shown below and not to be confused with sister ship Kamikawa Maru) operating near the Kurile Islands in 1942, or a green over grey X-7 on the same vessel operating in the Aleutians the same year. The decal sheet included a run of white codes from X-2 to X-7 to represent any of the seven aircraft aboard that vessel. By the way the catapult in the Hasegawa 'Jake' and 'Alf' kits was originally moulded by Ross Abare in the USA and sold by Unique Scale Accessories in Springfield, Massachusetts for $3. Hasegawa eventually bought the moulds for inclusion in their  'Jake' and 'Alf' kits.  It's a great way to display the floatplane models as the heading photo shows.

Note this blog article has been updated as the details of the two combo kits were already included in the March 2021 article which I had overlooked - doh! That  blog article also addressed the question of the kit's accuracy with suggested improvements.

That's it folks! Please let me know if I've missed any. Stay tuned for more 'Jake' later.

Image credit: Aichi E13A1 'Jake'  box art and images © 2022 & 2023 Hasegawa Corporation; Kimikawamaru box art © 2015 Aoshima Bunka Kyozai Co., Ltd.; all sourced via HobbySearch Japan.


WD said...

I forget at this point the major fault with the canopy of the Hasegawa kit, I just remember that it is wrong. Is it possible to correct any of this with a replacement canopy from Falcon, assuming there is one in one of their sets?


Straggler 脱走兵 said...

Baronvonrob said...

Such dramatically beautiful box art that is truly captivating ... I really hope that some manufacturer (Hasegawa) will fill the void and create an updated version of "Mr. Jake" that will be equally inspiring

A tip of the cap to Mr. Abare (wherever you are) for the excellent catapults, (did anyone else buy a kit just for the catapult :)...and most importantly to Nick for yet another fascinating post !

Well Done !!

Straggler 脱走兵 said...

Thanks Rob. I think this obituary is for Mr Abare, sadly no longer with us:-

'Ross F. Abare, Jr. 1923-2009 died May 9, 2009 aged 85 in a Wilbraham nursing home. Born in Quincy, MA September 25, 1923 he was the son of the late Ross R. Abare Sr. and Joan Young (Gordon) Abare. Educated in local schools he was a graduate of Springfield Technical High School. Ross proudly served his country during World War II as an aviation machinists mate second class in the Unites States Navy. Ross later worked as an air craft mechanic, and was an avid builder of model aircraft.'

As a hobby dealer Mr Abare also contracted with Aurora in 1971 to produce a limited edition of 1000 kits of their 1958 released WW1 Gotha bomber. The limited edition box had the 1960s logo rather than the 1958 logo which distinguishes it. Mr Abare is sadly one of those many aircraft modelling pioneers whose life and career are now too sparsely recorded, if at all. One of my motivations for this blog is to note and record them whenever I can. RIP Mr Abare, your 1/72 IJN catapults are still being bought and built even though those who do so may have no idea of your life, work and creations.


WD said...

Thanks for the reminder link Nick, and thanks for including Mr. Abare's obituary. He most definitely left a legacy.

Baronvonrob said...

A victory roll to the memory of Ross Abare Jr... for his service to his country and all the enjoyment his work resulted in our shared hobby!

Indeed, it is always fascinating to learn more about the individuals who created and influence to this day the world of models and aviation history

Mission accomplished Nick !