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One of my favourite YT channels for naval history Drachinifel just featured a slightly longer than the standard 5 minute guide - at two and a half hours - about the A6M Zero. During the originally for 30 minutes planned talk, a well researched picture is created dealing with common misconceptions and myths, used tactics, development and more. Research drawn from known good sources such as Nick Millman and Richard Dunn, but also many more. A list of sources is included in the comment section, well worth the time!
Hi all. Number six for the year and the final one for 2019. The 1/48 Hasegawa J2M3 Raiden. I started this one almost two years ago however a disaster at the painting stage shelved it for almost 18 months. I picked it up about three weeks ago and finished it this evening. (10pm AEST, 31/12/19). I chopped open the canopy, added ResinArt wheels and exhausts, painted the roundels and used Aeromaster decals for stencils and ancillary markings. I really enjoyed the dinged up green on this one. There's so much scope for weathering with Japanese WW2 era subjects and this is a great subject to apply it to. Happy New Year and safe 2020 to all. Mick
Manufactured by Seversky as the 2PA-B3 'convoy fighter', this was the only U.S. manufactured warplane purchased for combat service by Imperial Japan, some twenty being acquired by the Imperial Japanese Navy, which employed them under the designation Navy Type S Two-Seat Fighter A8V-1. The 2PA-B3 was a two-seat version of Seversky's EP-1, a modified P-35 intended for export, which featured a more powerful motor than the original production model bought by the U.S. Army. The two-seat version had a greater wing-span, and was very slightly longer, than the single-seat. Otherwise no particular modification was required; even the original P-35 had a 'cargo space' behind the pilot's seat sufficient to seat a passenger (in fact the original design which became the P-35 had been intended to be a two-seater), and it was only necessary to open this space up at the top and alter the canopy to accommodate the second crewman in better style. Open war commenced between Imperial Japan and Nationalist China in July, 1937, and when hostilities involving Japanese Navy forces commenced at Shanghai in August, the Navy's air arm began operations which included long range bombing strikes. The bomber formations went out alone, and took heavy casualties; the Japanese Navy had no fighters with sufficient range to provide escort. The flamboyant Maj. Seversky's emphasis on the range he had built into his fighter designs, claimed to be from nine hundred to eleven hundred miles, suggested these to Navy air staff as a possible solution to their escort problem which could quickly be secured 'off the shelf'. The purchase of these machines was handled in a clandestine manner, owing not only to restrictions of the U.S. Neutrality Act, but to the unpopularity of Imperial Japan's attack on China in the United States. The purchaser of record was the Aircraft Trading Corporation, a shell corporation with a Broadway address in New York. The aircraft were built between April and August of 1938, and delivered shortly thereafter. Late that October, it was discovered that these aircraft had been loaded onto a freighter bound for Japan. With what could, without too much of a stretch, be described as first-line U.S. Army Air Corps combat equipment en route to an unpopular foreign power, and consigned there under highly suspicious circumstances, something of a scandal erupted. Maj. Seversky denied any knowledge his 'convoy fighters' were built with intent to deliver them to Japan, though men working on the assembly line told another story. Mr. Miller of the Aircraft Trading Corporation denied to newspapers he was even in the business of exporting airplanes, and would not reveal to inquiring reporters who had purchased the twenty aircraft from his company. The matter put Maj. Seversky solidly in the ill graces of the U.S. government, and within a year he had been forced out of his own company, which became Republic Aviation. The twenty Navy Type S Two-Seat Fighters were assigned to the 12th Kokutai, based at Nanking, sometime around the start of 1939. The Navy decided the Seversky machines were not suitable as fighters, as they lacked the manouverability which Navy air tactics were based on, though they were much faster than the Type 96 Carrier Fighter, and faster than anything employed by the Chinese, even a well maintained I-16 type 5. Instead, they were employed as long range reconnaissance machines, a duty which was not restricted to the gathering of information, but sometimes lapped into scouting for bombing raids, to observe whether fighters were taking off to intercept, or were landing after exhausting fuel waiting for bombers to appear. They did not last long in front-line service. The Japanese must have had the same difficulties with leaks from the 'wet wing' fuel tankage every other military operator of similar Seversky machines had, and of course any continuing supply of spare parts was out of the question, as was acquisition of any replacement machines. By 1940 they were out of service, with several being sold to a leading Japanese newspaper, the Asahai Shinbun, as fast courier aircraft. This kit, by Kora Models in 1/72, was the first resin kit I built, and it went pretty well. There was a hand-made air to thing which, as someone who scratch-builds, I appreciated. The finish is kitchen foil. Some pieces were aged by boiling with egg-shells, some by steeping in bleach with lead and copper. The kit I got was a boxing for a camouflaged example, so I had to improvise the service markings: the alpha-numerics and theater band came from a Fujimi Type 96 Carrier Fighter kit.