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B5N2 Kate BI -310


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Hello everyone. 

 

I am very new to Japanese aircraft--I have only built Airfix's 1/72 A6M2B as I returned to the hobby.  I am now in the process of long range planning for a Nakajima Kate (B5N2).  Given reviews of Airfix's Dogfight Double, I would like to use the kit decals.  @Nick Millman gave a great rundown on a late Kate--although it is hard to put my mind around a Midway aircraft as a "late" paint scheme--but that statement is accurate for Kate!  Here is a run down of the questions I have based on research (its at best a puddle deep compared to the bench of knowledge on here)

 

-- Propellor NMF front--red brown back--any color recommendations for this

-- Cowling black front--would this be similar to the Mitsubishi Blue/Black on the Zero or would it be black

-- Overall cammo--would BN52 had Nakijima grey or Mitsubishi grey (similar to Zeros) by the time of Midway--(thinking Tamiya XF76 as a good match if close to Mitsubishi  or are WEM closer?)

-- Overall cammo--what would be a good color for a 1942 IJN green--I have gotten a little confused by Pearl Harbor discussions & then a jump to 1945 Kamikaze use

-- Overall cammo--would the green have been solid, mottled, or chipped? Would the color exposed be bare metal or the underside grey?  I have seen all of these modeled by others on B1 (or I)-310 

-- I understand the exterior dark green would be the color in between the holes for the crew areas under the glass

-- Understand Nakajima built Kate's used Nakajima IG, but my understanding is the BN52 used at Midway would have been built by Aichi--would the IG in these aircraft have been closer to Mitsubishi IG or Nakajima's?

-- Finally, I believe the wheel wells would be blue akote metallic, but have heard they might be the underside color

 

As this is my first IJNAF aircraft in a while, does anyone have recommendations between WEM, Mr Color & Tamiya?  

 

Thank you to anyone willing to provide an assist--apologize if there were easy research areas to find this info out--I am beginning to understand there is a lot of conjecture out there, so coming to a state of comfort is my end goal

 

Best to all,

 

Erwin  

 

 

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You may specify which time and which area of interest you have?

Otherwise are thousands of answer possible.

Happy modelling

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@dov—thank you for seeking clarification—I hope this helps—I would like to attempt a Kate B5N2 Battle of Midway—ie. June 1942 from the carrier Hiryu flown by Lt Tomonaga.  Thank you and to everyone who made time to consider my questions &/or provide a response—best, Erwin

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Hallo

 

The best modell photo I found fast on the web, (From Tim's Wartime Scale Models) was this one. It matches quite well. Not exact, but well!

 

Good luck!

 

 

 

62414134_305498667028550_886634603849187

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I'm sure I read somewhere that there was a bit of conjecture regarding the colour of BI-310's tailplane - hopefully some modellers of Japanese aircraft out there know more about this issue.

 

 

 

This chap is a self-proclaimed Hiryu fan, and made this model of BI-310 (from http://blog.livedoor.jp/ussnimitz/archives/5554479.html). Not sure this helps you much, but I like it!

 

37f79670.jpg

 

233ea46f.jpg

 

 

 

This chap's version is lovely, too: http://hitujimokei.seepmodel.com/work/97kanko_air/ (no underwing serials on this one, 'though).

 

IMG_3768.jpg

 

IMG_3773.jpg

 

IMG_3779.jpg

 

 

 

Happy modelling!

1_006_back_kaisetsu.png

 

 

 

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If you prepared to use enamels then Colourcoats/Sovereign Hobbies do an extensive and accuate range of IJN/IJA aircraft colours based upon extensive research by Nick Millman who is a bit of a guru when it comes to all things Japanese.

 

Regards

Colin.

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My build of this subject also with the help of Nick a few years ago. I documented the colors I used in the link. 
 

I mixed my own Ameiro based on Nick’s suggestions, as well as creating a blacker blue-black for the cowling. For the uppersurface green I used Tamiya XF-11 IJN Green. For the interior I used XF-71 Cockpit Green, but once closed up it just looked dark in there as most of it is not visible unless you bring a magnifier and flashlight (hiss). 
 

Ultimately one of my better builds. It received a first place at MarauderCon in 2018. I’ve not matched that since. 
 

Tim

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15 hours ago, dov said:

Hallo

 

The best modell photo I found fast on the web, (From Tim's Wartime Scale Models) was this one. It matches quite well. Not exact, but well!

 

Good luck!

 

 

 

62414134_305498667028550_886634603849187

Thanks @dov—this a gorgeous build—it is interesting to see that schemes seem to be more solid than blotchy/sun scorched at this stage of the war—thank you for the info—best, Erwin 

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8 hours ago, fishplanebeer said:

If you prepared to use enamels then Colourcoats/Sovereign Hobbies do an extensive and accuate range of IJN/IJA aircraft colours based upon extensive research by Nick Millman who is a bit of a guru when it comes to all things Japanese.

 

Regards

Colin.

@fishplanebeer, thanks!  I am beginning to strongly lean toward using White Ensign’s colors as they are from Colourcoates—question, White Ensign has both Nakijima and Mitsubishi colors for IJN aircraft —my understanding is that most of the Kates at Midway were not made Nakajima but by Achi ( apologize if my spelling is off)—is this correct?  & if so would it best to go with Mitsubishi or Nakajima colors?  Perhaps, there is not enough info to lean one or the other, but I thought I would ask 😎 thank you for this info—best Erwin

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@Greenshirt—wow what a awesome build—you should be proud.  I am going to take some time to absorb your lessons—do you have any of the photos Nick provided—all of the info I have seen from him is spot on—thank you again for sharing this wonderful review/build—best, Erwin

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Tomonaga's Kate is a fascinating build. I have done it several years ago and really enjoyed the experience.  If you remember from the book "Shattered Sword" and also from the old 1976 movie "Battle of Midway" Tomonaga took part in the early attack on Midway Island. During that attack he was attacked by Major Park's Wildcats and Buffaloes and his right ( if I remember correctly ) fuel tank was holed. He had enough fuel to return to Hiryu but since the tank could not be filled he only had fuel to go one way to the US Fleet. I remembered that little detail and took some efforts to model some bullet holes through his wing and a few streaks on the bottom form escaping fuel to represent his Kate from between the two missions. You may want to look into that to add a little more historical detail to the kit and give it some "personality".

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@Greenshirt, thank you for sharing this build--again you should be really proud of it.  If I understand it correctly, the salt chipping on your build replicates unit applied IJN green over the factory applied ameiro vice chipping down to the bare metal.  Am I correct?  Also, it is hard to see, but I think you stayed the fuselage color underneath the canopy (not the cockpit/crew areas) was the factory applied ameiro--did I understand it correctly?  Finally, it was interesting to note the accuracy of the unit applied green with the national insignia--the Midway/Coral Seal photos I am finding show Kate's with more or less evenly applied cammo colors--I was looking at Valiant Wings' Midway special and the Kates appear to the untrained eye (that would be me) to be either a more or less solid green or purposely painted pattern--that said, I think your work represents a more accurate interpretation than my current understanding--do you or anyone have pics that would provide a historical reference--FWIW, I will be leveraging your build significantly when I build mine--again awesome work!  Thank you for your help in imporving my knowledge of this subject, Best, Erwin

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@Marco1965 & @Greenshirt--as you are now my Kate go to for info guys based on your builds🙌--as I think about attempting executing the unit applied IJN green, do you have thoughts on thinning ratios and air pressure--I am thinking the paint thinning/pressure would almost be like what you would see on a Luftwaffe mottling effort.  Also, do you all have thoughts on Mr Color vs White Ensign paints for this subject...  I noted you both used Tamiya--I have much experience with Tamiya, so could easily got that way, but would be interested in your thoughts.  The only other question I have is your thoughts on the main wheel gear wells--underside color or metallic blue?   Reference @Nick Millman photos, does the Pear Harbor link below contain some of the photos you were talking about?  Thank you both (and anyone else) for your thoughts.   I really appreciate the opportunity to grow--Best, Erwin 

 

 

https://japanese-aviation.forumotion.com/t43-19-pearl-harbor-raid-akagi-s-high-level-bombers

 

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The Japanese build thread by the ‘Hiryu fan’ listed earlier has some discussion about not using the ‘caramel’ or ‘amber’ grey on his Kate.

 

 I haven’t gone through the other builds yet, or the discussions regarding greys on Kates, but was there some confusion as to the underside greys used on Midway aircraft?

 


 

Some links to other B5N2 builds (not all BI-310, ‘though) - using the translate tool of your choice will help determine methods, techniques, colours, etc.

 

(This is  for -310) 

https://blog.goo.ne.jp/ganpon26/e/91f53881d37dc4320ef91e813d730a55
 

http://soyuyo.main.jp/97kanko/97kanko.htm

 

http://matever.com/cgi/mt/mt-search.cgi?IncludeBlogs=2&search=B5n2
 

http://memoryship.bglb.jp/Airplane/TYPE97-3/TYPE97-3/TYPE97-3.html
 

http://shimiyan21.cocolog-nifty.com/blog/2010/10/148-97305-3438.html

 

https://togetter.com/li/463884

 

http://h1koichi.blog.fc2.com/blog-category-15.html

 

(It’s a metal-coloured bird, but I want to try this technique on a Kate)

http://sidelovenext.jp/blog-entry-282.html

 

Edited by Blimpyboy
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6 hours ago, VT Red Sox Fan said:

do you have thoughts on thinning ratios and air pressure--I am thinking the paint thinning/pressure would almost be like what you would see on a Luftwaffe mottling effort.  Also, do you all have thoughts on Mr Color vs White Ensign paints for this subject

Mr Color behaves similar to Tamiya as far as a paint goes. I cannot easily get Mr Color so I stick with Tamiya. I’ve never used White Ensign paints so cannot comment on it. 
 

For my build I masked, nothing freehand. My usual method when masking (or using salt in this case) is to thin about 4-6:1 thinner:paint and mist the color on in a number of coats until I like the opacity. PSI about 12-15, less if more thinned. 
 

Quote

main wheel gear wells

I attempted to make mine have that bluish primer that has a metallic sheen look. I painted a silver then misted a very thin coat of Tamiya X-13. 
 

Tim

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Hi, thank you for quoting my Kate build.  I am about to start a second Kate (this time a torpedo Kate) and a refreshing of my memory will come in handy!  I mostly looked for information in japanese aviation forums (j-aircraft.com), aviation of japan, and any other forum and pictures that I could find.  David Aiken was an excellent, source with well supported information in the forums where he left excellent contributions.

1. Gray color: the three types of a/c were painted IJN Gray Green (Tamiya XF-76) when they departed Japan, on the way to Hawaii, and according to their purpose, the Kates were camouglaged using a dark green color, which has been reported within a range close to 34079.  Aichis and Zeros did not receive any camo as they would not be exposed in low or level flight.  That was the version that I found to be the most updated and better supported.

2. Wheel Wells: I went for the same external color

3. Airbrush: I used Tamiya for the Graygreen, used Tamiya Thinner, acrylic, and the green blotches were Mr Color 34079, diluted with Xilene.  The dilution I normally use like for everything is around 50-60% thinner, 50-40% paint, and the pressure I keep is 15psi, I don´t change it.  I use a double action Iwata Eclypse airbrush

4. I didn´t use masking to paint the camo of my Kate, freehand was good for this kind of irregular scheme.  I used masking for the hinomaru´s though, I discarded the decals as they were too orange.

 

   For my "new" Kate, it will be a torpedo bomber in the regular upper green surfaces (no blotches, regular) and graygreen undersides.  For that one I wanted to try the "IJN Black Green" which is supposed to be within the range of Dark Greens found in relics from Pearl Harbor.  Will share when I start assembling it.

 

Marco

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hello everyone, I am in the process of moving through my Typhoon build and am collecting colors for my Kate build.    Quick question regarding the Sakae 21 engine colors--some instructions/reports have the crank case painted a grey green & others have this portion painted silver.  I have also seen conflicting reports on the cylinders--were they a pure black (ie painted) or more of a gun metal?  Thank you to anyone with better knowledge to help me out.  Best, Erwin

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On 1/29/2021 at 5:30 PM, serial modeler said:

Tomonaga's Kate is a fascinating build. I have done it several years ago and really enjoyed the experience.  If you remember from the book "Shattered Sword" and also from the old 1976 movie "Battle of Midway" Tomonaga took part in the early attack on Midway Island. During that attack he was attacked by Major Park's Wildcats and Buffaloes and his right ( if I remember correctly ) fuel tank was holed. He had enough fuel to return to Hiryu but since the tank could not be filled he only had fuel to go one way to the US Fleet. I remembered that little detail and took some efforts to model some bullet holes through his wing and a few streaks on the bottom form escaping fuel to represent his Kate from between the two missions. You may want to look into that to add a little more historical detail to the kit and give it some "personality".

That is a myth. The US fleet was only 90 miles out in that mission. Kates had several fuel tanks. Tomonaga cheerfully said to his ground crew that he had enough fuel to the return flight. This is stated in Shattered Sword.

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On 2/16/2021 at 1:29 PM, Milo Burgh said:

That is a myth. The US fleet was only 90 miles out in that mission. Kates had several fuel tanks. Tomonaga cheerfully said to his ground crew that he had enough fuel to the return flight. This is stated in Shattered Sword.

Milo, "Shattered Sword" states on page 290 that when carrying a torpedo, the Kate's 225 liter outboard fuel tanks couldn't be filled.  So, he only had one 350 liter tank of fuel.  And I believe his assertion that he could make it back was at best, facetious.  Also, other reconnaissance reports put the American task force at 110 NM away from the Japanese.

 

"Shattered Sword" also says on page 311 that Admiral Yamaguchi and his staff didn't expect him to return.  The bottom line is, he wouldn't have made it back and didn't, although due to Commander Thatch shooting him down, not fuel exhaustion.

 

Tom

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1 hour ago, tmeyer said:

Milo, "Shattered Sword" states on page 290 that when carrying a torpedo, the Kate's 225 liter outboard fuel tanks couldn't be filled.  So, he only had one 350 liter tank of fuel.  And I believe his assertion that he could make it back was at best, facetious.  Also, other reconnaissance reports put the American task force at 110 NM away from the Japanese.

 

"Shattered Sword" also says on page 311 that Admiral Yamaguchi and his staff didn't expect him to return.  The bottom line is, he wouldn't have made it back and didn't, although due to Commander Thatch shooting him down, not fuel exhaustion.

 

Tom

Tom, your are quoting my quote. Tomonaga says that the target is 90 miles away. May be it was 110 miles away when discovered, but not at launch point. Do you believe that he really thought that he hasn't enough fuel he wouldn't change planes? And please, read note 17 in page 564: with 30% of normal fuel a Kate could have between 160 and 320 nm range. And I think that Tomonoga knew how to manage his plane better than Yamaguchi.

Milo.

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Remember: range is in a straight line, it is not combat radius and has no allowances for forming up. delays, diversions, and queuing up waiting to land.  However, a 320nm range with 30% fuel seems beyond this aircraft's capabilities, implying around 1000 nautical miles with full fuel - and what about weapons? Extra drag due to battle damage?

 

Whether a leader such as Tomonaga would have willingly left an otherwise serviceable strike aircraft behind, or sacrificed some other pilot rather than himself, rather goes against Japanese military psychology.  Yes, I can believe he would willingly go on a one-way mission if the target was important enough.  It was, after all, to become common.  Not just for Kamikazes.

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Also, the footnote states, if he husbanded his fuel, which implies leaning the mixture out as low as possible and at a correspondingly slow airspeed, which is incompatible with a combat mission, at least on the outward leg and then the attack phase.  Furthermore, when the strike let Hiryu, it climbed to 3,000 meters, or roughly 13, 000 feet.  Carrying a one ton torpedo and climbing to that altitude will burn fuel, as you'll need power to climb and maintain altitude.

 

And then when you get close and start your attack run, you'll use full power for a sustained amount of time, which burns more fuel.  Once you've attacked and left the area, then you can throttle back to fuel saving speeds and power settings. 

 

And the admiral's staff would include experienced pilots to plan out missions; each carrier and Nagumo's staffs would have them to advise on air operations and what was feasible or not.

 

Tom

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