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Embarking to conquer ‒ A 'Jake' aboard Kamikawa Maru


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In late December 1941 the Kamikawa Maru, a seaplane tender of 8,600 tons, cast anchor near Saigon. She was part of the 3rd Kōkū Kantai (Air Fleet) commissioned with supporting the Japanese Army landings in Malaya. The four Aichi E13A1 floatplanes aboard were unloaded at Cape Saint Jacques (Vũng Tào) and prepared for action.

 

 

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Sailing off to Indochina

 

The ship and her compliment of 'Jakes' participated in several offensive operations during the first six months of the Pacific War. February 24, 1942 saw them heading for Batavia as part of the Java Invasion Force. In May they were dispatched to Deboyne Is. in the Solomon Sea for the planned seizure of Port Moresby where the ship came under heavy attack by US bombers. With Operation MO called off they sailed back to Rabaul. The Kamikawa Maru soldiered on until May 29, 1943 when she was sunk by the submarine USS Scamp (SS-277).

 

 

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Hoisted aboard for the passage south

 

The Type 0 Reconnaissance Seaplane as it was termed by the Imperial Navy was produced in larger numbers than any other Japanese floatplane and served throughout the entire Pacific War in a search, escort and attack role (It could carry two 60 kg bombs internally and a maximum of 250 kg). Despite its omnipresence there is surprisingly little documentation and even less model options. Reportedly the 1/72 Hasegawa kit has dimension issues and the 1/48 release by Nichimo is actually Marusan's prehistoric 1/50 product of 1963.

 

 

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With no 1/48 offering in sight I embarked on upgrading the 'Jake' that I built in 1991. The Nichimo kit is indeed very basic with many flaws - just the type of challenge I like. A cockpit set from Lone Star Models helped to improve the bare interior.

 

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Severe work it was, but I enjoyed seeing it progress, and I'm happy that a fitting 'Jake' has now joined my floatplane collection.

 

Michael

 

 

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In Deboyne Lagoon on May 6, 1942

 

 

REFERENCES

CARRIER OPERATIONS IN WORLD WAR II, VOLUME II, DAVID BROWN, SHEPPERTON, 1974

TYPE 0 RECONNAISSANCE SEAPLANE, MARU MECHANIC NO.12, TOKYO 1978

IMPERIAL JAPANESE NAVY RECONNAISSANCE SEAPLANES, FAMOUS AIRPLANES OF THE WORLD NO.47, TOKYO, 1994

IMPERIAL JAPANESE NAVY SEAPLANES, MODEL ART NO.565, TOKYO, 2000

SOUTH PACIFIC AIR WAR, VOLUME 3, MICHAEL CLARINGBOULD / PETER INGMAN, KENT TOWN, 2019

TYPE 0 RECONNAISSANCE FLOATPLANE, FAMOUS AIRPLANES OF THE WORLD NO.207, TOKYO, 2022

WWW.AVIATIONOFJAPAN.COM/2010/04/AICHI-E13-JAKE-INTERIOR-COLOUR.HTML

CORRESPONDENCE WITH NICK MILLMAN, 2019/2021/2023

 

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Brilliant! A great departure from the poor Japanese models seen lately. A lesson in History, in jewel work, and of modelism. And I agree with you Michael, as after a very good "Pete" from Hasegawa, we were all expecting a decent "Jake" which never came! Once again you show your seriousness and the mastery of plastic surgery, even if the Lone Star items are of good help. Furthermore the early Pacific war color on the IJN is more interesting than the overall green over grey, I am sure Nic Millman will appreciate. Thanks a lot for sharing this beauty, best regards and now on to the Curtiss! Cheers Michael.

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I have this kit in the stash and cannot believe your build is of the same model parts I have.  Just wonderful work on the reconstruction and inclusion of the Lone Star cockpit set.  The work on the wing fold is also exceptional.  Thanks for sharing this as I am making notes regarding your build thread to help when I finally get around to tackling my kit.  Just a beautiful model.

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Oh boy!  That is one spectacular and exclusive "Jake"... what a beauty!  Agree with Zigomar as we DEMAND a 2024-standard-new-kit for this legendary floatplane.  Hasegawa, Tamiya, Eduard? Hello?

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Beautiful aircraft. Great story. You've excelled at both. 

I've always built with a story or a history of the aircraft I was working on. I think what's in your minds eye while working on your subject enhances the process. 

And building early Pacific campaign, you can't go wrong!

Again, beautiful presentation. 

 Paul

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Brilliant work there Michael, esp` knowing what you started with. Superb build and photo`s too

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Really interesting conversion Michael !!

Impressive work on here....

:partytime::partytime:

I will restart and finish my Hien, modified following your sound advice !!

Sincerely.

CC 

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