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Yokosuka K5Y Akatombo 赤とんぼ (Red Dragonfly) “Willow”

The K5Y Akatombo was a primary trainer in service with the Imperial Japanese Navy from 1933 through the end of the Pacific War. It was called Akatombo (Red Dragonfly) after a Japanese children’s poem of the time due to its bright overall orange-yellow paint scheme. There were two variants in service, the wheeled K5Y1 land-based version and the K5Y2 floatplane. The two versions differed in their landing gear and in the chord of the vertical stabilizer, that of the K2Y2 was more broad to compensate for the surface area of the floats. A surprising bit of trivia – the last US warship lost to kamikaze attack was the destroyer USS Callaghan (DD-792), sunk by a K5Y on 29JUL45.

There are two moldings of the K5Y available to 1/72 scale modelers. The LS molding was first released in 1973 and came in boxings with either wheels or floats, although both versions came with the small-chord vertical stabilizers. The AZ molding was released in 2013 and includes resin details, PE instrument panels, and parts to build both the land-based and floatplane versions.

I rebuilt the cockpits with Evergreen. The vertical stabilizers on both kits required correction. Ignition wires were added to the engines, and all handholds were either drilled out or replaced with wire. The beaching gear was scratchbuilt and is only my best guess given what could be seen in photographs.

Construction thread here for those interested: https://inchhighguy.wordpress.com/?s=akatombo+part

20 additional images. Click to enlarge.


14 responses to Yokosuka K5Y Akatombo 赤とんぼ (Red Dragonfly) “Willow”

  1. Amazing modelling, especially for such tiny models. The rigging is extremely fine and well done. I need to gather up the courage to learn rigging for a couple of WW1 projects.

  2. Very nice work, love the presentation

  3. They are little gems. The added detail is impressive for 72 scale.

  4. Excellent! They are both well done.

  5. All said by the gents above, Jeff! Amazing modelling! Beautiful results!
    These are small masterpieces.
    Congratulations!

  6. Those photos with the treeline in the background could have fooled me any day. Very realistic. Lovely aircraft and fantastic colour combinations.

  7. Nice work – hard to believe it’s 1/72.

  8. VERY well done, Jeff.

    Those are interesting aircraft.

  9. Nicely done! Very colorful duo, I have a hard enough time with rigging a 1/48th kit

  10. Well done Jeff, a good looking pair, nicely detailed.

  11. Wow Jeff, 1/72 scale! Well done.

  12. Impressive work in small scale. I have a hard time rigging in 1/32.

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