Hasegawa 1/32 Kawanishi Shiden-Kai. From the Empire Of Japan Group Build.
Felina! (recognize that, Breaking Bad people?) Best finale ever from the best show ever. Anyway this is my finale, less spectacular for sure, but the Shiden-Kai is done.
Hasegawa makes it so easy to do a nice looking model. Only screw-ups here were self-inflicted ones. I didn’t end up adding much, did some engine detailing, added an Eduard seat harness and some really nice Master Barrel type 99 20mm cannon barrels. What I as really happy with was the paint job, I tried to do the “marbling” technique, as seen on “Scale-a-ton’s” You tube channel, and this is my way of doing things from now on. It really gives that varied-tone effect we have been looking for, really helps on a one-color paint scheme. Also discovered I’m still searching for the perfect glosscoat, one that won’t “pebble” a nice smooth finish. Next we try Mr. color clear, with their self-leveling thinner.
Also I found that Maketar Masks are very good, and since I ended up doing the damn canopy twice, found Montex Masks work well to, even though they don’t look like they will. And the victory (kill markings) decal they give you worked well too.
Building this I leaned heavily on the book “Genda’s Blade” an excellent reference on the 343rd Kokutai I bought years ago. Actual full pictures of Shiden-Kais are not that common, for instance I have never seen an actual photo of the machine I built, no. 11. Profiles show the 16 victory marks on this one, and one pilot in the book (herefore referred to as “GB”) mentioned it, so…also I only put it on one side, as I believe that kind of thing would not be done on both sides. Pure guesswork…
343-11, from squadron S301, (Shinsen-Gumi, “Elite Guard Unit”) was flown by CPO Shoichi Sugita, a high-scoring Ace, and others. According to GB, “assigned” planes were swapped about a lot. Sugita was killed, as was his wingman, on April 15, 1945, trying to take off during an air raid. He could not have been using No. 11 as GB has it being used by others later on, in May and June.
Speaking of the pilots of S-301, When I was attending the IPMS Nationals in Orlando, 2012, Zoukie-Mura had just released their 1/32 Raiden kit. At their booth they had some accessories, one of them being “Band of Wingmen”, a group of 4 IJN pilots doing a Sake toast. ‘Spensive, but had to have it. (If you have never been to an IPMS Nats, I highly advise it, the stuff you can find there will overload you for sure). So finally the band of wingmen see action.
It seems that Shiden means “Violet Lightning”. As a neck muffler was standard flying equipment, one of S-301’s astute types came up with the idea of Violet Mufflers. According to GB, silk was hard to get at the time (I think everything was) but they managed to come up with 20 something of them, made by one of the local ladies. Sugita’s section of 4, Kasai, Miyazawa, and Tamura, all had embroidery on them stating “Smile sweetly and shoot him down without fail”. Miyazawa was the one that died at Sugita’s wing. Kasai and Tamura survived the war, Kasai giving quite a few insights to GB’s Authors.
So long ago I decided I would give my flyboys Violet mufflers. Boy that bottle of Vallejo Violet has been sitting in the drawer a looooong time, but it was finally used. BTW, once again I must request you don’t look too closely at the figure’s faces, I will NEVER master that skill. Squint a bit please.
Build details, in progress details and the whole sordid story can be found in the Empire of Japan Group section.
Happy 4th Weekend to all youse iMod people.
13 additional images. Click to enlarge.