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Bill Koppos
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Hasegawa 1/32 Kawanishi Shiden-Kai. From the Empire Of Japan Group Build.

July 5, 2020 · in Aviation · · 21 · 1.8K

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.

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 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 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 ”. 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.

Reader reactions:
15  Awesome

13 additional images. Click to enlarge.

21 responses

  1. Beautifully done, your flyboys look fine, great work!

  2. Very nice looking George

  3. Well done model! The subtle weathering shows up in the photos.

  4. Beautiful, masterful build, BK. Really impressive paintwork in general, the restrained exhaust staining and paint chipping in particular. Antenna with spring is the cherry on top! Keep that aircraft production going! A round of Sake for everyone!

  5. Nice work, Bill. At first glance I thought I was looking at the George at Pensacola. The figures are a nice touch too.

  6. This is a nice build Bill.
    Subtle paint and weathering.
    Antenna details are beautiful.

  7. Having followed this build from the start, I cannot say more other that the results are excellent, Bill @billkoppos!
    I dusagree with you about the figures: I find them excellent too!

  8. Really nice work, Bill. I like the subtle weathering. Agree with your sentiment about this kit, either this or the 1/48 kit are super. The figures look good.

  9. Excellent build, I especially like the aerial wire, it’s just perfect

  10. Good detail and subtle weathering add up to a very realistic build. Hasegawa do seem to go for the extra finesse on the Japanese planes.

  11. Well done Bill, she looks great and the cockpit detail is excellent. And what did you use for the antenna wire? The scale looks right on.

    • Thanks. Used some off-brand elastic stuff, they said it's for rigging 1/32 scale but it's thin for that, good for antennas. Wingnut Wings EZ line would work.

  12. Wow looks perfect came out great! I have trouble with gloss coats as well. I try to avoid them if they are not needed.

  13. Well done - that's one massive airplane!

  14. Really nice build. I particularly like the subtle shine you managed to get in paint job. Does give an extra dimension to the green nuances. Pilots are looking great. Also have a few bottles of dubious colours I try to use every now and then.

    • Thanks Sir. One thing I notice on these warplanes is the engine areas are usually shined up from constant handling, panel removal, lubing, etc. so I leave the fronts a bit glossier.

  15. Looks great, Bill! The final finish is superb. I like your minimalist approach to wear in this case. So many Shiden Kai models are half naked from chipping (which is not inaccurate for what pictures we have of some aircraft). Where less chipping is called for, we can remember that many of these planes had short lives when Japan was under siege, so I think your portrayal is entirely plausible. I will be doing a specific much-photographed Shiden Kai that requires fairly extensive paint wear but even then I plan to keep it to engine and wing root areas mainly, as confirmed by numerous pics. Still working on salt techniques etc.

    As I said in the EOJ forum, I am impressed with how you got this done despite setbacks. I also hope others will check out the forum to see how you did your "marbling" technique step by step to get paint tonal variation. I will be posting my Betty soon with my own efforts to do realistic paint wear. I took inspiration from you in adjusting my techniques (including, incidentally, not overdoing chipping). Hearty congratulations on this one and thanks for sharing the build story!

  16. Another gorgeous complete model, by the Koppos Model Werks, Ost!

    Nice to see this get done! What’s up next, Bill?

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