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Spiros Pendedekas
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Nichimo 1/48 Aichi E13A1b ”Jake” (零式水上偵察機)

Hi everyone!

This is my E13A1b ””, built as part of the Empire of Japan GB.

The Aichi (Allied reporting name: “Jake”) was a long-range reconnaissance seaplane used by the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) from 1941 to 1945. Numerically the most important floatplane of the IJN, it could carry a crew of three and a bombload of 250 kg (550 lb). The Navy designation was “Navy Type Zero Reconnaissance Seaplane”.

In China, it operated from seaplane tenders and cruisers. Later, it was used as a scout for the Attack on Pearl Harbor, and was encountered in combat by the United States Navy during the Battles of Coral Sea and Midway. It was in service throughout the conflict, for coastal patrols, strikes against navigation, liaison, officer transports, castaway rescues, and other missions, along with some kamikaze missions in the last days of war.

One Aichi E13A was operated by Nazi Germany alongside two Arado Ar 196s out of the base at Penang. The three aircraft formed the East Asia Naval Special Service to assist the German Monsun Gruppe as well as local Japanese naval operations.

Eight examples were operated by the French Navy Air Force during the First Indochina War from 1945-1947, while others were believed to be operated by the Naval Air Arm of the Royal Thai Navy before the war. One example captured by New Zealand forces was flown by RNZAF personnel in theatre, but sank and was not repaired after a float leaked.

No intact plane survives today.

This is a 60's kit, with oversimplified engine and a joke cockpit, to supposedly accommodate a micromotor and batteries, but otherwise is acceptable.

The engine and cockpit were completely scratchbuilt.

Let apart the engine and especially cockpit oversimplifications, this was not a bad kit. If you are lucky and find aftermarket cockpit and engine solutions, you can end up with a masterpiece.

Of course, the Modelling Murphy's law dictates that a new tool super dooper quarterscale Jake will soon be announced, now that my Jake is finished...

Should you so wish, you can read my full build thread here, along with nice comments and the occasional jokes:

And M2 full build review here:

Thanks everyone who participated in my build, it was an extremely joyful experience.

Happy modelling!

Reader reactions:
19  Awesome

24 additional images. Click to enlarge.

61 responses

  1. Spiros, @fiveten
    This is a true masterpiece, and it has been a joy to follow along with you during the build. You have done a magnificent job updating yours. The engine and scratch built cockpit are definite improvements over the kit supplied parts. We do need an updated version in 1/48 ! Maybe a nice 1/48 scale Mitsubishi G3M "Nell" to go along with it ? One can only dream...

    Thanks for participating in our Empire of Japan group build. You hit a home run with it... I also enjoyed reading your article.

  2. Nicely done model of a more rare subject! Top job!

  3. A fantastic job, Spiros!

  4. Lots of "go the distance" work on display here and a great result. I like it a lot.

  5. Well done Spiros, really did a nice job on an ancient kit to bring her up to today's standards.

  6. Spiros, your Jake WIP was a marvelous entertainment to me, and I will add to any modeler who reads it. The finished model goes way beyond that 60s kit you described when you opened the box. Well done mate!

  7. Great finish to this one Spiros! This is one I’ve been cheering for.

  8. Great looking aircraft Spiros

  9. You finished it! Looks great. Just the right amount of wear and tear! Really enjoyed following your build.

  10. That is a truly lovely build, congratulations! I have one on my 'to do' pile and I can see the amount of care that went into this.

  11. @fiveten. That is a very nicely done model. You definitely earn your pay on this one Spiros.

  12. This is a great model, Spiros (@fiveten). I totally missed this build. Really good looking build of an old kit that proves that you can get great results from an old kit.

  13. Really great job.

  14. Really enjoyed following your build Spiros! Impressive job right from the beginning.
    Picked up a few tips during the process, thanks for posting all your work.

    • Thanks George @georgeswork!
      I 'll put everything neatly together in an article, hoping to be posted in my beloved site MM.
      Thanks for following along, my friend: your presence, along with other great gents here was a key factor to motivate me building and sharing.

  15. 🙂 … Greetings … 🙂 :
    Awesome work Spiros.
    Very nice work on the cockpit. The finish on this model gives it character as well as tailfin markings. For sure it is a good eye candy.

  16. Compliments on this great build, Spiros. @fiveten
    Models from the 60's are not the easiest ones to build.

  17. Profile Photo
    said on July 21, 2020

    I really like your Jake Spiros. All your work and effort really payed off.
    Hasegawa is hopefully tooling up to produce a new mold Jake. I'm surprised they have not done one already.

    • Thanks Michael @mbwoodgate!
      Being it the most important numerically floatplane of the IJN, it is indeed surprising that a new tool doesn't exist. I can only speculate that it has to do with the fact that there is a bit of info obscurity regarding the Jake, plus that no intact plane survives today.

  18. Outstanding build Spiros. I have been watching your progress on this and the transition from toy like model to very realistic replica is something to be proud of. Well done.

  19. Looks great spiros. Keep it up. Spot on.

  20. I really enjoyed watching this come together, Spiros. The final gallery of photos demonstrates what can be done to turn an older kit into a museum quality replica. Most impressive was your scratch-building in the cockpit and work on the engine. Thanks for sharing your project. It will be a big help to all of us tackling this kit.

  21. Wow! This is a top notch build. Came out great Spiros! Looks perfect.

  22. Fantastic job done with this kit! Really like the interior and your motor solution.

  23. You've done a great job with this Spiros! Looks fantastic...and a subject you don't see every day.

  24. Who needs a new super-duper kit when a little scratch building is so good for the soul, and gets as great a result! Looks fantastic. I love these Japanese float planes. Well done.

  25. Awesome job Spiros, really well done!

  26. Spiros @fiveten, what a phenomenal build - that cockpit is incredible given what you had to play with! Very well done - a spectacular result from a pretty basic bunch of ancient plastic. Congratulations!

  27. Nice work on this kit, Spiros. I have a collection of US float planes, but don't have room for any other country's stuff, but this one would definitely be one to add.

  28. Great job on the build, float planes gotta love them, the photos are well done too, nice angles and close ups!

  29. Great job Spiros! I’m thinking of purchasing either a 1/48 Jake or a 1/48 Dave. It appears you had to do some substantial custom work on this kit, in which you executed perfectly. Really great job! @fiveten

  30. Yeah, ScaleMates has no info on any modern 1/48 Jake kits. A bit surprising to me.

    • Indeed, very surprising, my friend @greenterrorz! Taking into account the importance of the plane and units produced, I would expect at least Hasegawa or Tamiya to come up with a modern Jake. Maybe the reason might be that there is no complete info on the plane? To my understanding, only a part of a wreck survives. Could it be that no original drawings survive? Anyway, I would love to see a modern Jake.

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