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Chuck A. Villanueva
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Empire of Japan-Fujimi 1/48th Aichi D3A1 Type 99 Val IJN Pearl Harbor

December 14, 2020 · in Uncategorized · · 24 · 2.4K

The Val is my first entry to The Empire of Japan Group build. The Val is not as detailed as the offering, but shape wise it is pretty accurate. A kit from the mid 70's, but it does have fine engraved panel lines. Just a toy like interior is the only drawback. Looking for any update sets that were made for this kit were not around, so I just adapted the 's zoom set that is for the Hase kit to enhance this one. Aeromaster decal #48-117C Part 1 were used for a Val that flew off the Japanese carrier Kaga in the 2nd wave that targeted Ford Island.

Mission Models Acrylics were used for the overall grey scheme, J3 Hai-iro Lt Grey with a Blue Black Cowl. The finish was in a semi-gloss finish. The Val's on the the Kaga were not new like the Zero's it shared the flight deck with. But were well maintained on board the carrier, True Detail's resin wheels replaced the kit wheels and Dead Design masks were used to mask off the canopy.

Would love to thanks Louis Gardner's great idea for this Group Build which has been very successful with so many participants and a number of unusual and rarely seen models built up and more to follow. Excellent turn out and a great job done by the master builder from Florida.


Fly Navy

Reader reactions:
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24 responses

  1. Wow, Chuck - it is huge! What a great build! The canopy masking has worked fantastically well. Great job!

  2. Congratulations, Chuck!
    This is a wonderful build of this gorgeous looking plane!
    I love the scheme! To me, it emphasizes the gorgeous lines of the Val much more than the latter "green over gray" one!
    The great Empire of Japan GB has now another spectacular addition.
    Well done!

  3. Superbly build, Chuck.
    Those decals came on perfectly.
    The group pictures are a nice addition.

  4. Looks good, Chuck! Nice clean build.

  5. Nice work, Chuck. You’re right about that kit being accurate shape-wise. I built one closed canopy back in ‘95 and see no reason to replace it25 years later.

    • Thanks John, having it in the stash for several years, it was the perfect time to build it. Quite an enjoyable build. Goes together well and really Fujimi did put out some nice kits in the mid 70's as Hasegawa was mostly 72nd scale 32nd scale. Leaving the 48th scale kits to Fujimi and Tamiya. And of course Monogram and Revell. I may eventually pick up the Hase Val down the road.

  6. Chuck, @uscusn
    This is an exceptional example of what you can do with an older kit. I watched it progress in your build journal from start to finish. The only reason why our Empire of Japan has been so successful, is because of the people who have participated in it... like you have. We have been very fortunate, and a lot of good people have built and posted a wide variety of aircraft.

    I like what you have done with your "Val". It's a sharp looking clean build, exactly how they would have looked at this point in their service life. I especially like the pictures of it sitting next to the Dauntless. Two similar aircraft in purpose, yet so different in all you need is a Ju-87 parked next to them, and you will have the best dive bombers from WW2 all in one place.

    I pressed the "liked" button too.

    I have been toying with the idea of building another B5N part of our Empire of Japan group, and the example shown on your decal set was the very plane I had in mind. I wanted to honor those who served at Pearl Harbor and next December 7th will be the 80th Anniversary. I recently sent Paul Barber a few pictures of a plane that was marked very similar to the one on your decal sheet.

    Funny how and where we get our inspirations isn't it ?

    Take care my friend, and stay safe.
    Merry Christmas too.

    • Don’t forget about the Sturmovik!

    • Thanks Louis, this GB has been an outstanding success. The variety of Japanese aircraft in all the scales is quite amazing. Rare birds, some unusual. With the Jill coming along and the Judy will be next and still the Nick yet to get started on. You know I do have a Ju-87 that I should've brought down as a comparison. And Jordyn with a reminder of the Sturmovik also nice call on that one. But unfortunately I do not have one yet. Not even in the stash.

  7. Great looking Build and great phots shows the model excellently. I've always liked the older Fujimi kits and your Val is an obvious example why! Great addition to the EoJ Group Build Chuck. 'Like' button hit.

    • Thanks George, like Monogram, Fujimi did offer some real good kits in this era. With most at the time with raised panel lines, Fujimi was producing kits with engraved panel lines, good details exterior wise, but with the Japanese penchant for baby motors within the kit, the interior details suffered with toy like feel to them.

  8. A great-looking Val! Well done.

  9. Impressively smooth paintwork and flawless decal application on your Val, Chuck. You make the Fujimi kit look equal to the Hasegawa in overall accuracy and key details. Good to see an early war IJN plane that doesn't require heavy weathering. Still plugging away the EOJ Group Build, I am struggling to keep my Shiden Kai from terminal ugliness in the weathering process.

    • Thanks Colin, It helps that the Fujimi kit is not bad at all fit wise. It stands up to the Hase kit very well, just need to enhance the interior a bit which is very lacking in details. So good to leave the greenhouse canopy closed. The early planes were well kept and the paint scheme are a bit glossy at this stage as well. Been reading up on your Shiden Kai, looking great so far. Plugging away on the Jill as the next one to hopefully finish soon. The start on a Fine Molds Judy

  10. All of the above, beautiful build, Chuck!

  11. Your model shows off the lines beautifully, and so good to see a nice clean plane. Definitely liked.

  12. Thanks George, the Val does have a bit of it's own unique quality about it. I would say the spats and huge oval shaped wings and horizontal stabs.

  13. Nice result, proof this old warhorse of a kit still has a few times to answer the bugle left in there.

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