Profile Photo
Chuck A. Villanueva
119 articles

"ON THIS DAY" 7 December 1941, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. IJN Nakajima B5N2 "Kate" 1/48

December 8, 2021 · in Aviation · · 20 Comments

It is the 80th year anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. Though the mission was a success but not the knock out punch that Yamamoto hoped to achieve. The primary objective was to destroy or put out of action the US carrier fleet in which none of them were in port. That would soon become a critical part of US combat operations in the Pacific Theatre soon after. Down but not out, the US Navy and Marines start the defense of the Pacific and the west coast of the United States.

This is a memoriam Flight 19 Group Build in honor of the 80th Anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack. Along with my squadron mates that planned this operation last year in December, Louis Gardner, Tom Bebout, Gary Sausmikat, Paul Barber, Spiros Pendedekis, Eric Gjorup. Pedro Rocha and our founder David Leigh Smith decided to do this presentation and choosing their project for this day.

My choice early on was the excellent Hasegawa Nakajima B5N2 Type 97 Kate, operating off the IJN Shokaku. The Kate at the time not new like the Zeros, but were the most experienced crews operating the type with low time air frames. So a bit more wear but not much as these aircraft were well kept and maintained by disciplined squadron maintenance crews.

The kit has a well detailed interior enhanced with an Eduards PE set. Aeromaster Tora Tora Tora pt1 #48-117 were used for the interesting paint scheme and markings off the Shokaku. The Shokaku was the newest carrier in the Japanese Navy and though experienced crews were chosen for this mission, the Shokaku had the least experienced crews and so were given the mission to drop bombs on their taskings while the Kates on the Kaga, Akagi Hiryu and Soryu were loaded with torpedoes. At the start of the war the Kate was considered the best attack plane in the world, thought slow, it was quite effective, but easy to shoot down with no self sealing tanks and only the .303 rear facing gun for defense.

Mission Models paints were used through out. Blue Black for the cowl, Jai-ro Grey Green for the overall scheme with IJN Nakajima Green mottling and uneven blotchy scheme over the top. The decals went on well. I used the PE seats for the pilot and observer stations, much better than the kit seats. The wheels are from the kit and are moulded to represented a weighted tire. Nice touch. The bomb in the kit was nice, but didn't paint in time for the presentation, will add it later this week. Overall a nice kit, the only quirk is that lousy sprue inside the cowl, very difficult to remove without cracking the cowl itself, Need to be careful here when removing that insert.


Fly Navy

30 additional images. Click to enlarge.

20 responses

  1. A wonderful result Chuck!

  2. Stunning build and fantastic scheme, Chuck. Love the early Japanese planes. You’ve really done this one justice!

  3. Well done, Chuck. Love the paint job. Honored to be a part of the group.

  4. Nicely done Chuck!
    Great result!

  5. Looks great Chuck - I hadn't seen that scheme on a Kate - like it a lot.

    • Thanks Greg, yes I agree with you. I was really pleased that this scheme for the Kate was on this Aeromaster sheet that I originally purchased for the Val. Then when the opportunity to build the Kate for the PH group build came up, I already had the model I wanted to present.

  6. Beautiful Kate, Chuck @uscusn
    Scheme is great with these mottled areas.

  7. Fantastic build! I hope you will show us some work in Pearl Harbor group 🙂

  8. Nice looking Kate, Chuck. Nice airbrush work. I like the scheme a lot also, and awesome photos too.
    A few months ago, I happened to find Aeromaster Tora Tora Tora PT2 #48-118 with a great line up of Pearl aircraft. I'll probably go with Lt. Matuzaki's B5N2 - once I have a little more practice on a few 1/72 kits.

    • Hi George, thanks the trusty ole Paasche H is easy to use and handle this type of scheme. Would really if I can build the rest of the schemes and markings off this sheet. Someday. Looking forward to seeing these built.
      Merry Christmas to you and the family.

  9. Chuck, @uscusn
    First off, thank you for participating in our little group. Secondly, I'll echo what many have said above, and compliment you on your build. This B5N looks superb ! I especially like the camouflage and how the paint scheme looks. Many years ago I saw a Kate that was painted very similar to yours over at Hyperscale. This was (and still is) my all time favorite B5N paint scheme. I hope that someday I will be able to build up one of my own.

    Is this kit equipped with the "special" bomb that was actually a 16 inch battleship main gun round that was modified for aerial use ?

    I definitely pressed the "like" button.

    • Thanks Louis, always a pleasure to be involved in any GB that involves our squadron. This kit does have the oversized bomb, just ran out of time to paint it, will install that and the red tip stripes on the prop. Otherwise that is all it needs to be completed.

Leave a Reply