The Kyushu J7W Shinden (Magnificent Lightning) was a unique canard configuration interceptor developed for the Imperial Japanese Navy. It was undergoing flight testing in August 1945 right at the end of the Second World War. From the beginning a jet-powered version was envisioned. The Shinden was to be a short-range interceptor with a heavy armament of four 30 mm cannon grouped in the nose.
Tamiya produced a 1/72 Shinden kit in the 1960s, this is Hasegawa’s excellent version. It builds up with no surprises into an accurate representation of the aircraft. This is an unusual and attractive design. It is no surprise that it is a favorite of the Japanese manga industry, alternative Anime and Japan ’46 boxings abound. I rather like the aircraft, and finished mine as the camouflaged but unmarked prototype.
The Stridsvagn 103, also known as the Strv 103 or S-Tank, was an indigenous Swedish design for a main battle tank produced during the 1960s. It was fully amphibious, and was the first MBT design to utilize a gas turbine engine for main propulsion. It was armed with a Bofers 10.5 cm L/62 main gun and three 7.62 machine guns and carried a crew of three. A total of 290 were produced. The S-Tanks were replaced in Swedish service in 1997 by a variant of the German Leopard 2.
This is Trumpeter’s kit no. 07298 of the Strv 103C in 1/72. A rather straight-forward build, it only needed a bit of sanding around the rear stowage boxes. Tracks were single pieces molded in a vinyl type material which reacted well to superglue. Antennas are Nitenol wire. This was another vehicle assembled while allowing for drying time on other projects, I find that makes for a nice change of pace while painting.
“While these little gunboats were small, vulnerable and often poorly armed, they were able to operate where more conventional warships were unable to venture, and could insert a considerable influence in the campaigns they participated in. Put more simply, these little gunboats punched above their weight. This then, is their story.”
Few, if any, readers of this blog are unfamiliar with Osprey Publications and their New Vanguard series. This is a typical volume with the content we have come to expect – numerous but small photographs, several very nice illustrations and profile artwork, and specification tables giving the technical specifications of the subjects. Crammed in between all that is a general overview of the histories and designs of the various gunboats, necessarily brief due to space restrictions. These books make an excellent introduction to the topic and can be easily read in a single evening, or while waiting for an appointment.
The title “Gunboats of World War I” is perhaps a bit narrow, as several classes of monitors are also covered. In fact, the classification of gunboat and smaller monitor displayed considerable overlap, in practice there was often no differentiation between the two types. The text also covers the developmental and operational histories of several designs preceding WWI. The section dealing with “Gunboats in Action” was fascinating, although far too brief. Overall a good quick read on the subject which inspires further research.
I look into the subject of small combatants such as these with an eye for potential modeling subjects. These gunboats (and monitors) would make interesting subjects for a scratchbuilding project, most being relatively small at around 200 feet in length and of a relatively uncomplicated design. In 1/72 scale that is about 3 feet in length, a little less for some classes. Several have interesting histories as well which makes them all the more attractive. This book is a good place to start for those with a desire to explore the topic.
The Nakajima A6M2-N Rufe was a floatplane development of the famous Zero fighter. It met with success early in the Pacific War, but like most Japanese aircraft was soon outpaced by the rapid improvements in its Allied opponents.
This is the old Jo-Han kit, which still can be built up into a presentable model today. I built this one in the late 1970s. It is one of the oldest kits still in my collection and was my first attempt at a scratch-built cockpit. The camouflage was inspired by a magazine article on “purple Rufes”, which at the time I concluded must have actually have been brown. Consensus now is that they were most likely dark green like other IJN aircraft of the time. Many years later I constructed a beaching dolly from Evergreen to give it a proper display. Despite some errors, I am still a bit nostalgic about this one.
The Japanese Target A mini-sub (Ko-hyoteki ko-gata) was a two-man submarine which carried two torpedoes. Their name was part of a deception plan to pass off the type as an ASW training vessel. They were designed to be transported to the target area on the deck of a fleet submarine, then to infiltrate an enemy harbor and torpedo the ships within. Five participated in the Pearl Harbor attack, where one may have torpedoed the battleship USS Oklahoma (BB-37). On 30MAY42 three mini-subs infiltrated Sydney Harbor, one firing two torpedoes at the heavy cruiser USS Chicago (CA-29). Both missed Chicago, but one sank the depot ship HMAS Kuttabul. Two mini-subs attacked Royal Navy ships in Madagascar on 30MAY42, damaging the battleship HMS Ramillies and sinking the tanker British Loyalty. Mini-subs were also active in the Aleutians and in the Solomon Islands.
This is the Fine Molds kit in 1/72 scale. It is a simple build with no vices. The kit comes in two boxings, the Pearl Harbor version as built here, and a Sydney attack version which has a cable cutter on the sail.
WHENEVER ANY FORM OF GOVERNMENT BECOMES DESTRUCTIVE OF THESE ENDS (LIFE,LIBERTY,AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS) IT IS THE RIGHT OF THE PEOPLE TO ALTER OR ABOLISH IT, AND TO INSTITUTE A NEW GOVERNMENT― Thomas Jefferson