The Aoshima Shiden series are nice kits but are often overlooked. This is the N1K1 with the redesigned wing incorporating all four Type 99 20 mm cannon internally. The kit has shallow wheelwells but a passable cockpit. The clear parts are a strong point and the canopy can be posed in the open position. The gear doors do need replacing as they are thick and molded into the landing gear legs – an odd choice for such a nice kit. Markings are from a Kopro decal sheet and represent a Shiden of the Yokosuka Kokutai.
Focke Wulf Fw 190A-6 of Günther Schack, 8./JG 51, Orel-Slowitzki USSR, 15 July 1943
This is the Fw 190A-6 of Leutnant Günther Schack of 8./JG 51 as profiled by Claes Sundin in his book Luftwaffe Fighter Aircraft #3. Schack was on my list of missing Experten schemes for quite some time so I was very happy to find his aircraft illustrated in Sundin’s book. Schack claimed 174 victories on the Russian front and was shot down 15 times himself. He survived the war. The camouflage is the standard 74 / 75 / 76 with a dense green overspray.
Eduard’s Fw 190A-8 Royal Class boxing provides everything you need to build A-6 and A-7 versions using the standard wing and unarmored fuselage parts. Here is an A-6 “conversion” using the earlier upper cowling parts. The pitot tube is moved from the wing tip to the middle of the wing. The latches molded into the top of the cowling panels are filled, as is the circular panel line on the belly for the MW tank. If the centerline rack is carried it should be moved back about 3mm. Decals from the spares box.
The Spotlight On series is published by Mushroom from Poland. These are thin books, but on a large layout and printed on glossy paper. The books consist of a single page giving a brief history of the subject’s design, then it is straight off to the profiles. For each there is a short caption identifying the pilot, location, and date along with some information on the paint scheme & markings. No additional information is provided, so if you’re looking for a pilot biography or anecdotes about the aircraft’s service history or combats you’ll need to research elsewhere.
There are 42 Yak-3s profiled in this volume, the vast majority in Soviet markings and AMT 11 / 12 / 7 camouflage, although there are several exceptions thrown in for good measure. All the profiles are of either the port or starboard sides, no plan views are provided. Eight of the profiles are of aircraft of the Normandie-Niemen Regiment so there is plenty here for the fans of this famous French unit.
This is a quality series, and there is lots of inspiration for modelers here (provided decals can be sourced of course). I would have liked to have seen some additional background on the individual aircraft and their pilots, it is always more interesting and inspiring to know something of the history involved. Several of these volumes have appeared on the secondary market, often at a significant discount. They are well worth picking up, especially if they can be found at a bargain price!
Tamiya’s N1K1 is a little gem but is overlooked by most modelers. It has the fit and finished we have come to expect from Tamiya and goes together without any issues. I detailed the cockpit and replaced the cannon barrels with brass from Master, but this kit looks great right out of the box. The markings represent an aircraft of the 341st Kokutai at Marcott in the Philippines in October 1944, by January the squadron had been wiped out.
Messerschmitt Bf 109 F-2 of Stab III. / JG 2, St. Pol France, July 1941, pilot Hans Hahn, Fine Molds kit.
Hans “Assi” Hahn was credited with a total of 108 victories, 66 in the West against the Allies and 42 against Russians in the East. Hahn translates as “rooster” in English, thus his personal emblem on the cowl. “Assi” Hahn was shot down on 21FEB43 over Staraya, Russia and spent the next seven years in Soviet captivity.