David Knights' Weblog

December 12, 2018

I saw this coming

Filed under: Politics,Technology — dknights @ 9:54 am
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Of course, who didn’t. Japan is going to buy 100 additional F-35s, including F-35Bs which can operate from the country’s two helicopter carriers.  Makes perfect sense.  Also, Japan is ramping up its defense spending.  The South China Sea is going to become a more interesting place that it already is.


December 10, 2018

Ohka update

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 10:31 pm
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Got a little bit of modeling in over the weekend.  Not much, but enough to finally get the Ohka fuselage together.  I apologize for the crappy photos.  While the kit is fairly new, it definitely has a limited run feel to it.  The fit isn’t exactly Tamiya level.

December 7, 2018

Captured B-17s

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 12:29 pm
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A nice article on the origins of the B-17s captured and tested by the Japanese.  (h/t to Jeff “Inch High” Groves)

December 5, 2018

E8N in German naval service

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 5:16 pm
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I’ve gone down a real rabbit hole since reading for the first time the story of an E8N “Dave” purchased by the Germans from the Japanese for use on one of their commerce raiders.  My original post is here.  Since then I’ve done a bit more readings and research.  It appears that a second Dave may have been purchased, but there is some question as to whether or not it was used.


This is allegedly a photo of the second Dave aboard the German ship Thannenfels.









Here is the post on the Arawasi blog with that story.

So far the only photo of the Dave in British markings on the Orion is the one that was in my previous post.  The serial number painted on the aircraft L5196 is said to actually be a serial for a Fairey Battle and was a reference to the seaplane unit on the Orion.

In addition, it appears that one other German commerce raider used an aircraft in British or South African markings.  In this case, a German He-114. A mention of this is in this article.  In addition, noted Australian aviation author writes in an article that an He-114 from a German commerce raider overflew Port Adelaide, though what markings it carried are unknown.

For more on German commerce raiders in the Pacific generally, see this article.

I am officially hooked.  If anyone knows anything else on this subject, or has any pointers to any interesting photos, let me know.








December 3, 2018


Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 6:23 am
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We are getting an new kit of the E8N “Dave”.  This is good news for Japanese Naval aircraft fans, especially of the pre and early war period.  In looking at this new kit announcement I found a story I’d never heard before of an E8N operating off a German commerce raider in British markings.  I found one photo on the net, here.

Japanese German British Dave


November 28, 2018

Birth of the Battlecruiser

Filed under: Technology — dknights @ 6:32 am
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An interesting article on the development of the Battlecruiser class of naval ship at the turn of the 1900s.

November 26, 2018

More MXY-7 info

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 12:04 am
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While my posts still don’t hold a candle to the work Jeff Groves is doing (see here ) I am continuing to try and post more detailed modeling related info.  My work on the Brengun MXY-7 Ohka continues.

Here is the cockpit ready to be installed.  I hate photo-etch seat belts.  This kit was no exception.
























Here are the kit sidewalls.  I painted them aluminum with Alclad II and then glossed them with Future and ran some Tamiya panel line color into some of the panels.  Given the size of the Ohka, none of this will ever been seen, but I am using this kit to experiment.

Cockpit sidewalls
























Here is a photo of the cockpit panel.  The photo-etch set from Brengun does a nice job of reproducing this.  (Note the missing instrument.  I wonder what it was.)

Cockpit panel














Here is a shot of the tail.  Note the reinforcing patches around the hinges on the tail.  Note the slightly different color.  I will try to reproduce this on the model.

MXY-7 tail

November 19, 2018

Notes on the MXY-7

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 2:41 am
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Having been shamed by Jeff “Inch High” Groves and Jim “Crazy Canuck” Bates, both of whom have great blogs with actual content, and not just link farming, below is some research related to the Brengun MXY-7 Ohka I’ve been building.

I was surprised at how little period material is available on the MXY-7.  There are lots of shots of dubiously restored aircraft, (according to wikipedia there are at least 14 survivors) but very little in the way of contemporaneous photos. There are some famous films of Ohkas discovered on Okinawa and a few after the war still shots in Japan.  Below is a selection of shots from the internet with some notes.


This is a still from a color film on Youtube of the Ohkas on Okinawa.  What is interesting in this shot is the very light gray at the wing root.  The Okinawa Ohks are usually depicted as being overall light gray, but in this shot it appears that they are more of the RLM 02 type color usually seen on early Zeros.  Jim Lansdale has illustrated the Ohka as having the brown-gray body and light gray wings.

There are two retractable tube one on either side of the Ohka windscreen.  This photo, from the same film, shows one pulled out in the extended position.  I suspect these were used for something when attached to the mothership. (If anyone knows for sure, let me know)  The circular panel around the tube appears to be painted a different color.  I thought it might be red, but I am not sure.  You don’t see these tubes on all Ohkas.

Here is a screen capture from a grainy black and white allied intelligence film of the same aircraft. Note the tube in the retracted position and the darker circular panel surrounding the tube.

Here is a shot from a color film of a display of captured German and Japanese aircraft after the war.  Note the color of the fuselage and wings.  This supports Mr. Lansdale’s interpretation of the Ohka color scheme.

I’ll have a follow on post with more photos soon.




November 15, 2018


Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 5:14 pm
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Jeff “Inch High” Groves and Jim “Cranky Canuck” Bates have shamed me with their qualitatively superior posts that aren’t just interesting links, but are actual research and model related information, with photos to boot.  I am going to try and change that.

Thanks to Scott “Skippy” King, I’ve been working on the Brengun MXY-7 Ohka.  Now that the great migration has finished and I’ve once again put down modeling roots, I’ve finally been able to model a bit.  Last night I broke out the airbrush and painted the interior of the Ohka.  Since sources are kind of sketchy, I decided to paint the interior floor and seat and instrument panel WEM Nakajima Interior Gray Green. I like the color.

Ohka cockpit

More to follow.

November 6, 2018

Oh happy days!

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 6:01 am
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Special Hobby is re-releasing their Vildabeeste kit.  This makes me very happy.

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