I’ve made a determined effort to work on my Japanese planes as part of my 50 plane paint schedule toward the end of the year. I have already shared pictures of my bunch o’ floatplanes. The Japanese established a fair number of seaplane bases to aid in scouting in the Solomons and elsewhere and I thought there must be a game in that somewhere.
For example, Japanese forces invaded Tulagi in the Solomons in May 3 1942. They planned to establish a seaplane base in the harbor. The following day, with the bay cluttered with two destroyers and many support vessels, Yorktown’s TBD torpedo bombers, SBD dive bombers and F4F fighters struck the invasion fleet as they were unloading. A second strike later in the day struck ships trying to escape the harbor. Among the victims of the USN attack were four seaplanes sent to support the invaders, and intended to form part of the seaplane force based there. Ta-da!!! Scenario made.
There were lots of different floatplanes stationed at Tulagi before the Marine invasion of the island in August of 1942. Jakes, Rufes, and not really large numbers. There were also two of the really large Kawanishi H6K Mavis flying boats. I needed to add those to my stash. Scotia makes these models and last spring I picked up a couple of them. This week, they were my painting priority
The miniatures are quite large and come in several pieces. Separate fuselage, tail section, and wings. In addition there are struts for the unique wing structure as well as supporting struts underneath. The large wing pontoons complete the picture.
The miniature all goes together pretty well. The most challenging aspects are setting the massive wing on the two struts that sit on top of the fuselage. They have to align properly, the struts have to sit comfortably in the two large holes in the wing, and achieve a modicum of balance while the glue dries. It was easier than I thought. The other challenge is to set the large wing struts that fit on the fuselage and wing. I really had to do some cutting and trimming to make this work. On one side of the fuselage there were nifty slots for the ends to glue into, on the other side there weren’t. Oh well, it all turned out okay.
Painting likewise posed some challenges. I wanted to paint the planes with Vallejo IJN Black-Green. It’s a great color, but very thin. When I used this color on other planes, I’ve first painted with a couple of coats of Vallejo Light Gull Grey. Didn’t do that with the Mavii, and that was a mistake. I white prime, and the very then airbrush-thin paint just didn’t make a dent in covering the primer. It just looked like a big smear. So I pulled out Vallejo Deep Green from the Model range and it covered nicely. Then I was able to get the color I wanted with one coat of the IJN Black-Green.
From there, it was a some dry brushing with the Light Gull-Grey. I didn’t get the effect I wanted-mostly because I’m terrible at dry brushing. So another coat of IJN Black Green gave me a nice weathered appearance.
Canopy and windows were painted Ceramcoat Light Ivory. Lower surfaces are Light Gull Grey. The overall paint scheme is pretty simple. However, because the planes are so big and require a fair amount of handling, I sprayed dullcote on it several times just to allow me to touch it without rubbing off all my hard work. It’s a really good model and I’d recommend it to those who are doing something interesting that requires long-range scouts, or just to line up on the table and be shot by attackers! (Now that is mean. Sorry.)
How’s the Plan?
You might recall I had a painting plan for wrapping up the rest of 2020. I have gotten a lot done this year, given that I can’t get out much or game at all. So here is the update.
I’ve met the goal and then some for 2020. I said 60 figures. I got very wrapped up in painting my unpainted Wayne’s Legion figures for the America Rampant project. I’ve stuck to that and am in the middle of basing the last of these twelve figure units for Rebels and Patriots. The challenge with these guys is that they were originally mounted for 10 figure units and they’ve got to be filled out to twelve figures. After reviewing the Americans and the Spanish I need a few more of the latter to equal out the units I really want. Some time after the first of the year I’ll send out an order to Dayton Painting Service to get more Spanish infantry.
Year to Date 72/60 figures–goal exceeded.
I finished four Nakajima B5N Kate torpedo bombers and four Nakajima B6N Jill torpedo bombers to add to the two Mavii, for a total of ten so far for December. That leaves me at 37/50 Hoping to meet the goal. The planes usually paint up fairly fast, so we’ll just have to see. I have piles of Aichi Val dive bombers, twin engine Nicks and Dinahs, and some single-engine Tojo fighters in a queue to be painted. We’ll have to see if I get there. This should be a solid painting week.
Year to date 37/50 planes–still working
1/1250 scale ships
This has been the most maddening of the goals. I’d painted everything I had at the end of November, and I haven’t yet added to that total. Why? No ships!!! They were ordered from Brown Water Navy and War Times Journal, but production issues slowed everything down. I had, at one point, five separate orders waiting to be filled. Last week everything began arriving. I’ve got things under way, but nothing completed. There are ships totalling my forty figure goal ordered or in my possession, but it’s hard to know if I’ll complete everything before December 31st.
Year to date 10/40 ships–my fingers are crossed.