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  1. Here she is after the resin dust has settled (Not that there is a lot of that with this model). About two months on the bench. I used Gunze paint and AK Weathering washes, pigment and grime. The figure is from Ultracast and is there to give an impression of the size. Enjoy!
  2. Struggling with some loss of mojo, distractions, work, stalled projects, lack of focus AND inspiration, I decided to give the Ohka a whirl. Right off the bat I decided to 3D print the nose charge and display in next to the Ohka, as seen in many pics. Like so: Here's the first render: I found a drawing with measurements. Pretty convenient: And the first parts cleanup: No shrinkage on the fuse:
  3. 1:32 Yokosuka MXY7 Ohka Type 22 RB Productions Catalogue # RB-K32003 Available from RB Productions for €64,50 The Japanese named the Ohka Type 22 ‘Cherry Blossom’, however, the Allied codename of ‘Baka’ (fool) was probably more appropriate. As the war had already started to go badly for the Japanese in 1943, plans were drawn up for design and production of a small, one-man suicide aircraft that could be used against enemy shipping. Essentially, the Ohka was a rocket powered flying bomb, flown onto target by a pilot with a death wish. Unlike German guided rocket systems, this small bringer of instant death was to be carried and launched by the Mitsubishi ‘Betty’ bomber aircraft. Having its first manned test flight in late 1944, the Ohka was designed by Mitsuo Ohta, and was designed to initially glide towards its target upon release, and then it would activate its solid rocket boosters once on target. This would essentially make the aircraft nigh on impossible to shoot down simply due to its speed. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xN4fZcXrkiY Ohka was also no folly. Its deployment saw it destroy seven US ships, including the USS Mannert L. Abele in April 1945. A real Achilles heel was the slow speed of the launch aircraft, with many of them being shot down and prematurely launching their ill-fated suicide aircraft. Despite their being over 750 built, and their relatively low success rate, these were composed of the earlier Type 11, and not the Type 22 which this kit depicts. This particular version used a simple Campini-type Ishikawajima Tsu-11 motorjet engine which was designed to overcome the short range of the earlier rocket powered version, and could be launched from a more agile and smaller Yokosuka ‘Frances’ in order to deliver its 1,320lb warhead. Records show that none of these type were ever used in action. This last year or so has certainly been very kind to those who like to build the more esoteric suicide aircraft employed by certain Axis powers. Last year, HpH released a 1:32 double kit comprising of both a Fieseler Fi 103 Reichenberg, and the more numerous Type 11 Ohka. Modellers can now add to that the new Type 22, motorjet-powered machine into those ranks, thanks to RB Productions. As with the HpH release, this is also a resin kit, and it is packed into a small but beautifully presented, sturdy corrugated cardboard box, complete with an attractive artwork showing a photo of a surviving Ohka located at the NASM, plus a number of profile images, clearly indicating that this kit also comes with a ground-handling trolley and booster rocket. Whilst RB Productions aren’t newcomers to resin releases, this particular kit does herald a new cooperation with them and CMK, who are the producers of the resin with thin this release. Kit statistics are: 60 resin parts 57 Photo-etched brass parts 1 clear resin part 1 vacuum formed part 1 decal sheet printed by Fantasy Printshop When ordering, you will be immediately sent the link for the downloadable instruction manual. Of course, you may choose to access this on your computer or tablet, or you could print it out in the old fashioned way. I prefer the latter, and do this with the CD manuals supplied by HpH also. Inside the box, there are five zip-lock bags. These contain the numerous light grey (and a few darker grey) resin parts, with the clear resin windshield and vac-form sliding hood being bagged separately. Underneath these, a single, small brass PE fret is separately packed, as is a single decal sheet. You might think there won’t be too many decals for this model, but think again. Also in here is a set of Radu’s Imperial Japanese seatbelts. After all, you need your suicide flight to be safe! The fuselage halves are wrapped in a cellophane bag, and well protected. Fuselage Of course, the Type 22 fuselage differs significantly in appearance from the Type 11 of the HpH kit, having the opening for the Ishikawajima Tsu-11 Motorjet at the rear and separately moulded rear fuselage intakes. Externally, detail is superb, with finely recessed panel lines and access ports along the nose/warhead area. To enable clean fitting of the small wings, the roots are cast in situ, along with their fairings, and the wing connected by a tab/slot mechanism as is common with regular injection-moulded kits. Those ports along the nose are slightly off centre, which is of course correct, but the seam unfortunately has to pass through the edge of them. Be careful on clean-up. A neat recess exists so that you can easily attach the resin windscreen. Internally, the Ohka is no less impressive, with some excellent cast detail for the cockpit sidewalls, including ribs and stringers, complete with fasteners, and numerous other structures. Again, this is highly impressive. What has really aided the amazing production of this model is the fact that it was designed in CAD (ok, not unusual these day), but then it was 3D printed and the resulting parts were then cleaned up and polished in order to remove any tell-tale signs of layering. The result is what you see here, and I admit that I very much like it. Casting tabs will need to be removed from the adjoining connection surfaces, and several openings are lightly flashed over with resin, for casting purposes. Wings and stabiliser Both the stabilisers and wings have separate control surfaces, which is a very nice touch. Port and starboard stabilisers sit neatly into an undercut on the rear of the fuselage, and a hole is located in the fuselage area behind this into which the elevator connecting rods fit. You’ll note that there isn’t too much detail on the flying surfaces, simply because the real thing was sheeted in thin plywood. However, the wingtips were moulded metal parts, and they can clearly be seen here, along with their fasteners. Some very nice detail is present on connecting faces of the aileron to wing area, including the aileron control rod fairing on the upper wing face. Ailerons and elevators exhibit some beautifully fine detail and look very impressive. Unusually, it was decided to cast the vertical fins onto the stabiliser parts. I actually quite like this approach as it removes one potential screw-up in fitting them at a slightly incorrect angle. As with the other control surfaces, the rudder parts are cast separately and can be posed if required. Propulsion Whilst this model doesn’t sport a fully detailed engine (that would be pretty pointless), it does supply all the elements that can be seen. These include the intake fan, and a couple of other internal components, plus the mixing/combustion section, and the exhaust nozzle. For ease of painting, the nozzle can be fitted after main assembly. Detail is very good, and certainly more than adequate for what you will be able to see within the intakes and exhaust pipe. Those intake fairings are also cast separately, with superb fastener detail and evenly cast, thin intake edges. The intakes will also be supplemented by PE vanes. A solid rocket booster is supplied, cast a single piece, and designed to fit under the fuselage, at the wing intersection. This part itself has sharp detail and a nice thin wall for the exhaust nozzle. Other Parts Getting about This kit actually provides the ground-handling trolley which would have been used to manoeuvre this Ohka into position underneath the wings of the carrier bomber. This consists of the main framework which supports two elevated brackets onto which the wings sit and are held by means of a leading edge hook-over. Also supporting the aircraft are two profiled wooden frames onto which the fuselage sits. The whole lot moves on two main wheels and two smaller forward wheels that are mounted on a moveable bracket to aid towing. Two ‘T’ shaped towing bars are also included, of different lengths. A small number of other resin parts are provided for such things as internal cockpit detail, trigger fuse, motor exhaust stubs and venture etc. but the rest of the model detail is provided as photo etch parts. All resin parts are thoughtfully connected to their casting blocks, meaning clean-up should be easy and minimal. My sample also has zero flaws, and no trace of mould residue, although you are still advised to wash in a mild detergent. Clear Parts As mentioned, the windscreen is made from clear resin, and this very good. It might not be quite up to the standard of HpH clear parts, but it’s certainly some of the better clear casting I’ve seen. Short range clarity is very good, which is all that’s required on a model of this size. As tends to be normal practice with vac-form parts, TWO main hoods are included…just in case you screw one up. I would pack the interior out with a little Blu-Tak to provide rigidity, and then carefully score until cut. Gently finish the edges with a fine sanding stick. Frame definition is excellent and so is clarity. Photo Etch This single sheet provides enough parts to keep you busy! These include the complicated rudder cable drum assembly for the rudder bar, and numerous other internal cockpit parts such as the seat and frame, fuel cap, head armour, and cockpit floor. Externally, there are in the intake vanes and sighting devices etc. Production quality is excellent, despite the fret not having the shiny appearance of those from Eduard etc. Seatbelt If you’ve never used one of Radu’s seatbelts, then you’re in for a treat. These are supplied as die-cut, coloured paper, with PE buckles etc. Assembly is advised with something like stick-glue (Pritt etc.), and although they can take a little longer to assemble than other belts, they look great when finished. Decals You won’t be exactly spoilt for choice as with other kits when it comes to colour scheme options, and the decals reflect that. Apart from the beautiful Cherry Blossom emblems that are used instead of Hinomaru markings, you are also provided with numerous airframe stencils, cockpit instruments, airframe numbers and red decal strips that run down the length of the upper fuselage. Printing is excellent, being thin, having minimal carrier film, authentic colour, and of course in perfect register. I expect nothing less from Fantasy Printshop. You probably won’t need decal setting solutions on this model, but I do know from experience that they do work well with this manufacturer’s decals. Instructions These are supplied in PDF format, and have been meticulously drawn and are clear to follow.All illustrations are CAD format and in greyscale, with colour added for notation and PE parts. Simply, these are very easy to follow, and even more so as each step has descriptive text. You don’t see that so often! Well done Radu. Colour notation is also described in the text, but the main scheme image provides you with something even more solid. Those scheme images show every profile in colour, including the ground-handling trolley, and paint reference is made for Gunze. Decal positioning notation is easy to follow too. If you’d like some actual photo-reference, this is also included with 17 colour images of the NASM example, spread over the final two pages. You should have everything you need here. Conclusion This really is a superb little kit, and bang on with detail. It certainly is ideal for a first time resin kit project, and there are no corners cut when it comes to photo etch either, with plenty of both internal and external detail to make this a very eye-catching little project. Production quality counts for a lot, and you have nothing to worry about in that respect, with superbly fitting parts being manufactured by CMK. At €64,50 too, I also think it provides very reasonable value for money, and even more so with the current weakness of the €uro against the £ and $. If you have already purchased the HpH twin Reichenberg and Ohka Type 11 kit, it really is crazy not to include this in the stash alongside it. VERY highly recommended! My sincere thanks to RB productions for this review sample. To purchase directly, click THIS link.
  4. 1:32 Fi 103 Reichenberg Re 4a and Kugisho OHKA Model 11 HPH Catalogue # HPH32033R Available from HPH for €115 The subject(s): An unexpected release by HPH for sure. I for one didn’t see these coming. The Reichenberg has been released by Bronco some years ago. Both in 1 seater version as in the two seat trainer version. But! In scale 1/35. This is great when you’re an armour modeler that wants to incorporate the Reichenberg in a diorama, but not when you’re displaying it amongst other 1/32 aviation subjects. Having built this kit I can say it lacks some detail. Most apparent simplifications are the engine and cockpit. The Ohka on the other hand has not been produced in Injection Moulded version, but is available in resin by two brands. One by OzMolds and one by Lone Star Models. So… were these new HPH releases „needed’’? Yes, and trust me… they are in a whole different league. Here we go! History of the Reichenberg: With the hit and miss successes of the unmanned V1 the need to strike the allies in the heart was getting more and more apparent. While Hitler kept his hopes on the 3 x 1000 bomber project (a bomber that could basically bomb New York), some forces in the Luftwaffe placed their bets on Selbstopfer (suicide) concepts. The Me328 was offered as first candidate for this purpose. Famous Luftwaffe testpilot Hanna Reitsch was one of the leading authorities within this concept. As a matter of fact she was the one trying to sell the concept to Hitler. He however quickly dismissed the idea of german pilots plummeting to their deaths by calling it un-german. He stressed his firm belief in the 3 x 1000 bomber. Perhaps when the concept wasn’t named Selbstopfer, Hitler might have approved. After all, the pilot of these planes were never meant to stay in the cockpit until detonation. They were supposed to bail out after lining the plane up with the target. The project was however able to proceed under strict order by Hitler to not be deployed after his very own instruction to do so. He approved a special suicide unit to be formed under the name: Leonidas unit. Named after kind Leonidas who stood his ground against the Persians. How appropriate! This unit became part of unit II/KG200. A unit that was known for flying secret missions. Jamming radars. And dropping spies in enemy territory. A couple of factories produced the Reichenberg. Including one factory that was based inside a mountain, keeping it safe from allied bomb-runs. There’s even a movie (cinematic) on Youtube showing Hanna Reitsch taking the Reichenberg for a ‚test-drive’. In august 1944 the first Reichenberg Re-1 was ready for testing. It had no engine and was purely tested in gliding mode. These test proved successful. Reason for Hanna Reitsch to come over and watch some rocket powered tests with here own eyes. On this occasion the Reichenberg lost control and crashed. Another two tests resulted in crashes too. This didn’t stop the Germans from building 200 examples and erecting a squadron with 50 pilots undergoing instruction and training. Hanna Reitsch personally took partial responsibility for the training. Until the was injured during a bombing raid. Numerous ideas were exploited and research for possibilities with a manned V1. An armed interception version. A version with a 38cm grenade in the nose to penetrate a Ship deck. At the end of the war American soldiers stumbled on a factory with no less than 54 single seated Reichenbergs, a couple of two seat trainers and 700 unmanned V1’s… The last test flight of the Reichenberg took place on the 5th of March 1945 with a Re-3. After several fairly successful powered flights, this flight ended with the wings breaking from the plane, taking the pilot into a 90 degree dive into a lake. It proved very difficult for a pilot the exit the extremely fast flying projectile, and even if he managed, there was the risk of ending in the ram air intake of the engine. About 12 Reichenbergs were captured and saved from the scrapyard. A couple of them are on display today and some in storage. Here is a list of the ones’ on display: Flying Heritage Collection, Everett, Washington Canadian War Museum, (under restoration 2009). Lashenden Air Warfare Museum, Headcorn, Kent La Coupole, Saint-Omer, France. Stinson Air Field, San Antonio, Tx, USA. It’s a misconception that existing V1’s were altered to manned Reichenbergs. About only 20% of the parts are the same as on the unmanned V1. In other words: Check your references based on manned V1’s History of the Ohka: Unlike the germans the japanese had a little bit less trouble with sacrificing life in order to protect their country. The word ‚Ohka’ meaning Cherry Blossom and ‚Kamikaze’ meaning Godly Wind shows they even romanticized the act. An honorly dead. The pilots of these planes were called Jinrai Butai, or Thunder God Corps. The americans dubbed this plane ‚Baka’, which means ‚Fool’ in japanese. Quite a different approach to the concept. The Ohka was meant to be carried the distance by a large bomber (like the Betty) and to be deployed when the target was in reach. Quite like the way the German Me328 was to be deployed by a He111. When the target was in reach the pilot would fire the three solid fuel rockets and…. aim. Unlike the German efforts made in testing and getting this plane in action, the japanese managed to inflict some serious damage to american ships. And this is exactly what this plane was designed for. Anti ship warfare. The USS Mannert L. Abele was the first Allied ship to be sunk by Ohka aircraft, near Okinawa on 12 April 1945. In the end three american ships were sunk and three badly damaged… The fact that the americans quickly realized a protective rind of defensive fire was the answer to these attacks and protect their carriers is reason the Ohka attacks had little or no real significance. The only operational model was the model 11. The model that is featured in this kit. In total 852 Ohka’s were built and like the Reichenberg roughly 12 examples survived. They are on display in the United States, UK, Japan and one in India, New Delhi. An interesting video of the capture of an Ohka can be seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zR85s6pOMto In february 2014 the Fleet Air Arm Museum in the UK announced they will start restoration on their Ohka which has been hanging from their ceiling for 30 years. During this restoration the original paint and technical stenciling have been found under a thick layer of paint. The restoration is estimated to take over a year. A list of all the surviving examples can be seen here: http://www.abpic.co.uk/search.php?q=Yokosuka%20MXY-7%20Ohka&u=type A comparison between the two: Length: Reichenberg: 8 meters Ohka: 6,06 meters Wingspan: Reichenberg: 5,72 meters Ohka: 5,12 meters Weight: Reichenberg: 2250 kg Ohka: 1200 kg Speed: Reichenberg: 650 km/h (level) 800 km/h (dive) Ohka: 650km/h (level) 804 km/h (dive) Range: Reichenberg: 330 km Ohka: 37 km As you can see the two had quite similar performance, except for the range. The Ohka being a parasite type (leeching on the wing of a large bomber until within reach of the target) it did not need a large range. What’s in the box?: When you open the box the first thing I noticed is how tightly packed all the resin is. Well wrapped in plastic and air cushions and the resin divided by compartments. Transparant resin for the canopies. Traditional yellow resin for all the parts. HGW seat belts. (Coloured) photo etch. Metal nozzles / exhaust pipes. A CD rom containing the instructions. Canopy masks and decals. Very complete. All you need. The fuselage halves are hand coded with a number. A sign this is indeed a limited offering and kind of gives you the feeling you’ve got something special in your hands. The decals are minimal. Only a small piece of decal paper contain all the decals needed for both planes. The Reichenberg did not usually carry any unit markings and the Ohka only had minimal markings. A cherry blossom (after it’s name) and some stenciling. The HGW seat belts are of their late type. This means they are pre-cut and very detailed. Last but nog least, the kit contains the by now famous cookie HPH includes in all of their boxes. I guess that is to sweeten the deal. The instructions come on a CD-Rom in pdf format. Unlike the Me410 instructions with photographs of the parts during construction, these are drawn. In my opinion this makes for clearer instructions than photographs. Metal exhaust tubes and brass pitot tube. The famous HPH cookie! A small decal sheet. HGW seatbelts. Example page of the instructions. The Reichenberg kit: First of all. Let’s place the HPH 1/32 fuselage alongside the 1/35 Bronco model. The size difference is huge… Apparently the difference between 1/32 and 1/35 is not something to underestimate. Two full length fuselage halves make up the hull. Minimal cleanup here. The crispness of the surface detail is great and will have to be carefully re-sribed after glueing the fuselage halves and sanding away the seam. I reckon this will be the most tricky part of this build. The cockpit of the Reichenberg is a spartan one. A seat, simple instrument panel, basic control stock and limited sidewall details. Checking my reference every detail that needs to be there is there, down to the rivet. Even the exposed sidewall wiring is included in photo etch. The coloured Photo etch instrument panel and the HGW seat belts top it all of. I was not able to find colour indications for painting the cockpit in the instructions. My reference shows the cockpit (and inside of the engine) to be brown / red primer coloured. This goes for the sidewalls and floor. The seat, mid console and instrument panel was mid grey. The other feature that really pleases me is the Ram air intake of the engine. The louvres in the rear of the engine and the honeycomb with fuel injection frame are all included. All of these details are not included in the Bronco kit. The rest of the construction is pretty much straight forward after having tackled the cockpit and engine. All the control surfaces are separate and have delicate photo etch hinges. Control rods are featured too. Again: all of these features are not present on the Bronco kit. I keep repeating the differences between the much cheaper 1/35 Bronco kit, in case you think: I’ll pay less and settle for less. This way you know exactly how much less, less is When looking at the way the resin is casted, I predict cleaning the parts will not prove a big challenge. The fuselage, wings and cockpit part are cleverly casted with as little as possible sanding needed in the most visible areas. The rear of the engine is made from a provided metal tube. I think this part would have been near impossible to make from resin. A feature i love in this resin kit are the locating rods you get for joining the two fuselage halves. Not often seen on resin kits, but very helpful to say the least. Cockpit left sidewall. A great source of reference for the Reichenberg is the magazine: FliegerRevue X (issue 40). It features a 30 page special on the subject, dealing with it’s background, design history and an extensive walk around of a couple of restored examples from Alexander Kuncze. He is known to be an authority on this subject. Actually this magazine is a must have when building this kit. Forward engine part. Main wing. A comparison between the Reichenberg and Ohka wings. Control surfaces. The only downside I can think of with this kit is the single available scheme that is provided. On the other hand, the decals provided of the stenciling can be combined with other colour schemes as well. The Reichenberg usually had no unit markings or swastika. The Ohka kit: As said, two resin offerings have been around for some time, one done by Lone Star models and one by OzMolds. I’ve followed a couple of these builds on forums and decided I’d wait for something better (or less challenging) to come around. To give you an idea: Here’s a link to a review of the OzMolds resin kit: http://www.hyperscale.com/2013/reviews/kits/ozmodsomkit3201reviewbg_1.htm Inside detail of the tail end. Like the Reichenberg the Ohka comes with HGW seat belts, metal exhausts, coloured PE and a great transparant resin canopy complete with masking. The only thing you’ll need to add to this plane is some lead / weights for the nose when placed on the trolley to prevent it from tipping on it’s tail. The instrument panel is made up in the same way as the one in the Reichenberg. This time in thicker resin to give it some more needed thickness in detail in combination with a colored photo etch backing. Add a few small drops of Micro Clear and you’ve got yourself one stunning instrument panel. Left cockpit side wall detail. Cockpit floor, seat, ip, nose cone and locating pins. Bulkheads and mixed Reichenberg / Ohka parts. The Ohka needs a bit more careful clean up than the Reichenberg. The bulkheads and cockpit floor are moulded flat to their casting block. Easy to remove with a micro saw though. The trolley cart (as with the Reichenberg trolley) is also casted in this way. No problem, just a bit more time consuming to clean up. The smaller details that make up the control rods, cockpit hinges, ‚bomb’ sight, etc.. is just amazing. You even get the parts needed for the control linkage arms that can be seen when looking in the rear end! Checking all the details that need to be inside and outside the Ohka, I can only conclude that again HPH have really done their homework. Same as with the Reichenberg I found no colour coding for the cockpit in the instructions. There is a nice walk around to be found here: http://www.largescaleplanes.com/walkaround/wk.php?wid=3 that shows the interior being green. Since this cockpit is missing the instrument panel, it’s hard to say to what extend it is completely authentic. There is also a walk around with the Ohka in orange colours which appears to have a light grey cockpit: http://www.j-aircraft.com/walk/rick_geithmann/mx.htm The trolley is a little different than the one under the Reichenberg. Again: careful cleaning of these parts is needed due to the way they are casted to their blocks. It’s a three wheeled short trolley that holds the Ohka in place with a belt. This is where I guess the needed added nose weight comes in play. If you don’t add this, the whole assembly will pivot on the two main wheels and become a tail sitter. Tail section and control surfaces. The trolleys: Conclusion: Overall I’m blown away (no pun intended) by the detail provided. When I built the Bronco Reichenberg I added a lot of cockpit and surface detail myself. This kit takes a few steps more and adds detail that I didn’t even spot before when going through my references. Both the Reichenberg and the Ohka are subjects that make you think about what humans are capable of. Both in technical sense as in in-humane sense. They were not desperately rushed in production, but tested, fine tuned and planned. A proper representation of the Reichenberg was pretty high on my list, and suddenly here it is, with an Ohka in it’s wake. I’ve started work on the Reichenberg and research on the subject. So far I haven’t been able to find anything to complain about. Except maybe for the fact that both planes only come with one marking option. But, as said, this is not a problem, since both almost only carried stenciling. Very highly recommended Our sincere thanks to HPH for this review sample. To purchase directly, click THIS link. Please let these guys know where you saw this review. And my personal thanks to James Hatch for the superb photo's Jeroen Peters PS. Photographs of the photo etch will follow shortly as they are en route to LSM.
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