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– Contents –
  • * The worst cold snap so far this year!
  • * Well then, let's start with our long-awaited visit to the RAF Museum!
  • * The SWS kits that were displayed at the Zoukei-mura booth at IPMS Telford!
  • * Breaking news for everyone who has pre-ordered the SWS He 219 Uhu!

Finally arrived at the long-awaited RAF Museum!
There was a Hawker Hunter right after the front gate!  After the gate, a Hurricane and a Spitfire greeted us in formation over the flowerbeds on the left!
All of a sudden, I wanted to shout, "I'm finally here!" to the autumn skies of London.

* The worst cold snap so far this year!

Good afternoon!

Here in Japan, the temperature has dropped nationwide, and it continues to be cold day after day.  How are all of our SWS fans doing?
Looking at the Japanese Meteorological Agency's forecast, it seems that this cold snap will continue for a while.

To everyone out there, I urge you sincerely to please take the utmost of care with your health, and to enjoy your end-of-year hobby life to the very fullest.

Now, this blog entry will be Part 3 of my IPMS Telford 2012 event report.

This will be the final installment of my report.  Thank you very much for staying with me until the end.

In this blog entry, I will also be going over our long-awaited visit to the RAF Museum.
I was finally able to see that one aircraft with my own eyes, which has been one of my dreams for many years.

I will also be showing you the models that were displayed at this year's IPMS Telford: the 1/32 He 219 finished model, the Raiden prototype, and the 1/48 Shinden and Ta 152 prototypes.

During this hectic end-of-year season, please enjoy my RAF Museum trip diary and SWS kit discussion.

Oh!  Mixed in with the pictures for the trip diary are those of future SWS kits.  Please look forward to them.

Also, I have some happy news for those of you who have already pre-ordered the SWS Uhu.  Please grant me your attention, and read carefully.

* Well then, let's start with our long-awaited visit to the RAF Museum!

Oh~ so this is the famed RAF Museum~~!!  It's amazing~~

Already my heart was pounding from the rising anticipation, excitement, and delight!!

Moreover, moreover –

When our car arrived at the museum, front and center before the building, right before our eyes, dun-dun-du~un!!
All of a sudden, a "Hawker Hunter" fighter plane!

"It's so beauuuutiful~~!!"

In the distance, I could also see a Hurricane and a Spitfire.
In addition, the Hunter was set in an open-air "in flight" exhibit over some flower beds – being first-time visitors from Japan, we were doubly surprised by the extravagant display.

Speaking of being surprised, it seems that admission to this museum is free!
On top of that, parking was also free!!

As long as you visit during their open hours, you can see as much as you like at no cost!
It's completely free.  Ah~ British scale modelers are truly blessed~

Frolicking all the way, we made our way to the museum entrance.

If only there were museums like this in Japan~~~
Rushing through admission, the SWS team members also sighed similar sentiments.

By the way, no matter what aviation museum I visit, my mind always goes blank.  The happiness and delight get so much the better of me that my thoughts go white, my vision goes empty, and my feet seem to be walking on air.
Everything appears to be one big jumble, so that I can't keep track of what's here and what's there, and no matter what I try to go and see, I always get lost very easily.

Yes, I'm almost exactly like a small child at a zoo, moving in random directions to try and go see "Mr. Tiger" or "Mr. Bear," when all of a sudden, it's closing time.  Even at my age, this sad pattern continues to repeat itself to this very day.

This visit to the RAF Museum was no exception.  I was just so happy and delighted!
Several hours passed in what seemed like several minutes.  Add the haste caused by the fact that the next day, we would be departing to return to Japan, and our visit quickly became complicated, as we tried to see every nook and cranny.

Ah~ I wish I could go visit again~!!

This only covers part of our visit to the RAF museum, but please have a look at the photos below, which were taken by the SWS team members during the visit.

Now!  If we just go up these stairs, we'll finally reach....!!  Where???
Yes!!  Perhaps the RAF Museum that I have seen in my dreams??  Indeed, that's right~.

A-as I thought~~!!  Look, look, please look!  We were suddenly welcomed by a Blériot.  My vision quickly became blurred from the exhilaration!

Oh~ there's a Mosquito over there!  And a Meteor!!
I was already continuously talking to myself out of excitement!  Oh~ look over there!
And here, ooooh!!

Whoa~!!  I'm speechless!!  Just absolutely lost for words!!
My beloved Tempest is suspended in a midair display~!
In this case, the first thing to capture must be the propeller.

Not to worry!  I have a camera with something called a zoom lens in my hands.
Look, look – as usual, this is the place I'm aiming for!!
The propeller, the propeller.

This is it, the quintessential British aircraft, the Mosquito!  Moreover, I can take as many pictures of the propeller as I want!
Hey, hey, hey – what happened to taking pictures of the rest of the plane!!
Eh?  To me, the propeller is the first and most crucial part!!

Oho~!!  I was also drawn in by the landing gear assemblies!!
They're so complicated~....what the heck is this part!
Furthermore, the inside of the building was rather dark, so we had some difficulties.

Look, look, look – one really does need to look at the actual aircraft, in the end.
Doesn't it look kind of like a stingray?  The cannon openings look rather ominous, like they're aiming straight at me.

The landing gear assembies for the 262 also look very steadily and reliably built~
After all, it seems that this aircraft could even take off from unpaved runways!
The design really doesn't look like it's 60 years old.

Oh~?  No way, is the canopy cracked?!
In situations like this, do you share my feelings in wanting to climb onto the plane to somehow fix things?
Ah~ I want to repair it!  I wonder if they'd let me~

Just casually looking over, it seems that N from the SWS Development Team is also aiming his camera at my beloved 262!
Hmm~~m!  I won't lose to you!!  In any case, get out of the way!  I'm going to take my pictures first.

You take photos of the 262 starting here.  That's just good manners!
But did you really need to take 30 pictures just of the front landing gear???  Sh-shut up!!
As long as we have them, the day will come when they'll make themselves useful!

Oh~ And here we have my beloved but rather rare 190S-5, behaving itself very nicely.  Where are your siblings......

Oh~ you're here, too! That's right, I've built you in the past, out of a 1/48 resin kit.  Your charming appearance is the same as ever.

Who is it!  Who is it that secretly took pictures of me while I was earnestly taking photos?!  Yes, that's right!  There's an important reason why a lot of pictures needed to be taken of this particular aircraft!  A very important reason!  I can't actually say what the reason is, but I'm sure you understand.

Uuuwaaa~~!  How c-c-coo~~ol!!  This plane may appear in my dreams.  I'm already at the point where I want to take it home with me.  Since I can't do that, I'll have to think of something else!!

Whew~!  The shot of the right side is just as cool!
At this point, I didn't even register what time it was, where I was, why I was here, or even whether I was hungry or not~~~!!

A group of elementary school children passed by where I was earnestly taking photos.
Hey, all of you kids!  The old guy over here is definitely not a suspicious person.  It's just that he kind of, sort of likes airplanes just a little bit.  That's why he's here all the way from Japan.  OK?

Whoa~!!  A Ph-Phantom~!!  Why are you even here?!
Is it strange to shout such things inside your heart?  Even so.
The design is just so cool, and so powerful!!  I love it!

You know the reason why I'm here for this visit, right?  Yes, I came all the way from Japan just to see you.  You're so cool!  It was definitely worth coming.
Please prepare yourself.  We're going to do the be~~~est job ever with you!

Ah~, is there any way we can tear the panels off of this plane?!  God, please give us the power to amke miracles!!  Someday, please let us be able to take the clothes, er, the panels off....this is a most heartfelt plea.

Oh~!  Now here's a rare one!!  There's even a 110 here.
Your brother in arms, the He 219, is almost finished, so maybe next...?
No, I'm afraid that at present, your turn appears to be rather a long way off.

Oh~!  The 88 is here, too.  It's a German twin-engine like the 110, but right now in the SWS, there is a twin-engine of a slightly different nature currently in development.
If you can guess the model just from this hint, you're amazing!

Yes!  The principal participants in the Battle of Britain are quietly resting their wings here.  I would like to extend my sincerest appreciation to the warriors who survived that fierce, hard-fought battle.

There's even a Stuka....but this variant doesn't really seem to match the time period.... But don't worry, someday we'll recreate you as a complete version, too.
Please wait patiently on standby until that day.

When you need a break from viewing exhibits, you can have lunch and a drink at the in-house restaurant.
The heating was properly effective even here, so it was very pleasant -- if there were a museum like this in Japan, I would want to visit it at least once a month.  Honestly, all I can say is that I'm truly envious.

Well!  What did you all think of my RAF Museum trip diary?
By the way, everyone.  Among the museum research photos, were you able to recognize any aircrafts that are currently in development to be future SWS kits?

Furthermore, have you been participating in the "SWS Development Model Name Quiz," which I will continue to post in future blog entries?
In my next entry, I will be revealing Hint No. 2, so please look forward to it.
We are in the process of developing a kit with the unique flavor distinctive of the SWS kits. 

* The SWS kits that were displayed at the Zoukei-mura booth at IPMS Telford!

To everyone who came to visit the Zoukei-mura booth during the event, thank you ever so very much.
Here, I will be showing you the SWS kit finished models, and accompanying sprues, which grabbed ahold of many scale modelers' hearts.

Which SWS kits will add definitive value to your airplane model collection?!
Please do look forward to their mysterious parts configuration.

This is the finished (?) model for the SWS Uhu, the first model in a long while that I built and painted myself, which we brought to display at the IPMS Telford venue.
Because it was an unfinished prototype kit which I built in a hurry, many of the detail work is missing, such as the antenna cables and the canopy glass.
Of course, when the kit goes on sale, everything will be delivered to you in its final, finished form, so please don't worry.
I would appreciate it if you could ultimately view these photos as references only.  Nevertheless, the He 219 has a truly mysterious appearance, doesn't it~~.

This is a close-up of the nose.  Please take note of the base of the Liechtenstein radar array where it connects to the aircraft.
This section was actually missing from the actual aircraft at the Smithsonian, so we had to research other German aircrafts (such as the Bf 110) which were equipped with the same kind of radar.
To the best of our ability, we have recreated a model as close the actual plane as possible.  When you obtain the SWS kit, please confirm this for yourself with your own eyes.

I cannot be the only one who has fallen head over heels for the Uhu's magnificently balanced figure.
As you can see in the photo, you can choose to finish the model with the cowl flaps opened or closed.  I chose to build this finished example with the cowl flaps opened.
Also, the ballast that is loaded into the nose section is included in the kit, so that anyone can recreate the Uhu's tricycle configuration.

It's unfortunate that the cockpit details are not really visible in this photo!  Following our research references for the actual aircraft, we tried to recreate as much of the parts and their organization as we could.
Of course, the gunsight for the obliquely mounted cannons (innovative weaponry characteristic of the Uhu) is also included in the kit.  Please make sure to take note of the recreated pilot ladder, engine cowls, and engine mounts!
The build process is akin to building the actual aircraft, which you will be able to study while assembling the kit.

The He 219 Uhu, with a radical design that can suddenly inspire this thought in a puzzled beholder: is this really 70 years old?!
However, this finished sample is, in the end, a prototype model that was built and painted from an unfinished kit.  Therefore, the final modifications have yet to be made to the canopy shape, and the final polishing work has not been performed, etc.  Please understand that kit details may be modified or added to for the purpose of improvement.  The final finished product is looking to be spectacular!!

As usual, the pistons have been molded on the DB603A engine parts sprue (two are included in the kit) for parts positioning purposes.  We have also endeavored to recreate the other pipes as much as it was possible.  For this kit, all of the parts will be molded uniformly in single-color gray.  (The silver sprues shown in the photos are prototypes.)

The large and solidly cast main wing spars are distinctive of the SWS, with the upper and lower angles having been set with unparalleled accuracy.  This sprue also includes cockpit parts, the front and rear seats, the wireless transceiver, as well as important nose radar parts.  This sprue will also be molded in gray for the final production kit that will be available for sale.

The precisely shaped and molded VDM propeller.  Parts such as the exhaust pipes and muffler, as well as the main landing gear assembly parts and tires, 30mm cannons, and a Liechtenstein radar array are also included on this sprue.  Of course, this sprue will also be molded in gray in the final production kit that will be delivered to you.

This sprue includes the front landing gear assembly parts, tires, wheels, the central Liechtenstein radar array, as well as 30mm cannons and their ammunition belts and cases.  This grouping of beautifully detailed parts makes me want to spontaneously build something.  The fact that not all of the parts are properly numbered reveals this sprue to be a prototype.

This sprue includes the nose cover, the left and right fuselage panels, antennas, and the crew member ramp.  The left side of the fuselage contains the inspection panel for the flight control surface operating rods.  The electric components have been accurately recreated on the right side of the fuselage.  These parts are large highlights of this kit, and when the kit is finished, are truly worth taking a close look at!

This sprue includes the engine nacelles and cowlings, the gear doors, and the cowl flaps (either open or closed configurations can be chosen).  Of course, the actuator parts for the opened/closed flaps are included on a separate sprue.  (Two of this sprue are included in the kit.)

All of the tailplane parts have been consolidated into the sprue.  The rudder has been molded all in one part.  Please note the elevators and the expressed connections to the flight control surfaces.  The parts have been carefully designed so that you will be able to accurately recreate the proper upper angles for the horizontal stabilizer.

This sprue includes engine nacelles, main wing panels, and the fillets where the main wings attach to the fuselage.  The various hatch parts are also included.  In SWS kits, many important structural parts, such as the engine, are no longer visible after the kit is built, but the builder is able to experience a satisfaction that can be shared only with the actual aircraft manufacturer, which cannot be experienced by building other kinds of kits.

This sprue includes the upper and lower main wing panels, as well as their flight control surfaces, such as ailerons.  The highlight of this main wing section is that we have thoroughly researched and recreated the actual attachment and finishing method using during manufacturing for the main wings.  Due to the pressure of the situation at the time, the manufacturing process was desperate and hasty.  Please take note of how the parts from the tips to the center of the wings appear carelessly and repeatedly welded.

This sprue includes the lower exterior fuselage panel and the gun pack cover.  Using these parts, you can once again confirm the Uhu's powerful armament.  Although they are simple parts, even the undersides have molded details.

As a new experiment, we recreated the transparent parts in two different ways, with one sprue including only the glass portions of the parts, and the other sprue including entire parts integrating both frame and glass.  The latter type has been included in all kits released up until now, with the intention being that the parts be masked before the frame is painted.  Now, you can choose to paint the separate frame before adding the glass.  This is truly an experiment that could only be done at 1/32 scale.  Please confirm it with your own eyes.

This sprue includes key parts of the aircraft's composition.  The fuel tank, structural parts, and the cannon barrel covers are all visible in the photo.  The flight control surface operation rods that run the length of the fuselage sides have also been accurately molded.  The molding used to recreate the actual aircraft that is characteristic of the SWS kits shines here.

* Please note that the parts and sprues shown in these photos are prototypes, which are not even properly numbered yet.
Also, please understand that number of sprues and the details of the parts included in final production kit may, for improvement purposes, substantially differ from the ones shown here.
In particular, several rounds of improvement work have been done on the clear canopy parts.
As a result, the time when you will truly be able to enjoy the final finish will be the time when you are personally able to hold the SWS Uhu kit in your own hands.  Please look forward to it!!


I wish to show you the true form of the "Raiden," the guardian deity of the Imperial capital.  This particular dream of mine is finally being completed.
With Mr. Horikoshi as the chief engineer, the Raiden was the direct successor to the Zero, which the Mitsubishi aircraft development team of the time poured their hearts' blood into creating.  Please gaze upon the gallant and beautiful form of this local fighter aircraft.
However, because this model was built using a prototype kit, there are still many places that need to be modified.  Of course, everything will be resolved by the time the kit is delivered to you, so please don't worry.

Is this it, the essence of an SWS kit?!  Please take note of how true value of our research on the actual aircraft shines through in the level of reproducibility.
We have produced a scale model worthy of the Raiden, the bravest of Japanese planes.  There is no better way for you to confirm how amazing it is except through your own hands and eyes.
A new wind is finally blowing through the world of scale models, and into your life!!

The elegant design characteristic of Japanese airplanes is just as difficult to recreate as it is beautiful.
From over 10,000 reference photographs, the detailed diagrams that we drew up and adjusted over and over again, and the many mockups that our sculptor created by hand – out of the many, many prototypes that we produced, the final kit design is finally in front of all of you.
The more you look at it, the more it will draw you in.

 

From the recreation of the kink in the trailing edges of the upper and lower main wing panels that are so closely reminiscent of the Zero, to the way that the angle of the upper half of the main wings has been set with unparalleled accuracy, to the the wing surfaces, to the airfoils, to the shapes of each of the hatches, and right dow to the cannon positions in the main landing gear storage bays, these principal parts are fully loaded with SWS' distinctive development concept.

The fuselage is such that one can comprehend the Raiden's development concept with a single glance.  Just like with the actual aircraft, the fillet parts that were equipped to prevent turbulence have been made into kit parts only for the front half of the plane.  I would also like to direct your attention to the recreation of the fuselage's monocoque construction, in which the panels are attached not just in simple lines, but repeatedly overlapped.

Please take note of the lower part of the fuselage, which has all of the unusual curves which determine how "Raiden-like" the model actually is.
Those, in addition to the Horikoshi lines that connect to the fillets, are the highlights of this aircraft.  I would also like to direct your attention to how each part is accurately and beautifully finished, such as the cowl flaps and cowling.

The recreation of the main wing spars is not only the mark of an SWS kit, it is the recreation of a modeler's spirit.
Furthermore, the recreation of the forced-air cooling system which ultimately determined the Raiden's shape is essential for every Raiden fan.  The skeleton model displays the dynamic yet delicate construction of the beautiful sculpt that overflows with the charm that is so characteristic of Japanese planes.

All of the cockpit parts are collectively included on this sprue.  Beginning by confirming the shape of the Raiden fuselage's cross-section, one can perceive the talent of Mitsubishi's aircraft development team imbued in every part.  Because it's 1/32 scale, we were able to take the form of the Raiden, no, of the Imperial Japanese Navy fighter aircraft, to this point.

This sprue includes the propeller, propeller spinner, hub, 20mm Type 99-1 Model 4 cannons, and 20mm Type 99-2 Model 4 cannons.  One can also see the ammunition loading equipment, the tires, the engine mount, the exhaust pipes, and the lubricating oil tank.  Please take note of the accurate measurements, shapes, and textures.  All of the Raiden sprues will be cast uniformly in single-color gray.

And here we have the heart of the Raiden, the parts for the "Kasei 23 engine."  The intake valves, the push rods, and even the baffle plates that regulate the cooling efficiency of the cylinders have been recreated.  Of course, as usual, the Kasei's pistons and con-rods have also been recreated, so that you can fully enjoy your build.

This photo shows the canopy sprues gathered together.  Like the Uhu, we challenged ourselves to create an assembly option for this kit with separate parts for glass and frame.  Traditional integrated canopy parts are also included.  A transparent version of the instrument panel is also included – please use a decal to increase the level of detail.


[SWS 1/48 Shinden]
To all of our 1/48 scale fans, thank you so much for waiting!!  At last, the long-awaited on-sale date for the Shinden is drawing near.
The kit retains the same SWS spirit, with the only change being the difference in scale.  As you progress through building the "Shinden," you will be able to understand its construction, as well as the organization and even the functions of its parts.
Please do take this opportunity to enjoy a unique scale model with a unique shape.

The time is close when you will be able to fulfill your dream of adding the Shinden to your collection in 1/48 scale.
Now, have you sufficiently prepared yourself?  It's also fine to finish as a skeleton model.  Or you could build it as-is, and immerse yourself in the joy of its hidden secrets.
Our first 1/48 kit has finally come this far!  Please look forward to the future of the SWS!

[SWS1/48 Ta152H1]
The SWS Ta 152, which received high praise from 1/32 scale fans around the world, will finally be released as a 1/48 scale kit.
From the engine to the propeller, cockpit, landing gear assemblies, and detailed weapons, the beautiful Ta 152 has been completely, appropriately recreated!
The super-long wings and characteristic external design, which hold beauty amidst their roughness, have been fully recreated with no detail spared.

* Expected Sales Availability for SWS 1/48 Series *
1/48 Shinden ..... May 2013 (Estimated)
1/48 Ta 152 ........ July 2013 (Estimated)

Breaking news for everyone who has pre-ordered the SWS He219 Uhu!

"The pilot and the radar operator come as a pair, right, a team?"

In the airplane on the way back to Japan, one modeler's murmured words from the IPMS venue continuously repeated themselves inside my mind.

"That's right, the two of them are a crew, a team – they're brothers in arms."

In that case, it's a little strange that the SWS Uhu's pre-order bonuses are separated into one figure per kit, isn't it?  All right!

This is where I made my about-face!!
(There's a saying that simpler is better, isn't there?)

To everyone who has pre-ordered the SWS Uhu, things have been changed so that by ordering one kit, you will be guaranteed to receive both the pilot and radar operator figures as a 2-piece set.

Eh?  "You should have done that from the very beginning!" you say........You're quite right.

Anyway,
to the person who gave me the hint at the venue, truly, thank you so very much.

Thanks to your words, the Uhu's pilot will be riding with his radar operator, able to fly sorties without worry.

Of course!  To everyone out there that has already pre-ordered, your order will be modified to include the updated bonus, so please don't worry in that regard.

Also, to those of you who are thinking of pre-ordering soon, as long as you pre-order within the pre-order period, this bonus will be applied.

The pre-order period for the SWS Uhu
will close at the end of
February 2013 !
(estimated) 

We wait in eagerness for everyone to pre-order.
(Of course, this pre-order bonus will also be available from all of our Friend Shops worldwide.)


* In the next entry on my Old Man Blog, I will be focusing on the general sales opening announcement for the SWS Uhu, as well as a kit development progress report.

Did you enjoy my IPMS Telford event report?

To everyone who lives in the Northern Hemisphere, we are rapidly heading into the Christmas season, then the New Year, and finally the coldest period of full-blown midwinter.
Also, for everyone who lives in the Southern Hemisphere, the hot midsummer season should be arriving.

Everyone, please take the utmost of care with your health, and enjoy your hobby life to the fullest.

Well then, I'll see you on the blog for my next entry.

 

Hideyuki Shigeta
Representative of Zoukei-mura, Inc.

 

↓ Please don't hesitate to use the submission form below ↓

Sincerely, thank you all very much for the many SWS Uhu pre-orders that we have received from around the world.

We are currently carrying out the final finishing touches on your Uhu.

[Regarding the Pre-Order Bonus for the SWS Uhu]
To everyone who has already pre-ordered, you will receive one 2-piece set consisting of the pilot and radar operator figures for each kit pre-ordered.

* Pre-Order Bonus: Pilot Figure
Jet black skies.  Behind enemy bombers, the Uhu pilots ascend to take precise aim at their fuselage undersides.
That sweaty grip has been captured and expressed in this wonderful sculpt.
* Pre-Order Bonus: Radar Operator Figure
Here is the Uhu's navigating radar operator.
Please note his focused posture as he searches for enemy planes in the darkness.
Both figures have been sculpted to fit perfectly into the cockpit.

Also, any pre-orders placed with an "SWS Friend Shop" will be modified to include the updated bonus, so please feel free to pre-order via your nearest Friend Shop.

 

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