Old Man Blog No.43 : J2M3 Raiden Edition, Episode 1

Hello, SWS fans!

Extremely hot every day here in Kyoto, Japan.

It has been hot every day. How are your countries?
Since you are very lively, I assume that you are enjoying your hobby at your own pace as usual in defiance of the hot or cold weather.

Some of you might have promptly finished the masterpiece of the SWS Uhu and admire the great achievement of Dr. Heinkel whenever you look at the mysterious airframe.

Please send some pictures to this blog when you finish your vaunted kit.
All of the SWS Development Team members are looking forward to your tour de force.

Old Man Blog No.43 J2M3 Raiden Edition, Episode 1

*Well, from now in my blog, the so long-awaited Japanese aircraft episode is starting.
*I thank the "young Taiwanese factory workers" who made the "Raiden," the fighter of the Japanese Navy.
*The "Raiden" is finally born as an SWS kit.
*The highlights of Raiden: first, the "Kasei 23a engine".
*SWS kit No.VIII is also under progress!!

Well, from now in my blog, the so long-awaited Japanese aircraft episode is starting.

After the "Shinden", the first SWS kit, the Japanese Navy Local Fighter "Raiden" J2M Jack will come out!
Among the Japanese Navy fighters having pursued the air combat performance to limitation, there is a unique fighter which was mainly designed for hit-and-run performance, rather than for dog fight performance.

That is the "Raiden".
I think that I am not the only one who can feel the spirit of the genius designer, Jiro Horikoshi, - it is like his obsession – to the stubby exterior shape which the experts would probably like.

On the contrary, the more we look at it deliberately, the more we notice that the entire aircraft is full of the stereoscopic effect with lines and surfaces obviously designed by a Japanese designer and that we will be fascinated by the charming aircraft design before we know it.

Please add the SWS No. V "Raiden," the Guardian of the Imperial Capital, to your airplane scale model collection.

The "Raiden" was developed after the release of the SWS No. VI Uhu because something unexpected happened, which was remaking the mold from the beginning. While we have made all the fans of Japanese aircrafts very worried, we will be able to deliver even a more wonderful kit to you.

Undoubtedly, the "Raiden" has become better than we expected.

I thank the "young Taiwanese factory workers" who made the "Raiden," the fighter of the Japanese Navy.

By the way, talking of the Japanese Navy fighter "Raiden," I immediately remember another story.

It was September 1942, when the Japanese Navy faced a severe defeat at the Midway battle, which could be called the "watershed" of the Pacific War.Before the fierce attacks of the US Army and Navy, which would then increase day after day, it was the beginning when the Japanese Navy decided to found the "Koza Naval Arsenal" in Koza-gun, Kanagawa Prefecture in Japan.

After the war started, the establishment of the airplane manufacture factory was decided in a hurry in the Aviation unit of the Japanese Navy, which had been exhausted by a lot of strategies, in order to send as many airplanes as possible. Unfortunately, there were not many personnel enough for the manufacturing plant since it had already been driven by the replacement of the soldiers to the front line in Japan.

There, the Navy Commander Tadayoshi Yasuda, one of the responsible people of the Naval Arsenal establishment, visited Admiral Kiyoshi Hasegawa who was the Governor-General of Taiwan back then and asked him to recruit young Taiwanese boys as the personnel of the Naval Arsenal Technical Training School in Taiwan.

As a result, more than 8400 young Taiwanese boys stood up in emergency for the survival of the Japanese nation.

Even though they could learn the state-of-the-art technologies like the airplane manufacturing processes in Japan and received a certificate of the technical school after 3 years of works, they were mainly boys about 13 or 14 years of their age, who just graduated from the elementary school.

The 8400 boys from the first group to the seventh group in Taiwan applied by themselves and aimed to the main island of Japan by a ship guarded by two of the Japanese Navy Destroyers all the way, from the Port of Kaohsiung in Taiwan where the US Navy submarines often infested, over the South China Sea and then the East China Sea.

When the ship was leaving the quay, some boys already felt nostalgia and they shouted their parent's name and sobbed. Well, it is very understandable.
They were only boys still in elementary or junior high school. They must be still boys in their age, which was depending on their parents.

However, the factory in the Koza-gun was not yet ready enough to receive them because of the shortage of the materials and the confusion in times of war in Japan.

So, the Japanese Navy decided to divide the group of Japanese in the mainland Japan and the one of Taiwanese, enforce the basic training, and train the personnel who would be sent the different airplane manufacturing plants.

Then, three groups were formed in the training school of Koza Naval Arsenal. Only one of Japanese made it into the top ten of the best record in the training and the rest was all Taiwanese boys.
It seems that there were many excellent boys.

After that, the Taiwanese boys had been sent to all the airplane factories all over Japan.

  • * They engaged the research and development of the "Yokosuka MXY7 Ohka" at the Yokosuka Naval Air Technical Arsenal.
  • * They engaged the Japanese Naval Aviation Preparatory School, each airplane of the Kasumigaura Aviation Corps, and the maintenances of the defected Navy airplanes at the Tsuchiura Naval Air Arsenal.
  • * They engaged the manufacture of the Navy Type Zero Reconnaissance Seaplane at the Omura 21st Naval Arsenal.
  • * They engaged the productions of the Zero fighter, the Raiden, the Kawanishi N1K Shindenkai, and the Mitsubishi G4M at the Mitsubishi Aircraft Plant in Nagoya.
  • * They engaged the production of the Zero fighter, the Kawanishi P1Y1 Ginga (Galaxy), and the Nakajima J1N1 Gekko (Moonlight) at the Nakajima Aircraft Company.

And eventually,

  • * They engaged the production of the Raiden at the Koza Naval Arsenal and a lot of Taiwanese workers had produced the Japanese airplanes night and day without flinching until the end of the war.
To find more details about the "young Taiwanese factory workers", I recommend you a book, called "The young Taiwanese factory workers who lived in two mother countries" written by Mr. Kimihiro Ishikawa and published by Namiki-Shobo.
The sentiment and feelings of these Taiwanese boys, who have a bigger Japanese spirit than Japanese themselves at that time, are brilliantly recorded.
This is a book that I would like to recommend as another record of war about the Great East Asia War.

Unlike Taiwanese warm and everlasting summer, I assume that the severe cold in the winter of Japan was way beyond imagination for them.
They were covered with oil every day. I heard that their hands were frostbitten and it was very painful just pulling the gloves.

Also, I am sure that there was not enough food during the wartime regime.
Moreover, the airplane manufacturing plants where they worked were the most important targets for the U.S. aircrafts.

A lot of boys were victims of the continuing aerial bombings and strafing.

Then, the end of the war.

It has been 68 years since then and it has been getting less people who know these stories in Japan where green finally revived after the war.

The Taiwanese boys had made many of the Navy fighters which are still our proud. The number of people knowing this has been decreasing now.

"Once, there were a lot of young people in this sky who died in the battle to protect us."

I can't help giving the awe and the gratitude to them, regardless of allies and enemies, who went to the war.

And, whenever I think of the "Raiden," I remember the work of these young Taiwanese boys.
Thank you!! With your work, the Japanese Navy aircrafts could fight until the end.

One more thing, talking of Taiwan, it is the country which was the first to send us a precious donation, 20 billion Japanese Yen, more than any other countries, when the unprecedented earthquake hit the East coast of Japan in 2011.

At that time, all the Japanese felt so thankful to Taiwan. It is quite difficult to express our feelings by words.

Once again, I want to thank all the Taiwanese people a lot.
I will never forget their kindness and courage, as well as all "young Taiwanese workers" who were "Japanese" at that time.

The "Raiden" is finally born as an SWS kit.

In 1944, the Japanese military garrison based in Saipan died honorably.
Eventually, the main island of Japan was captured as the range of the bombing by the formidable B-29 Superfortress.

The Japanese aircrafts that could fight against them were the Kawasaki Ki-61 Hien and the Nakashima Ki-84 Gale from the Army, the Kawanishi N-1K Shidenkai from the Navy, and the local fighter "Raiden" only.

The old type aircrafts, Zero fighter and the Shinden, the dullness aircrafts, Toryu and Gekko, as well as the Nakashima Ki-43 Hayabusa and the Nakashima Ki-44 Shoki were no longer potential opponents to the B-29.

These old Japanese fighters could intercept them while the powerful enemy, P-51, wasn't accompanying because of the shortage of the combat range far from the Tinian Base. Once the P-51 appeared as the escort fighter, the sky of the mainland Japan was infested and nothing could oppose to them.

However... against all expectations...

A Japanese fighter bravely opposed to them in the skies.

Yes!! It is that aircraft!!

The body is painted in dark green and 4 powerful 20 mm cannons are equipped.
What was the fighter rising suddenly with dangerous armaments inside, called Schrage Musik!!

That is our Japanese Navy Local Fighter – "Raiden"!!

Yeah!!! Raiden!!! We were waiting!!!

I wonder if the young generation will shout out like this, but our generation won't be like that.
What we can do is to say "Go Raiden. It is your turn now! Do your job!!" and quietly to give a salute.

* Box art of the 1/32 SWS Raiden
At night! Our "Raiden" shows its bravery by challenging a heroic interception among a large army of B-29 that spreads over the Imperial Capital skies.
This time, the American illustrator, Mr. Ronald, have put a lot of dynamism in his design. Despite interceptions in the Japanese skies, the home ground, it was not an easy task for the "Raiden" against these huge enemy bombers with high speed, heavy armament, and solidity.

The highlights of Raiden: first, the "Kasei 23a engine".

We are going to introduce the SWS "Raiden" engine first in this blog.

The remarkable number of the engine parts is 40 pieces. We have faithfully recreated the details from the star-shaped 14-cylinders to the cooling fan, the fuel pump, the extension drive shaft vaporizer, the exhaust, and other cowl flaps according to the real aircraft.

You would be even fulfilled with the engine part, just like you complete one scale model. Of course, we have recreated the details from the engine mount to the area around the heat-resistant cover.

You will finally have the chance to make the heart of Raiden by your hands, which you thought you have already known but actually you did not.

I am introducing it here, but even I have been excited over the engine part.

I hope you take your time and enjoy all of this kit, even the details.

It takes only 5 minutes and 36 seconds to get an altitude of 6000 meters! We could have recreated the Mitsubishi Kasei 23a engine in very detail and accurate, which could pull up the huge aircraft of Raiden to an altitude to intercept right away.

* Kasei Type 23 Kou engine runner parts
The volume and the amount of this engine are like assembling another kit! Gluing the push rods on the radial engine itself, as well as the intake pipes, the exhaust pipes, and all the auxiliary equipment, it will take a fulfilling time.

* Assembly of the engine
These are the parts of the engine itself. You can see all evolved from the SWS No.1 Shinden.
Until now, the engine has been hidden in a veil too, so by seeing it, this makes me feel close to it. I really want this engine!!

* Assembly of the engine
As usual, even the cylinders and the pistons of this engine have been molded.
Despite it is not visible after finishing the assembly, I have built it devotedly because I want to value your playful mind.
Thoroughly, it becomes a modest gift for people who want to enjoy aircraft model.

* Picture of the completed Kasei Type 23 Kou engine
The bravery of 1.34m diameter big Kasei Type 23 engine.How far will the resistance to air decrease by installing it in the cowling? It reminds me the difficulties that the Raiden design team had faced at the beginning with this large diameter engine.
With the SWS Raiden kit, the engine, as a very important element especially from the design stage to the collection of information, was studied very thoroughly on the real airplane.We represent it faithfully as the best 1/32 scale model.

* Picture of the completed Kasei Type 23 Kou engine
Here is the installation of the exhaust pipes and fire walls.
Please relax and take your time to enjoy the manufacturing process of the engine by reading the instruction manual several times.
Also, notice that gluing the exhaust pipes after painting will make a beautiful result.Please proceed with the assembly after having well planned your work, with your own style.

* No negligence in the reproduction of the auxiliary equipment for the fire walls too.
The inertia starter of the Raiden engine has this shape and was equipped like this!
Also, the carburetor, the fuel injunction pump, the dynamo, etc. were equipped smartly in this small space.Because there are a lot of very small parts, please be careful during your work.

* The Kasei engine is completed.
Equip the engine mount and choose to open or close the cowl flaps.At this stage, a skill is needed to equip the open and close hinges of the cowl flaps.
It is equipped like mechanical springs.Please relax and do your work cautiously after verifying carefully the instruction manual.


In the next episode, the "SWS Raiden Edition, Episode 2," I will talk about the propeller and the cockpit.

Moreover, the SWS Development Team will leave for Colorado, USA, from August 14th to 17th, in order to participate in the IPMS Colorado event.

To all the SWS fans who will go to the IPMS Colorado event, please visit our "Zoukei-Mura" booth.
We will exhibit all the SWS kits, as well as the after-parts and the Concept Notes. We are looking forward to seeing you there.

& 2013 IPMS/USA National Convention → http://www.ipmsusa2013.com/

* The photograph, is a state of the IPMS Florida in 2012 last time.

SWS kit No.VIII is also under progress!!

What aircraft will be the new awaited SWS kit??

With your imagination and your sharped intuition, please make a guess what will be the next SWS kit No. VIII.

SWS#8 "What is the next airplane?" Quiz

What will be the next SWS kit!? Try to find it!!
Clue: it is a twin-engine aircraft!!
Name of the plane

Please write the name of the aircraft inside the ◯ sign.

[How to participate]
Please send 1 aircraft name by person.
We accept answer in Japanese, English and Taiwanese.
I will offer one kit of this airplane to one lottery winner when the kit is released.
Also, I will offer one Concept Note of this kit to three others lottery winners.
So, I am looking forward to your participation.
*How to Submit Your Answer
The quiz is not limited to SWS fan club members. Everyone can participate.
Address to Send Your Answer
[How to Submit by Regular Mail]

Please send Kansei-Hagaki (Japan Post's pre-paid postcard) to the VOLKS Headquarters, making sure to include your name and address as well.

 Volks, Inc.Attn: SWS #8 "What is the next airplane?" Quiz Team
60 Shichijo-Goshonouchi-Nakamachi,
Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto, Japan 600-8862
[How to Submit by E-mail]

Please send an email to the address below, making sure include your name and address as well.

Email: sws_quiz@zoukeimura.co.jp *This email address is to be used only for this quiz.
Title: Submission to SWS #8 "What is the next airplane?" Quiz

Requested information
 -- Name:
 -- Address:
 -- Quiz Answer:

*Entry Period
Until October 31, 2013
*Winner Announcement
Winners will be announced here on the Zoukei-Mura Web Site.
*Prize Presentation
*We will offer one SWS kit No. VIII to one winner.
Three Winners will receive a Concept Note of the SWS kit No.VIII
(In case there are a lot of winners, we will proceed to a strict lottery)

We are looking forward to receiving a lot of entries from you.

Thank you for reading this blog.

This is a poor blog, but I hope I could refresh you a little during these hot days?

I am grateful because I can enjoy the wonderful hobby of the scale model with you every day.

I will do my best in order to make your hobby life a full of joys.

Thank you very much. Well, until next time!!

Hideyuki Shigeta
President, Zoukei-Mura

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


The 1/48 SWS Shinden will be finally released on August 24!!
At least, the awaited 1/48 series will begin as SWS!!
The first release is the “Shinden”.

Please recreate the last will of the Japanese Imperial Navy Aviation Corps with your hands.
As always with the SWS, everything is reproduced in very details, from the structure of the plane, to its engine, cockpit, armaments, etc.
By assembling the kit, you can learn thoroughly the perfect design philosophy and the mystery of the Shinden.

SWS 1/48 SHINDEN Price: 4800 JPY (+fee) Further details here.

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