Here in Japan, there have been flood repot in numerous areas for the past few days, meanwhile in Kyoto, the sky has been extremely cloudy and I hope all my SWS brothers are doing well as usual.
Besides, the COVID-19 pandemic is still ongoing in Japan, and according to news, there have been over 200 thousands positive case daily which is unusual and keeps reminding me that we still need to be on our toes. I hope all my SWS brothers will continue to stay healthy and safe and enjoy their every single day ahead.
So let’s change the mood by opening up the instruction manual of the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Force- Raiden, and enjoying the recreation of the old Japanese Navy Air Force from a SWS kit!
Also thanks to all your support that the stock of SWS 1/32 Raiden is getting low, therefore, if you are interested and would like to add one of these Japanese aircraft like Raiden into your collection after reading this episode, you should visit the nearest SWS Friend Shop or VOLKS Online Store and get one of them as soon as possible.
We will start from the heart of Raiden-the Kasei 23 Ko engine. However, as usual, before we start, I would like you to also pay attention to the concept of the design when developing this kit and the sketch of this unique interceptor aircraft.
To carry out the hit and run tactics, the high output Kasei engine with the unique shape that almost as close to the diameter as possible was cutting edge among all the Japanese Navy aircrafts back that time.
Despite that Raiden was fully designed with all the advanced equipment to maximize its power, given that the poor manufacture and working environment, and the maintenance system, there is a huge gap comparing to its performance in the battle and somehow Raiden was even given the name of ‘‘killing fighter for causing too much trouble.
However, during the last stage of the war which is 1944-1945, Raiden was basically the only single-seat fighter that could really fight USA B-29, and as the representative of the Japanese Navy Air Force, Raiden has been active in the interception battle until the end war on 15th August, 1945.
With the stocky appearance putting everything on its climbing power, high output engine, and four 20mm machineguns, Raiden is the aircraft holding the power that could even finish USA heavy bomber with one shot, and which is also one of the biggest charm of Japanese Navy aircraft.
Even with the best climbing speed among all the Japanese Navy aircrafts, you can’t always expect to have a superior position when facing the B-29 which can ignore the jet stream, so the performance improvement has been requested by each Raiden unit over and over again.
Now take a look at the MITSUBISHI Kasei 23 Ko engine equipped in the SWS Raiden 21 type kit. Although it has 1820hp takeoff output, the big caliber air cooling engine in 1.34m diameter is exactly what you need to overcome first, before you can even start to suffer all the way to the completed outcome.
The details in this Kasei 23 Ko engine starting from ventilation, each auxiliary equipment, cowl flap to the engine rack are all perfectly recreated in the SWS kit, while there are still a lot of works left to be done by you such as the wiring…etc
This is all for this episode and I will further show you the work on cockpit in next one. However, if you happen to have the SWS Raiden kit in your collection, you may try to image it flying all the way up in the sky in the 1945 summer fighting the enemy before my next episode uploaded.
I recently received a very cheering email from Mr. Bill, a SWS fan from USA, and with his permission, I am glad to share this with all of you.
Guess what? The first ever SWS kit that he challenged was exactly the 1/32 Raiden! I am so grateful and from the bottom of my heart appreciate to know that our SWS kit brought him such impact and joy to his hobby career.
Hey Mr. Bill! I really thank you for all your support including the Hs 129 , Toryu and even the Shinden, that I almost lost my words. Thank you !
Dear Mr Shigeta:
Earlier this spring I was sick with the Covid virus, and when I was ill I read the article you wrote for the IPMS journal. → Click here for details (The Old Man Blog No.121)
I am a 64 year old modeler who has been modeling as an adult since 1986; I build cars and armor as well as airplanes. I had heard of your products but they held no interest for me; I didn't understand why you produced these kits and I didn't think they would fit very well. Reading that article changed my mind; I really enjoyed your sharing your story, and I thank you for doing so. I decided that once I recovered that I'd give you a try and get one of your kits.
That kit was the Raiden in 1/32. I have never been so impressed with an unbuilt kit in my life, and I have built hundreds of Tamiya kits in addition to many others. Volks USA did a great job; my kit was wrapped in bubble wrap and tissue paper, and once I opened it up and got to the instruction book it got even better.
I've not built any biplanes but I did buy one Wingnut Wings kit just to own one and see what everyone was talking about. I bought it about 2 years ago. I was delighted with it (and may even build it someday) but I felt your kit was up to the same level of excellence as theirs. I've described Zoukei Mura to friends as WNW for post WWI airplanes. I couldn't stop reading the instruction book！ I finished the kit a few weeks ago. Your kits can/should be built by following the instruction book, which is a rare thing by itself. The fit and detail are both amazing. It was fascinating, and educational, from the day I received it. And I have never had so much fun building a model kit！ I never thought I'd find anyone that could top a Tamiya kit, but I have, and that is you.
Anyhow, I started another manufacturer's kit but put it back in the box, and I'm working on my ZM Hs 129, which of course puts the Raiden to shame with the detail it has. I'm thrilled with it. I've finished almost the entire airframe and will start the painting process shortly. I plan on building most, if not all, of the planes in your series. I already have the Toryu and have pre-ordered the Shinden. You have converted me and made me one of the faithful, and I promise to tell all my friends about what you have done.
Thank you so very much for your efforts. I cannot wait to see what comes next, and I also look forward to the reissue of the Shinden, which is such a fascinating airplane.
How much the encouragement and grateful that this email from Mr. Bill has brought to our SWS development team is beyond words could describe.
“I want to give it a try and produce airplane model”
Ever since the moment that my little dream 10 years ago finally coming true, I have been receiving numerous sharing and supporting email from you.
On behalf of SWS development team, I really appreciate for all your kind words.
Now the team members and I are all fired up and we will strive to bring more smile and joy to my SWS brothers by producing even better kit for you
Wish you all the best to my SWS brothers.