Enjoy the best part of SWS kit with the instruction manual Part 2
Update: Aug. 22nd, 2022

Enjoy the best part of SWS kit with the instruction manual Part 2
Japanese Imperial Navy Interceptor Fighter Raiden (J2M3 21 type)
The sky of the imperial city Tokyo is under the protection with hit and run tactics by Raiden!

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.

Raiden as the last Japanese Navy Air force fighter
Will fulfill the mission of protecting the imperial city like a Samurai fighter!

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.

▋Here you open the box of Raiden kit you will immediately see the full parts ,instruction manual designed in the old Navy style , decal sheet and the painting guideline sticker for the canopy. First please check if all the 11 sets of runners from A to K are well included.

▋Turn the page and you will see the outline of Japanese Imperial Navy Fighter Raiden on it engine and armament. If you use the decal included in this kit, you will be able to recreate the lieutenant aircraft from Sasebo Airforce 352 unit team leader “Aoki Yoshihiro”and 302 unit team leader“Itoh Susumu”which are famous for its flashy painting.

▋In this page, you will see the explanation on the focus and the concept of the whole development process for SWS Raiden kit, which I hope will be additional to your image and knowledge toward Japanese Imperial Nave fighter Raiden. At the bottom you can see the full building process starting from engine to the final outcome, and now let’s start the journey to explore the Japanese Imperial Navy Fighter Raiden.

Faster and faster!

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

▋OK! Let’s start from the Kasei engine that carry the weight of expectation for the Japanese Navy Airforce. You need to follow the picture to carefully finish each task and please do not immediately proceed to glue the parts just by seeing the parts list on the left side. However, you need to following the instruction to place all the parts in order and check the gluing area from the picture in right side, and then use fluid type after you fully confirmed.
While there are several areas require your attention such as keeping the propeller shaft turning in C section, also the exhaust pipe in D section and the fire retardant cover and the engine mount in E section. If you fail in those area, you will probably regret to obtain a SWS kit, so please complete those area with your full preparation and attention and you will definitely love the result. I am really nervous imaging you building those parts so please don’t let me down my brothers!

▋Here is the most challenging part of the Kasei engine and you don’t want to underestimate SWS kit. Especially the works on cowl flap pin in H section, which has been really hard on us asking people with huge fingers to do movement like
acrobatics such us pressing D-23 parts while penetrating it through the hole on the firewall.
You might start to feel frustrated after this, but first I suggest you to clean your messy desk and move to somewhere with bigger space and better vision so that you will be able to immediately find the fallen tiny parts without any problem.
Or you will be like me hearing the pleasant sound of something fall on the ground and then have to spent the next whole hour searching (cleaning) in the 2 o'clock direction for the escaping parts , for the worst case, you will have to contact us to request the replacement for the parts that successfully escaped.
Also, you will need to make sure the up and down direction for B-34 parts is correct and firmly fix it on the desk with the weight of engine to wait it to dry after you glue it. You might find me annoying but please refer to the picture in the right.

▋It has been a hard work for you to come here and I believe it is getting closer for you to image the reality of Japanese Navy. Although the development design was mainly conducted by the Horikoshi engineering team who were famous of designing the Mitsubishi A6M Zero fighter, it was still a fact until the end of the war that it is difficult to really have a perfect engine.
However it is relieved to realize that this Raiden has given everything it had to try to win the battle even when it faced a large formation of B-29. And now we can only image the battle when thinking about that both sides of pilots have bet on everything including their life far in the corner of the sky with our admiration hoping they have raised in peace.

▋Look! this is the completed Kasei 23 ko engine! It already looks complicated even only with the parts assembled, you should really be proud of yourself for trying to further piping this engine!
]Probably because that the southern batters are basically above the jungle, given that most of the painting of the Japanese Navy airplane is plain in simple dark green, the engine with details processed will be the huge highlight of this kit!
Wish you all the best~~~

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.

Thank you so much~~~Mr. Bill!
Cheers for my SWS brother~~~~!!

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.

My regards,
Bill Horton

Look at this amazing kit~~~!!
This is exactly the SWS 1/32 Skyraider build by the hands of Mr. Bill!
The massive power of A-1 and the overwhelming presence is truthfully and perfectly recreated.
Let's give the USA modeler a big applause for his amazing skill and sense !!

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.

Hideyuki Shigeta
President, Zoukei-Mura


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

Retern to Top