Sheet #

Aeromaster 72-056 'Tora-Tora-Tora' pt 1





Review By:

Scott Van Aken


Aircraft from Kaga, Shokaku, and Hiryu

When looking for a sheet of interesting aircraft, one can generally count on Aeromaster. Ten years ago, this would have been a Superscale sheet, but sloppy work by those folks allowed other companies come in and usurp their supremacy.

This particular sheet was printed in 1994 and is for those Japanese aircraft that participated in the Pearl Harbor strike. One is offered one each aircraft (a Zero, Val, and Kate) from the Kaga and Shokaku, with  a Zero from the Hiryu. All are in the early war colors of basically overall light grey with the Kates in an upper surface camo scheme that was typical of early war aircraft.

It is here that I need to interject something about Japanese aircraft colors. This particular subject is in much flux nowadays. Several Japanese references, mainly Model Art , are giving different interpretations of several aircraft. For instance, it is saying that many of the Kates were silver vice grey on those that had mottled upper surfaces. In addition, there is much speculation that the light grey on the A6Ms was closer to RLM 02 green grey and a much darker hue. Some modelers have gone as far as to paint their Zeros with a concrete color to get the darker grey coloring. I must admit that looking at several pictures of Zeros, I am inclined to believe that there was a darker grey, especially when comparing it with the hues of the clothing worn by Japanese maintenance personnel as well as comparing a captured A6M2 with the khaki uniform of US Navy officers looking over the aircraft.

This is an interesting field and it will be great when someone comes up with a scholarly treatise on Japanese aircraft colors, something that hasn't been done for well over 30 years!

Well, on with the sheet. The first three aircraft are from the Kaga. Each one is identified by crew as well as colors. Since most are 'light grey', I'll skip that part and go to the crew identity.

The Zero was flown by Lt Nikaido, 2nd Sq, 15th Section, 1st aircraft.
The Kate by Lt Mikami, with NAP 1/c Takehara and NAP 3/c Iimori as Observer and Gunner respectively
The Val crew is unknown. This particular aircraft has the red tail colors know by the Japanese as  Security Paint colors. As far as I know, no A6M carried security paint.

From the Shokaku:

Kate was flown by NAP 1/c Ishikawa with Lt. Hagiwara as Observer and NAP 2/c Sagara as gunner.
Val was from the 20th Section, 1st aircraft and flown by Lt.Cdr. Takashashi with Lt.Jg Koisumi as observer.
The Zero was flown by Lt.Cdr Kaneko, 6th Sq, 11th Section, 1st Aircraft

Finally, from Hiryu is the Zero of Lt.Nouno, 4th Squadron, 11th Section, 1st Aircraft.

There are enough Hinomarus to do one Val, one Kate and two Zeros.

Review copy courtesy of Drew Nix, who loaned me the sheet so I could use one of the schemes on it! Thanks Drew!

If you would like your product reviewed fairly and quickly by a site that has over 800 visits a day, please contact me or see other details in the Note to Contributors.