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F-14 in the service of the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force

The F-14 Tomcat is a two-seat, twin-engine, variable-sweep wing, supersonic jet interceptor, and fighter-bomber aircraft that was originally developed for the United States Navy by Grumman. The Iran Air Force operated the F-14 Tomcat from the 1970s until the Islamic Revolution in 1979.

The Iran Air Force received its first F-14 Tomcats in the early 1970s as part of a military assistance program from the United States. The F-14s were considered to be among the most advanced aircraft in the Iran Air Force at the time and were used extensively for air defense and ground attack missions. The F-14s were equipped with the latest avionics, radar, and weapons systems, including the AIM-54 Phoenix.

The AIM-54 Phoenix was a radar-guided, air-to-air missile developed by the United States Navy during the 1960s and 1970s. It was primarily used by the Navy’s F-14 Tomcat fighter aircraft and was intended to engage multiple targets at long range. The Phoenix missile had a maximum range of over 100 miles and could reach speeds of up to Mach 5.

The Phoenix missile was equipped with an active radar seeker, which allowed it to track and engage multiple targets simultaneously. The missile also had a semi-active radar seeker, which used energy reflected off the target to guide the missile to its target. The missile was equipped with a powerful warhead and was capable of destroying a target at ranges of up to 100 miles.

The AIM-54 Phoenix was used by the US Navy from the 1970s until the 1990s when it was retired from service. The missile was considered one of the most advanced air-to-air missiles of its time and was considered a key component of the Navy’s air-to-air arsenal during the Cold War. Despite its long-range capabilities and advanced guidance systems, the missile was relatively expensive and complex to maintain.

The F-14s played a significant role in the Iran-Iraq War in the 1980s, where they were used to defend against the Iraqi Air Force’s bombing campaigns and to attack ground targets. However, due to the lack of spare parts and support from the United States, the F-14s were gradually phased out of service after the revolution.

The Iran-Iraq War was a prolonged conflict that lasted from 1980 to 1988. The war was fought between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Ba’athist Iraq, and it was one of the longest and most devastating conflicts of the 20th century. The war began in September 1980, when Iraq invaded Iran, citing disputes over territory and the support of separatist movements in Iraq by Iran.

The war was characterized by large-scale ground battles, with both sides using conventional warfare tactics. Iraq’s military was better equipped and had better trained soldiers, but Iran’s large population allowed them to sustain high casualties and continue fighting. Iraq’s strategy was to invade Iran and quickly capture major cities, but they were not successful in their objectives. Iran’s strategy was to use its large number of soldiers to hold off the Iraq’s advances and to launch hit-and-run attacks on the Iraqi army.

Throughout the war, both sides used chemical weapons, with Iraq using them more extensively. The war also featured naval and air battles, with Iraq trying to gain control of the Persian Gulf and its oil fields, and Iran trying to disrupt Iraq’s oil exports. The use of naval and air power was limited, as both sides were concerned with the intervention of other countries, particularly the United States.

The war ended in a stalemate, with both sides agreeing to a ceasefire in 1988. The war resulted in an estimated one million deaths and significant damage to both countries’ infrastructure and economies. The war also had a significant impact on the region and the world, as it led to an increase in arms sales and contributed to the rise of Islamic fundamentalism in the Middle East.

After the revolution, the US embargo on spare parts and support to the Iranian military, the Iran Air Force struggled to maintain the F-14s and many of the aircraft were grounded. The remaining F-14s were used for reconnaissance and ground attack missions until the end of the Iran-Iraq War in 1988. The Iran Air Force has since retired its remaining F-14 Tomcats and currently operates a fleet of more modern aircraft.

The last flight of an F-14 Tomcat took place on September 22, 2006, at Naval Air Station (NAS) Oceana in Virginia Beach, Virginia. The specific aircraft that made the final flight was an F-14D, Bureau Number (BuNo) 163894, and it was flown by then-Commander (now retired) Tom “Zapper” Weaver and Lieutenant Commander “Tucker” and “Gibby” as the backseater.

The last flight of the F-14 Tomcat was significant as it marked the end of an era for the US Navy’s fleet of fighter aircraft, as the F-14 had been in service for nearly four decades. The Tomcat had been a mainstay of the Navy’s carrier-based air wing since the 1970s and had played a key role in many of the Navy’s operations, including Operation Desert Storm in 1991. The decision to retire the F-14 was made due to the high cost of maintaining and upgrading the aging aircraft, as well as the availability of more advanced aircraft such as the F/A-18 Hornet and F-35 Lightning II.

The last flight of the F-14 Tomcat was also significant as a commemoration to the US Navy pilots who flew the aircraft and the ground crew who maintained it over the years. The aircraft made several flybys, and the final landing was marked by an arch of water formed by two fire trucks, this was a traditional farewell to a retiring aircraft. The F-14 Tomcat was flown one last time in front of a large crowd of friends, family, and admirers, before being retired to the National Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola, Florida.

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244th Kokutai

The 244th Naval Air Group was formed in May 1945 and was based at the Atsugi airfield located near Tokyo. The unit was equipped with a variety of aircraft, including the Mitsubishi A6M Zero fighter, the Nakajima B5N2 “Kate” torpedo bomber, the Yokosuka P1Y “Frances” twin-engine bomber, and the Ki-61 Hien (code-named “Tony” by the Allies). The Ki-61 was a fighter aircraft developed by Kawasaki Heavy Industries, was the only aircraft of Japanese origin to use a liquid-cooled inline engine, and was capable of reaching high speeds and had a good rate of climb. It was armed with two 20 mm cannons and two 7.7 mm machine guns.

The 244th’s main mission was to defend the Tokyo area against Allied bombing raids. They also conducted reconnaissance and ground attack missions. The unit’s pilots were experienced, but due to the shortage of fuel and spare parts, their aircraft were not in good condition and their training was limited.

As the war progressed and the US forces approached the Japanese mainland, the 244th was forced to engage in more intense combat. They were involved in several dogfight engagements with US fighter aircraft and also suffered heavy losses in bombing raids.

The 244th Naval Air Group was active until the end of the war in August 1945. Despite their best efforts, the unit was unable to prevent the bombing of Tokyo by the US Air Force, which caused significant damage to the city and resulted in large numbers of civilian casualties. It is worth mentioning that the 244th Naval Air Group was not the only unit that defended Tokyo, multiple other units were also deployed to defend different parts of the Japanese mainland. The defense of Tokyo was part of the greater defense of Japan which was led by the Imperial Japanese Army Air Service (IJAAS), and was not limited to the IJNAS.

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The Kaiten and A-Target

During World War II, the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) employed two types of midget submarines called Kaiten and A-Target in their operations. Both types of submarines were designed to be used in suicide attacks against enemy ships.

The Kaiten was a manned midget submarine that was designed to be used in kamikaze attacks. The submarine was equipped with a single torpedo, which the pilot would aim at an enemy ship before diving the submarine into the target, effectively becoming a human torpedo. The Kaiten was used in several operations during the war, including the attack on Sydney Harbor in 1942.

On the night of 31 May – 1 June 1942, four Kaiten submarines were launched from the mother submarine I-27, with the intent of attacking the Allied naval base at Sydney Harbor. However, due to mechanical problems and navigational errors, none of the submarines were able to reach the harbor. One was sunk by the Australian destroyer HMAS Warramunga, and the other three were scuttled by their crews.

The A-Target was a different type of midget submarine, it was a unmanned submarine and it was designed to be used as a target for training purposes. It was also used in a few real operations during the war, including the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941.

The attack on Pearl Harbor involved a total of six midget submarines, known as A-Target, which were launched from larger submarines in the pre-dawn hours of the attack. The A-Targets were intended to enter the harbor and attack ships at anchor, but all were unsuccessful in their mission and none of them succeeded in penetrating the harbor defenses.

Both the Kaiten and A-Target submarines were used by the IJN in suicide attacks against enemy ships during World War II. While the Kaiten was manned and the A-Target was unmanned, the purpose of these submarines was the same: to cause as much damage as possible to the enemy fleet. The attack on Sydney Harbor and Pearl Harbor were not successful operations, but they demonstrated the determination and willingness of the Japanese to use these submarines as a weapon of war, regardless of the human cost.

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‘Deliberate crash’ attacks of 244th

A rather well-known photo of the 244 Sentai leader, Captain Kobayashi, made in the Chofu base (30 km west of Tokyo) at the beginning of February 1945. The airplane (Ki-61-I Tei, red ’24’ s/n 4424) does not yet have the distinguishing green spot camouflage however, that was corrected soon after. Painted (also in red) victory markings, symbolize five confirmed shutdowns and one ‘body attack’ (black silhouette of a Ki-61 over a B-29). The runover took place during a dogfight on the 27 January 1945, with a B-San formation from the 73’rd Bomber Wing, which was heading towards the Nakajima engine factory in Musashino on the outskirts of Tokyo. After depleting his ammunition supply during attacks on Fortresses (without visible effects) Kobayashi sighted Sargent Masao Itagaki during a runover attempt on a B-29. Itagaki’s attack resulted in substantial damage to the left wing (behind engine number 1) however, the damage did not force the B-San to reduce altitude or speed. Kobayashi flew his Ki-61 (supposedly it was the red ‘295’, s/n 3295) into the left vertical stabilizer of the enemy airplane, completely destroying it. His Hien lost its entire engine compartment and right wing, however, Captain Kobayashi managed to bail out of the spiraling down remains of the airplane and land on his parachute without any major injuries. His only scar (bruised nose) was caused by the collision with the enemy airplane. Sargent Itagaki also survived his encounter with the B-29 and safely landed on his parachute. However, the impact of the collision made him lose his consciousness which he regained only while falling through the cold sky. The lucky B-29 with dozens of shoot-throughs and 2 deliberate mid-air crashes safely made it back to it’s Saipan base.

In the end, its repairs at the base were confirmed to be economically unproductive no as much caused by the critical damage to the airframe itself but due to the fact that the factories in the US were providing a constant stream of new B-San’s for the Airforce.

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K0-61-I Hien, czerwone ’05’

K0-61-I Hien, red ’05’ waring the

Ki-61-I Hien, czerwone “05” w barwach 37 Kyoiku Hikotai (37 Szkolny Dywizjon Lotnictwa Armii), lotnisko Matsuyama, Formoza (Tajwan), wiosna 1945 r.

Podobnie jak inne jednostki szkolne tego okresu, również 37 Dywizjon posiadał w swym składzie wydzielone eskadry instruktorskie, gotowe do wzięcia aktywnego udziału w walkach. Cechą charakterystyczną bojowych maszyn tej jednostki, były ogony pokryte zielonymi plamkami kamuflażu. Samo godło (wspólne dla wszystkich myśliwców 37-go) przedstawia dorosłego drapieżnego ptaka, uczącego latać swoje młode (to te trzy czerwone strzałki nad symbolem ptaka).

Lotnisko Matsuyama, zlokalizowane w północnej części Tajwanu, było jedną z największych japońskich baz na wyspie (obecnie w tym miejscu znajduje się międzynarodowy port lotniczy imienia Czang Kai-szeka). Co ciekawe, baza ta wykorzystywana była równolegle przez jednostki Lotnictwa Armii i Lotnictwa Marynarki. To tu szkolono na myśliwcach Shiden 341 Kokutai. To tu komandor Genda powołał do życia słynną 343 Kokutai, zwaną później “Mieczem Gendy” i toczącą epickie boje na swoich myśliwcach Shiden Kai.

Nieco bardziej na południe zlokalizowana była też baza lotnicza Tainan, gdzie narodziła się legendarna Tainan Kokutai.

Ze względu na swoje strategiczne położenie, Tajwan został przez Japończyków zamieniony w prawdziwą twierdzę (poddaną dopiero po kapitulacji Cesarstwa). W okresie poprzedzającym wybuch wojny (i krótko później) na wyspie powstało około 25 lotnisk i baz wodnosamolotów, z czego aż 11 można uznać za potężne bazy lotnicze. Z tego powodu dość często dochodziło do ataków bombowych i szturmowych, ze strony USAAF oraz grup uderzeniowych lotniskowców. Samo lotnisko Matsuyama, stało się pomiędzy marcem a sierpniem 1945 roku, celem dziewięciu silnych nalotów (B-24 i B-25). Obraz przedstawia natomiast starcie Ki-61 z myśliwcem F4U Corsair należącym do grupy powietrznej lotniskowca USS “Bunker Hill”.

Ki-61-I czerwone “05” przetrwał wojnę. Istnieją jego zdjęcia wykonane przez Amerykanów po kapitulacji.

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Ki-61-I Hien, red ’05’

Ki-61-I Hien, red ’05’ waring the insignia of 37 Kyoiku Hikotai (37’th Army Air Traning Squadron), Matsuyama air base, Formoza (Taiwan), spring 1945.

Similarly to other air training groups in 1945, the 37’th squadron consisted of specially formed instructor flights, ready to enter combat when needed. The distinguishing symbol of this squadron was the tail fin covered in green spot camouflage. The emblem itself (consistent for all the fighters from the 37’th) pictured an adult bird, teaching children how to fly (three red arrows over the bird symbol).

Matsuyama airport, located in the north of Taiwan, was one of the biggest air bases on the isle (currently the same location is occupied by the Czang Kai-szek international airport). Interestingly, this airbase was used by the Navy and Army squadrons simultaneously. This is the airbase in which the 341 Kokutai trained on Shiden fighters. It’s the place where commander Genda formed the famous 343 Kokutai, called ‘Genda’s Sward’ that fought epic battles on their Shiden Kai fighters during late parts of World War II.

Slightly further south in airbase Tainan, the legend of Tainan Kokutai was born.

Due to its strategic location, Taiwan was turned by the Japanese into a massive stronghold (which capitulated only after the Main Islands were surrendered). Before the war started (and shortly after it started) as many as 25 airfields and seaplane bases were formed, 11 of which can be called massive air bases. Due to that fairly often allied forces conducted altitude and ground-attack aircraft strikes by USAAF and Carrier Fleets. Matsuyama airport alone, between March and August 1945, was a target of 9 heavy air strikes (conducted by B-24’s & B-25’s). The picture itself is an encounter between Ki-61 with an F4U fighter from the USS ‘Bunker Hill’ air group.

Ki-61-I red ’05’ survived World War II. Photos of it were made by American forces after the capitulation of Japan.

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Brzydkie kaczątko Yokosuka R2Y1 Keiun

Pierwszy (i jedyny latający) prototyp szybkiego samolotu rozpoznawczego Kugisho R2Y1 Keiun. Jako że jego twórcą był komandor Shiro Otsuki oraz jego zespół inżynierów z Arsenału Marynarki w Yokosuka (zakłady Kugisho KK miały jedynie podjąć się jego produkcji) bardziej znany jest jako Yokosuka R2Y1 Keiun.

Maszyna ta, wyposażona w podwójnie sprzężony silnik o sumarycznej mocy 3400 KM i sześciołopatowe śmigło o dużej średnicy, miała osiągać prędkość maksymalną 760-780 km/h i skutecznie wymykać się myśliwcom przeciwnika. Jak jednak w przypadku niemal wszystkich ówczesnych samolotów o silniku zabudowanym w centralnej części kadłuba (choćby P-39 Airacobra) problemem okazało się skuteczne przeniesienie napędu oraz chłodzenie. Z tym pierwszym jakoś sobie poradzono, natomiast drugi okazał się krytyczny. Pierwsze kołowania wyglądały źle, a dziewiczy lot (początek maja 1945) został poważnie skrócony w wyniku gwałtownego wzrostu temperatury oleju i zagrożenia pożarem silnika. Do tegoż pożaru doszło zresztą kilka dni później, podczas pospiesznych prób zaradzenia sytuacji w hangarze w Yokosuka.


Samolot odesłano w celu naprawy do zakładów Kugisho, skąd już nie powrócił, zniszczony tydzień później w wyniku nalotu B-29. Drugi prototyp (na zdjęciach z hali) był jeszcze w na tyle wczesnej fazie budowy, że jego testy w locie nie zostały rozpoczęte przed kapitulacją Cesarstwa. 

Warto dodać, że R2Y1 od samego początku był (w rozumieniu zespołu ośrodka badawczego w Yokosuka) jedynie pierwszą fazą i demonstratorem technologii. Docelową wersję, stanowić miała maszyna R2Y2 napędzana dwoma silnikami odrzutowymi.

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The ugly dackling: Yokosuka R2Y1 Keiun

Today I would like to share with you some facts about an ugly dacking.

The first (and only flying) prototype of the fast reconnaissance airplane Kugisho R2Y1 Keiun. It was designed under the supervision of Captain Shiro Otsuki by the engineering team of the Yokosuka Naval Arsenal (the Kugisho KK works were supposed to be the only factory to start production) and it’s better known in Europe as Yokosuka R2Y1 Keiun.

This airplane was equipped with 2 engines connected inline with producing 3400 KM power output and a wide diameter 6 blade propeller which allowed the aircraft to reach a top speed of 760-780 km/h and outrun any Allied fighter. Unfortunately as in almost all attempts to build an airplane with an engine in the center part of the fuselage (P-39 Aircobra for example) the design team faces issues with power transfer to the propeller and engine cooling. The first issue was solved successfully, however, the second proved to be critical and hard to overcome. First ground tests were not too encouraging and the first flight (beginning of May 1945) was cut short due to rapid oil temperature growth and risk of engine fire. Only a few days later, during a stationary attempt to resolve the cooling issues, the engine did catch fire at the Yokosuka hangars.

The airplane was sent back for improvements to the Kugisho factory, from which it did not return, it was destroyed a week later during an air raid of B-29’s. The second prototype (on the photos in the hangar) was at a very early stage of development and was not completed by the end of WW II.

It’s worth mentioning, that R2Y1 from the beginning was (in the eyes of the Yokosuka testing institute) only an alfa test and demonstration of mid-engined airplane technology. The production version was supposed to be R2Y2 propelled by 2 jet engines.

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The Ki-43 Squadron in service of the Manchukuo Air Force

You probably know that the Manchukuo Imperial Air Force used Ki-43 fighters during World War II. However what is not clear was the number of aircraft, their insignia, their start of service, as well as the bases from which they operated. Fortunately thanks to FineMolds, we will try to demystify the history of Hayabusa fighters in the service of Manchukuo.

Picture 1: Manchukuo ki-43-II markings

Documentation and footage found by experts indicates that the Manchukuo Imperial Air Force’s Ki-43 Squadron flew the Ki-43 II. Version II was a significant improvement over the Ki-43 I thanks to its 1150hp Nakajima Ha-115 engine, redesigned fuselage of the main wing and a three-bladed propeller. The tremendous increase in power output of the Nakajima engine was achieved by upgrading the Ha-25 powerplant with a two-stage supercharger.  This modification helped to improve the top and cruise speed of the aircraft to 536 km/h and 355 km/h while allowing it’s operational range to stay at an acceptable level of 1610 km without drop tanks. The Manchukuo Imperial Air Force’s Hayabusa squadron was pictured in ‘Manchukuo War Chronicles #283,’ dated 12 December 1944. From this, we learn that the squadron operated from the Fengtian Air Base and consisted of 4 aircraft that had been donated by Manchukuo citizens and the Manchurian Oil Company (picture 1). Each aircraft carried the name of its sponsor through markings on the fuselage. The kanji markings transliterate as Gokoku-Gou: ‘Defense of our Country’ + ‘Gou’ being the suffix indicating a preceding number. This is an equivalent of well-known Japanese slogans Aikokoku-Gou ‘For the beloved Country’ for aircraft donated to the Japanese Army and Houkoku-Gou ‘Patriotic Act’ the donations of aircraft to the Japanese Navy. Based on the date of the ‘Manchukuo War Chronicles’, it can be safely assumed that the Ki-43’s were delivered and began combat operations in 1944.

The kit’s decals give the full names of each aircraft and a short description of its donator (picture 2).

‘From Manchurian Oil Company No. 1’ was the first of two aircraft donated by Manchurian Oil Company. The company was founded in 1934 and was expected to extract, refine and sell oil to local customers. It was  a joint venture between the state and private owners. However due to lack of suitable oil fields in Manchuria the company needed to import unrefined oil from the US, the UK and other overseas countries to refine at its Dalian refinery. Decals 1 and 2 should be used for this aircraft.

‘From Manchurian Oil Company No. 2′ was the second aircraft donated by the Manchurian Oil Company to defend Manchuria This aircraft is visible in the photograph from ‘Manchukuo War Chronicles’ at Fengtian Air Base.  To get the markings for this airplane you need to use decals 1 and 2 and replace the last 2 kanji characters with decals 11 and 12.

‘From the Labour Service Group of the Songhua River’ All around Manchuria youth and students were organized into “Manchurian Construction Working Volunteer Corps” which were  employed in civil engineering construction and agriculture work in their region. This aircraft was donated by the workers of the “Denjin Corps” who worked in the Songhua River basin. Decals 3 and 4 should be used for the markings of this aircraft.

‘From the Citizens of Longjiang County No. 1′  was donated by the citizens of the Longjiang County. Decals 5 and 6 should be used for this airplane.


Picture 2: Ki-43-II decals for Fine Molds (FB9)

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Recenzja Type 61 – Fine Molds 1:35

Ostatnio do mojej pracowni za sprawą Hinomaru Hobby Kits trafił nowy model mało znanej mi japońskiej firmy Fine Molds – czołg Type 61 Upgraded Japan Self-Defence Force. Jako że jestem miłośnikiem niemieckiej i radzieckiej pancerki z II wojny światowej, niełatwo zwrócić moją uwagę na mniej lub bardziej współczesny sprzęt bojowy. Dotychczas wykonałem zaledwie kilka modeli pojazdów wyprodukowanych po 1945 roku i wszystko, co wpadło mi w oko, a jest określane mianem „nowoczesny”, i tak jest relatywnie stare, bo pochodzi z lat 60.-70. Tak samo było w tym przypadku – Type 61 był produkowany w latach 1962−1975 i został wycofany ze służby w 2000 roku.

W pudełku znajdziemy: 8 ramek z oliwkowozielonego polistyrenu (w tym dwie identyczne z kołami oraz odcinkami do budowy gąsienic), 2 z przezroczystego tworzywa zawierające peryskopy, oszklenie celowników i reflektorów, blaszkę fototrawioną, nylonowy sznurek do wykonania liny, arkusz kalkomanii oraz instrukcję montażu. Jeśli o instrukcji mowa, to jest to 16-stronicowa książeczka, w której znajdziemy rys historyczny pojazdu (niestety tylko w języku japońskim), opis budowy składający się z 44 kroków oraz 4 schematy malowania, bazujące na kolorach z palety Mr. Hobby C i H oraz Tamiya. Numery farb podane przy poszczególnych podpunktach to seria C tego japońskiego producenta chemii modelarskiej.



Pierwszy raz mam do czynienia z instrukcją budowy firmy Fine Molds i muszę przyznać, że pomimo iż rysunki są na wysokim poziomie, nie jest ona zupełnie czytelna – przynajmniej na pierwszy rzut oka. Spowodowane jest to faktem, że model można zbudować w dwóch wersjach, „Upgraded” oraz „Night combat”, co skutkuje pewymi wykluczeniami oraz przeskokami pomiędzy etapami budowy. Dodatkowo schemat montażu zawiera punkty „Detail Up Option”, poświęcone elementom fototrawionym dostępnym do nabycia na osobnej blaszce ‘Extra Detail Set for JGSDF Type 61 Tank‘, zawierającej 28 części, które utrudniają odczyt instrukcji.



Podejrzewam jednak, że w czasie budowy, po nabraniu doświadczenia z takim rodzajem opisu, jaki prezentuje producent, złożenie zestawu nie będzie nastręczać trudności. Jak wspomniałem, to pierwszy model Fine Molds, jaki trafił na mój warsztat i muszę przyznać, że jest to zestaw o bardzo wysokiej jakości, charakterystycznej dla innych producentów z Kraju Kwitnącej Wiśni. Odlewy są bardzo dobre, ostre, praktycznie pozbawione nadlewek (kilka znalazłem), a delikatna faktura pancerza oraz wzór spawów cieszą oko. Dużym plusem są ażurowe elementy pokryw wentylacyjnych przedziału silnikowego – detal, który rzadko spotkamy u innego japońskiego producenta, firmy Tamiya. Ślady po wypychaczach są w niewidocznych miejscach, a jeśli komuś zależy, by pozbyć się ich pod błotnikami, nie powinien mieć trudności, gdyż są bardzo płytkie. Liczba elementów, z których składa się model, jest rozsądna – nie jest to sięgająca absurdu fragmentaryczność Dragona, ale jednocześnie dostaniemy trochę więcej niż we wspomnianych już modelach Tamiya. Nawet najmniejsze detale są bardzo czytelne, choć szczegółowość Browninga M2 0,50” pozostawia trochę do życzenia. Jeśli komuś zależy na uatrakcyjnieniu tej repliki, powinien pomyśleć o wymianie km-u na coś z oferty producentów żywicznych i metalowych akcesoriów. Nie najlepszym pomysłem jest także dołączenie do zestawu nylonowego sznureczka do wykonania liny holowniczej – wypadałoby dorzucić plecioną mosiężną linkę, jednak to dosyć typowe dla innych „Japończyków”. Kalkomania potrzebna do naniesienia oznaczeń właściwych dla 4 sugerowanych wzorów malowania także wydaje się reliktem ubiegłej dekady, porównując grubość kalek do wiodących producentów wodnych kalkomanii. Oczywiście zastosowanie błyszczącego lakieru pod kalki oraz dobrego płynu do ich aplikacji może zaowocować akceptowalnym efektem.



Reasumując – decydując się na budowę Type 61 czy to w wersji podstawowej czy po modernizacji, nie mamy lepszej alternatywy niż produkt Fine Molds. Inny model tego pojazdu wydany przez firmę Tamiya w 1993 r. z pewnością nie zadowoli wymagającego hobbysty. Nie ma co nawet silić się na ich porównywanie – modele te dzielą lata świetlne. Cena zestawu w Polsce nie należy do najniższych, a koszt odpowiadającej mu blaszki może nawet u największych pasjonatów spowodować cofnięcie ręki sięgającej po portfel. Jednakże jeśli ktoś poszukuje ciekawego i mało popularnego tematu do budowy miniatury, to produkt Fine Molds spełni jego oczekiwania. Sam bardzo chętnie zbuduję ten model, będzie on jednak musiał trochę poczekać na swoją kolej…