Just before 08:00 on Saturday, 7 December 1941 the Imperial Japanese Navy launched a surprise attack on the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. This was intended to prevent the American fleet from intervening in the actions that Japan had planned in Southeast Asia. The unexpected attack shocked American society and made the so-called ‘Sleeping Giant’ immediately enter the war, as Hitler also declared war on the United States four days after the attack on Pearl Harbor.
Japanese pilots, both naval and airforce, played a crucial role in the war against America and her allies. They were well known for both their skill and for their strict sense of martial honor. Yet their dominance was short-lived. Between 4 and 7 June 1942, just six months after Pearl Harbor, the Imperial Japanese Navy was dealt a major defeat in the largest naval engagement of the war at the Battle of Midway. A Japanese carrier fleet aimed to deliver a decisive blow to the US fleet, but Japanese hubris and the fact that the Americans had intercepted and deciphered the Japanese plans put pay to this. The aerial attacks on the American base on Midway Island failed and soon the Japanese fleet was under attack by American carrier-borne aircraft. Four of the six Japanese carriers that had attacked Pearl Harbor were sunk at Midway (along with the heavy cruiser Mikuma), for the loss of the American carrier USS Yorktown and the destroyer USS Hammann. In many ways Midway was the turning point in the war in the Pacific and allowed the US to prevent further Japanese expansion and begin, with the Battle of Guadalcanal which begun two month later, to recapture those islands that had fallen to the Japanese earlier that year.
Abteilung 502, part of the Spanish company AK Interactive group and perhaps best known for its range of oil paints designed for modelers has recently released a new range of large-scale (1/10) historical busts, concentrating on characters from World War II. They are made of high-quality resin using 3Dprinting technology. Their pilot is beautifully sculpted and printed and comprises seven pieces: head, two arms, torso, handkerchief, and two swords (one with a carved saya and the other without ornament). The pieces have a male/female system that facilitates their assembly without having to add reinforcements in the way of pins, while the joins are done in an intelligent way, hiding the joints very effectively. The bust, once assembled, presents a very dynamic and attractive prospect for painters and collectors alike.
I always approach priming a figure in two steps. First, I spray the entire figure with Black Primer (AK757). I use the airbrush and spray it cut 1:1 with Thinner (AK470). The second step is to sketch out the areas where the light will fall. To do this, using White (AK11001), I airbrushed the paint from the direction from which the imaginary light source is coming from. In this case, the light comes from above in what is known as ‘zenithal lighting’. it will be a zenith lighting, that is, the light comes from above. You can see the result in photo 1.
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