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IJN Soryu - Bill Waldorf
Part 8 - Aircraft Construction

Hello again fellow modelers!

Now that Soryu is completed and at the Patriot Points Museum in South Carolina on permanent display, I have a chance to send more photos. This time I'll review the aircraft aspect of the ship. I used kits from Minicraft and Arii of Japan in the 1/144 scale. Towards the last part of this new article I'll go over the kits, but first ,let's check 'em out on deck!! 

An overhead view of the flightdeck by the aft elevator showing the "Val" dive bombers. Note the panel details on these particular kits are pretty good, as were the decals. There are a total of 9 "Vals" on deck. Blue fuselage bands were taped off and airbrushed while the yellow leading edges of the wings were done by hand.

Another view of the "Vals" from pt. side of the flightdeck. Note the dive flaps and bombs. Tail codes are N scale model RR decals and were all applied individually and in sequence. The "Vals are an Arii kit.

Another pic from portside showing the A6M2 Zeros. Note drop-tanks. I added the radio antenna in the rear of the cockpit as it does not come with the kit. This is a Minicraft kit from Japan. Note tail codes in red here.
Different angle on the Zeros from Pt. side again.
Good shot of the flightdeck from Pt. side aft. showing Vals and Zeros. Canopy bracing on all a/c was done by hand. A tedious effort at best!
Another view of the Val dive bomber. I didn't care for the clear canopies or the radio antenna. Both are too thick and the canopy is not correct. Wish I still had my Mattel Vac-U-Form. It was a great little device. I would have made my own parts if I still had the machine. Those of you out there who have been at it for a while, like me, will remember the
Nice shot of a Zero from Pt. side. This is a Minicrft kit and  is a little better than the Arii kits of the Val and Kate aircraft. Note drop tanks.
Another shot of the Zeros looking aft from front of flightdeck. Scroll down to the bottom of the picture and you can see one of the barrier arms. Made from p/e railings.
Shot of the only C6N1 "Myrt" recon plane, also an Arii kit. The parts on this one are a little better.
A view from stb. side of one of the B5N2 "Kate" torpedo bombers. Canopy framing is hand painted as are all the a/c models. Note torpedo, locked and loaded!!
Here's the kit of the Val.
Here's a Val model out of the box assembled minus the bombs and dive flaps. Note the gap between the wing and fuselage. I had to address the problem by filling the gap with putty. This problem holds true on all the kits. A moderate amount of sanding and filling all over the small kits.
Here's the Minicraft Model of the Zero. A nice little kit.
Here's the parts layout for the Zero's. Only thing not shown in the photo is the clear canopy. The kit is ok but needs a little TLC as do all of them. This is the best out of the four.
Here's the Kate torpedo bomber kit.
The parts layout again for the Kate. A little more flash was encountered here than on the Minicraft Zero kits. The torpedo is well defined. I did not like the clear canopy parts on any of these kits. Oh well!.


Well, there's a short review on the aircraft assembly. Hope you all enjoyed! Last part of this article coming soon, Delivery to the Patriots Point Museum in Charleston, South Carolina, USA. Stay tuned!!

Any questions anyone has or if I can be of any assistance, please feel free to e-mail me at

Bill Waldorf
Lowell, Michigan, 49331

Photographs: © Bill Waldorf