Welcome to the Free Time Hobbies Workbench. Here you can find great builds and techniques from around the web. We highlight different model builders to show you cool models and how you can do it yourself!
In the frantic final months of World War II, the Japanese military turned to suicide aircraft to defend against the American forces’ island-hopping campaign. A young Japanese Navy Ensign submitted his plans for a new rocket-guided suicide attack aircraft as part of that effort.
Over 755 Ohka Kamikaze planes would be built. Most were designed to be attached to the bottom of “Betty” bombers. Essentially just a 2,600 lb. bomb with wooden wings and three rockets, the Ohka would release from the bomber within 20 nautical miles of its target.
From there, rockets fired all at once or one at a time would guide the craft into targets at speeds of up to 620 MPH. The Ohka would never become a very effective weapon system, having sunk or damaged only seven U.S. ships.
His decision to show one Ohka without the nose cone allows us to get a good look at the warhead. It is a humbling reminder of the aircraft’s purpose.
The scattering of rusty barrels, buckets, and equipment add important details to the build.
TOOLS OF THE TRADE
He used insulation foam board to create the base. This is my “go-to” material for base building. Cutting and shaping this material is made simple with a hot-wire foam cutter or sharp blade. You can pick it up at your local hardware store in 2’x2’ sheets for cheap.
The foam is easily sanded, lightweight, and tough! Once shaped, you can add sand, grout, putty, dirt, or whatever kind of ground texturing you need. It doesn’t suck up moisture like a wooden base, so you don’t have to worry about warping.
To make the coniferous trees, he glued sawdust to wooden dowels before painting them. Asparagus leaves from a florist fill out the trunk as branches. This is one technique that is going on my list to try out! His method is very convincing!
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