I just received from forumite Skinner67 the Val with the orange fuselage. I'll get into how this plane, and its rude color, was described by a Japanese pilot /witness later in this thread. I'll also post model photos soon.
The model is one of two produced by SkyMax with the olive gray color that Japanese aircraft researchers provided to the manufacturer at the start of this model's production. A nice example of paint accuracy.
To date, SkyMax has only issued SM5003 and SM5002 in this color. I am happy to say I own both.
Detailed review is to come. I have read info that Shokaku Vals had different landing gear spats. I'll look into this.
A fine model, we'll compare the differences and similarities with the sister ship in a future post!
Got it at a Warmaster's price when RMS "DHP" was still cruising the seas.... never posted a review though... but™ happy with it in my jap section... (would be glad to get more later)... Can t wait for the review and history ; have you found evidence about the anti-rust paint said to have been used???..
I got this one on eBay for $50 NIB. This is my favorite Val. Wasn't it painted this color as an "assembly ship" so everyone else knew were to fall in line for formation?
In a world of broken links, malicious sites, and old information, it's taking a bit to find the latest known facts. Still looking.
I don't know if Val pilots at this point in time needed assembly ships, I think their training and China War experience didn't require the wild painting. I'd believe an aggressive / assertive pilot - crew painted the plane gaudily, vs. assembly ship.
If Mr. Aikens's links weren't bad, I'd know more. He posted all his information on a "Multiply" site that no longer recognizes the links he imbedded in the HyperScale post.
And I blame HyprScale too, for having a 1996-era style of thread, where every post sinks to the bottom and discussions can't be continuous. Lost information and repetitive requests are the result.
Funnily enough, the Osprey Combat Aircraft #63 book AICHI 99 KANBAKU VAL UNITS 1937-42 not only depicts Takahashi's Val without the orange, but the cover of the book shows the plain Val (Takahashi's) making her dive on Pearl. Published in 2011.
I put the question out on a few forums and there are two opinions from experts. One opinion is the lead Pearl Harbor Vals were painted in garish schemes for visual recognition, as MH3 forumite uscgmk2 suggested in this thread. The other opinion, which is published in the Osprey book on page 93, is that the Vals' appearance did not deviate from standard markings.
Both points of view cite specific and detailed Japanese witnesses and accounts.
There you have it, welcome to WWII paint and markings.
I will therefore fully embrace my SkyMax bitter-orange Val, which by one account was nicknamed doraneko, translating to wildcat or alley cat. She's part of the lore and mystery of the day.