On completing the F4U-1D Corsair and Moto Tug, it was a natural progression to form a diorama of a carrier deck scene. I was delighted to find that Tamiya are producing a US Navy pilot set in their Military Miniatures 1/48 series. The box art is in colour, well drawn and makes for a good reference guide. The kit is supplied with two sprues. One contains the Moto-Tug, driver figure and a seated pilot. The remaining sprue contains five pilot figures and two deck crew. Each sprue is clear plastic wrapped. The figures matched the box art exactly. The instruction sheet is clear and easy to follow with Tamiya paint colour references. The Moto Tug was included with the Corsair kit and its construction is described as part of that diorama. Therefore this section deals with just the figures, and the Moto Tug was relegated to the spares box.
The Japan Air Self-Defence Force or J ASDF is the aviation branch of the Japanese Defence Forces and is responsible for the protection of Japanese airspace and other aerospace operations. The J ASDF carries out regular Combat Air Patrols around Japan, whilst also maintaining an extensive network of ground and air early warning radar systems. The JASDF also has its own aerobatic team, known as the 'Blue Impulse'. In recent times the JASDF has been involved in humanitarian and UN peacekeeping operations and operates 805 aircraft, 424 of which are classed as fighters. Before the formation of the JASDF after World War ll? Japan did not have a separate air force, as aviation operations were carried out by the Imperial Japanese Army Air Service, and the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service.