Hasegawa 1/48 Ki-61-I Tei Type 3 Hien (Tony) and Type 95 Small Sedan Kurogane 244th Flight Regiment Build Review
By Larry Horyna
|Date of Review||June 2016||Manufacturer||Hasegawa|
|Subject||Ki-61-I Tei Type 3 Hien (Tony) and Type 95 Small Sedan Kurogane 244th Flight Regiment||Scale||1/48|
|Kit Number||07404||Primary Media||Styrene, Resin|
|Pros||Nice vignette in one box||Cons||See text|
|Skill Level||Experienced||MSRP (USD)||$54.99|
Undoubtedly the kings of re-boxing with new markings, Hasegawa recently issued its 1/48 Kawasaki Ki-61 Tei Type 3 Army fighter with more than different decals. This is basically a vignette in a box (except for a base). Even though they have already boxed this kit with markings for the 244th Sentai (probably the most famous and most photographed Sentai in the Imperial Japanese Army Air Force), most notably airplanes flown by the Sentai's famous commander, Teruhiko Kobayashi, the markings are not a simple repeat of the earlier 244th Sentai boxing. This boxing includes a figure of Kobayashi and a Type 95 Kurogane staff car. The markings in the kit have two of Kobayashi's airplanes and another flown by Lt. Chuichi Ichikawa, also of the 244th Sentai.
Hasegawa has previously boxed the little Kurogane with a Type 97 motorcycle and sidecar as well as another boxing with a Isuzu Type 97 truck. Having built the Pit Road 1/35 Kurogane I can tell you Hasegawa's 1/48 version easily rivals the 1/35 offering in detail and parts count. The car was a simple, straight forward build which had no fit issues for me. I painted the kit with Tamiya XF-49 Khaki lightened slightly with XF-60 Dark Yellow. The canvas top is cast in clear plastic. I masked the windows with liquid latex mask and painted it with straight XF-60 Dark Yellow. The underside was given a spraying of thinned XF-1 mixed with XF-10 Flat Brown for a dirty, greasy look. Decals were provided for the instruments and license plate and they went down without a glitch.
The resin figure included is a very nice casting suitable to go with any Japanese Army Air Force subject. It looks like a small version of the metal figure they included in their 1/32 Ki-61 Hei kit. Comprised of four parts; body, head and arms, the figure required very little clean up and went together without the need for any filler. I typically primer my figures with flat white followed by a base coat of lightened Tamiya flesh on any exposed skin. The rest is brush painted using Vallejo Model Color acrylics. As a final touch, the goggles were given a final coat of Future floor polish.
Tamiya's excellent Ki-61 kit was a pleasure to build, especially out of the box. The only thing I had to adjust on the fit was to put some plastic stock shims under the wing roots to push them up just a hair so I would not have a step at the wing root joint. Everything else went together with no problems at all. The overall paint is a 50/50 mix of Tamiya flat white and flat aluminum for an oxidized metal look. The ailerons were painted with a lightened mix of XF-76 grey-green. Many Ki-61s had their fabric surfaces painted in a silver dope but I like the little splash of color use the grey-green.
The kit decals went down great with just a little Micro Sol. The only decal that I could not get to work well was the compound curve section that covers the oil cooling intake on the port side of the fuselage. The decal just didn't want to conform evenly, even after a few coats of Solvaset. I ended up scraping the wrinkled up areas off and painting it.
My only complaint about the decals is purely personal preference in that I didn't care for the shade of red for the Hinomaru and fuselage striping. I think it's a little light. I usually like the shade of Tamiya's XF-7 Flat Red for these markings. The tail was painted with this color and you tell that it's a little darker. I did not use the leading edge decals as I have never had them look good on any Japanese aircraft kit. I always mask and paint them.
Because the kit decals had some great stenciling and they went down so well, I opted for an alternate scheme of Kobayashi's that did not have the green splotches. I just couldn't cover up all that stenciling! On the real aircraft, most of the stenciling was over painted by the ground crews with the splotches. If you look closely at photos of Ki-61s painted with the green splotches you will notice not only runs in the green paint but in many instances the Hinomaru and other unit markings have green overspray on them. I think the resultant scheme without the green is very striking and one you don't see as often.
The only details I added to the airplane were brake lines from fine solder wire and tubing in the wing gun holes to represent the wing guns. I drilled out the cowl guns and venturi on the port side of the fuselage. The antenna is made from Uschi van der Rosten standard size elastic line. I also slightly sanded the bottom of the tires to represent a little weight on the wheels.
The base is a printed concrete revetment I got from the internet. I mounted it to a piece of foam board with spray adhesive and trimmed the edges. It was a quick, simple but effective base for this little vignette.
This was a very enjoyable building project and I would highly recommend it, especially to anyone with an interest in airfield dioramas.
My sincere thanks to Hasegawa USA for this review sample!