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Mansyu Ki-98

Meng 1/72 Mansyu Ki-98 Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review July 2012 Manufacturer Meng
Subject Mansyu Ki-98 Scale 1/72
Kit Number DS002 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Interesting subject Cons See text
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $32.95

First Look

Mansyu
Mansyu
Mansyu

From the instructions: Ki-98 was a Japanese piston-engined ground-attack aircraft designed during the late period of World War II. It was manufactured by Mansyu (Manchurian Aeroplane Manufacturing Company, Ltd.) in Manchuria with length of 11.4m, wingspan of 11.26m, height of 4.29m and empty weight of 3,500 kg. The fuselage was based on Japanese Navy X-series fighter Shinden and the aerodynamic force layout imitated American fighter aircraft P-38 Lightning. The aircraft had a retractable tricycle landing gear and power was to be provided by a turbo-supercharged 2,200 Mitsubishi Ha-211 Ru radial engine, making maximum speed reach up to 710 km/h. The armament includes a 37mm cannon and two 20mm cannon. When the war came to an end, the incomplete Ki-98 prototype and its documentation and drawings were destroyed by Japanese forces.

Meng is a model company based in Hong Kong, China and has already released an interesting range of kits for subjects that have never been produced in plastic before. This is their second aircraft release in 1/72 scale and like the first, this is an interesting subject that never got off the ground.

The kit is molded in light gray styrene and presented on two parts trees plus a small clear tree. Given the more complex layout of the Ki-98, this kit takes a little more work than the first release, but you can see the P-38 twin-boom layout that will make this pusher-powered fighter look quite distinctive on your scale flight line.

Among the features and options in this kit:

  • Nice cockpit detailing
  • Once-piece canopy/windscreen does not allow for open cockpit display
  • Positionable landing gear
  • Distinctive gun armament in nose

Since the aircraft never flew, the three subjects offered here are notional:

  • Ki-98, Imperial Japanese Army, end of 1945
  • Ki-98, Manchukuo Air Force, end of 1945
  • Ki-98, Royal Thai Air Force, end of 1945

This kit appears to be the first to be produced in plastic though it was previously released as a resin kit by A+V Models around seven years ago. This kit is nicely laid out and will definitely build into an eye-catching subject for your shelf or contest table.

My sincere thanks to Stevens International for this review sample!

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