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Ki-45 Kai Ko/Hei Toryu (Nick) Kit

Zoukei-Mura Inc. 1/32 Ki-45 Kai Ko/Hei Toryu (Nick) Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review October 2019 Manufacturer Zoukei-Mura Inc.
Subject Ki-45 Kai Ko/Hei Toryu (Nick) Scale 1/32
Kit Number 32014 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Beautiful molding, excellent detail Cons Nothing noted
Skill Level Experienced MSRP (USD) $140.00

First Look

Ki-45 Kai Ko/Hei Toryu (Nick) Kit
Ki-45 Kai Ko/Hei Toryu (Nick) Kit
Ki-45 Kai Ko/Hei Toryu (Nick) Kit
Ki-45 Kai Ko/Hei Toryu (Nick) Kit
Ki-45 Kai Ko/Hei Toryu (Nick) Kit
Ki-45 Kai Ko/Hei Toryu (Nick) Kit
Ki-45 Kai Ko/Hei Toryu (Nick) Kit
Ki-45 Kai Ko/Hei Toryu (Nick) Kit
Ki-45 Kai Ko/Hei Toryu (Nick) Kit
Ki-45 Kai Ko/Hei Toryu (Nick) Kit

During the late 1930s, the Imperial Japanese Army (IJA) had noted the rise of twin-engined heavy fighters like the Bf 110 and sought a similar capability. Kawasaki developed the Ki 38 design which was approved for construction as the Ki 45. The initial prototypes were not successful due to the underpowered Ha 20 engines and a few aerodynamic errors. The airframe was revised and the engines were later replaced with the Ha-102, and the IJA approved the aircraft for service as the Ki-45 Kai Type 2 fighter and received the allied codename of Nick. In service, like the Bf 110 in Europe, the Ki-45 was no match for single-engined fighters and was pressed into service in air-to-ground combat and later as a bomber interceptor.

Zoukei-Mura Inc. first announced the Ki 45 project along with another twin-engined design, the Hs 129 several years ago. They released the first Ki-45 last year with the long-nosed Tei and Hei-Tei versions, and here is the short-nosed kit with options for the Ko and Hei versions. The box is large and for good reason, there is a lot of plastic inside. As you can see in the images to the right, there is almost two kits inside the box with five parts trees provided in gray styrene and again in frosted clear. With all of the internal details provided in this kit, you have the option of using some or all of the clear parts to reveal the impressive engineering inside the airframe. The kit consists of 18 parts trees molded in gray styrene and another seven parts trees in clear.

Again the kit is molded in a constant gray and clear styrene for a total of twelve parts trees. Two are for each of the beautifully reproduced Daimler-Benz 603 engines. Clear parts are crisp and thin throughout with the main airframe parts following in the lines of ZM’s Ho 229. Kit features:

  • Beautifully detailed front and rear cockpits
  • Choice of opaque or clear instrument panels for both versions
  • Positionable canopies
  • Two nicely detailed Ha 102 engines
  • Positionable ailerons
  • Positionable flaps
  • Positionable rudder & elevators
  • Positionable engine covers
  • Nice structural detail in wings and airframe that can be viewed
  • Fine detail throughout all moldings
  • Optional external fuel tanks

ZM provides markings for two examples:

  • Ki-45 Kai Ko, 2nd Sqn/4th Sentai, as flown by 1st Lt. Isamu Kashiide
  • Ki-45 Kai Hei, 2nd Sqn, 4th Sentai, as flown by 2nd Lt. Sadamitsu Kimura

Decals are Cartograf and are provided on one sheet with optional control panel and various stencils.

When I say beautifully detailed cockpits, there are 11 pages that cover all of the panels, controls, plumbing, flight control linkages, fuel cell between the cockpits, and much more.

This kit is not for beginners as you'll see that some of the parts are quite delicate. Note how thin the one-piece aileron control linkage that spans the full wing of the model. That is some very impressive mold engineering to be able to render such parts.

The instructions are Zoukei-Mura's usual high-quality printed using CAD drawings with color images to illustrate the appearance of each subassembly after painting. The instructions are Zoukei-Mura's usual high-quality printed using CAD drawings with color images to illustrate the appearance of each subassembly after painting. The paint call-outs are all using Vallejo colors as well as Mr.Color, but you can find other paint options below.

This is a very impressive kit and getting past the shock and awe of the duplicate clear parts trees in the box, this model provides quite a few options for showing off its details. As with previous kits from Zoukei-Mura, there are optional details available for this kit from this company, including flight crew figures, resin wheels, photo-etched cockpit details, metal landing gear struts, display bases, and more.

I'm looking forward to building this beauty (once I get caught up on the backlog) and I'll have to look online for the video series that cover the nightfighter version of this aircraft. I think it was called "Nick at Night"...

Here is a list of paints Zoukei-Mura identifies for use with this kit:

 
AMMO
AV
GSI
HAT
LC
MIS
MRP
TAM
TES
XTRA
IJA Gray
 
71.321
C128
 
UA124
 
 
 
 
 
Dark Green
Kawasaki
 
 
C130
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Red-Brown
Propeller
 
71.040
C131
 
 
MMP115
 
TS01
XF64
 
 
Olive Drab
0240
71.016
C304
H304
A018
C018
UA222
MMP025
138
AS06
1711
X111
Orange Yellow
0039
71.130
C058
H024
N024
 
 
 
 
 
2118
 
White
0050
71.001
C001
H001
N001
A528
C528
LC001
MMP001
004
LP02
X02
1745
 
RLM Gray
0217
71.044
C060
H070
N070
A023
C023
UA504
MMP056
050
XF22
2071
X201
XA1201
Khaki Drill
 
 
C055
H081
N081
 
 
 
 
XF49
 
 
Flat Black
0046
71.057
C033
H012
N012
A041
C041
LC002
 
020
LP03
XF01
1749
 
Silver
0195
71.062
C008
H008
N008
A003
C003
LC074
MMM006
128
LP11
X11
 
X038
Steel
0191
71.065
C028
H018
N018
 
 
MMM002
030
X10
1780
X502
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Gold
0198
71.066
C009
H009
N009
 
LC025
MMC003
153
LP62
X12
1744
X507
Red
0049
71.003
C114
H414
 
 
 
052
XF07
2073
X217
XA1217
Middle Stone
 
71.031
C021
H071
N071
A013
C013
 
MMP076
121
TS46
2052
X009
XA1009
Clear Red
 
70.934
C047
H090
N090
 
 
 
266
LP72
X27
 
 
Clear Blue
 
70.938
C050
H093
N093
 
 
 
267
LP68
X23
 
 

My sincere thanks to  Zoukei-Mura Inc. for this review sample!

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