Mitsubishi Ki-51 Sonia
Wingsy Kits, 1/48 scale
S u m m a r y
||Wingsy Kits Item No. D5-05 - IJA Type 99 Army Assault Plane Ki-51 Sonia
|Contents and Media:
||167 parts in grey injection moulded plastic; 17 clear parts; 59 photo-etched metal parts; one die-cut self-adhesive canopy masking sheet; markings for four aircraft.
EU Price (GBP £34.50 Export Price) plus shipping available online from Hannants
and specialist hobby shops worldwide
||Crisp and fine surface textures; high level of detail; excellent moulding quality.
Wingsy's 1/48 scale IJA Type 99 Army Assault Plane Ki-51 Sonia is a quality kit with impressive surface textures, a high level of detail and useful options. Even if you are not a fan of early-war IJA light bombers, this is definitely worth a look. It might just turn your head!.
by Brett Green
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The Mitsubishi Ki-51 (Army designation "Type 99 Assault Plane". Allied nickname "Sonia") was a light bomber/dive bomber in service with the Imperial Japanese Army during World War II. It first flew in mid-1939.
Initially deployed against Chinese forces, it proved to be too slow to hold up against the fighter aircraft of the other Allied powers. However, it performed a useful ground-attack role in the China-Burma-India theater, notably from airfields too rough for many other aircraft.
As the war drew to a close, the Japanese began using them in kamikaze attacks.
Total production was around 2,385 units. On the day Hiroshima was destroyed by an atomic bomb, two Ki-51s were responsible for the last Japanese sinking of a US warship, sinking USS Bullhead (SS-332) with all hands.
Charles Lindbergh, flying a P-38 Lightning, shot down a Ki-51.*
Wingsy Kits is a Ukranian model company and a relative newcomer to the market, with their first releases being the 1/48 scale A5M Claude family in 2018.
This was followed up with their initial IJA Type 99 Army Assault Plane Ki-51 Sonia last year.
Wingsy Kits has now released a second Sonia boxing - 1/48 scale kit no. D5-05 - IJA Type 99 Army Assault Plane Ki-51 Sonia. As far as I can tell, the sprues are identical and there are four new marking options.
Wingsy's 1/48 scale Ki-51 Sonia comprises 167 parts in grey injection moulded plastic, 17 clear parts, 59 photo-etched metal parts, one die-cut self-adhesive canopy masking sheet and new markings for four aircraft..
The first thing you'll notice when you examine the contents of the stout cardboard box is the fine and intricate surface textures. Panel lines are finely recessed, and complementary rows and columns of rivets are subtly done.
I cannot find any sink marks or ejector pin circles on any visible surfaces.
The parts are attached to the sprues with reasonably fine attachment points.
Detail parts are equally impressive, with a complete cockpit supplemented with photo-etched harness straps, instrument panel and more. A decal overlay is supplied for the instrument panel.
The engine is also highly detailed, with push rods on two hemispherical parts, exhaust and manifolds on a third part and a two rows of cylinders.
The clear parts include different parts for open or closed configuration.
The white self-adhesive canopy masks are a nice touch on this intricate glasshouse.
Options include three different styles of underwing bombs and racks. Three alternative spinners are supplied too.
Assembly looks pretty straightforward although some of the fine photo-etched parts will require care when handling and gluing. The instructions are well illustrated.
Markings are supplied for four aircraft:
IJA Type 99 assault/recon. plane Ki-51, 44th Hikosentai, China 1942. Finished in an overall pale scheme of IJA Grey Green with large white bandages on the wings. yellow and white tail markingd and a narrow white fuselage band.
IJA Type 99 assault/recon. plane Ki-51, 83th Chutai, Borneo 1945. Finished in a two-tone scheme of IJA Green upper and IJA Grey Green lower surfaces. The lower wheel fairings are not fitted. Later on, this aircraft was captured by the RAAF and occupation markings were painted on the tail and fuselage (those markings are not included).
IJA Type 99 assault/recon. plane Ki-51, 64th Shinbutai, Kyushu 1945. Mottle of IJA Green over IJA Grey Green.
IJA Type 99 assault/recon. plane Ki-51, 64th Shinbutai, Kyushu 1945. Finished in a two-tone scheme of IJA Green upper and IJA Grey Green lower surfaces. Canopy frames are IJA Grey Green.
The decal sheet does not indicate who printed them (they are simply labelled Wingsy Kits) but they are flat, in register with thin surrounding film and satin in finish.
In common with thir original Sonia release, Wingsy's 1/48 scale IJA Type 99 Army Assault Plane Ki-51 is a quality kit with impressive surface textures, a high level of detail and useful options.
I think the new marking options are even more interesting than the last too.
Even if you are not a fan of early-war IJA light bombers, this is definitely worth a look. It might just turn your head!
* Historical summary adapted from Wikipedia
Thanks to Wingsy Kits for the samples
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Page Created 27 February, 2020
1 March, 2020
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