Many modellers look for something different - a special plane which is not covered by mainstream kit producers or the cottage industry. One such "forgotten" plane in 1/48th scale is the final version of Tony with in-line engine, Ki-61-II kai.
I've been thinking about this version since 1996 when I had bought the old Otaki Ki-61-I and Ki-100 on sale. As the details in the Otaki kits are very poor, I also bought a third kit from Hasegawa. The cockpit detail set and a resin DB-601 (I didn't use that engine in the end) come from Aires. Eduard photo etched parts were also useful for Ki-100, including the flaps.
The Aires cockpit fits well with the fuselage with little sanding.
From Hasegawa kit I used the radiator, complete undercarriage, wing racks, fuel tanks, upper engine cowling and a pitot tube. I used the original Hasegawa wheel wells as a master and made my own resin copy, then replaced the poor ones in the Otaki Ki-61-1 wing.
I used the bad old Otaki kit because of the rivets, which I needed to help me simulate the rippled effect on the aircraft skin. I have added some rivets on the wings, then each line of rivets was scraped and polished to resemble stressed metal skin (following istructions in Feb 1994 FSM by D. Garsonnin).
At this point the most tedious work has been done.
By comparison, painting with Aeromaster Kawasaki Green and MM Metalizers (undersurfaces) was a relief, as was weathering with chalk pastels.
The decals came partly from the Otaki and Hasegawa boxes, the Hinomarus on the wings were airbrushed.
My first (and probably the last when I take into account the awful amount of work) attempt for an unusual conversion. It has spent much of my money and time, but the result is a nice rare Japanese bird.
Model and Description Copyright © 2000 by Jaroslav