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Flamboyant Dragon Slayers
Kawasaki Ki-45 Toryu “Nick”


1/48 scale


Arawasi/Hobic Decals


S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number and Description: Arawasi/Hobic Decals 48003 - Flamboyant Dragon Slayers Kawasaki Ki-45 Toryu “Nick”
Scale: 1/48 (also available in 1/72)
Contents and Media: Decals and instructions
Price: USD$7.00 plus USD$1.00 postage from Arawasi Decals in Japan
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: Interesting subjects, well printed with good register.
Disadvantages: No plan view or right hand side illustrations for camouflage patterns; minimal information regarding colours.
Recommendation: Recommended

Reviewed by
Rodger Kelly

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“Flamboyant Dragon Slayers”is the latest release from the Japan-based Arawasi/Hobic Decals. 

Appropriately titled, the sheet provides markings for five Imperial Japanese Army Air Force Kawasaki Ki-45 KAIc Toryu (Dragon Killer) or “Nick” as it was dubbed by the United States Army Air Corps. 

The Ki-45 was a colourful beast that wore several distinct camouflage schemes and the options provided on the sheet illustrate four of them.  The individual aircraft are:

  • Ki-45 KAIc of the 25th Dokuritsu Hikôchûtai (Independent Flying Squadron) based at Shinkyo (Hsinking) airfield in Manchuria (now Changchun, China) in August of 1945.  The machine is painted in light green upper surfaces with dark green mottling over grey/green undersides.

  • Ki-45 KAIc of the 1st Chûtai, 27th Sentai.  This machine was based at Los Negros in the Philippines in September 1944 and was flown by Major Gotô Kiyotoshi, the unit’s Commanding Officer.  Camouflage finish is listed as overall dark red-brown (for night operations) with grey/green on the undersides of the wings and horizontal stabilisers.

  • Ki-45 KAIc of the 2 nd Chûtai, 45th Sentai.  Flown by 1st Lieutenant Kurokawa Noboru and based at Nyutabaru airfield in the Yamaguchi Prefecture, in April 1945.  This option is finished in what has been dubbed “veining” camouflage of overall grey/green with dark green blotching.

  • Ki-45 KAIc of the 1st Sentai Kaitentai (Fate Reversing Unit), 4th Sentai flown by 2nd Lieutenant Yamamoto Miosaburô from Ozuki airfield in the Yamaguchi Prefecture in April, 1945.  Camouflage finish is overall grey/green with dark green blotching.

  • Ki-45 KAIc of the 3rd Shinten Seikutai (Heavan-Shaking Air Superiority Unit), 53rd Senati based at Matsudo airfield in the Chiba Prefecture in early 1945.  This machine is also finished in “veining” camouflage of overall grey/green with dark green blotching.  Should you opt for this one, you will have to carry out minor modifications to the kit as the one-to-one-scale machine was converted into what was literally a flying bomb by packing it with explosives, fairing the rear cockpit, and removing the guns for use in ramming B-29s in the air.


Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:


Arawasi/Hobic decals are printed by Aviprint in the Czech Republic.  The decals are very, very thin, in perfect register and have an absolute minimum of film surrounding each subject.   Two sheets are provided.  The first sheet carries all of the designs in white only so as you can apply the coloured ones over the top of them to stop the camouflage colours bleeding through.  Aviprint decals really are good but due to their thinness, you must use plenty of water to float them into position to guard against them splitting.  Once there though a thin application of settling solution will see them melt into the surface detail beautifully. 

The placement guide is A-4 in size.  It is printed on glossy paper on both sides and carries full colour left-hand side views of each machine, upper surface plan views of the two different machines, one with the mottling finish and one with the “veining” finish and a single underside plan view.  As with their Ki-27 sheet, there is no right hand side profile of the camouflaged machines to show the camouflage pattern. 

No colour reference is listed at all (apart from the colour profiles) so you will have to do some research on these colours from other sources if you are not familiar with the colours used by the Imperial Japanese Army Air Force.  A visit to www.j-aircraft.com will help you out here.  I note that the latest issue of Arawasi International magazine contains an article on this sheet.  The article is excellent and contains far more information on the options than is printed on the placement guide including colour information.  I don’t think that I would be alone in thinking that the captions to the profiles in the magazine could have been printed into the placement guide. 

With regard to packaging, Arawasi has done away with the cellophane bag with the gummed edge on the flap in favour of a clear plastic zip-loc bag – thank you! 

If you are a fan of the Imperial Japanese Army Air Force you will find this is an excellent product from Arawasi/Hobic decals.  It provides decals for five Ki-45s three of which I have not seen in decal format before. 



The suggested kit is the old Nichimo one, the only Ki-45 in 1/48 scale that I know of.  Don’t be put off by its age as it really is an excellent kit.  Sure, it lacks comprehensive interior detail but this can be easily rectified with a little scratch building or, if your are a resin addict, with a cockpit  interior set http://www.lonestarmodels.com/products/lsm0258.html and wheel well set http://www.lonestarmodels.com/products/lsm0259.html from Mike West of Lone Star Models.

Thanks to Arawasi Decals for the review samples

Arawasi Decals are available online from their website

Review Copyright © 2007 by Rodger Kelly
Page Created 23 July, 2007
Last updated 24 December, 2007

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