1/48 Hasegawa Kawasaki Ki-61 Hien “Tony” flown by Major Kobayashi, Commander 244th Sentai
I have been anxiously awaiting the arrival of the new 1/48 scale Tamiya Ki-61. To me, the Ki-61 Hien “Tony” is one of the most graceful looking Japanese WW2 planes.
I purchased the new Tamiya kit from a hobby shop in Japan and hopefully it should arrive in a few days. When it does I’ll post some photos of it and possibly do a kit review here on Imodeler. It’s supposed to have and additional half of one side of the fuselage molded in clear styrene. This will give you the option of building the model as a “see through” plane or a typical build as seen here.
Meanwhile, this is a Hasegawa plane that I built way back when the kit was first released. It builds into a really nice plane. I don’t remember any problems during the build. Unfortunately I didn’t really take the time back then to pay special attention to the seams. If you look close you can see this in some photos.
Much has been written about the exploits of the 244th Sentai. Their mission was the Homeland Defense of Japan, and their goal was to intercept high flying B-29’s. Once they reached the altitude (normally above 30,000 feet) where the B-29’s flew, they were to destroy them using any means available, since not many Japanese aircraft available during this time were capable of intercepting the B-29’s at this height. For some this meant a ramming attack.
I built this kit strictly out of the box. When I built this model I wasn’t aware of the differences between the “Hei” and the “Tei” versions. I was drawn to the Shamrock clover leaf on the side of the fuselage. I mixed this shade of greenish brown using Model Master enamels. The finished model photograph on the side of the box was used as a guide for color. The underside was finished in Bare metal foil. I sprayed on the leading edge yellow IDFF (Identification Friend / Foe) markings.
I recently picked up several books on the Ki-61, and will be using them as a reference for the new Tamiya kit.
I’m going to post up another article on the Ki-61 in a few…
As usual, comments are encouraged.
Thanks for looking.
20 additional images. Click to enlarge.