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Louis Gardner
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Review: Tamiya #61115 1/48 scale Ki-61 Hien (Tony) kit review

February 9, 2017 · in Reviews · · 26 · 4.1K
This article is part of a series:
  1. Tamiya #61115 1/48 scale Ki-61 Hien (Tony) kit review
  2. 1/48 ICM 48261 Heinkel He-111 H-3 Kit Review… and it’s a beauty!
  3. Tamiya 1/48 Ki-61 Hien “Tony” 244th Sentai 1945, covered using Bare Metal Foil

Earlier this afternoon my arrived.

Here's a photo of the box end...

Needless to say, I am very excited about it!

This new kit can be summed up in one word. FANTASTIC! has produced another scale masterpiece.

As promised here is a kit review: I took photos of the plastic parts as they arrived in separate plastic bags packaged for shipment.

Clear fuselage half:

Wings and other various bits...

Fuselage plastic tree

Engine plastic, Clear parts and poly caps... all individually bagged.

Even the canopy masks were separately packaged...

This is a nice touch that I wish other manufacturers would do. It helps to avoid scratches on the plastic parts, and also helps to prevent parts loss if a piece would inadvertently fall off the sprue.

Once I removed the parts from these bags, I took photos of both sides of the parts tree, so you can better see all of the details.

This is the engine parts tree.

The parts look to be very crisp and clean, which is a typical Tamiya quality trademark that you come to expect from this manufacturer. Here's a picture of the wing plastic sprue.

If the fit of the parts are as nice as the finish is, then we will have a first place winner for sure.
The fuselage and various cockpit parts tree...

Having built many Tamiya kits, I'm sure the fit will be spot on, (unless I somehow manage to mess it up...). The panel lines do not appear to be too deep or too shallow. They look just right to me.

The trailing edges of the rudder and stabilizer look nice and thin. The edges of the wing appears this way too. The lower section of the wing is molded as one piece, and should help to ensure that you get the proper dihedral angle when you assemble the wing to the fuselage. The ailerons and elevators are molded in place. A separate rudder is provided. A nice seated pilot figure is included as well.

There is a lot of fine details packed into each part. One really neat part that will give you the option to super detail your "Hien", (if you decide to do so), is the separate "Port Side" half of the fuselage that is molded in clear.

Personally, I don't think I will build mine using this part, but at least you have options. Since we are talking about the subject of clear parts, the clear canopy sprue is excellent as well.

Two separate canopies are included, with one multi piece set for an open canopy build, and another set that is molded in one piece that nicely depicts the canopy in the closed position.

Another nice touch is a set of canopy masks that are included with the kit.

The instructions appear to be well laid out.

I didn't take the time to study the actual assembly sequence though. If you want to look at the instructions for yourself, I have included photos showing every page.

There is a nice description included on how the plane was developed,

and what the differences are between the different versions.

There is another nice addition in this model, (that you sometimes find with other Tamiya aircraft kits), and that is a 1/48 scale full sized painting and marking guide. I took a few pictures showing how the kit parts fit the size of the guide by simply placing the parts over the guide, then photographing the guide.

The parts actually fit better over the markings guide than how they look in the pictures.

The angle of my somewhat poor camera phone photography induced the minor variations that are visible in my pictures.

The decals look to be well printed and in register.

Two separate marking sets are provided. Both are from the famous 244th Sentai, and both planes have a red tail. One plane as illustrated on the box art, is in a green mottle over natural metal under surfaces with blue trim.

Here's the decal placement guide for this plane.

The other plane has an overall Natural Metal finish trimmed in red. Both planes have lengthwise stripes on the sides of the fuselage. Both versions can be seen on the sides of the box.

Here's the decal placement guide for this plane.

There is a separate small decal sheet that contains decals for the cockpit instruments, stenciling data, lap belts for the pilot, and various other small details.

There is also two different color combinations for the fuselage "Kill" markings. One set is depicted with red while the other is in black. I think this is another nice feature that will allow the modeler to decide which ones to use. I would personally check references to determine which set of decals would be appropriate for this particular version.

This plane is a later with the extended length fuselage, which was done to accommodate the weapons located in the nose just above the engine.

Since we are on the topic of the engine, one is provided and I'm sure one could really go to work with super detailing it, since it could be highly visible if one decided to use the clear fuselage half.

The propeller is held in place by a small black "poly cap". This is another nice touch that will be helpful when you are painting the model.

I don't think it will be too hard for Tamiya to come out with the earlier version of the Tony, with the shorter fuselage. Looking at how the plastic parts are laid out, this may be what they have in mind. They hit a home run with their early F4U Corsairs, and were able to get three versions from the same kit.

One can only hope that they will follow through with the earlier "Short nosed" . I'm sure this kit will be a good seller for Tamiya.

I'm thinking about getting a few more... I don't think this one will stay on my "To Build" pile very long. I see another build on my work bench in the very near future.

As usual, comments are encouraged.

Enjoy !

Reader reactions:
6  Awesome

26 responses

  1. Glad to see all those extra "goodies" Tamiya included. See-thru fuselage, open/closed canopy, AND masks (my personal nemesis) and a nice pilot figure (even though I can't paint 'em worth a damn). Thanks for taking the time and effort to share the review.

  2. Looking at the Fuselage sprue, and the instructions for building the lower wing/fuselage area I can see a Ki-100 kit in these molds as well. All the Hien fuselage parts are on one sprue (including the spinner & prop and the Engine is a separate small sprue. - easy to put a radial onto another sprue and include it under a cowling. The wings and tailplanes are identical between the 61 & 100.

    • It would be cool if they made a late version that I think was called the Ki-61-II. It had a canopy similar to a typical bubble canopy and the rear of the fuselage was cut down to increase visibility. The same type was also done with the Ki-100's. That's the cool thing about the Ki-61's and 100's. A lot of parts interchanged. The 100 came about since they had a lot of completed airframes and no engines to install in them. Thanks for posting.

  3. Thanks for sharing this well made review with good and helpful photos, Louis.
    Tamiya has made an exciting job and it looks like a "must have" even to me.

  4. That's a really great review Louis. Maybe I should print it off & leave it lying around for my wife to see (yeah; dream on). Thanks for going to all that trouble; it looks excellent.

  5. Nice review, Louis! I've always admired this aircraft. It almost makes me decide to get one of these kits. I seem to be in the majority here regarding painting figures ... I don't do them well. (At least back in the dark ages when I painted my last pilot figure! I doubt anything has changed.)

    • Jeff, small brushes, a steady hand, and an optivisor. Practice. Patience. Ideas from photos and the kind of uniform drawings you find in Ospreys.
      Like they told me in the car painting business, "trick the eye". From a certain distance, you can literally do that. Work on the assumption that only the loon fringe with their magnifying glass and micro flashlight is gonna find fault. It's what they do.
      Please yourself.

    • Thanks for the compliments buddy. I really like the Ki-61. I think it's the best looking Japanese fighter plane of WW2.

  6. A wonderful and very informative review. Looks like Tamiya got some inspiration from Zoukei-Mura for rendering more if the internal structure of the aircraft. I'm sure it's gonna be a cracking build.

    • Thanks Martin. I hope it turns out well and that I don't somehow mess it up. This one looks like they have added more interior details than what the older Hasegawa kit has. The Hasegawa kit is still a nice model though.

  7. Louis, Thanks for sharing. I may have to put this on my list !

    • You're welcome buddy. I really think you will be happy with this model if you decide to get one. I have a few planes for our Midway Group build, but as soon as I get the chance to build this one I'm going to. I need to figure out what markings to use for this one. I have several sets of aftermarket decals for the Ki-61. I just need to make sure that the set I choose will be correct for the long nosed Tony.

  8. Louis, you ought to consider sales. I'm gonna get me one of them! Or two. I saw a Cal Smith cover on an American Modeler way back, and I've loved the Tony ever since.

    • I really started liking the Tony way back in the early 1970's. My older "Half sister" from my Dad's first marriage, bought me the old Revell 1/32 kit for my birthday gift. I really liked the box art. It was super cool ! A camouflaged Tony on it's take off roll ! Too bad my building skills were not that good. It would have made a nice model. Many years later I heard that the original molds were lost at sea when the ship transporting them sank. I think the 1/32 Revell Raiden molds were lost too and one other that I can't remember at this moment...

      Sales huh ? Good stuff... Thanks my friend. I'm glad you liked the article and photos. Take care bud.

  9. Thanks for the review and thumbs up, Louis, but I'm not very likely to buy one as planes are not really my thing. However, if one of my Chinese friends here show an interest then maybe...

    • The Chinese flew the Ki-61. They had the same markings on them as the AVG P-40's did, (in the 4 wing positions). I think these Ki-61's were captured airframes taken over by the Chinese after the War was over. Thailand "may" have had a few too... Thanks for the compliments my friend.

  10. Best kit to im hawe one in stash

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