Review: Tamiya #61115 1/48 scale Ki-61 Hien (Tony) kit review
This article is part of a series:
Earlier this afternoon my Hien arrived.
Here's a photo of the box end...
Needless to say, I am very excited about it!
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 Tony 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" Ki-61. 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.