Fine Molds 1/48 Mitsubishi Ka-14, the A5M ”Gull wing” Prototype
This is my first completion for our ever growing Empire of Japan Group Build. This is the Mitsubishi Ka-14, which eventually because the A5M “Claude”. Apparently there were six different prototypes built. Each one was slightly different from the rest. The changes involved different power plants, and armaments. This little plane was very nimble.
This kit was released by Fine Molds under the name “The Wind Rises”, which was a fictionalized / animated film about the life of Jiro Hirikoshi and his story of becoming an Aviation Engineer. If the name sounds familiar to you, it’s because he was the designer of several Japanese aircraft that rose to fame, or infamy depending on who’s side you were on back then. The most notable plane he designed was the A6M Zero.
I tried to capture the look by posing the model in the same manner as the actual aircraft was when the picture was taken.
Here’s a photo I found online of the real thing.
The original plane was finished in a highly polished pale ash green color as described by the designer later in life. I tried to capture the look of this color so I mixed up my own using Tamiya paints. The model has a slight greenish tint.
Here’s the same photo shown in black and white.
and another photo of the real thing.
I encourage you to go take a look over at our ever growing group build, the Empire of Japan, 1919-1946. Who knows, you might even be tempted to join us… There are some very nice models being built over here.
Here are the rest of the photos I took of the model. It builds up very well, and looks great once it’s done. No filler was needed, and if I had a complete weekend dedicated for building, I could have finished this one up in that time. It’s a fun little kit, and I wouldn’t hesitate to build another one.
I did a complete build journal, and you can see what was involved if you follow this link.
The A5M was the Father of the A6M “Zero”. Here you can see the Fine Molds Ka-14 and an earlier build I did of the “Koga Zero” or “Akutan Zero” sitting next to each other for a comparison. This Zero was discovered by a PBY Catalina crew on routine patrol. It was retrieved and brought back to flight worthy condition by the US Navy. Then it was evaluated against our current front line fighters, and it’s weaknesses were exploited by our pilots after they were informed on what the Zero could and could not do effectively.
The kit supplied engine is a tiny little model in it’s own. It is very nicely detailed, and is very visible once it is completed and installed.
It comes with a separate intake and exhaust pipe set, mimicking the real thing. The exhaust can easily be seen once it is installed.
The rest of these pictures show the details of this fine little kit. The company name is spot on with this one. A Fine Mold it is ! If you decide to get one of these, don’t be put off by the animated box top. The contents inside the box are what counts. They hit a home run with this one. It’s a fine little model and can be built by someone with a few kits under their belt, or by an “Experten” who has been building for years.
Enjoy the photos, and as always, comments are encouraged.
Thanks and stay safe.
22 additional images. Click to enlarge.