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Greg Kittinger
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Hasegawa Ki-51 Sonia, 1/72

September 14, 2020 · in Aviation · · 15 · 2.1K

This is my submission for the Empire of group build. OOB except that I added a couple of missing panel lines, and riveted the entire aircraft. As usual, I also added crew. Only issue I ended up with was the canopy didn't set totally down once I got the crew installed. I test fitted frequently during construction, and cut down the rear seat especially to make proper room, but for some reason, once the crew were glued in, I didn't get the same fit. Disappointing, but with a bit of extra glue to fill the gap it's not too noticeable.

Since I didn't do any pre-shading or black basing, I did use two lighter colors of the custom-mixed blue to add some modulation to the finish. In fact, the other mistake I made was to not use the lightest shade on the canopy, which I painted off the aircraft because of the open gun port and gun sight. I meant to pull the blue tac out of the canopy and check the shade against the aircraft before I took off the canopy masking, but forgot. Oh well - live and learn.

I really like the blue color. Reinhard Spreitzhofer's (@grimreaper) dad's build was my inspiration for this - I love it when I find a great non-green scheme for a Japanese aircraft.

Reader reactions:
10  Awesome

8 additional images. Click to enlarge.

15 responses

  1. Hi Greg,

    Love the colour. Love the pose.

    All in all a cracking job.


  2. beautiful dauntless color

  3. Great job, Greg! Nice color scheme, and your signature display stand!

  4. That blue looks terrific. Nice to see something different. Thumbs up on this one!

    By the way, what do you use for antenna wire?

  5. Nice one Greg, I also like the blue scheme.

  6. Hello Greg ! @gkittinger
    First off, thank you very much for accepting the invite to our wonderful, (and ever growing) Empire of Japan group build. It has been turning out some exemplary models, and yours in no exception. I could tell right away this was one of your builds, as it is placed on one of your "patent pending" clear stands.

    Your Sonia looks great ! Everything about it looks wonderful, from the subtle chipping to the weathering. The color blue you picked definitely stands out, as most Japanese planes were green and gray, or you can have various shades of overall gray, or even bare metal...sometimes the color brown shows up too, but not too often. Blue definitely stands out, and makes sense when you consider where these planes operated over the ocean.

    I have been toying with the idea to find a Japanese fighter wearing similar colors. So far I have it narrowed down to a Ki-43 "Oscar", possibly a Ki-44, and a Ki-84 "Frank". Once I can verify this, I will definitely be cranking one out in blue colors.

    Thanks again, and stay safe.

  7. Looks great, Greg! Very striking in that blue paint scheme. A real eye catcher

  8. Greg, as much as that royal blue livery begs for comments it’s the subtle riveting that deserves a praise. Great job !

  9. Beautiful work, Greg! Especially considering the kit is fifty years old!

  10. Nicely done Greg, looks good in blue.

  11. Looks great as always, you've got quite the backlog I'm looking forward to seeing in person someday...

    Always love blue paint schemes, there aren't enough of them.

  12. Very fine build, Greg.
    If you didn't mention the issues you ran into, I would have not noticed them.
    An overall nice finish on this one.

  13. A great Sonia, Greg!
    An excellent build and, of course, a splendid blue!

  14. There it is! Turned out great! Paintjob and weathering look good! Certainly makes a nice diversion between all the green.

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