IJA Mitsubishi Ki-46 III Kai Dinah, 1/48 Tamiya PTO
It’s late June 1945, the B-29 bombers streams are approaching the Japanese mainland, Lt Fuchida and his radioman Sgt Yamada are in their Mitsubishi Ki-46 III Dinah. Lately the B-29’s have changed tactics were not coming as high once they crossed the beach and hit their targets. Their Dinah was the normally armed version with the 20mm cannon in the nose. They were also carrying a pair of anti-air bombs to drop over the B-29’s when they passed over and in hoping when the bomb detonates over the Superfortresses that some would be destroyed or damaged enough not to continue. Also to avoid the heavily armed bombers. The Dinah had no armor, and not very maneuverable. A quick straight line to intercept and just fire into the bombers and get out. This was Fuchida’s 2nd mission, 6 weeks out of a fast paced training regimen and basically here is your mission good luck. The Dinah has no radar to help track the incoming bombers. The orders are the bombers should be at this point at about this time, hopefully and kill as many as you can. His first mission was on a rainy afternoon, overcast skies, couldn’t see beyond mile much less else. He considered it a successful mission by just simply returning back to base and landed safely. The young man in the back was an infantry man pressed into duty as the guy in the back, as most of the qualified were dead or have became pilots themselves. There were more planes than qualified men now. He spent more time vomiting than paying attention to his task, useless really. This afternoon was high scattered clouds but a bright day. He was determined to take advantage of the bright skies. He can see the bombers at his 10 o clock low, 10 miles. A quick look around for escorts. He calls out to Yamada arm the bombs I’m going over the bombers we will release the bombs when I make my pass. Be ready. How high should I be? Do I slow down when I release? How long does it take for a bomb to detonate once they depart? All these questions swirling in his head as he approaches the bombers at an angle, picking a spot to do the strafing run and then release and get out. The bombers apparent see him coming as they start to maneuver and not run into each other. He selects a group of 4 in a box and starts his run, defensive fire starts to lick out at him from all around as he is now over them. He shoots the cannons as he hopes that he can hit that big silver bullet in the sky as he aims into the group of 4 and then yells release, release, release, as he feels the thump of objects falling away and the aircraft feels a bit lighter to his commands. He starts his down past the bombers to safety. Though he feels some impacts of bullets hitting his plane and then the dreaded scream coming from the back. Checking his instruments, one engine is running hot, as he head away from the bombers and heads back to base. Did the bombs work?, Did he hit any of those bombers? He checks in with Yamada, but no sound. Fuchida returns to base with a wounded radioman, thank fully it was not a mortal wound. Still the feeling of futility is deep in his soul. His commander calls him in for his report. The crews are out patching up the Dinah for another mission. Must defend the Empire.
The Ki-46 III is the fighter version of the highly successful recon version. Though from the outset of the design, the Ki-46 is not very maneuverable, not armored. It was never intended to go into combat as a fighter. The few that were tasked to intercept the bomber streams didn’t do it very well despite their efforts, another hindrance, no radar. The “Schrage Musik” with the upward firing 37mm cannon, only 15 of those were modified to that configuration.
I had built the recon version about 2 years ago. I am late to the party on this one as I had completed it last March. Just now posting her up. And an inspiration to those in the Empire of Japan GB, So other than the weapons and different style of nose, the kit was basically the same as the recon version. The engines are also different on this as you will notice on the exhaust stacks. I used Tamiya Japanese Brown for the camo. Aeromaster War Bird Acrylic IJA Grey Green unde rsurfaces. Rising Decals for the Fighter scheme. There isn’t much out there for this version of the Dinah. So choices are limited in trying to find something different. Another Tamiya kit that is a fun build. Now let see if someone will build one for the EOJ.
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