Profile Photo
Kyle Koppos
18 articles

Bab Company: Misfortune Comes in Threes.

January 15, 2021 · in Aviation · · 19 Comments

Some of you may see the model companies release multiple boxings of seemingly the same thing. You may wonder, "who buys all of these things?"

I do. I'm that person.

Welcome to another Whipple Special, in this case maybe a Whipple Deluxe. These are three versions of the / platform. I wanted the Kamikaze at the time but it was sold out, and I had an old half-built UPC box scale kit begun, but as I started working on these three a feeling slowly grew inside of me that I could not shake off: maybe building multiples of the (arguably) same thing is quite silly. I am better off finishing three of these and not five. But I digress...

The first one is a Ki-15 of the "18th Independent Company" at Hankow, sometime around spring 1939. They adopted the Chinese tiger as their symbol, because I believe there was some kind of belief of "no matter how far the tiger may roam, it will always come home." Kind of apt for a recce bird. I am not sure, don't quote me. This one was made out of box (besides seat harness) as I modified the other two with vac canopies and I had quickly grown weary of building three of the things.

The Ki-15-II, this specific machine, was quite interesting. It was of the "Flying Eight group," or the 8th Sentai, 1st Chutai, based at Moulmein, Burma in 1942. There is a well documented account of this machine and its encounter with an RAF Hurricane of 28th(?) Squadron. It (and to a degree apparently it's crew) were made into swiss cheese but the pilot managed to escape and limp back to Moulmein. The rough (and I mean rough) google translation of the instructions tell me the groundcrew counted 119 holes through it, and there are great photographs showing one of them marveling at the carnage.

The C5M2 was of the Tainan Air Group at Rabaul. More rough translation tells me the boys over there got tired of the B-17 incursions, and the early warning Babs crew tried helping out with jury rigging Type 99 No. 3 aerial burst incendiary bombs to their centerline drop tank rack. The claim is, on 29 August 1942 this machine aided in shooting down/damaging/annoying one/two/three/four machines in a mess of adrenaline/old documents/Google translate confusion. If they did, or at least tried, is cool to me all the same.

The Ki-15-II and C5M were modified with Dead Design vacuform canopies. They sell sets with or without precut tape masks. Very handy, though I found the masks had a tendency to peel up over time. All three of them received PE seat harness from Fine Molds (yes they make aftermarket, very good if I may say), scratchbuilt hand holds on all three, and the C5M2 received wire ignition harness. The Ki-15s both had molded on wires on the engine already, but the C5M did not.

I enjoyed this project but I am glad it is over. The more Whipple Specials I do, the more i yearn for a simple single build. I'd also wish to not have AMS, but we know that's not going to happen. Maybe this might be my last multi-build. That is, after I finish the stack of Brewsters, Ms.406s, Gladiators, Zeroes, PZL 11s, I-16s, Gekkos, He-70s, Curtiss Shrikes, Ki-79s Mc202s, Corsairs, Mb150s, Breda 65s, IMAM 37s, Fokker D.XXIs,... Yeah, eventually.

Oh, and fun fact: there is a glaring error shared between the Ki-15-II and C5M2. It is eating me alive, but I am lazy and said screw it. Maybe the keen-eyed might see it.

Thanks for looking.

23 additional images. Click to enlarge.

19 responses

  1. Great builds and super presentation, much liked and enjoyed your entertaining texts. Wouldn´t have a clue to what is wrong to them, though...

  2. Super presentation Kyle, great models and splendid outdoor photos. Now you got my head buzzing with this kit, they really look fantastic

  3. Love them all, Kyle!

  4. Nice, Kyle! It’s a great kit in all of its variations.

  5. People with lots of Spitfires/Hurricanes/109s/190s/P-51s in their collections live in glass houses and should therefore not throw rocks.

    So I will just say, "cool collection!" Nice work on an interesting airplane and your effort piques my personal interest in getting one of these.


  6. Kyle your paintwork is flawless and i love the collection!

  7. Kyle, I've got all three of these on the shelf, but I don't expect to do all at once, and none to such a high standard. Your work looks excellent. Congratulations on sticking with your mania and completing these. BTW, I once had that UPC/Marusan Ki-15, too.

  8. Each a great looking aircraft and each a magnificent build Kyle. Super presentation too.
    Just a quick guess - Is the exhaust of the C5M2 too short? The IJN C5M2 had the highest higher HP output, thus did it not have longer exhaust piping?

    • You might not be wrong, photos of an actual C5M are few. I think from what I've seen it's exhaust looks about right.

      But no, the problem is shared between both my C5M and Ki-15-II models.

  9. Great looking builds Kyle, and Kudos for persevering with 3 at once. I'm attempting my first '2 fer' right now and am finding it annoying!

  10. Impressive work on all three, Kyle, I've no idea what's wrong though. Definitely liked.

  11. I'm currently working on the Kamikaze. What a lovely kit! It's just too bad so much of the excellent cockpit is hidden when it's assembled.

  12. Each of them is perfect, Kyle.
    Although the same, they still do have their own appearance because of the different schemes.

  13. Kyle I can only parrot what has been written above. The modeling is nothing short of professional and does a great job of showing how good these Fine Molds Ki-15 kits can be built up. Add a excellent article and your comments and experiences on the builds make for a good read too. My only niggle (I suffer from this) our the out door photos. To better show your gifts and talents consider shooting the photos of your kits indoors with a suitable back round and lighting. Or waiting for warm times when the sun is higher and you can have better natural lighting and suitable back round of colored paper. Perhaps blue, gray or red anything that would compliment your work so the focus is on the model and not the back round. The lighting would be warmer too.

    I am hitting the like button and I am looking forward to seeing your next build.

    Two thumbs up.

  14. Sharp work on all 3 Kyle. I especially the vac canopies.

  15. Fantastic work, young Koppos! Love the schemes, love the finished models, and especially love the article! Well written and entertaining, and I'm sure it's made the "Old Guy" proud!
    Looking forward to what's next!

  16. Beautiful work, Kyle... nothing else needs to be said 😉



  17. Three great models, and a collection that is more than the sum of its parts! Nicely done.

Leave a Reply