Profile Photo
Spiros Pendedekas
127 articles

Nichimo 1/48 Kawasaki Ki45Kai Tei Toryu (屠龍) “Shinten Seiku Tai”

January 5, 2021 · in Aviation · · 61 · 4.1K

Hi everyone!

This is my Ki45 Toryu, built as a part of the .
Indeed, it is a part of the Ki45 mini group ”Build em if ya got em”, within the Empire of Japan Group.

The Kawasaki Toryu (屠龍, "Dragonslayer") was a two-seat, twin-engine fighter used by the Imperial Japanese Army in World War II. The army gave it the designation "Type 2 Two-Seat Fighter"; the Allied reporting name was "Nick".

The Ki-45 was initially used as a long-range bomber escort, but It soon became clear that it could not hold its own against single-engine fighters in aerial combat.

It was subsequently deployed in several theaters in the roles of interception, attack (anti-ground as well as anti-shipping) and fleet defense. Its greatest strength turned out to be as an anti-bomber interceptor, as was the case with the Bf 110 in Europe. In New Guinea, the IJAAF used the aircraft in an anti-ship role, where the Ki-45 was heavily armed with one 37 mm (1.46 in) and two 20 mm cannons and could carry two 250 kg (550 lb) bombs on hard points under the wings.

Soon after entering service, the Ki-45 was assigned to home defense, and several were dispatched against the Doolittle raid, though they did not see action. The craft's heavy armament proved to be effective against the B-29 Superfortress raids which started in June 1944.

However, its performance was insufficient to counter B-29s flying at 10,000 m (32,800 ft). Modifications such as reduction of fuel and ordnance were attempted to raise performance, to little avail, and in the end aircraft were used effectively in aerial ramming attacks. They were also used in kamikaze attacks.

Three Ki-45s fell into communist Chinese hands after World War II. Unlike most captured Japanese aircraft, which were employed in the training role, the three Ki-45s were assigned to the 1st Squadron of the Combat Flying Group in March 1949 and were used in combat missions. These aircraft were retired in the early 1950s.

1,675 Ki-45s of all versions were produced during the war.

Ramming Ki45s belonging to Shinten Seiku Tai Squadron, had weight reduction and aerodynamic improvents implemented, in order to be able to catch and ram the fast'n'high flying B-29s. There was no rear gunner, his compartment totally stripped of everything and the open part of his canopy covered by a thin metal sheet. All armament and their mechanisms were also removed, as well as the gunsight. The aerial mast was also shortened.

The Nichimo kit is a good old friend that is trying to hold his own against the vastly superior Hasegawa offering.

My usual scratchbuilding was performed, mainly in creating the nonexisting wheel wells, aft pilot's compartment, engine circular oil coolers, gunner's compartment rear bulkhead, brake lines and rear canopy metal sheet cover.

The characteristic camo was done by using Patafix to cover the gray areas.

I did some heavier than usual weathering, in order to represent a fully operational Toryu, during those very demanding desperate last days of the war (translation: I wanted to cover my building and painting/decalling glitches...).

As usual I won't further bore you with my building details, but, should you wish, you can visit its build thread:
In this thread, you can also check our GB host Louis Gardner's two Toryus.

Big Thanks to all kind Gents who followed along my build: it was a pleasure to have your constructive company, Gentlemen!

Finally, BiG THANKS to our host Louis @lgardner, for the conception of this GB (and the mini "Toryu" GB, as well), and his support, advice and general “presence” allover the buld thread. As many positive words as I could say, they would not be enough to praise this Man's great personality. THANK YOU very much, my friend!

Full review at my beloved site Modelingmadness:

Attached are some in-progress shots.

Happy Modeling!

Reader reactions:
20  Awesome

6 additional images. Click to enlarge.

61 responses

  1. That is one interesting looking aircraft. Great job, Spiros! Love the paint scheme and the job you did.

  2. Another great finish Spiros, and a great addition to the Group Build.
    I was wondering when you were going to post on the Headlines.
    Nice use of weathering, it really brings out the rivet detail of that Nichimo kit.
    Great use of the Foil at the back of the canopy, it looks fantastic.

    • I finally found some evening peace to write a few words about my Toryu...!
      Yep, the Nichimo riveting is really nice: no rivetting madness, as elsewhere, but nice, right looking rivets at the right places.
      Thank you very much for liking and for following along my thread, George @georgeswork!

  3. That camouflage turned out quite good Spiros. I guess this is one of your finest builds in my opinion. Thumbs up!

  4. Great camo! That's a very nice looking plane

  5. I was wondering when this would hit headlines! Well done, Spiros! I enjoyed following this one. Looking forward to the next one!

  6. Always enjoy seeing (maybe not painting) a very complex camo scheme.

  7. Sharp work Spiros!

  8. Another spectacular and inspiring EoJ contribution once again Spiros!

  9. That scheme is very tight Spiros. Love it. The masking has worked to give you some nice sharp demarcations - phenomenal stuff!

  10. Spiros, that is certainly an amazing build! Your scratch building efforts really elevate this model to a higher level, nicely done.



  11. Love this, Spiros, the additions you made, and that camouflage scheme, really bring out the best of this Nichimo kit. You're absolutely right in thanking Louis for organising this group build, but, I think your contributions are a big help in making it such a success as well. Definitely liked.

  12. That turned out great, Spiros. Great job with the masking.

  13. Whoa - talk about bringing the dead back to life! Another great save of a not-so wonderful kit, turned into a great model through a triumph of skill, talent and perseverance over plastic.


  14. Excellent job as always, my friend! Now I know how to do the camo...

  15. Wow, Spiros. That is one striking looking Toryu. The combination of the high contrast giraffe scheme camo and your weathering approach really works. Really effective use of putty strips to do the camouflage pattern. You are most humble about the rationale for weathering more heavily than usual. In fact it looks just right and brings out the strength of the Nichimo kit, i.e. the rivet detail. I agree with Pedro that this is one of your best finishes yet. Nice work on the decals as well. I really like the way the yellow of the fin number (?) stands out against the camo colors. Kind of like a Nike swoosh in stylistic effect. 🙂 The arrow is striking too, as befitting a plane used in ramming attacks.

    • Thanks a lot Colin @coling! Indeed the yellow fin emblem and fuselage arrow really add a lot to the looks of the Toryu and match nicely the disruptive camo. The fin decoration appears to be the emblem of the 53th Sentai that "my" Ki45 belonged to.
      Thanks for liking my weathering too!

  16. A very nice build, Spiros @fiveten
    That camouflage pattern is looking great on this Toryu.
    Also the weathering looks very realsitic for a plane seeing severe action.
    Well done my friend.

  17. Spiros my friend, yet another amazing result from the PFP assembly line. It was a pleasure to follow in EoJ GB. Thank you for sharing the journey @fiveten.

  18. Wow! Came in late on this one. I think every one else has said it all but I really admire what you have done with " the old bones" of this kit. Well done my friend.

  19. Nicely done Spiros, don't you just love it when a plan comes together. Nothing like a well executed camo paint job on an old kit to bring it back to life.

  20. Spiros, @fiveten
    Your Nichimo Toryu model has turned out magnificently. The camouflage paint work sets this one apart from the others. It was an absolute joy to follow along as you built it. QC1 and QC2 have earned a very nice ice cream treat, as they have kept this build on track, and well ahead of schedule ! I can see the need to increase your ice cream budget in the near future... 🙂

    All of the little scratch built items, and especially the details you have carefully painted on, make your build look exceptionally well. You wouldn't expect this kit to be from the 1970's, but it is. I have several 1/48 scale Nichimo kits in the stash. Some will be on the bench once I get a few more current kits of which is a B5N and another is a Ki-43. The Sonia and the Jake will remain on the shelf a while longer. Thanks to you and our good friend Paul Barber, I now have a good road map to build the Jake.

    I sincerely appreciate the kind words you said about me. But in all honesty, our group build has been a joint effort. There are others who have always been making the Empire of Japan even better... with thoughtful, regular comments and words of praise. You and Erik are among these persons who have led the way by example.

    The EoJ group would not have been nearly as successful otherwise. I am thankful to have friends like you.

    One more thing... I pressed the "liked" button too.

    Now I need to get busy with completing the pair of Hasegawa Ki-45's. Once the Corsairs are done, I will be full speed ahead on them and our He-219's.

    • Thanks a lot Louis @lgardner!

      QC1&2 are avid model building spectators (starting to gradually engaging) as well as ice cream consumers... They are also strict about schedules for sure!

      Nichimo kits are old and "simple". They kind of represent "state of the art" Japanese subjects kits, some 40 (or more!) years ago, There is a certain aura around them that makes them attractive. I still have a Kate to build!

      Many thanks for your kind words about me. As for our good friend Erik @airbum, among other nice guys, let me also fully suport your words about him: he is a wonderful person; his passion, good manners and involvement nave boosted the quality of this site.

  21. What everyone else said! Love the scheme, and I might just have to do this in 1/72! I haven't yet built a Nick...

  22. Wow, cool camo! Great job bringing a classic to life. Funny how rivets are suddenly back in fashion these days.

  23. Awesome build, Spiros! Look at that paint scheme! Fabulous!

  24. An amazing build Spiros!

  25. Great looking build as usual Spiros! TY for showing your masking technique. These old Nichimo kits are very well served in your hands.

  26. Well done as usual, Spiros. I'm not familiar with this aircraft so I read your article with interest. Thanks for sharing!

  27. Another great build @fiveten.
    I have a Hasegawa Ki-45 kit in the stash, but I have too many on the go at the moment (I've started two more since Christmas - one is an Airfix Defiant and the other a Fine Molds Mitsubishi J8M).
    I am tempted to dig it out and join the group build though...
    I love your take on the camouflage.
    Liked very much.

    • Thanks Michael @michaelt!
      The Hasegawa is a fabulous kit, so, after some bench clearance, it might be a good idea to start it!
      I've got quite a few projects running, usually focusing on one or two, with the rest having some work done on them from time to time...

  28. Great job. It is a good result.

  29. Lovely model, excellent work Spiro.

Leave a Reply