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  1. On the night of 16/17 March 1945 the 56th Sentai's Hikōtai-chō (Executive Officer), Captain Jun'ichi Ogata, engaged B-29 over Kobe. After claiming one bomber destroyed he rammed (or collided with) 42-24849 'Mission to Albuquerque'. To observers on the ground it looked as if his Hien had been hit by return fire and crashed flaming into the Superfortress which fell close to Mt Futatabi.* It's unknown which fighter Ogata flew on this occasion but it could have been c/n 4693 being prepared for combat here, or a similar aircraft from his Sentai. Please refer to this RFI post for the full background on my Hasegawa model, which has been upgraded with plenty of detail. Pre-flight inspection in the revetment at Itami Four months later and 30 miles to the North, Lt. Mamoru Tatsuda of the 2nd Daitai, 111th Hikō Sentai has just been dropped off in front of his Ki-100-I Otsu. Based at Akeno, Ki-100 of the 1st and 2nd Daitai were scrambled on 16 July 1945 to intercept a P-51 formation composed of the 21st and 506th Fighter Groups. When the fight was over the Akeno pilots claimed six Mustangs shot down against the loss of five of their own number. The American pilots reported 25 aircraft destroyed and had lost Capt John Benbow of the 457th FS.* My model, brought out by Otaki in 1974, was the last one in a series of Kawasaki fighters that I built in 2021. In order to elevate the kit to modern standards I corrected a few structural inaccuracies and endowed it with every available aftermarket item. For my complete Kawasaki collection please visit here. REFERENCES JAPANESE ARMY AIR FORCE FIGHTER UNITS AND THEIR ACES 1931-1945, HATA/IZAWA/SHORES, LONDON, 2002 JAPANESE FIGHTERS IN DEFENSE OF THE HOMELAND 1941-1944 - VOL.1, LESZEK A. WIELICZKO, LUBLIN, 2014 * KI-61 AND KI-100 ACES, NICHOLAS MILLMAN, OXFORD, 2015
  2. My 2021 production line was dedicated to Kawasaki, manufacturer of my favourite Japanese fighter series. It all began in 1967 when, as a school boy, I invested my meagre pocket money in a 1/72 Revell 'Tony', my second scale model (the first one was Revell's P-51 Mustang - more here). This sparked a life-long interest in Japanese military aviation... My exhibition starts with this grey gentleman - grandpa Kawasaki - Kawasaki Ki-10-I 'Perry' 2nd Daitai 1st Chutai Tianjin, China 1937/38 Lt Kōsuke Kawahara, 3rd Shōtai Leader The Ki-10 was an early design of Takeo Doi, a scholar of Dr Richard Vogt. It was powered by a Kawasaki Ha-9 of BMW VI origin and armed with two 7.7 mm Type 89 machine guns. With Kōsuke Kawahara, son of a famous Japanese corps commander, this Ki-10 arrived in China in July 1937. Leading his flight into an engagement with a large number of Chinese fighters on 25 March 1938 Kawahara had just scored his ninth victory when the aircraft was hit and the aspiring young pilot fell to his death. This original shows my subject before modification in March 1938. Obvious differences include balloon tyres, an antenna mast and a missing scoreboard. The model is a conversion of FineMolds' Ki-10-II (2009 edition) which was my contribution to the 'High Wing' groupbuild here. This earlier version is shorter, has a reduced wingspan (top and bottom) and a different rudder and elevator hinge line. The FineMolds kit itself is a very good product which I'm happy to recommend. Perry had three grandsons. The eldest one, called 'Tony', is next - My 'Hien saluting Mount Fuji' is a tribute to Brian Knight's box art for the Revell kit of 1963. Kawasaki Ki-61-I Hei Hien 244th Hikō Sentai Chōfu 1944/45 Maj Teruhiko Kobayashi, Sentai-chō (Group CO) Under Major Kobayashi's leadership the 244th Sentai gained some popularity and its colourful fighters became the subject of many photographs and models. Lesser known than his often modelled Ki-61-I Tei (c/n 4424) is this earlier Hien (c/n 3295), armed with the popular German MG 151/20 wing cannon. With this aircraft Kobayashi undertook a skillful ramming attack against a B-29 on 27 January 1945 from which he bailed out successfully to fly again the next day. I built this model in the eighties OOB from the vintage Otaki kit of 1972. As my first markings were incorrect I revised the colours in 1995 and returned again last year to make an all-out renovation - cockpit, canopy, exhausts, radiator, undercarriage and whatnot. The most visible weakness of the Otaki/Arii kit is a flat canopy and nose profile which I corrected with a new bonnet (Aires 4714 from the scrap box). The camouflage received just a few touch-ups but the markings were renewed once more. The next kinsperson is Tony's fraternal twin - Kawasaki Ki-61-I Tei Hien 56th Hikō Sentai Itami March 1945 Squadron Leader of the 3rd Chutai This picture of the 56th Sentai, based near Osaka for air defence in the Central Army Command area, was taken in March 1945. The spinner tip of c/n 4693 appears to be yellow indicating that it may have belonged to the Chutai-chō of the 3rd Chutai. My model, built from the 1993 Hasegawa kit, is strongly modified. In addition to a variety of aftermarket items it is equipped with detachable cowling panels to exhibit engine and gun compartments. More in a dedicated post here. Furthermore, there is the late-born Go shiki sentoki (Type 5 Fighter), nicknamed 'Goshikisen' - Kawasaki Ki-100-I Otsu 111th Hikō Sentai Akeno July 1945 Lt Mamoru Tatsuda 2nd Daitai The 111th Sentai was formed from the instructors' flight of the Akeno Training Air Division and, like the 56th Sentai above, augmented air defence in the Central Army Command. Lieutenant Tatsuda was probably a deputy Chutai commander in the 2nd Daitai, which sported Sky Blue #34 (Sora iro) as ID colour. This Otaki kit from 1974 had been in my stash for decades. Although there is a later and better Hasegawa product I decided to test my skills and make this classic kit look 40 years younger. I used a number of aftermarket items (engine, cockpit, wing racks, landing flaps, gear doors, canopy) and added some scratch improvements like wing root fairings, wheel wells and landing light. Look here for a more detailed RFI chronicle. Cousin 'Nick', finally, hails from the twin-engine branch of the family - Kawasaki Ki-45 KAI Tei Toryu 53th Hikō Sentai Matsudo November 1944 Shinten seikutai At the end of 1944 all JAAF fighter groups were ordered to form an air-to-air ramming flight called Shinten seikutai. It is doubtful, however, if this Toryu, specially prepared by removing armament and rear cockpit installations, was ever used for this purpose since the 53rd Sentai was relegated as a night fighter unit in January 1945. I built this model 15 years ago from a 1975 Nichimo kit. It received an aftermarket cockpit, canopy, engines and wheels, and several scratch modifications. With suchlike improvements I'm confident it can still hold its own against the later Hasegawa kit. A more comprehensive account is published here. And then, there are these offspring - Oops, they don't have wings! My apologies @Lee Chambers for 'borrowing' this picture of his wonderful Kawasaki bikes here and here. ハッピーモデル構築 - Michael
  3. Happy New Year all! Last year I completed the illustrations for Osprey's Aircraft of the Aces #114 on Ki-61 and Ki-100 Aces, written by Nicholas Millman of http://www.aviationofjapan.com. Since the book has meanwhile been published, I'd like to show you a few samples. Research by Nick and myself. All images © Osprey Publishing. Ki-61-I Otsu of the 78th Sentai: Ki-61-I Tei of the 244th Sentai Detail of the score board: This graphic gives you an idea of the amount of research that goes into each profile: Ki-61-I Hei of the 56th Sentai: Colourful Ki-100-I Otsu of Akeno's 111th Sentai: Ki-100-I Otsu of the 5th Sentai: A close-up of the tail unit and "Nine-headed Dragon" inscription: A Ki-100-I Ko of the 59th Sentai with P-51 victory marking under the cockpit and 3rd Chutai markings on both vertical and horizontal tail planes: Sample line drawing of a Ki-100-I Otsu: For those who are on Facebook, I have an artwork page at https://www.facebook.com/AviationArt.Aero and a group dedicated to the Ki-61/100 at https://www.facebook.com/groups/Ki61Tony/ Many thanks for looking! Ronnie Olsthoorn
  4. Hi, Another vintage model from my shelvs, Ki-27b by Hasegawa. I made this model about 1976. Then, in early 80-ties a catastrophy happend - a glass shelf above it collapsed and this was the worst devastated model: broken u/c leg, canopy, even wing etc.... It underwent immediately rapair including new canopy...- BTW the repair was done by my brother since it happend when my collection was in his house for some almost eight dark years when I was not doing models and he informed me about whole accident already after he repaired... Then, sometime in 1990 I made some weathering upgrading model to style of finishing. Recently I cleaned it from dust and made some small tuning mostly with hinomarus which were in bad condition. I added Vallejo matt cover finally. The painting scheme is of machine of 2 Sq., 246 group JAAF, Homeland defence 1942-3, I followed profile published in book: Munson, K.; "Fighters, attack and training aircraft 1939-45," Blandford, 1969. NB this book and whole Blandford series was a "bible" for my brother and me these years... Comments welcome and regards Jerzy-Wojtek
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