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Part 1 of 3 Ki-43 notes 2019 As part of Ki-43 research I decided to buy and compare all modern 1/48 Ki-43 kits available side-by-side. This is unfair to model manufacturers as all the kits below do build up into believable Ki-43 models, however I am looking for the best and most accurate so I will harshly judge them by that criteria. There is much commonality among the parts, as in the real plane. The modern Ki-43 kits in 1/48 I compared were- Ki-43-I Nichimo Ki-43-I Hasegawa Ki-43-I Ki-43-II Otaki/Arii Ki-43-II Finemolds Ki-43-II Hasegawa Ki-43-II Ki-43-III Finemolds Ki-43-III Hasegawa Ki-43-III Doing a side-by-side comparison with all of these revealed alot, and I mostly relied on http://soyuyo.main.jp/ki43d/ki43e-1.html for his line drawings and much of his analysis which I direct you to see on his pages. Some interesting points after doing all reviews are- 1) Headrest sizes are one part the kit manufacturers don't agree on! The Ki-43 until mid'43 had a tiny roll bar rather than a full headrest. With the armoured headrest from mid'43 on its size more than doubled and it almost fills up the canopy hood when closed (which is why many pilots removed it to improve the rear view). I don't think any model variants headrest is right in all dimensions! 2) Wingtip shape on the Ki-43-II/-III is very subtle and complex and also not agreed on by model manufacturers and scale drawing makers. From my research I believe it is more evenly rounded than usually depicted (Burindo FAOW and Gakken book drawing of -II/-III wing tip shape are close). The inflexion of the wing tip curvature is on the wing centreline at the wing tip and smoothly rounded front and back (note that wing centreline is not perpendicular to airplane body!) . Spoiler final result! *********************** Ki-43-I 1st Hasegawa 1/48 2nd Nichimo 1/48 (with basic work and canopy = 1st). Ki-43-II 1st Finemolds 1/48 2nd Hasegawa 1/48 3rd Arii/Otaki 1/48 (with intermediate work and canopy = 2nd). Ki-43-III 1st Finemolds 1/48 2nd Hasegawa 1/48.
Platz (new?) F-Toys 1/72nd Nakajima Ki-43 Hayabusa kit - ref. Sources: http://platz-media.com/blog/2018/09/19/hayabusa/ https://www.facebook.com/platz.hobby/photos/a.427377477276709/2308569735824131/?type=3&theater V.P.