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Paul A H

Kawasaki Ki48-II Otsu Type 99 Light Bomber (Lily) ‘7th Flight Regiment

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Kawasaki Ki48-II Otsu Type 99 Light Bomber (Lily) 7th Flight Regiment

1:72 Hasegawa

lilyboxtop.jpg

The Kawasaki Ki-48, known to the Allies by the reporting name Lily was a Japanese twin-engined light bomber designed for the Imperial Japanese Army Air Force in the late 1930s. Powered by two Nakajima Ha 115 radial engines, it was capable of a respectable 314 mph. Unfortunately it was limited to a meagre 800kg (1,764lb) bomb load, which impacted on its effectiveness.

The Ki-48 entered service in 1940 during combat operations in Mainland China. It served through until the end of the war, despite the fact that by that time it was hopelessly outclassed by Allied fighters. Apart from its small bomb load, it was also hampered by its defensive armament of just three .303 inch machine guns, which left it vulnerable to attack by fighters. Some of these shortcomings were addressed (at least in part) in later developments of the type, and it was considered to be a reasonably successful design, particularly in during the early years of the war.

Hasegawas Ki-48 has its origins in the original range of kits produced by now-defunct Japanese firm Mania in the 1970s. These kits set the benchmark back then, featuring rich detail, excellent fit and fine, recessed panel lines. This particular kit is comprised of 86 parts moulded in grey and clear plastic. A small fret of photo etched parts is included too. The crisp moulded details look as fresh as the day the tools were cut, but there are now traces of flash creeping in here and there. There are also some sink marks on parts such as the engine intakes.

lilysprue1.jpg

lilysprue2.jpg

Whilst many Hasegawa kits from the 1970s and 80s have a reputation for being light on cockpit detail, the Mania-sourced kits are not amongst them. A full twenty two parts are used to depict the internal details including the cockpit floor, seats for the pilot and co-pilot, a control column, side consoles, oxygen bottles, radio equipment and machine guns. Whilst the details are quite basic, there is enough there to give the cockpit and other crew areas a suitably busy appearance. If you wish to go to town and super detail the internals, then you have a very good canvas to work on.

Moving on to the rest of the airframe, the fourteen-cylinder engines are each made up of six parts, including two separate rows of cylinders. They are excellent by the standards of the day and should look just fine tucked away inside the cowlings. The wings themselves are fairly simple, with all of the control surfaces moulded in place. Photo etched dive brakes are provided, which allow you to build this kit as a Mk IIb. The main landing gear bays, housed in the engine nacelles behind the engines, are not detailed.

lilysprue3.jpg

lilysprue4.jpg

In common with the wings, the tail surfaces are completely solid. The strengthening braces for the tail planes are provided on the fret of photo etched parts. The landing gear is reasonably good. The main gear wheels are very basic, but the landing gear legs themselves are pretty good, with convincing scissor links and supporting braces.

lilysprue5.jpg

The clear parts are surprisingly thin compared to most kits Ive seen from the 1970s. They are reasonably clear too, although I think a dip in Klear will improve matters no end. The canopy frames are clear and crisp, which will help you cope with the job of masking them. Finishing details are comprised of radio aerials, the pitot tube and engine air intakes, which vary depending on which of the provided schemes you wish to finish your aircraft as.

Decal options are provided for thee aircraft:

  • 75th Flight regiment, 3rd Company, Indonesia 1944. This aircraft is finished in a patchy dark green over grey scheme;
  • 75th Flight regiment, 1st Company, Malay Peninsula 1942. This aircraft is finished in a sharp, mottled camouflage of dark green over grey scheme; and
  • Hokota Flight School, test machine for dive bombing, finished in overall grey-green.

The decals are nicely printed and the sheet includes a few stencils as well as the main markings.

lilydecals.jpg

Conclusion

Even if you dont take the age of the moulds into account, you would have to say that this is a nice kit. The level of detail is good and the treatment of surface detail is excellent. The addition of photo etched parts and a decent choice of decals makes the package more appealing too. This edition isnt cheap though, so you may want to seek out an earlier edition of the kit if you can. Overall though its a good kit and can be recommended.

Review sample courtesy of logo.jpg UK distributors for logo.jpg

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I was going to ask how much do they want for this?

Martin

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They finally got round to including the dive-brakes then (I've got an older Hasegawa boxing and had to get aftermarket parts for these).....I'm guessing the fuselage remains unmodified (ie: it's a Ki48-I and thus a bit short)?

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