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Kawasaki Ki-61 Revell 1/72

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Our model club has an annual Krap Kit Kris Kringle each Christmas – less politely known as a Build-a-Bitch – where you can get rid of what you consider a surplus, rubbish or otherwise unwanted kit and build someone else’s version of the same. I have learned to pick the smallest box within reason and scored a Revell 1/72 Fokker D’VII last time – not a bad result

Last year it was a Revell Ki-61. I find it hard to believe that Revell could keep issuing this ancient (1963) piece of crap – it was released in 2013 and I have seen them in shops recently. There’s a review here


Julian was kinder than I would have been. You would have to really not know your stuff to buy one when there are excellent Tamiya, Fine Molds and RS available. I suspect even the ill-fitting Dragon would be far better.

I was going to just build it out of the box but I thought I could perhaps do a little better. I added some detail to the cockpit which you can’t see. The 2013 one piece canopy is of poorer quality than the 1963 three piece one! I shortened the undercarriage legs as it has a tippy-toe stance out-of-the-box. Shelley solved this problem by putting it on a stand!

I looked about for a better scheme than the cliched 244 Sentai one and a fellow modeller (thanks Mark) came up with this


Which represents a Special Attack Ki-61 of the 149 Sentai as seen here.


A few things worried me – were the drop tanks really yellow? They don’t look the same colour as the yellow part of the unit emblem. Some conversation with @Nick Millman suggested they were not and also led to some discussion about the main colour. Nick described it as maybe being “the 'nibi iro' (dull colour, taken to be a dark brownish grey) described for some special attackers. It was a dark, slightly greyish, umber-type brown called 'tochi iro' meaning literally earth or soil colour” and suggested RLM 81 as a near match. That was good enough for me!


Looking at the photograph one cannot help but think there were several painters, armed with mops or coarse brushes. They started at the extremities and somewhere in the middle they ran out of paint or enthusiasm (or both) and did only a perfunctory dab here and there on most of the centre section. I replicated this by brush painting using short strokes as though a 1/72 guy was wielding the mop.


For a KKKK (BaB) kit I am happy enough with it and I had it built for the first club meeting of the year in February.












Interestingly I recall as a schoolkid, pestering my parents for one when it first came out – amazingly it has hidden in a box till now and escaped the crusher. It’s literally “here’s one I made (decades) earlier”.



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On 4/27/2019 at 8:57 PM, FAAMAN said:

 I just may go looking for another "challenge" and pick one up of Evilbay.

No, don't do that - almost anything would be better! The Tamiya one sounds pretty good.. I will do a Tam one if I can find an interesting scheme for it.

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  • 2 years later...

@Ed Russell,


I confess that I too have the revell 1/72 Ki-61.


I also have the Hasegawa and Tamiya Ki-61 in 1/72.


Thanks for the heads up on how the revell kit is!


Given I have both Hasegawa and Tamiya kits of this plane, I hope you'll agree I'm getting to know my stuff  😚


Some good tips in your build here for the future; I've started the Hasegawa kit after I read @Volksjager's build in RFI, hopefully I'll be able to get a decent result using them.

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On 11/26/2021 at 8:54 PM, Graham Boak said:

Are people who make these old kits risking the wrath of collectors?

I think I still have the original box. I could disassemble the one I did in 1960-whatever, clean it up to sparkling new and sell it - probably for $5😀

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Lovely work on the very old Revell kit. I remember buying it from the local newsagents with pocket money around the time it came out. I’d have been 10 or 11. Same with the P-51 red scheme and all. Seemed the bees knees back then though

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