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Thunnus

1/48 Tamiya Ki-61 Id Hien

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Posted (edited)

Here is a little side project that I'd like to share.  My 109G-10 build in the WIP section is ahead of schedule and I'd like to have a secondary project to occupy the small blocks of time that may be available.  This is the Ki-61 Hien kit that was recently released by Tamiya.

 

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As one of Tamiya's latest offerings, the expectations for this kit are very high.  Hopefully, the quality of the kit will simplify and reduce the construction time.  Fingers crossed!  Let's take a closer look at what's inside the box.

 

Tamiya includes a full 1/48 scale painting guide for both offered schemes.  This can be very helpful, especially for those that want to faithfully recreate that complex mottling scheme.

 

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Besides the assembly instructions (which I forgot to upload) and the painting guide, Tamiya also includes a separate sheet with some historical and technical information about the Ki-61.  Interesting but nothing too exciting.  Only 1/4 of it is useful information since it is presented in four different languages.

 

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The decals are split into two sheets.  I can't vouch for the quality of these decals but from my limited experience, Tamiya decals can be a bit thick and non-responsive to the normal Microset/Microsol treatment.  So I'm very leery about using these.  Tamiya also includes a set of masks for the clear parts, which is nice touch EXCEPT that you have to cut them out yourself.

 

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The scheme that caught my eye is this striking profile by aviation artist, Ronnie Olsthoorn.  He prepared this artwork for Osprey's Aircraft of the Aces #114.  Although the mottle patterns commonly featured on Hiens are visually interesting (and still an outside possibility for me to try), I've always thought a standard two-color scheme like Hien #5262 really highlights the Hien's graceful lines.

 

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I've picked up a set of Lifelike Decals so I can depict #5262.  Since I am planning to mask the hinomarus and the Tamiya decals already include the 244th Sentai tail markings, the only thing I absolutely NEED from the Lifelike sheet are the blue 62's that go on the landing gear cover.  But it's good to have back-ups, I guess.

 

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Another interesting inclusion in this kit is a clear version of the port fuselage.   Not my thing but it could make for some interesting builds if you are so inclined.

 

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The clear parts include two versions of the canopy (open and closed), a wing light cover and the gun sight.

 

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A depiction of the Ha-40 engine, based on the German Daimler-Benz DB601 powerplant, is provided although it looks a bit bare to me.  I am not planning to show the engine for this build.

 

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Edited by Thunnus

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Posted (edited)

There are two main sprues, the first of which holds the two fuselage halves.  This Tamiya kit encompasses a respectable 109 parts.  Comparatively speaking, that is less than the 186 parts for the recent Eduard retool of the 1/48 Bf109G-6 but that may speak more to the variations of the G-6 rather than the complexity of the kits themselves.  The cockpit is particularly well represented and it encompasses ALOT of parts.

 

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Molding looks precise and clean.  To my eye, it looks a hair short of the detail that you would see on a current Eduard kit.

 

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The ends of the exhausts are not hollow.  Hollowing out square exhausts is difficult enough but the exhausts happen to be molded integrally with the surrounding shrouds, making the operation outside of my current capabilities.  I am going to replace these with some Quickboost resin exhausts.

 

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The gun barrels are also solid.  I know that Tamiya is capable of producing exhausts and gun barrels with hollowed out ends but they've chosen not to do it with this release.  Since the Hien's cowl guns are staggered and reveal more of the barrel of the guns, I've opted to replace these with a pair of Quickboost resin guns that have the cooling jacket holes.

 

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The instrument panel features plain bezels with no raised instrument details.  Decals representing the dial details are provided.  I'm a bit hesitant of this approach given my past difficulties with Tamiya decals.

 

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The other big sprue holds the wing parts.

 

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Again, the molding is very fine and very detailed but no rivets.  Hmmmm.... should I?

 

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I think I will!

 

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Edited by Thunnus

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Posted (edited)

Here is some early work on the Hien that I was able to do this week.  Like I mentioned before, the cockpit has a lot of parts and should look suitably busy once it's put together.

 

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The first order of business was to see if I could get the dial decals to work with the instrument panel.  If not, I could pull the trigger on an aftermarket replacement.  Instead of Microsol, I tried some Solvaset and it really did the job on the decals.  Almost too well and I lost one of the dials when I tried to poke out a fold.  Solvaset almost liquifies the decal so much care is needed when using this stuff with these Tamiya decals.

 

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Not perfect as it is almost impossible to align the decals to the dials as they are "floating" until the Solvaset is applied.  But I think it should do.

 

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I've done some dry-fitting of the cockpit components and have decided not to add anything due to the amount of detail provided by the kit parts.  However, the back of the instrument panel is molded with the instrument casings so I couldn't resist adding some wiring here.  I'm not sure how much of it will be visible.

 

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The gun sight is presented in the standard way, as a clear piece.  I wish manufacturers would take a cue from the aftermarket offerings and do the gun sights as solid plastic pieces molded without the reflector glass.  The molded representation of the reflector glass is always too thick and often has a mold line running through it.  I've cut the glass off the gun sight, painted it and then added reflector glass using pieces of clear acetate.  The edges of the glass were carefully painted black.

 

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As I implied in the opening post, I am going to rivet the Tamiya model.  Prior to riveting, I spent some time rescribing all of the panel lines and ports and comparing the kit to line drawings of the Ki-61.  I found a circular port (oxygen filler cap) that is specifically mentioned in the Olsthoorn profile of 5262 that is missing on the kit so I decided to scribe it.  Weapon of choice for circular scribing is a sewing needle chucked into a pin vise.

 

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That's all for the time being!

Edited by Thunnus

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I've got a Hasegawa Hien I got secondhand.  I can't remember what the sprues look like it's been so long...

 

Got...

     to....

       build...

            it....

 

Gonna watch!

 

Gaz

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John

Nice choice for an "in between project". The IP looks awesome and the cabling behind it should do nicely to add some extra interest. Not sure why the Hein needed to be re-scribed: incorrect panel lines or to even out the panel lines themselves? Just curious as normally, tamiya os good to go right out o the box.

Will be following i=with all the way

Keep 'em comin

:popcorn: :popcorn: :popcorn:

Peter

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John

Nice choice for an "in between project". The IP looks awesome and the cabling behind it should do nicely to add some extra interest. Not sure why the Hein needed to be re-scribed: incorrect panel lines or to even out the panel lines themselves? Just curious as normally, tamiya os good to go right out o the box.

Will be following i=with all the way

Keep 'em comin

:popcorn: :popcorn: :popcorn:

Peter

 

Thanks Peter!  The re-scribing was probably not necessary but simply a habit of mine when I am riveting.  Since the riveting will require a light sanding of all surfaces, I like to make sure that all of the panel lines are uniform.  I've had a few panel lines get really shallow after this process, which can cause the scriber to go astray, which results in more repair work.  Now I like to run my scriber lightly through all of the panel lines before riveting.  With this Tamiya kit, since the molding is so good, it probably wasn't necessary and I ran it VERY lightly, hardly removing any material.  So... yes to your second guess: to even out the panel lines which were almost perfect to begin with!

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Posted (edited)

I've started the painting of the cockpit.  First step is lay down a base coat of black on all of the parts.

 

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While the paint dries, I jump over and start the riveting process.  I use a soft-leaded pencil and a flexible plastic ruler to lay out the rivet patterns on the wings.  After the lines are drawn, I trace over them with the RB Rivet-R tool.  I don't use a guide when running the Rivet-R as it does a pretty good job of tracking straight but it's best to take this step nice and slow and be deliberate with each line that you lay down, especially when running on curved surfaces.

 

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The pencil marks are removed using iso alcohol.  At this point, the riveting process has left tiny mounds of plastic around each rivet hole.  This is an interesting effect in and of itself but for most of my builds, I want the holes only for a more subtle effect.

 

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So all of the riveted surfaces are given a light sanding to remove the bumps around each rivet.  Afterwards, I run the scriber lightly along the panel lines again since the riveting process may have pushed some plastic into the panel lines if the rivet hole was very close.  The scriber also removes the sanding residue.

 

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In a similar fashion, the horizontal stabilizers have been riveted.

 

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I will continue the painting and riveting process, jumping back and forth between the two tasks.

Edited by Thunnus

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Posted (edited)

The past few days were spent painting the cockpit.  Lots of little pieces.  There are different ways of doing this but I elected to keep the parts separate during painting and them cobble the parts together afterwards.

 

Here are the parts after they have been sprayed a tan brown color.  Details have been picked out by brush.

 

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After the detail painting, all of the parts, while still separate, were given a gloss coat, then a dark wash and then a flat coat.  After the flat coat, I started putting the pieces together.

 

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A closer look at the two sidewalls.  The colors were based on the call-outs on the Tamiya instructions, which were quite detailed.

 

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Tamiya provides a decal for the lap belts, which I used as a guide to pluck likely looking PE belts from my spares stash.

 

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Those big square tanks will be hidden by the instrument panel and gun deck.

 

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Some control consoles that have not yet been attached.  Again, the color was per the callouts in the kit instructions.  Looks kinda cartoony.

 

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Here is cockpit with all of the pieces put together.

 

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The cockpit can be placed into the fuselage from the bottom.  Just dry-fitting at this point just to see what can be seen from the outside.  The cockpit out of the box is impressively detailed for a 1/48 kit.  I'll probably do some minor weathering... some chipping and maybe some dry pigments but in essence, this stage is complete.

 

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Edited by Thunnus

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John,

    Looks excellent!  What color is the interior.  I hafta be honest, I was expecting Aotake.

 

Appreciate your notes on riveting.  My Radu Rivet tool came this week.  Still gotta remove it form the plastic.

 

Gaz

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John,

    Looks excellent!  What color is the interior.  I hafta be honest, I was expecting Aotake.

 

Appreciate your notes on riveting.  My Radu Rivet tool came this week.  Still gotta remove it form the plastic.

 

Gaz

 

Thanks Gaz!  I've avoided any Japanese aircraft that has an Aotake interior as that is one of the most difficult colors to pull of on a model, IMO.  Have fun with the Rivet-R!  When it comes time to remove the circular rivet discs from the metal fret, it's much easier just to twist them off around the attachment points instead of trying to cut the tough metal.

 

 

The Ki-61 had a light tan cockpit color, not Aotake.

 

The Tamiya kit is about as close to a perfect kit as there's ever likely to be.  I'm chomping at the bit to get my paws on their new 109G-6 (which I have on the way from Singapore).

 

Yes, thank you Jennings... a light tan brown color is what I used.  The kit is very good and everything has a nice exact fit so far... very impressive.

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John

WOW ... hard to believe the detail in the front office. Very nice work with the detail painting - looks so good.

One steady hand on the riveting as well

Keep 'em coming

Peter

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