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1/32 Hasegawa Ki-61 Tei Hien


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Hello LSP community!  I just wrapped up the Tempest build and also have a Fw190D-9 build in its beginning stages.  But having worked on the D-9 kit so many times in the past, I have an itch to get my hands on some new plastic so I'm going to start something new.

 

This is the Hasegawa 1/32 Ki-61-1 Hei model kit.  The Ki-61 was Japan's only operational fighter aircraft in WW2 to utilize a liquid-cooled inline engine.  Many have compared it to the Bf109 since the engine utilized was a license-built Daimler Benz DB 601 but the Hien was an independent design by Kawasaki.  The model kit is a  typical modern Hasegawa large scale release... maybe not as much internal detail and frills compared to Zoukei Mura and Tamiya but nicely done nonetheless.
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I've got a relatively small amount of aftermarket stuff that I'm going to include with this build that I will get into more detail later.
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The kit is molded in typical Hasegawa fashion... very fine details in neutral grey plastic.
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The exterior features finely recessed panel lines and delicate rivets along the panel lines.  Because of the latter, I am thinking of NOT adding any additional rivet detail on this build.
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This kit is comprised of five sprues of grey parts and one clear.  In typical Hasegawa fashion, all of the grey trees are encased in a single bag so a careful check of scuffing and/or broken parts is recommended.
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Surprisingly, the simple rendition of the main tire has a flat spot and subtle bulge to portray a pneumatic tire under a weight load.  It is very rare to see a weighted tire in a mainstream kit.
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The molding quality is excellent and again, breaking tradition from most other manufacturers, Hasegawa elects to offer a pilot figure.
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I can't paint figures for beans so this feature will not be utilized but I can't help but admire the nice molding of the pilot.
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Although I am a fan of most of Hasegawa's choices, I do not like how they represent the instrument panel.  While impressively detailed, I don't think you can get a good result trying to paint the individual gauge markings.  And the raised detail will only distort the supplied instrument panel decal.  It would be much better, in my opinion, to provide smooth circular instrument bezels so that the decals can lay flat.
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It's a shame that Hasegawa does not appear to be producing any new 1/32 aircraft models.  I rather like Hasegawa's approach of not offering unnecessary and unseen details that can get in the way of overall fit.
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The wing assembly is somewhat unique in that the wing bottoms are separated just like the wing tops, which means, from a practical perspective, more glue seams to deal with.  Hasegawa took a similar approach with the Bf109 kits and I didn't have any significant fit issues with their Bf109 K-4.
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The wheel wells are molded integrally into the wing bottom parts and look a bit simplistic without any opportunity to add details like wiring.  If this is how the real wheel wells look, that is a good thing!
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The clear parts include two sets of canopies, one to pose open and one to pose closed.
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I typically avoid using the decals from Hasegawa and Tamiya kits.  From a color and resolution perspective, they look good but I've found decal material to be noticeably thicker than from other decal makers such as Eagle Editions and Cartograph.  The hinomarus and major markings will be painted using custom cut masks.  I also have a set of Ki-61 decals by Wolfpack (printed by Cartograf) that I can utilize for the data stencils.
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The kit-supplied cockpit looks to be fairly well populated with 20+ parts but I opted to include the Aires resin cockpit for this build since I felt the instrument panel, at a minimum, needed to be replaced. 
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The Aires set comes with a fret of photoetched details including an instrument panel face that will utilize a printed sheet of acetate for the dial details.  I think this method yields excellent results although I wish Aires would've included some separate instrument bezels to "stack" on the panel to give the panel more 3-D relief.
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I know that Aires often carries a negative reputation of their parts not fitting but I've had mostly positive experiences with Aires stuff.  From a detail perspective, they are excellent, especially if you compare the wiring detail to resin sets from Eagle Editions or MDC.
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The other major aftermarket item that I'm adding is this resin nose by Wolf Pack.  The Hasegawa kit represents the earliest variant of the Hien (Hei), with 12.7 Ho-103 cannons above the engine.  The Tei variant upgraded those guns to 20mm Ho-5 cannon and required a lengthening of the nose.  This resin upgrade offers the lengthened nose as well as some other bits that differentiated the Tei from the Hei.
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Next, I'll jump into Wolfpack set in more detail.

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6 minutes ago, dennismcc said:

This should be educational for me as I have this kit in the stash, looking forward to following along again.

 

Cheers

 

Dennis

Thanks Dennis! 

 

Jumping right into the Wolf Pack resin set, I'm going to start off to see how the exhausts fit.  The resin nose is supposed to come with a a set of exhausts.  I was missing the exhausts on mine and I contacted the seller and was able to get the exhausts shipped to me eventually.  They are hollowed out on the ends to that tedious process can be avoided on this build.
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The exhausts were separated from their casting blocks.  And then I noticed something... the parts were identical.  They SHOULD be mirror images of each other since the openings into which they fit are also mirror images.
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Not the most positive way to start a build but... a fix shouldn't be too difficult.  I built up the problem area with sheet styrene and CA glue.
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And then re-shaped with a sanding stick and sandpaper. Please note the last "corner" piece of sheet styrene that I had to add because I wrongly thought that corner was angled but was not!
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I applied a coat of Mr Primer Surfacer on the rebuilt area and checked the fit.  This is the repaired side.
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This is the "good" side.
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Looking forward to this one, have you picked out a livery yet, John?

 

If it's an NMF bird I'd vote for adding rivets, as they seemed quite prominent on the unpainted planes. Less so, obviously, on the camo'd kites but even then still pretty visible even under a coat of paint. Some piccies for corroboration (and inspiration):

s5UiIU8.jpg

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Not as prominent but still quite visible in bright sunlight. On a side note, what is going on with that crinkly hinomaru on the chase plane's wing, I've only ever seen these in pristine conditions before.

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Even the camouflaged planes had pretty visible rivet patterns.

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The wings didn't have any sort of putty on them, apparently, as you can see they're chock full o' rivets and even some oil canning for good measure. Harder to see the riveting on the uppers in this light, but they're there if you look closely.9HUMMDM.jpg.

In any case, rivets or no rivets, can't wait to see you work your magic on this beautiful bird!

 

Cheers,

- Thomaz

 

 

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Thanks guys! I hope this one is of interest to you all.  The case for rivets is pretty good, Thomaz so I'll have to give it some thought.  But it will not be an all NMF bird.  The markings that I am planning to do is a 55th Sentai machine as depicted by this Claes Sundin profile...

 

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It is also the subject on this Hasegawa 1/48 Ki-61 box art...

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I don't have decals for the tail markings so I'll be attempting to do this with masks.  If that doesn't work out, I have back-up markings that I DO have decals for...

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Both of these are olive brown/green over a NMF bottom.

 

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1 hour ago, TAG said:

SW8ZpO2.jpg

On a side note, what is going on with that crinkly hinomaru on the chase plane's wing, I've only ever seen these in pristine conditions before.


Simple answer, Thomaz: that wing isn’t real. Look closely at the lines, textures and the wing  to cloud boundary. It’s a crudely doctored image, overpainted badly. Good enough for cheap wartime newsprint, I suppose, but definitely not part of the recorded image.
 

Back to this build, I’m looking forward to seeing this one, John. If I were doing a Dora now I’d probably give it a rest, myself. Raise a glass to Jerry Crandall.

 

Cheers,

Adam

Edited by adameliclem
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10 minutes ago, Kagemusha said:

Marvellous, I saw you had it for sale a while ago, delighted you didn't find a buyer!

No, that wasn't me!  I never offered any kit for sale. Maybe I was inquiring about the Wolf Pack resin nose? I DID buy this kit from an LSP member though!

 

 

 

6 minutes ago, adameliclem said:


Simple answer, Thomaz: that wing isn’t real. Look closely at the lines, textures and the wing  to cloud boundary. It’s a crudely doctored image, overpainted badly. Good enough for cheap wartime newsprint, I suppose, but definitely not part of the recorded image.
 

Back to this build, I’m looking forward to seeing this one, John. If I were doing a Dora now I’d probably give it a rest, myself. Raise a glass to Jerry Crandall.

 

Cheers,

Adam

Very sad about Mr. Crandall's passing.  Upon resumption, I will dedicate Brown 4 to his memory.

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