Hey Guys, in looking at Thunnus' 1/48 Tamiya Ki-61-1Tei build, it brought back a goal of mine and an interpretation of a black and white photograph. Below is the only known photo of Chuichi Ichikawa's Ki-61-1Tei known to exist. An American photographer at the Japanese airfield who took the photograph after the war described the color of the aircraft as a "chocolate bar brown". That's pretty much all that's known about this aircraft (that I'm aware of...which doesn't say a whole lot). Anyway, what follows is my interpretation of the black and white photograph (knowing full well that this is very subjective and there will be no conclusive conclusions drawn) and how that compares to the accepted theory (theories) on it.
First thing I noticed is the lack of the Ho-5 cannon in the fuselage. This is accepted as evidence has shown that these were removed to lighten the airframe. I don't have access to my 244th Sentai book at the moment so I'm going from memory on that.
The chocolate bar brown coloration, if taken at face value could be anywhere from a weathered Khaki color to an actual brown. I've read discussions that equate the color to an RAL color (8000 if memory serves) but I'm not convinced that is accurate. I'm more inclined to believe it was a faded/worn shade of khaki not unlike the topside color of Thunnus' build.
The underside I think will be natural metal as this seems to have been the norm for these aircraft late in the war. Photographic evidence lends itself to this conclusion but again, there's no way of telling for sure without a color photo of the actual aircraft.
The kill markings have been interpreted as white with yellow lightning bolts through at least seven some of them. I agree with this conclusion. we know for sure that the Hinomaru is red with a white border so it seems reasonable to conclude the kill markings themselves are the same color as they appear to have the same value in the photograph.
The big disagreement with me comes with the tail. Photographic evidence shows that many of the aircraft of the 244th had red tails with the white "Z" Sentai identifier (for lack of the correct term). In this photograph it is barely visible but what has been portrayed as a yellow "Z" in various models and images I believe is actually a white outline and that the entire tail is red. From what I see in the photograph, the vertical tail is a darker shade of grey than is the rest of the aircraft. Now whether this means it's a different color or just in shadow is anyone's guess. My take on it is that it's indicative of a different color, namely red but there is photographic evidence of aircraft with camouflage tails with red or white 244th emblems. However, the 244th emblem is so out of focus that it's hard for me to tell whether it's an outline or a solid color suffering from perspective. My gut reaction is that it's an outline but I've yet to see any 244th aircraft with the 244th emblem as only an outline. If it is an outline, I surmise it's a red 244th emblem outlined in white, possibly on a camouflage green tail (or chocolate bar brown).
The yellow tail band is identifiable as is the katabami (as is reported to be and not a clover leaf). The contrast between the tail band and outline of the katabami indicates (to me) that the current interpretation of a white surround to the katabami is most likely correct as it is close to the known white outline of the Hinomaru.
Edited by Juggernut, 04 February 2018 - 12:40 AM.