Otaki 1/48 Ki-100




$5.00 (swap meet)


Three Aircraft


Rick Craybill
PHOTOS: Tom Dunbar




The Kawasaki Ki.100 was a late-war adaptation of the Ki.61 Tony airframe to take the Mitsubishi Ha-112 14-cylinder radial after supplies of the Kawasaki Ha-140 12-cylinder ‘Vee” type engine ran low. The engine cowling/exhaust stack layout was derived from a Focke-Wulf FW 190 tested by the Japanese. Initial testing revealed a substantial increase in handling qualities and serviceability compared to the Ki.61, and the aircraft was placed in production after only 100 days. It was considered the best IJAAF fighter of the war. In everything but level speed, the Ki.100 was a match for any American fighter, including the P-51 Mustang. Original conversions had a razorback fuselage, but the model II had a cut-down rear fuselage and all-around canopy. Japanese Home Defense squadrons such as the 59th and 244th Sentai extensively used the Ki.100. Only one example in a British aviation museum is known to exist today.


Otaki/Arii kits of this vintage had nice recessed surface detail, but a minimal interior.  However, they were a definite improvement over the Revell and Monogram 1/48th scale planes I had built as a younger kid. Markings are included for three aircraft. The decals are somewhat glossy and the Hinomarus too bright, which is not uncommon for kits of Japanese aircraft. I substituted faded Hinomaru from an IPMS decal sheet. The rest of the kit markings were used.


This kit was built Out of the Box. Parts fit is okay in most areas. Some trimming is required at the wing/fuselage join. The most difficult piece to align is the forward section of the cowling. Flash was minimal.



I chose to represent an aircraft from the 3rd Chutai, 59th Sentai based at Ashiya Airfield, Kyushu in August 1945. Interior parts were done first. The engine was done in Flat Black, with a gray crankcase housing and rod covers picked out using a Silver gel pen. Cockpit interior color is IJA Green; late war Japanese aircraft frequently used exterior colors in the interior as well. After assembly, the kit was sprayed overall with Testor’s Model Master Metalizer 1451 Aluminum Plate, followed by a cover of Dull coat to mute the shine. All control surfaces were done in AeroMaster1098 IJA Gray/Green.


Polly S IJA Green was hand brushed on the fuselage and upper surfaces. The landing gear covers were also painted IJA Green. (I suspect this was done to prevent bare metal gear covers from being more visible when the aircraft was on the ground). AeroMaster 1086 Japan A/N yellow was used for the leading edge stripes.


After drying, the upper surfaces were weathered by applying masking tape, which pulled off the green to reveal the Aluminum underneath. This was done heaviest underneath the cockpit, which is where most paint would be worn off. I sorta goofed here and weathered the tail before applying the unit markings – you can see the silver underneath the decal. The tail stripes didn’t fit too well around the base of the vertical tail, so they were trimmed back and covered with a liberal dollop of Silver.


When the national markings were applied, I tore them slightly after they had set to weather them as well. Note that this aircraft had the white surround on the fuselage meatballs partially painted over. Undersurfaces were left natural metal, since at this stage of the war little time was wasted on painting


Finally, the propeller and spinner were done in AeroMaster 1099 A/N Red Brown Primer. Tires and exhausts are Flat Black.



This works up into a nice kit. For the detail freaks, I recommend the Tamigawa offerings. For kit bashing or just a weekend slap-together, the Otaki kit is hard to beat, especially it can be found for as little as $5.00 at model shows. Lack of small parts and easy construction make this a fine kit for novices.


Japanese Aircraft Interiors 1940-1945 Robert Mikesh

Army Type 5 Fighter, FAOW no. 137

Maru Mechanic no. 45

Japanese Army Fighters, Pt.1 William Green & Gordon Swanborough


Rick Craybill

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