Sunny 1/48 Ki-46-III Dinah

KIT #: 104-400
PRICE: CDN$10.00 from Keith's Hobbies in Whitby, Ont.
DECALS: Three options
REVIEWER: Alex Murray
NOTES: Kit produced in 1961

HISTORY

The Mitsubishi Ki-46 was a twin-engine reconnaissance plane used by the Japanese Imperial Army in World War II. Its Army designation was "Type 100 Command Reconnaissance Aircraft" (百式司令部偵察機); the Allied code name was "Dinah". This aircraft was first used by the Japanese Army in Manchuria and China, where seven units were equipped with it, and also at times by the Japanese Imperial Navy in certain reconnaissance missions over the north coasts of Australia and New Guinea. Mitsubishi factories made a total of 1,742 examples of all versions (types I-IV) during 1941-44.

The Japanese Army used this aircraft for the same type of missions (which were not authorized) over present-day Malaysia, during the months before the Pacific War. Later it was used over Burma, Indochina and Thailand; and in operations over the Indian Ocean area too.

In 1944-45, during the last days of the war, it was modified as a high altitude interceptor, with two 20 mm cannons in the nose and one 37 mm cannon in an "upwards-and-forwards" position, almost like the Luftwaffe's Schrage Musik night fighter cannon emplacements, for fighting against the USAAF B-29 over the metropolitan Japanese islands. It lacked stability for sustained shooting of the 37 mm weapon, was weak in its armour, and slow to climb.

The Ki-46 was also assigned to two whole Sentai (wings/groups), as well as individual Chutaicho (junior operational commanders) in the Imperial Japanese Army Air Service, during the Pacific War.

The United States captured some examples during conflict for evaluations.

THE KIT

The kit dates from 1961 according to the stamp on the top starboard wing. Iím not sure how kits of this generation compare other then having seen the odd Lindberg and Aurora kits, but I am quite impressed with the detail and fit from such an older kit. The kitís instructions and details are written mostly in Japanese and one of the few bits of English state Made in Japan on the side of the box. Also, on the side of the box is a humourous description of the Ki-46 written in Engrish, ďVery high speed reconnaissance plane that made Japanese Armyís perfect succeeded operations Hurricane II always could not pursuit this high speed planeĒ.

    Other then the ability to create three different squadron versions of the Ki-46 III the only other option is the addition of a centerline fuel tank. The kit is done in a very hard silvery type styrene which appears to be of good quality. There is very little flash or sink marks. Due to the age of the kit, it does have external detailing in the form of rivets that are a bit on the larger side. Otherwise the overall outline appears to be mostly accurate. To the best of my knowledge Monogram kits used to have ďdepressionsĒ built into the kit in order for the modeler to know where to place the decals. This kit too follows with this type of mantra which is a bit of a letdown, but perhaps after drinking a beer or two will prove to be a Godsend.

    The kit fits together very well when dryfitting and has nice engine detail considering it is of 1960ís vintage. There are decals for the interior radio and cockpit and the fuselage walls have sidewall detail as well. The decals themselves look to be very generalized and somewhat vague when compared with today's more modern models, but hopefully will be useable nonetheless.

CONCLUSIONS

Conclusions: The Sunny kit is recommended for those who enjoy older kits and providing you can find one. I have never heard of Sunny kits until this one. As initially stated, for a kit made in the early 60ís Iím very impressed with the fit and interior detail that comes with this kit. Iím hoping that full time work, part time university and all the other wonderful things life has to offer doesnít conspire to hinder my completion of this kit.

REFERENCES

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mitsubishi_Ki-46

Alex Murray

March 2009

If you would like your product reviewed fairly and quickly, please contact me or see other details in the Note to Contributors.

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