Hasegawa 1/72 Mitsubishi Karigane Type I Communication-Plane "Kamikaze & Asakaze

KIT #: 00845
PRICE: $30.00 SRP
DECALS: Two Options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: Limited reissue, two complete kits, ex-Mania molds


The Kamikaze  was a Mitsubishi Ki-15 Karigane aircraft, (registration J-BAAI) sponsored by the newspaper Asahi Shimbun. It became famous on April 9, 1937 as the first Japanese-built aircraft to fly from Japan to Europe. The flight from Tokyo to London took 51 hours, 17 minutes and 23 seconds and was piloted by Masaaki Iinuma (1912-1941), with Kenji Tsukagoshi (1900-1943) serving as navigator. The newspaper also had a second plane, the Asakaze (registration J-BAAL) in case the Kamikaze ran into difficulties on the flight, but in any case, it was not needed. These were the second and third prototypes of the aircraft that soon became popular as the Ki-15 for the Army and C6M for the Navy, differing only in engines.


This is one of several 1/72 kits inherited when Hasegawa bought out Mania back in the early 1970s. These are generally very nice kits with engraved panel lines, something that few kits of the time had. Even with the somewhat basic cockpit interior detailing, these 30 plus year old kits can easily be passed off as modern moldings.

Since they are so basic, there is little in the way of 'fiddly bits'. The cockpit has seats, control stick, instrument panel and bulkheads. A decal is used for the instrument panel. Probably the most complex part of the build is the attachment of the exhaust onto the hollow-back engine. The modeler will have to fill in a fuselage window or two to properly represent these two civil aircraft. Landing gear spats have the wheels molded in place, so no fussing there, either. Just a note that the canopy is not shown in the sprues image.

Both options are in Silver (perhaps polished unpainted metal) with large areas of blue trim covering the entire engine cowling and the upper fuselage. The Kamikaze has two slightly different sets of markings with one having 'Kamikaze' spelled out in English on the left side. Decals are particularly nice on this kit with all the markings you'll need to do both aircraft.  


Not your usual run of the mill kits, but both are relatively quick builds and will provide a nice pair of interesting pseudo-civil aircraft from before WWII.



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