|$71.00 from www.coopersmodels.com|
|Notes:||Resin conversion set with decals.|
One kit that has never appeared in injected plastic is the very last of the Ki-61 'Hein' fighters. Probably due to the dearth of possible markings, Hasegawa has never bothered to produce this kit. It would require a brand new fuselage and canopy at the minimum to properly model this version and so it has been left to aftermarket to provide this for us.
New wing Model Craft has done a number of conversions for other aircraft, but this is their first 1/48 fighter, from what I can gather. The set consists of new fuselage halves, new prop blades and spinner, new rudder, new canopy, new radio mast, new upper cowling, new intakes and vents, new inner rear bulkhead, and new inner gear doors. The rest of the kit will have to come from the Hasegawa kit. The box specifies that it must be the Type 3 Hein or the Ki-100 Otsu. I imagine this is to ensure the proper wing and armament for this kit. If one has both kits, the Ki-100 is the one recommended.
The molding on the resin is really top quality. The engraved panel lines are very much like the Hasegawa kit. Though not shown, the one-piece canopy is nicely molded though, of course, not quite a clear or thin as the Hasegawa version would have been. Still, it is more than adequate. I compared the resin prop and spinner with the one in a Type 3 kit. The blades looked to be slightly wider and the spinner more of a cone shape and blunter on the tip. The upper cowling piece on the resin conversion has small holes near the back where the Hasegawa one has oval vents. The exhaust provided are molded down into the openings and have greater detail than the plastic ones.
A nice touch is that the radio mast is cast with wire inside it. This makes it properly stiff, but also requires some care in removing it from the casting block. a small decal sheet that is basically just white fin markings is supplied for the 55th and 56th Sentai. These appear to be ALPS printed as the sheet has a single carrier. All other markings will need to come from the kit sheet. These two options are both in Kawasaki Dark Green over unpainted metal. These have the yellow leading edge ID bands as well. Further research may well locate images of this aircraft with other units.
Instructions are well printed and easy to read. The drawings provide Hasegawa kit numbers for those parts to be gleaned from the kit during fuselage assembly. There are also some paper masks that you could cut out and transfer to tape, but since this has a fairly simple canopy, standard masking procedures should be more than adequate. A full color painting and decal guide is provided, giving decal numbers from the two Hasegawa boxings for the majority of markings.
In all, it is an excellent conversion set. I'll be building this one up for a future article.
My thanks to www.coopersmodels.com for the conversion set. Get yours today from the link.
If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly, please contact the editor or see other details in the Note to Contributors.