Aeromaster 48-168: Ki-45 Empire Defenders

Units: various




Scott Van Aken

The Japanese were quite fond of the heavy fighter concept and built several during the war, though the most widely employed was the Ki-45 Tenryu. This sheet provides markings for three planes in various camouflage schemes. At the time of printing the Nichimo 1/48 kit was about it and while it is still an excellent kit, today's modelers will choose the Hasegawa offering instead. All of these are Ki-45kai type tei aircraft with the large cannon.

First up is an overall dark green plane of the 5th Sentai, 1st Chutai baed in Japan during November 1944. Note that all these options have the yellow ID bands on the wings and brown primer props,

Next is a 53rd Sentai, 3rd Chutai plane in the type of camouflage most of us envision the Ki-45 wearing. This is dark green spots over a light grey fuselage. The plane also has white home defense bands, making for a very colorful airplane. Note that this plane has the oblique cannon installed. Also note that the modeler will need to paint the red and blue bands on the spinners, leaving the tip in brown. The white bits are included on the sheet.

Finally, in overall dark brown is a 27th Sentai, 2nd Chutai plane based in the Philippines at the end of 1944.

February 2018

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