Aeromaster 48-064:  Ki-44 Tojo Collection

Units: Various




Scott Van Aken

This particular sheet has markings for seven aircraft, five of which are shown. Aeromaster at this time (1993), followed Microscale's early method of doing decal sheets in several cases, of which this is one. Specifically, they do not provide insignia, requiring the modeler to buy a separate set for this purpose. Fortunately, they eventually wised, realizing that wasn't the best way to do things, especially if the insignia sheets sold out or were not available.

Fortunately for us, in the years since this sheet was released, we have had a very good series of Ki-44s from Hasegawa. The sheet recommends the Otaki kit so there is a possibility that these markings may not properly fit on the Hase kit, but I'd go for it anyway. According to the instructions these are all Ki-44-IIb aircraft. Any yellow leading edge ID bands will have to be painted as will the black nose anti-glare panels.

First up is an 85th Sentai plane in unpainted metal with  with a yellow rudder.

Next is from the 87th Sentai in what is listed as a flat black upper surface with white bands on wings and fuselage. These bands will need to be painted on.

Also with the white bands is another 87th Sentai plane this time with dark green upper surfaces.

The fourth option is  from the 85th Sentai based in China in 1944 and flown by the Chutai commander, hence the more fancy tail markings.

Another home defense plane, this time from the 246 Sentai. Whie band only on the fuselage.

Not shown is another 246 Sentai plane, but this time based in the Philippines in 1944 and with a dark green upper surface.

Finally, with the big 'swoosh' on the tail is a plane from the 29th Sentai on Formosa in 1944. This is in dark green uppers and it says light blue undersides, but I'm not so sure off that. You get both a blue and yellow swoosh with this option.

Decals are nicely printed and my experience with old Aeromaster sheets is generally quite good. One does not see many Ki-44s built, but this and other aftermarket sheets should inspire one.

August 2017

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