Aeromaster 48-316, Ki-43 'IJAAF Falcons pt I'

Units: See review




Scott Van Aken

Though not brought out to coincide with the new Hasegawa Oscars, this and other sheets can easily be used on this new kit. No, it was for the Nichimo Ki-43-I and the -II/-III versions produced by Fine Molds for which this particular sheet was designed. I can imagine that you could also use the Otaki/Arii Ki-43 for this sheet as well. It is a bit odd that Otaki's Japanese planes were so poorly done. By that, I mean that all that I have seen have some major shape problem. On most the wings are too short and fat. There are also troubles with the shape of the fuselage on a number of them as well. Again, odd considering that they did a fine job on their F6F and F4U kits.

Anyway, there are four aircraft on this sheet. All are in the two major schemes for the Ki-43. One is natural metal with splotches of camo applied in an overall mottle of some sort. The other is a dark green upper and grey or natural metal lower surface. The control surfaces of these planes were fabric, and unless painted over, were a light grey-green color.

First is a Ki-43-I used by the Kumagaya Flying School. This one is dark green over natural metal. Often the upper surface color on the wings overlapped to the underside of the wings a few inches. It has the yellow wing leading edge IFF bands and, typical of the type, the lower surface of the fuselage is painted in upper surface colors. The white 'home defense' fuselage and wing bands will have to be painted by the builder. As with all the Ki-43s on this sheet, it has a black anti-glare panel.

Next is a very lightly mottled natural metal Ki-43-II from 33rd Sentai, 1st Chutai. This plane was flown by ace Kiyoshi Namai, who was fortunate to have survived the war.

From the 1st Sentai is this Ki-43-I.It is painted like the first plane in dark green over bare metal. It has no IFF wing bands and has a black anti-glare panel. The rudder is yellow with white stripes and it has white fuselage bands.

The final aircraft on the sheet is from the 23rd Sentai, 2nd Chutai. It is also an aircraft flown on home defense missions as shown by its white wing and fusealge bands. The mottling on this Ki-43-II is a bit heavier than on the second subject.

As on other sheets, I've cropped the national insignia. This sheet must have been pretty cheap to print as it only uses three colors; red, white and a bit of black.

2011 note: This sheet is long out of production and finding one will be serendipity.

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