1/48 Sanger "Nakajima Ki-49 - Helen"

Discussion in 'Model Kit Reviews' started by Ohm-men, Apr 6, 2015.

  1. Ohm-men

    Ohm-men Active Member

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    Let's have a look at Sanger's "Nakajima Ki-49 -Helen"
    Another intersting subject from U.K. based company Sanger is the Ki-49 in 1/48th scale.
    As it comes as no surprise, this is another Vacu kit with white metal detail parts, a decal sheet for 5 aircraft and a scale drawing of the type. Again this a very basic kit that can be build with a lot of patience.

    Here is a look of what is in the box;

    The Kit
    (This is an older offering that came in a box, nowadays these kits come in a bag, though contents are the same)

    First we get 5 sheets of plastic on which the main kits parts are on.
    Fuselage halves, upper- and under wings, wheels, tail and some bulkheads, cocpit floor, etc...
    DSCF2930.JPG

    A close up (with outlined parts with a marker, to show what the parts look like)
    Wings have most pannel lines on then, where the fuselage has no pannel lines whatsoever...
    Again, no surprise here.
    DSCF2931.JPG

    The clear parts are actually not bad. The overall shape of the cockpit canopy looks good, both tail turret fuselage clear parts have the right shape too. Though the clear nose part (that is split in two halves) is useless (for some reason Sanger provides the same nose transparencies for both their Ki-49, Ki-67 and Ginga kits...)
    The white metal parts are given for the landing gear, aranament, radio loop, Props and some cockpit parts.
    Some are usuable, some will need to be replaced. The guns are all of the later "12.7" and "20mm" type, where the Ki-49 I used other calibre weapons which are not included. detail on these parts is a bit crude.
    DSCF2935.JPG

    The decal sheet included has decals for 5 different aircraft, although it is not specified which Ki-67 they are for.
    So the modeller has to find out which aircraft markings are for what Ki-49 type.
    The Sheet has to have each decal cut out seperatly as there is carrier film all over. The printing is far from sharp, there is bleed on most unit insigna and Hinomaru's. And when checking against refference, most unit insigna ae either simplified are have the wrong shape...
    DSCF2936.JPG

    The Instruction sheet is crude, a "A3" sheet is included which has printing on both sides. Recto side gives an (incomplete) 3 way vieuw of the aircraft, the position of the cockpit parts and position of metal parts.
    Verso side has some rather crude images of the decal options, no additional info of the subjects is given (I wrote some on it with a pencil)
    DSCF2933.JPG
    DSCF2934.JPG

    Ofcourse, with Sanger you know what you are getting. But not all is bad! The overall shape, when compared to other scale plans then those included with the kit, look prommesing. The overall shape of the Ki-49 is there. Fuselage and Wings seam to heve the correct dimensions and the fact that the engine Nacelles are a part of the wing structure, should make construction somewhat easier then their Ki-67.
    Here is the fuselage with a drawing of a Ki-58 (Gunship/escort of the Ki-49)
    DSCF2937.JPG
    And a look at the wings with some upscaled plans that come from a Russian? publication on the type;
    DSCF2938.JPG

    Conclusion
    Again something for the more expirienced modeller. Though don't let vacu kits scare you. Once the parts are of their backing sheets and sanded to correct thickness, they are no harder to build then your average "Short Run" kit.
    Again a lot of refference material is needed to build this Sanger (or is it Contrail?) Kit.
    There is not that much material on the Ki-49 available. There is one known monograph by Bushnell, but apart from the type's history and operational life, there is not much other info in this book, no scale plans, or a lot of interior photograps.
    There is however a rather inact wreck situated on one Papua New Ginua that seams to be phtographed a lot and there is a rather substantianal number of pics on line of this wreck. It shows a lot of structural detail that will be very handy when tackling this model.
    Also I would suggest to pick up a 1/72 Hasegawa or LS/Revell model of the Ki-49 to heve some idea of the details.
     
  2. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    Great !!! Thank you for sharing. :thumbright:
     
  3. Shinpachi

    Shinpachi Well-Known Member

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    Fantastic choice and challenge, Ohm-men.
    If interested, here are interior/exterior mockup photos taken in Nakajima's Ohta Factory circa 1939.
     
  4. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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  5. Ohm-men

    Ohm-men Active Member

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    Thanks for posting that link, Shinpachi! I had not seen those pics before.
    I'm still puzzled over the interiour of the Ki-49. The Papua wreck gives some idea of the general lay out, but since it's more or less and empty shell, I haven't got a clue where the crew was seated, what the 20 mm turret looked like, etc.
    Also the steering wheel is of an odd construction, since there was a passage that went past the pilot, the steering wheel was conected with a bar to the co pilot. Though I can't figure out what the position of both seats was.
    It seams "Arawasi Magazin did an article on the Ki-49, but this issue is sold out.
    If anyone has it and would like to share this article, I'd me most gratefull.

    The colour is another "dispute" The Ki-49 started out without camo (as can be seen on the Ki-49-I model)
    these carried black anti glare pannels on the inner engine nacelles and in front of the cockpit.
    I asume, this is also how these were delivered to the units. Then they recieved the so called "Jungle" camo in the field. However, some sources claim these were Army grey machines that had the green squigle "Jungle" camo aplied over the grey in the field.
    I find this odd, as most of these machines have the Anti glare pannels...So I "think" these were bare aluminum maircraft with the green camo aplied over this...
    (A bit the same as the Betty undersurface colour debate, I guess)
     
  6. Shinpachi

    Shinpachi Well-Known Member

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  7. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

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    A glutton or punishment you are!
     
  8. Shinpachi

    Shinpachi Well-Known Member

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    Here are detailed diagrams of the Ki-49 if still interested.

    Nakajima_Kiー49_Helen01.JPG Nakajima_Kiー49_Helen02.JPG Nakajima_Kiー49_Helen03.JPG
     
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  9. Capt. Vick

    Capt. Vick Well-Known Member

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    Shinpachi, do you have similar interior drawings for the Nakajima G8N Renzan?

    Ohm-Man, I hate to hi-jack this thread, but my apologies. Jim
     
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  10. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    :thumbright:
     
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  11. Shinpachi

    Shinpachi Well-Known Member

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    #11 Shinpachi, May 5, 2015
    Last edited: May 5, 2015
    Hello, Jim :)

    No better data available than this book in my country at the moment.

    Book: Unknown Development of Japanese Military Aircraft Vol. 1 (「知られざる軍用機開発(上巻)・酣燈社」)
    Chapter: Renzan
    Page: 73-124 (52pages)
    pdf file (147MB)

    G8N_data_book_sample.JPG
     
  12. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    :cool:
     
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  13. Capt. Vick

    Capt. Vick Well-Known Member

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    Thank you very much my friend! If I can ever repay the favor please just ask!
     
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  14. Shinpachi

    Shinpachi Well-Known Member

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    You are welcome, Jim and Thanks for your kind offer for the future aid.

    The data I introduced was written in 1952 based on the memos which the chief designer of G8N Mr Ken-ichi Matsumura left.
    Other books or articles written on the G8N at later dates are all copies.
    Very little interior information but I will continue searching :)
     
  15. Capt. Vick

    Capt. Vick Well-Known Member

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    You sir are the bomb! Thanks!
     
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  16. Ohm-men

    Ohm-men Active Member

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    Shinpachi, thanks a lot for posting the Ki-49 drawings! This were the last missing pieces for my Ki-49 build! :)
     
  17. Shinpachi

    Shinpachi Well-Known Member

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    You are welcome and I am glad you are back, Ohm-men :)
     
  18. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    Great stuff . :cool:
     
  19. Shinpachi

    Shinpachi Well-Known Member

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  20. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    :cool:
     
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