**** DONE: 1/48 Ki-45 Toryu Kai Tei - Night War of WWII

Discussion in '#28 Night War of WWII - Allied or Axis' started by JKim, Dec 3, 2015.

  1. JKim

    JKim Well-Known Member

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    #1 JKim, Dec 3, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 29, 2015
    Username: JKim
    First name: John
    Category: Advanced
    Scale: 1/48
    Manufacturer: Hasegawa
    Model Type: Kawasaki Ki-45 Kai Tei
    Aftermarket addons: CMK Ki-45 Interior Set, Eduard Canopy Masks

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    From Wikipedia...
    The Kawasaki Ki-45 Toryu (屠龍, "Dragon Slayer") was a two-seat, twin-engine fighter used by the Imperial Japanese Army in World War II. The army gave it the designation "Type 2 Two-Seat Fighter"; the Allied reporting name was "Nick".

    The first production type (Ko) was armed with two 12.7 mm (.50 in) Ho-103 machine gun in the nose, a single Type 97 20 mm cannon in the belly offset to the right, and a trainable 7.92 mm (.312 in) machine gun in the rear cabin, and this was followed with the Otsu with the lower 20 mm cannon replaced by a 37 mm (1.46 in) type 94 tank gun, to counter B-17 Flying Fortress bombers. While the firepower was devastating, manual reloading meant that only two rounds could be fired per gunnery pass, typically. The next type (Hei) restored the 20 mm cannon, and this time placed an automatic 37 mm (1.46 in) gun in the nose. A later addition in the ("tei") type were twin obliquely-firing 20 mm Ho-5 cannons behind the cockpit and often propulsive exhaust stacks.

    In 1945, the forward and upward-firing guns showed some results with the commencement of night time bombing raids, but the lack of radar was a considerable handicap. By the spring of 1945, the advent of American carrier-based fighters and Iwo Jima-based P-51s and P-47s escorting B-29s over the skies of Japan brought the Ki-45's career to an end.

    The next version, the Kawasaki Ki-45 KAId, was developed specifically as a night fighter, which were supposed to be equipped with centimetric radar in the nose; due to production difficulties, this did not occur. The aircraft took part in night defense of the Home Islands and equipped four sentais from the autumn of 1944 to the War's end. They obtained notable successes, and one Ki-45 sentai claimed 150 victories and of these claimed eight USAAF B-29 Superfortresses in their first combat.
     
  2. JKim

    JKim Well-Known Member

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    #2 JKim, Dec 3, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2015
    Hellcat is almost done so I am going to get the next one in the queue. I'll probably need more time on this one since this is a twin-engined bird... my first! The kit arrived from Japan in a cardboard box stuffed with Japanese newspapers... very authentic! I also picked up the CMK resin upgrade for the interior.

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    I'm not dead set on the markings yet. I want to do a mottled Toryu with the white Home Defense bands but haven't settled on a particular aircraft yet. The kit decal sheet has one option for a mottled Ki-45, a 53rd Sentai fighter depicted on the box art. The decals look ok but I've not had great experience with Japanese manufacturer's decals. I'll have to test these to see if they lay down nicely. I may not have much choice since the available aftermarket choices are very limited (as far as I know) for this aircraft.
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    The decal sheet provides instrumentation but I'll probably go with the Eduard photoetched panel that comes with the CMK set.
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    The clear parts looks nice and transparent with rivet detail on the canopy frames. The fuselage section between the pilot and gunner is supplied as a clear part, which is much better than clear parts for small windows. The kit allows the canopy to be positioned open.
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    As typical with Hasegawa kits, all of the non-clear plastic parts are stored in a single plastic baggie, which allows parts to jiggle against each other. I much prefer other manufacturer's practice of bagging each sprue individually. The big fuselage sprue holds the fuselage halves, tail plane and some smaller interior details. Surface detailing is nice but jumping from the Eduard kits reveals that the molding is no longer state of the art.
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    The kit interior looks to be fairly complete but having the CMK interior set, I'll probably not be using most of these interior parts. I say "probably" because resin means possible fit issues... we'll have to see how that goes. The side panel details are pretty uninspiring and exhibit multiple ejector pin marks.
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    There are two copies of the sprue that holds the engine nacelle parts. I haven't checked but assumed that the exhausts are solid and will need to be hollowed out.
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    The engine cylinder banks are surprisingly molded in one piece. I expected to see each cylinder bank represented individually but given that much of the engine will remain invisible due to the spinner, crankcase and oil cooler ring, I guess this will yield an acceptable result if carefully painted.
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    A casualty of the Hasegawa "one bag" philosophy... should be a simple repair.
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    Here is the other copy of the same sprue but this one has an attached sprue with some gun parts on it. I think the CMK set has these guns will likely go unused.
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    Nose cone and cowling parts.
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    This sprue holds the majority of the detail parts including the interior. Note that the cockpit floor is molded integrally with spars for the wings. The CMK interior set replaces the flooring but not the spars. I'm wondering if this will be a problem in getting the wings securely attached... future investigation required.
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    The wings are supplied in halves with wheel wells molded into the lower half.
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    Finally we have this little sprue with a single piece on it. This is the portion of fuselage under the the wings. As I pointed earlier, the use of the CMK interior set removes the wing attachment spars. This bottom piece being separate gives me additional worries about the secure attachment of the wings.
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  3. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Should be a good one John - looking forward to the build.
     
  4. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    Agreed.
     
  5. Jeff Hunt

    Jeff Hunt Well-Known Member

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    Adding to an already excellent field of night time stuff. I know you will do it justice John.

    Cheers,

    jeff
     
  6. JKim

    JKim Well-Known Member

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    Here's a look at the CMK Interior Detail set. Ya know... resin parts are very beguiling. They look so appealingly detailed and busy sitting on their casting blocks just begging to be used. The detail on them is usually a level or two better than what is on the kit parts. But getting them to FIT? Well... that can be a hair-ripping exercise in frustration. How will this CMK set fare? I don't know. I couldn't find any online builds that spoke specifically to this set so I'll just have to wade in and see.

    The instructions are bit ominous though. Only THREE colors called out in the entire two-man cockpit! And look at Step 1... pretty vague. I am assuming the shaded area is a combination of shaving of the inner fuselage walls and some actual removals (like the piece that crosses over the top of the cockpit opening). And notice that the CMK set replaces the cockpit floor and that the replacement part does not have spars for the wings.
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    Here are all of the pretty pieces still on their casting blocks.
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    At least I know what to do with the instrument panel, which is your typical high quality sandwich-type of assembly from Eduard. Also included on the PE fret are seat harnesses and little switches and doodads that are just waiting to get swallowed by the carpet monster.
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    The floor of the pilot's station is a one-piece tub with nice deep detail on both sides. The casting block is long and this will be the toughest part to separate from its casting block I imagine.
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    Here's the pilot's seat, a tank of some sort and what I assume to be a radio unit. I haven't checked against any references yet but that blob on the top of the seat almost looks like a defect. The dials on the radio could be a little sharper.
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    Close-ups of some of the miscellaneous panels and bulkheads.
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    I'll have to do a careful evaluation of the kit parts versus the resin, in terms of fit, detail and structural benefits. Looks like I'm in for lots of sawing, cutting, trimming and dry-fitting right off the bat. Most likely I'll end up using a combination of resin and kit parts for the interior.
     
  7. le_steph40

    le_steph40 Well-Known Member

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    I second that :thumbright:
     
  8. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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  9. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    A bit of work ahead of you there John.
    When I use resin parts, I tend to use those which are better than the kit parts, or better than I could make myself, and 'mix and match', using some resin and some kit parts to complete the job.
    As you know, test-fitting continuously is essential, and at times, some resin parts are unusable - an ejection seat for a 1/48th scale Hawker Hunter I tried to use, turned out to be 4.5 mm too tall ( a scale 8.5 inches !), and would have protruded above the level of the canopy and cockpit top. Thankfully, test-fitting showed this before I was committed to sticking it in place !
     
  10. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

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    Nice one John. I found the one time I used CMK resin they were adequate but not perfect. As Terry says, plenty of dry fit will be needed as well as potential scratch built alternatives.
     
  11. JKim

    JKim Well-Known Member

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    #11 JKim, Dec 5, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2015
    I spent the last couple of days sawing off and cleaning the resin parts, dryfitting cockpit components and trying to decide which parts to use. The CMK control stick handle is a mis-cast blob. I like the beefier CMK stick so I transplanted the kit handle to the CMK stick.
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    The kit rear machine gun is pretty nice but the resin piece betters it in detail and having a hollow barrel end. There is a PE piece for the gun sight that I have not attached yet.
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    Same deal with the oblique-firing cannons. These won't be easily seen so the benefit of the added resin detail isn't that tangible.
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    The barrel ends of the cannons are separate pieces and again the differences are slight. The CMK pieces have the benefit of having the barrel ends already hollowed out.
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    The bulkhead behind the pilot's seat is well represented either way but the CMK piece has more detail.
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    The radio equipment faces look like they came from the exact same mold but the CMK frame is beefier and better defined.
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    I dry-fit the fuselage and wings with the kit cockpit floor (with the spars) and using the main resin cockpit pieces (dry-fitting is hard when there are no positive attachment points between the resin parts).
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    The big decision is whether or not to use the CMK cockpit floor, which will remove the wing spars from the assembly and make wing attachment a little less sure. Going this route would also require me to remove the fuselage join in the cockpit area, which is also a potential concern. After futzing around with the kit cockpit parts and the resin parts, I've decided to jump in with both feet and go with the CMK resin parts. I think I can still use the wing spar idea but instead of them emanating out from the fuselage, I can cut them from the kit cockpit floor piece, glue them into the wings and stick them into the fuselage.

    The resin sidewalls will require removal of the molded fuselage detail. As I showed before, the instructions are fairly vague about what needs to be removed so I will have to just have to double check the fit as I go.
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    The removals are done slowly, deliberately and one sub-area at a time. I use a combination of a curved x-acto blade, a straight blade and the Tamiya sprue cutters to slice, scrape and cut the detail off. The pilot starboard panel first...
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    Then the pilot port side panel next...
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    I move down to the gunner's side panels...
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    Dry fit checking of multiple resin components is like building a house of cards. At some point, I need to secure some resin in place and so the side panels are glued into place using CA glue. That fuselage join and molded details on the middle section of the cockpit area is removed. Point of no return has been crossed.
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    I can now do a more accurate check on the fit. I'm especially concerned if the fuselage halves are not completely coming together because that could lead to further problems. Everything checks out... fit looks ok.
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    With painting in mind, I will now figure out which sub-assemblies can be attached and which should be left off.
     
  12. Vic Balshaw

    Vic Balshaw Well-Known Member

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    Didn't notice you had popped this one in John. Nice one and lots of bits to play with.
     
  13. Night Fighter Nut

    Night Fighter Nut Well-Known Member

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    Looks like this will be very educational. Perhaps I can improve my meager skills as I follow. Great kit though. :)
     
  14. JKim

    JKim Well-Known Member

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    Thanks guys! Hopefully, this will be a helpful guide on an not-too-oft built kit. I'm quite impressed with the Hasegawa kit, especially the interior. If I had the kit in my hands before making any other purchases, I would've most definitely elected NOT to buy the CMK resin upgrade. It's nice an all but it really isn't that much of an upgrade over the kit components. For one, it doesn't ADD anything that the kit omits but simply upgrades the components that the kit supplies and that "upgrade" varies from significant to not even noticeable.

    But on the other hand, I have been pleasantly surprised at the fit of the CMK resin components. I was expecting a lot of trimming but not too much removal of kit plastic was necessary to make things fit (knock on wood since its not officially "together" yet). I have consolidated most of the sub-assemblies to the point that I can start painting. The only kit components in the picture below besides the fuselage halves are the rear gun brace, the control stick handle and the square stand thingy mounted on the raised portion of the cockpit floor (I botched the resin piece with the razor saw). I will peruse my sources on the interior colors before I jump in with the airbrush. Special thanks to Geo for the emailed pictures of the Toryu, especially the interior shots.
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    The 2-piece photo-etched instrument panel was glued onto the resin backing panel, which was painted black. The panel was then sprayed with a flat coat to get rid of the annoying Eduard texture on the IP face. I added drops of future into each dial to simulate the glass faces. The little PE switches were added last and touched up with red and white paint.
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  15. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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  16. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

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    Looks like you're getting some quality time with your kit John. Making great progress.
     
  17. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Yep, good stuff, it's looking the biz.
     
  18. Night Fighter Nut

    Night Fighter Nut Well-Known Member

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  19. Wayne Little

    Wayne Little Well-Known Member

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    Good stuff John, got 3 or 4 versions of Ki-45's to build, look forward to yours!
     
  20. JKim

    JKim Well-Known Member

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    The interior has been primed in black...
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    And then given a coat of custom-mixed Tamiya Khaki + Red Brown.
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