My wife and kids got me this for my birthday, along with some other goodies. When it came out it wasn't one of those "must have" kits for me, but I put it on my wish list since I didn't think I would ever get if for myself. I am sure glad I did. This is one of the better Hasegawa kits that I have built. The detail is great and will produce a stunning out of the box model. The fit is what one would expect from a company like Hasegawa, but don't always get. Fine crisp engraved detail and restrained rivet detail where appropriate. There are 2 canopies, to display open or closed, that are very clear. The kit goes together easily with only the tiniest amount of filler being needed, and that could have been reduced if I had been a bit more careful lining up the fuselage in front of the canopy.
My one complaint was the way the parts trees were setup. Looking at the parts map on the instruction sheet you see several small trees with maybe a dozen or so parts each. The actual trees were linked together to make one large tree with several different lettered groups. When the sheet called out a part number it was just a bit confusing sometimes trying to find the right section. I ended up cutting all the trees apart making a bunch of smaller ones.
Except for adding some cables to the sidewalls, the cockpit detail is all OOB.
The Ki-61 was powered by the German DB-601 engine built under license. The advantage to the modeler is that some of the after market products can now be used. Quickboost Bf 109 G/KB exhausts were adapted to the kit. The exhaust shields, kit parts G5 not shown, where replaced with strip styrene for a more scale appearance.
The correct dihedral of the wing and horizontal stabilizers is guaranteed through the use of spars. The wing spar needed to have the back corner clipped as it hit the flaps making a small gap at the root. Only minor adjustments were needed at that point for a perfect fit that did not need any filler. I glued the upper wing on first getting it lined up and running some Tenax down the seam from the inside. mating the bottom wing was easy after that. The rest of the construction was straight forward without any issues.
The model was primed with Mr. Surfacer 1200 that was sanded smooth with a 3200 Micro-Mesh pad. This took care of any little surface imperfection and got the model ready for the Alclad II NMF. The base coat is duraluminum with some panels masked and sprayed with aluminum and dark aluminum. I wanted to do the aircraft of Capt. Teruhiko Kobayashi that is depicted in the box art. I knew I did not possess the skill to free hand the splotches for the camo. The 3 view drawing on the instruction sheet indicated sheet indicated what the reduction in size is from
1/32 scale. I scanned the left and right side of the fuselage and the wings. These were increased in size to 1/32 scale and each of the splotches was cut out with a sharp #11 blade. It was tedious to say the least. After a while the tip of the blade dulls and can tear the paper. I used 6 blades to cut the template. But since it is just the very tip of the blade, the rest of the edge is still goof for other modeling tasks so don't throw 'em away. Th photo is taken of the back of the template to see the pattern better. The insignia was painted as well since it is easy for a Japanese aircraft and it guarantees a match with the tail. What better way to get that "painted on look". The template has the insignias cut out for positioning so they have to be masked on the model. It is held in place with little balls of poster tac, Fun-Tac etc., to keep it close to about 1/16 above the surface. The green was then sprayed at 90 degrees to the surface. Mask and paint one section at a time so the adjacent areas can be masked to protected from over spray. Once the mask was removed I noticed the spray mist got underneath a tiny bit and there were light outlines of some of the balls of fun-tac. Because the Alclad surface is so hard and durable I was able to sand the surface with a 3200 Micro-Mesh pad that took care of the over spray and help to sharpen the camo edges a bit. Care still needs to be taken so you don't go down to the plastic and because of this, I don't know how well this technique will work on a regular enamel or acrylic surface. Each of the camo splotches were sanded individually to give them a slightly worn look. The rest of the finishing was the normal routines of a gloss coat, decals, wash/weathering and in this case a semi-gloss top coat.
The only other detail added to the kit were some brake lines. These were made with solder that was rolled under a machinist/metal file. This adds some texture to simulate the woven cover of a hydraulic hose. The fitting was made with tiny brass hex nuts, thin wire and some silver HVAC tape. The solder is rosin core which was used as a center for drilling a tiny hole with a #80 bit to glue in the wire.
These photos show the solder before and after painting. Different textures can be achieved by holding the file at different angle when rolling the solder. The spiral was done by rolling the solder a 2nd time under the edge of a steel rule, again held at and angle. This simulated hoses that have a wrapped look like that found on the nose gear of an Me 262. Flat black paint with a white dry brush to bring out the texture.