1/32 Nakajima Ki-44- Shoki (Tojo)
Prototype ‘47th Impendent Flight Company’
Limited Edition SeriesProduct #08205
built a total of 1,225 Ki-44 Shoki (meaning "Demon Queller" and
codenamed "Tojo" by the Allies) of all versions, including prototypes.
Development of the Ki-44 began in 1940 as a dedicated interceptor designed to a
Japanese Army Air Force specification for a high speed platform with a good
rate-of-climb. When introduced into service the high landing speeds and limited
maneuverability of the Shoki made it unpopular with most pilots. The Ki-44-II
Otsu was introduced with a much heavier armament, comprising four 20mm cannon
or, alternatively, two 12.7mm machine-guns and two 40mm cannon. Most Ki-44
Shoki’s were deployed in Japan for home defense against the Allied advance in
the Pacific. Their heavy caliber armament did, however, proved to be mightily
effective against the American Boeing B-29 Superfortresses bombers. A few were
used to provide a force of interceptors to protect vital targets in Sumatra.
Limited Edition release from Hasegawa of the Ki-44- Shoki (Tojo) Prototype ‘47th
Impendent Flight Company’ is the latest release from Hasegawa’s tooling of
the 1/32 release of the Ki-44II Hei that was released during July 2009 and
followed up with the 40mm Cannon Otsu version. Molded in 159 gray plastic parts
and 14 clear plastic parts this highly detailed kit will be a hit built straight
from the box with all modelers at any level. This kit includes most of the parts
that is required to build the later versions that had been release previously.
New parts that are supplied with in the kit are the early type of propeller
spinner, landing gear covers, blanking off plates in the landing gear wheel
wells, cowl and a new upper fuselage cowl, which features the earlier type
of vents and grilles.
images below to see larger images
is excellent detail within the cockpit with 29 components making up the cockpit
area. The only down side to the cockpit area is the seat with its lighting holes
molded as dimples. These are pretty easy to drill out to make the seat look more
realistic. Hasegawa also offers the modeler to paint the instrument dial faces
with molded detail that is provided on the instrument panel or use decals
supplied on the decal sheet. Also included is an outstanding plastic injected
Pilot figure in a seated pose. The figure offers optional two heads, one
with and one without an oxygen mask. The detail of this figure is up there with
resin figure manufactures. If you are not planning to include the figure,
shoulder and seat harness would be required weather it was built from
scratch or an aftermarket item it would give it that finishing touch to the
kit also features a nicely tooled Nakajima Ha.109 radial engine, which were also
fitted to the Hi-49 (Helen) Bomber. The engine builds up from ten
parts (including the poly cap). The engine is only lacking some ignition
wires to the cylinders; this can be added very easily with some wire or Photo
Etch from an aftermarket source.
detail has been done very well with fine rows of fine rivets holes and
exceptionally crisp engraved panel lines. Control surfaces are molded in place
in the neutral position, but the “Butterfly” Flaps are separate and you can
position these dropped or the raised position. Included is a pair of drop tanks
and pylons for bombs, but the bombs are not included in the kit. Also included
is an optional Fuel Cooler, These seem to be fitted during the summer months on
the airframe. But these parts aren’t required for the prototype/early versions
of the Shoki and have been marked not for use in this kit. However looking at
reference books that I have on the Ki-44, there are photos that show a
single drop tank fitted on the centerline of the fuselage, or a double drop
tank setup the on the wings, so it would pay to check your references if you
do plan to fit the drop tanks.
supplied for the markings are for three aircraft of 47th Chutai or
Independent Flight Company during January 1942, Saigon Air Field.
markings are for the following -
Independent Flight Company, Major Toshio Sakagawa, January 1942, Saigon Air
Independent Flight Company 2nd Formation reader, Captain Susumu
Jinbo, January 1942, Saigon Air Field
Independent Flight Company 3rd Formation reader, Captain Yasuhiko Kuroe,
January 1942, Saigon Air Field
would recommend this kit to anyone at any modeling level. I have built the first
release of the Ki-44 II Hei and currently building the Otsu with 40mm cannon
version. The engineering and fit of this kit is outstanding and I have enjoyed
both builds. Hasegawa should be very proud with their efforts and work that has
gone into the design and production of the Shoki. I am looking forward to their
next and future newly tooled 1/32 Aircraft releases.
would like to thank the team at Hobby
for supplying this review sample.