Jiri Kure – Ki-44-I

Kit: Ki-44-I Shoki/Tojo – Manufacturer: Sword 1/72

Pre-production, 8th prototype as flown by capt. Yasuhiko Kuroe (future 30 kill ace) from 47th independent Chutai during combat trials in Malaya, early 1942

Model by Jiri Kure

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About this model

 It is the Sword short run kit from 2013 of the early Shoki; to my knowledge no other company makes a kit of this early version in 1/72. The main difference from the later, far more widespread, Ki-44-II is the pointy propeller hub and one piece main landing gear covers.
My model depicts the pre-production, 8th prototype as flown by capt. Yasuhiko Kuroe (future 30 kill ace) from 47th independent Chutai during combat trials in Malaya, early 1942.

Yasuhiko Kuroe Ki--44The built was quite straight forward, with some self-inflicted pain of trying to fit butterfly combat flaps and other photo-etched parts originally intended for Hasegawa Ki-44. Usual extra details in the cockpit and around landing gear; I added open entry door and access rungs. The kit comes with lovely resin engine which can hardly be seen behind the copper cooling grills.

Sources vary in describing the “47 Ronin” emblem under the canopy as white-yellow or Red-yellow, the kit decals offer both options. The B&W photos of this particular airplane I have seen show prominent wear and peeling off the paint around the canopy entry as well as somewhat hastily applied brown camouflage coat over the standard green-grey base.

Airbrushed with Gunze Aqueous paints, Humbrols for brush pained details.

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