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 Marushin Model# S011 KI-61 Hein/Swallow Code Name TonyIJAAF Kawasaki Ki-61 Hien 'Tony' Fighter - 18th Sentai - 2nd Chutai, Luzon/Negros Phillipines 1944. Homeland defense late 1945

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PostSubject: Marushin Model# S011 KI-61 Hein/Swallow Code Name TonyIJAAF Kawasaki Ki-61 Hien 'Tony' Fighter - 18th Sentai - 2nd Chutai, Luzon/Negros Phillipines 1944. Homeland defense late 1945    Fri Feb 24 2017, 14:55

Kawasaki Ki-61 Hein /Swallow Allied code name Tony
Producer Marushin ( This diecast line is occasionally active, but releases are limited )
Scale 1/48
Model Number S011

IJAAF Kawasaki Ki-61 Hien 'Tony' Fighter - 18th Sentai 2nd Chutai -  Luzon/Negros Phillipines 1944 &  Homeland defense late 1945



Marushin diecast are impressive pieces of of metal. Very Little plastic, solid, great panel lines but completely bereft of cockpit detail. They need to be assembled but this as a rule is easily done. Saves on box storage space. Other than the Willow I encountered few snags that were not worked through with very basic modeling skills and a small screwdriver and swiss army knife. The canopies are snap in arrangements but a drop of clear elmers glue holds them in place. Some owners have used 1.48 plastic model cockpit interiors and created astonishing detail to flesh out their Marushins, but I personally have never attempted this. The landing gear is also sparse on detail but not as noticeable. Cannon, machine guns and pitot tubes are metal rods and should be painted. The rods can take a bit of filing down to place within the wings. Still this is more than worth the effort.  Marushin did get the 18th Sentai aircraft coloring correct.  They tended to be a bit more bland than other home defense fighters.  The tail flash and spinner brown is correct.  

 

Our cats walk across the book cases where these are displayed. His belly sometimes catches radio masts. The original radio antennae in the pic below has been substituted with something a bit too small. This fellow has several kills to his credit.  I tried to give him away to the little kiddies in lieu of a package of Skittles last Halloween night after he damaged my WWI flying boat, but Cindy kept removing him from the candy bowl.    Evil or Very Mad




Specifications (Ki-61-I-KAIc)


General characteristics
• Crew: One
• Length: 8.94 m (29 ft 4 in)
• Wingspan: 12.00 m (39 ft 4 in)
• Height: 3.70 m (12 ft 2 in)
• Wing area: 20.00 m² (215.28 ft²)
• Airfoil: NACA 2R 16 wing root, NACA 24009 tip
• Internal fuel capacity: 550 l (121 Imp gal)
• External fuel capacity: 2 x 200 l (44 Imp gal) drop tanks
• Empty weight: 2,630 kg (5,800 lb)
• Loaded weight: 3,470 kg (7,650 lb)
• Powerplant: 1 × Kawasaki Ha-40 liquid-cooled inverted V12 engine, 864 kW (1,175 PS, 1,159 hp)



Performance
• Maximum speed: 580 km/h (360 mph) at 5,000 m (16,405 ft)
• Range: 580 km (360 mi)
• Service ceiling: 11,600 m (38,100 ft)
• Rate of climb: 15.2 m/s (2,983 ft/min)
• Wing loading: 173.5 kg/m² (35.5 lb/ft²)
• Power/mass: 0.25 kW/kg (0.15 hp/lb)
• Time to altitude: 7.0 min to 5,000 m (16,405 ft)



Armament
• 2× 20 mm Ho-5 cannon, 120 rpg each
• 2× 12.7 mm (0.50 in) Ho-103 machine guns, 250 rpg each
• 2× 250 kg (551 lb) bombs




The Kawasaki Ki-61 Hien ("Swallow") fighter represented a major departure for Japanese aircraft design in World War II. While other Japanese fighters were designed with air-cooled radials and were optimized for maneuverability, the Ki-61 used a liquid-cooled in-line engine and was designed for speed and power. The Kawasaki Ki-61 first flew in December of 1941. The Japanese Army designation was "Army Type 3 Fighter"



The 18th sentai in Japan 1945 with 41 having its guns synchronized .

The newer Allied aircraft tended to be faster, more heavily armed, better armored, have a better rate of climb and be faster in the dive than their more nimble Japanese opponents. The favoured Allied tactic was now to make 'hit and run' attacks on Japanese aircraft, diving on them from above, then climbing away without getting involved in a dog-fight. The Ki-61 promised to negate this tactic, allowing the Japanese pilots to dive away from the Allied fighters (or to catch Allied pilots attempted to dive away from trouble). The self-sealing fuel tanks and pilot armor were also popular, as was the increase in firepower.




The fate of the Ki-61 was decided by a series of competitive trials, flown against an imported Bf 109E-3, a captured Curtiss P-40E, and the Nakajima Ki-43-II and Ki-44-I. The Ki-61 was the fastest of these aircraft, and was only out-manoeuvred by the Ki-43-II. The Ki-61 was ordered into production, and given the designation Army Type 3 Fighter Model 1 Hien (Swallow). It was the only mass-produced Japanese fighter of the war to use a liquid-cooled inline V engine. Over 3,000 Ki-61s were produced.

 Another picture of 41 with a KI46 solid nose Dinah


Initial prototypes saw action over Yokohama during the Halsey-Doolittle Raid on 18 April 1942, In fact, the Ki-61 was so different from other Japanese fighters that when the type was first encountered in combat over New Guinea in June 1943, the Allies thought it wasn't a Japanese design at all. At first they believed it was a copy of the German Me-109 and gave it the code name Mike. Then it was though to be a copy of the Italian Macchi C.202 Foglore or similar Italian fighter that had just been fielded. For this reason they gave it the code-name "Antonio", or "Tony", though by the summer of 1943 the Allies were convinced the Ki-61 was in fact a Japanese design.



The new Ki-61 Hien fighters entered service with a special training unit, the 23rd Chutai, this was the equivalent of a British Operational Training Unit and was used to give pilots experience with the new fighter . The KI-61 entered combat for first time in early 1943, during the New Guinea campaign. The first Sentai (Air Group/Wing) fully equipped with the Hien was the 68th in Wewak, New Guinea, followed by the 78th Sentai stationed at Rabaul. Both units were sent into a difficult theatre where jungles and adverse weather conditions, coupled with a lack of spares, quickly undermined the efficiency of both men and machines.



Because the Ki-61 was so new, and had been rushed into service, it inevitably suffered from teething problems. Almost all of the modern Japanese aircraft engines, especially the Ki-61's liquid-cooled engines, suffered a disastrous series of failures and ongoing problems, which resulted in the obsolescent Ki-43 still forming the bulk of the JAAF's fighter capability. The Ki-61 was better armoured and more robust than the Nakajima Ki-43 or Japanese Naval fighters, could out-dive the P-38s, P-39s and P-40s in use with the American air force in the area, and could out-manoeuver any Allied fighter until the P-51 Mustang and F6F Hellcat entered service. The new aircraft quickly earned the respect of Allied pilots, who were unable to dive to safety as they could when facing earlier Japanese fighters.




Initially, this campaign went successfully for the Japanese Army Air Force (JAAF), but when the Allies re-organized and enhanced the combat capabilities of their air forces, they gained the upper hand against the JAAF. High non-combat losses were also experienced by the Japanese during this campaign. For example, while in transit between Truk and Rabaul, the 78th lost 18 of its 30 Ki-61s. The 68th Sendai, which began to move in May, made the entire trip in the air, flying from the Ryukyu Islands to Formosa, the Philippines and along the northern coast of New Guinea, also losing large numbers of aircraft on the way. Maintenance problems, low level strafing and parafrag attacks on bases like Wewak, Hollandia by the5th AAF destroyed more on the ground than were destroyed in the air. By the time the Japanese withdrew in the spring of 1944 the Japanese had lost many of their most experienced pilots, and just as importantly large numbers of their best ground crew. Only 5% of the Army pilots with more than 300 hours flying time survived the fighting on New Guinea.



18th Sentail was formed out of the 244th Sentai and became operational in February 1944 at Chōfu airbase Tokyo The unit stayed in Japan until November 1944 when it transferred with others to the Phillipines Angeles West airfield (Clark complex)on Luzon. Another move to Bacolod Negros and again to Angeles West until the unit was ground down and the remnants returned to Japan to close out the war defending the mainland flying theKI-61 and its successor the KI-100




Lt. Mitsuo Oyake won Bukosho for shooting down three B-29s (one by ramming) 7 April 1944.  Japan's equivalent to the Victoria Cross or Medal of Honor. Initiated by Imperial Edict of  Emperor Hirohito. There are 89 known recipients, most of whom fought and scored against B-29s.





Ki-61s were later used in ramming attacks, and several Ki-61 pilots in these "special attack units" earned the Japanese Bukosho for ramming B-29s and surviving. The photo inset to the Sentai 18 aircraft with three b-28 markings is still TBD  if it is indeed Lt. Mitsuo Oyake



The Ki-61 was used in large numbers in an attempt to defend the Japanese home islands. Japan was split into Easter, Middle and Western Defence Sectors. The 18th, 23rd, 28th, 53rd and 244th Sendais were posted to the Eastern sector, which included Tokyo. The 17th, 55th and 56th Sendais were posted to the Middle Sector, and the 59th and later 56th Sendais defended the Western Sector.

The Ki-61-I could only just reach the operating altitude of the B-29s, and even then only by having its weight reduced as much as possible. Most units thus struggled to inflict any damage on the Americans, although the 244th Sendai was an exception, proving itself to be a very dangerous opponent. The Ki-61 also used in an increasingly large number of suicidal ramming attacks against B-29s.



The Ki-61-II was a more capable aircraft, and could operate at the B-29's cruising altitude, but it never appeared in large numbers. It also entered service at about the same time as Allied fighter aircraft began to appear over Japan for the first time, with both US naval fighters and P-51 Mustangs from Iwo Jima entering the fray from February 1945.
Although the Japanese Army Air Force was suffering heavy losses over Japan, so were the B-29s. In March 1945 the high altitude day bombing campaign was replaced with low-level night raids, abandoning the idea of precision attacks. US losses dropped dramatically, and the Ki-61s were left to face Hellcats, Corsairs and P-51s. Although the Ki-61 could sometimes perform well against these aircraft, its pilots were almost always massively outnumbers and losses were very heavy. The radial-powered Ki-100, produced by fitting a radial engine to the airframe of the Ki-61-II performed a little better, but was never present in sufficient numbers to make any difference.





Some reference books on the aircraft , units and pilots.


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If you score a victory but lose your wingman, you lost the battle.
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Marushin Model# S011 KI-61 Hein/Swallow Code Name TonyIJAAF Kawasaki Ki-61 Hien 'Tony' Fighter - 18th Sentai - 2nd Chutai, Luzon/Negros Phillipines 1944. Homeland defense late 1945
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