From Alex Angelopoulos comes this very fine and convincing model of the Type 95 Fighter, the Kawasaki Ki-10, the Japanese Army's last biplane fighter, to 1/48th scale from the Fine Molds kit. The model represents the aircraft flown by 1Lt Iori Sakai of the 2nd Chutai, 2nd Hiko Daitai (Air Battalion) serving in China during Spring, 1938 and was a funded by donation fighter Aikoku (愛国 - love of country, patriotism) - 138. In a fight against 18 Chinese I-15 fighters on 10th April 1938 that saw the debut of the JAAF's new monoplane Type 97 fighter (Ki-27), Lt Iori (in a Ki-10) claimed three I-15's shot down. The I-15's were part of a mixed force from the Chinese 3rd and 4th Pursuit Groups.
Alex reports that the kit is excellent in terms of fit and detail. He puttied the main airframe panels smooth as was done on the original to improve aerodynamic performance. The blue eagle and shadow-shaded letters 2FM on the fuselage identified the 2nd Chutai.
Alex also used Fine Molds extra photo-etch set for the model's rigging and drooped the elevators but otherwise the build is straight from the box.
The kit Hinomaru decals were used but weathered over and Alex finished the model in Tamiya XF-14 IJA Grey which represents the JAAF paint colour standard # 1 hai ryokushoku (灰緑色 - greenish grey colour). Leading Japanese aviation researcher and author Dr Yasuho Izawa has described* this paint colour as "light greyish blue plus a drop of yellow". The overall finish and subtle weathering is superb.
The Ki-10 is an iconic and interesting subject for a model in this scale. The best single reference to the type is Tadeusz Januszewski and Zygmunt Szeremeta's 'Kawasaki Ki 10 Perry' published by Tenzan in 2007 and is well worth trying to obtain. Thanks very much to Alex for kindly contributing these beautiful and inspiring images of his very impressive model.
* In '64th Flying Sentai', Aero Album, Spring 1970.
Image credits: All model photographs © 2011 Alex Angelopoulos