Artist Ronnie Olsthoorn did absolutely sterling work on the profiles for 'Ki-44 Tojo Aces' but the publishing size constraints for the Osprey series meant that a lot of wonderful detail was lost or reduced in the final printed versions in the book. Ronnie has kindly given permission to show some larger size examples here, together with some of the full size details from the profiles. He is now very busy working on the 3D model and profiles for 'Ki-27 Aces' with a surprise in store for the cover art. The heading image shows (top) an 85th Sentai machine reportedly flown by ace Capt Yukiyoshi Wakamatsu and one of the Burma based 64th Sentai aircraft with 4th Chutai tail insignia.
Pre-production Ki-44 (5th prototype) of Maj Toshio Sakagawa of the 47th Dokuritsu Hiko Chutai, Saigon, December 1941 and (lower) Ki-44-I of Akeno Flying School painted to play the part of an RAF 'Buffalo' in the Toho 1943 film 'Kato Hayabusa Sentôtai' and flown by future 68th Sentai ace Lt Hiroshi Sekiguchi.
Ki-44-II Otsu of the 87th Sentai, Meiktila Burma in May 1944 and (lower) Ki-44-II Otsu of 3rd Chutai, 70th Sentai at Anshan, Manchuria in August 1944.
Ki-44-II Hei of the 50th Sentai at Meiktila, Burma in late 1943 and (lower) Ki-44-II Hei of the Sentai Hombu, 29th Sentai, Clark Field, Philippines, November 1944. The hard-edged camouflage blotches on the 50th Sentai aircraft are replicated from a photograph. The 29th Sentai example is in the late war factory applied scheme of JAAF # 7 Ohryoku nana go shoku (黄緑七号色 - yellow green no.7 colour), an olive brown paint similar to US Olive Drab. Under surfaces are painted JAAF # 1 Hairyokushoku (灰緑色 ash green colour). The senchi hiyoshiki - white so-called 'combat stripe' (literally war front sign) - appears to have been painted out on this machine.
Three view of Ki-44-II Hei of Capt Teiichi Hitano, 3rd Chutai/Hikotai and 'Sakura' leader, 47th Sentai, Narimasu, Japan, early 1944.
Detail of tail fin, rudder and insignia of 64th Sentai example. The camouflage pattern is carefully replicated from a rare photograph of this aircraft. Typical paint colour was JAAF # 21 midori iro - (緑色 green colour) a deep olive green of strong chroma.
Detail of the cowling of the 70th Sentai example. The paint colour is depicted as the dark blue green JAAF # 27 (青緑色 ao midori iro) and the lustre is replicated from photographs of the actual aircraft.
Close up detail of the fuselage markings and serial presentation on Capt Jun Shimizu's 47th Sentai Ki-44-II Otsu with 40mm wing armament.
Detail of the Ta-dan air-to-air cluster bombs carried under the wings of Capt Yasuro Masazaki's 2nd Chutai, 47th Sentai Ki-44-II Hei and replicated from a photograph of the actual aircraft with this ordnance. Ronnie went to great pains to get the stencil detail correct - note red-painted retractable step, flap guides and marking under wing.
Top view of the cowling anti-glare panel on Capt Hitano's 47th Sentai aircraft. The colour is a deep blueish-black, JAAF # 32 Koku Ran Shoku (黒藍色 black indigo colour).
All images © 2011 Ronnie Olsthoorn/www.skyraider3D.com