Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Otaki 1/48th scale Ki-100 Ko by John Haas

Here is another splendid model by John Haas, this time a modified Otaki 1/48th scale "Goshikisen" (五式戦 - literally "5-type Fighter"). John built this model several years ago after Otaki launched their series of excellent 1/48th scale models and was very pleased with the release. Until then only Tamiya had produced a Ki-100 to 1/50th scale with plenty room for improvement. Otaki did just that. 

John bought 2 examples and built one from the box as a Ki-100 Otsu with the round vision canopy, Then years later he modified the other one as the Ki-100 Ko so-called "fastback". The conversion was a relatively simple job, just building up the fuselage top with plastic card and putty. The rear part of the canopy came from the spares box.

John relates that this all happened before PComputer times, so his only reference was an article in Air Enthusiast Quarterly and those well known books of William Green "Fighters" Vol.3. The model was finished in Humbrol HJ.3 and the undersite in Humbrol Aluminium Nr.56. After all these years the model is still in good condition, with no cracks or deteriorated paintwork. Even the glass parts are still clear which says much for the quality of those old Otaki kits!

John's model represents an aircraft of the 3rd Chutai, 59th Sentai participating in the air defence of Japan during 1945. Kawasaki's "Goshikisen" was never bestowed with an Allied reporting name.

John also wrote:-

"May I add my reaction to your latest writing "In the eye of the Beholder".  With a big smile, I can only agree with your opinion.  I have been building models now for more than 50 years. And I have built a lot of them. Of course nowadays the quality is better then ever, but the most important part is still "PLEASURE". Accuracy is fine, but not to all costs. That's the reason I started scratch building, I was a bit bored by all those excellent Spits, Me-109, FW-190, or F-16's, etc. I know my scratch built models are sometimes not better than model kits, but the fun and satisfaction building those unusual aircraft is so much greater. My motto: Happy modelling!"

Amen to that!

Image credits: All model photographs © 2014 John Haas