Dan Salamone kindly alerted me to the impending release of no less than six sets of decals for the Ki-61 in 1/48 scale from MYK Design Decals in their ASU-DECA series. The decals are an interesting hybrid sort of waterslide and dry transfer - as explained here - where after applying them in the usual way and letting them dry the clear varnish layer can be peeled away to leave just the printed colour. And very nicely saturated colour too. The sheets are produced in limited quantity, sell out fast and don't seem to get re-printed - so if you want them you need to be quick!
There has been a lot of online whinging about the recent Tamiya kit being a long-nosed Tei because allegedly that variant offers less colour scheme and marking options than the short-nosed variants. Not so IMHO. The production of the Tei spanned the period from aircraft being delivered unpainted and factory painted so the potential subjects include plain natural metal finish, various green mottles over natural metal finish and the factory-applied solid olive brown. The Tei variant was also produced in greater numbers than any other and was used by many units both overseas and in Japan, including a number of operational training units and special attack units, the latter with some distinctive camouflage patterns offering a real painting challenge. The issue is not one of limited choice, far from it, but rather whether decals for a particular subject are available.
Kawasaki Ki-61-1 Type 3 Fighter Hien `Long Nose (Model Tei)` (shown above) demonstrates that by providing tail markings for Tei variants based on the Tamiya kit with eight different units including 19, 55, 56 and 105 Hiko Sentai, 5, 17 and 18 Rensei Hikotai and the Hitachi Kyodo Hiko Shidan.
Kawasaki Ki-61-1 Type 3 Fighter Hien `Short Nose (Model Ko/Otsu/Hei)` (shown above) provides tail markings for six different units including the controversial first marking for 78 Sentai, 18, 19 & 68 Hiko Sentai, 39 Kyoiku Hikotai and Akeno Rikugun Hiko Gakko.
Kawasaki Ki-61-1 Type 3 Fighter Hien 244th Fighter Group `The Imperial Guards`(shown above) provides markings for four different aircraft of the 244th Hiko Sentai excluding national markings and stencils.
Kawasaki Ki-61-1 Type 3 Fighter Hien 244th Fighter Group `Commander Teruhiko Kobayashi` (shown above) provides markings for three different aircraft flown by the famous 244 Hiko Sentai commander, again excluding national markings and stencils.
Kawasaki Ki-61-1 Type 3 Fighter Hien `National Insignia & Caution Data -Short Nose-`for Hasegawa provides hinomaru and stencils designed to fit the Hasegawa series of Hien Ko/Otsu/Hei kits.
Kawasaki Ki-61-1 Type 3 Fighter Hien `National Insignia & Caution Data -Model Tei-` for Tamiya provides hinomaru and stencils designed to fit the Tamiya Hien Tei kit.