Dan Salamone has very kindly shared these images and write-up of his long term 1/48 Hasegawa Ki-61 Hei project. In Dan's own words:-
"This is my just finished 1/48 Hasegawa Ki-61 Hei. I originally started this kit when brand new in 2005, and it came off the "shelf of doom" in 2010 and again in 2016/17. The Hasegawa kits are still very nice, and in fact are the only game in town for the short nosed Ko/Otsu/Hei variants. Three areas of weakness are the lack of wing dihedral, the poor shape and detail of the supercharger intake, and the lack of a multi-piece canopy. I improved on all three areas of this kit.
"The natural metal finish is airbrushed Floquil old silver and platinum mist. After curing the paint was progressively wet sanded with automotive grade sandpaper to get a smooth and shiny surface. All other colors are Gunze Mr. Color lacquers, except the drop tanks and camouflage mottle which are custom mixed Vallejo acrylics. Weathering was applied with artist oils for panel washes, and Vallejo acrylics for the dust/dirt and paint chips. The final clear coat is Gunze Mr. Super Clear matt applied from a spray can.Eduard photoetched lap belts were added, as well as minor items like brake lines from copper wire and landing gear indicators from brass wire.
"Careful study of close up images show the subtle yet apparent scuffing and dirt/grime from ground crew on the wingroot areas.
"Decals are from the Lifelike Decals 244th Sentai collection. When originally started, this model was planned to represent an aircraft of the 68th Sentai based in New Guinea, but finding a black and white image of this particular aircraft made me change my mind. The early build Hiens had a dark blue/grey color in the cockpit and landing gear bays, which is replicated on this model. If I had started this project knowing how it would finish, I would have opted for the sand brown color seen in later build aircraft!"
With special thanks to Dan for sharing these images of his superb and convincing model with Aviation of Japan and providing the write-up.
Image credits: All © 2017 Dan Salamone