The prolific Rising Decals have recently released sets of markings for Japanese Army fighters Hien and Hayate in both 1/72 and 1/48 scales.
Set RD72-083 provides markings for no less than 15 colourful Ki-61 and Ki-100 aircraft as shown above. Subjects are as follows:-
- Ki-61-1 Tei of 56 Sentai at Itami, Japan in 1944 - aircraft # 751 flown by the Sentai CO Maj Haruyoshi Furukawa, olive drab over natural metal with white Homeland Defence bands
- Ki-61-1 Ko of 68 Sentai, New Guinea theatre, 1944 - aircraft flown by Sgt Susumu Kajinami, dark green 'snake weave' over natural metal
- Ki-61-1 Otsu of 59 Sentai at Ashiya, Japan in 1944 - overall natural metal with dragon design on wheel covers. Unfortunately the spanwise Chutai-coloured stripes on the tailplanes, always part of the Sentai insignia, are not included on the sheet
- Ki-61-1 Otsu of 39 Rensei Hikotai, Yokoshiba, Japan, 1945 - aircraft flown by Sgt Shuichi Kaiho, dark green mottle over natural metal. The unit insignia is printed with a white border whereas it should be natural metal, the result of masking the insignia before the camouflage was applied. This aircraft should also have the number '22' in white at the top of the rudder and in black on the wheel covers
- Ki-61-1 Tei of 18 Rensei Hikotai, Maran, Java in 1944 - aircraft flown by 1Lt Naoto Fukunaga, olive drab over natural metal
- Ki-61-1 Hei of 6 Shinten Seikutai, 18 Sentai at Kashiwa, Japan in 1945 - aircraft flown by Lt Mitsuo Oyake, overall natural metal with red and white tail feathers (red to be painted) and red victory silhouettes on fuselage
- Ki-61-1 Otsu of 18 Rensei Hikotai at Maran, Java in 1944 - aircraft depicted in an unusual scheme of solid dark green on the upper surfaces with blotches of a darker green and natural metal under surfaces
- Ki-61-1 Otsu of 8 Rensei Hikotai at Heito, Taiwan in 1944 - aircraft flown by WO Takeo Tagata, depicted in dark green mottle over natural metal. This aircraft was incorrectly depicted as a Tei in Osprey 137 prior to a photograph examined after publication.
- Ki-61-1 Tei of of 105 Sentai at Giran, Taiwan in 1945 - olive drab over natural metal. Giran and Giran South were landing grounds used by special attack units
- Ki-61-1 Tei of 55 Sentai at Komaki, Japan in 1944 - aircraft flown by 1st Chutai leader Capt Takefumi Yano, olive drab over natural metal
- Ki-61-1 Tei of 55 Sentai at Komaki, Japan in 1944 - aircraft flown by 2Lt Takeo Adachi, overall natural metal. A good case has been made by Lifelike Decals for the tail insignia being red as on an earlier Hayabusa flown by Adachi and it has also been pointed out that white seems unlikely on a natural metal aircraft although it was the 1st Chutai colour. However Adachi was a member of the Homeland Defence cadre which remained in Japan when the rest of the Sentai departed for the Philippines and the colour of the insignia, not seen in the only photograph, is unconfirmed
- Ki-100-1 Ko of 18 Sentai at Matsudo, Japan in 1944 - aircraft flown by 3rd Chutai leader Capt Haruo Kawamura, depicted dark green over natural metal. Kawamura flew this aircraft on night sorties so there is a possibility that it was finished in the darker black(ish)-brown colour associated with night fighters and the Ki-100
- Ki-61-1 Tei of an unknown unit in the Philippines in 1944 - depicted in dark green over natural metal. Aircraft has an unusual combination of mottled cowling but solid colour from the cockpit rearwards
- Ki-100-1 Otsu of 5 Sentai at Kiyosi, Japan in 1945 - aircraft flown by Capt Totaro Ito - depicted in dark green over natural metal
- Ki-61-1 Tei of 11 Rensei Hikotai at Chofu, Japan in 1945 - olive drab over natural metal
This is a colourful sheet offering a wonderful variety of schemes and markings for Hien buffs, with plenty of opportunity for personal intepretation and expression. Recommended kits are Tamiya, Aoshima, Fine Molds and RS Models. A 1/48 scale sheet RD48027 duplicates eight of the schemes as shown below. Recommended kits are Tamiya and Hasegawa.
Image credits: All © 2019 Rising Decals