Saturday 14 September 2019

Ushi Models Tachikawa Ki-94-I in 1/72

Here's a surprise. A new 1/72 resin kit of the stalled Tachikawa Ki-94 interceptor project from Ushi Models due for release in October this year. Unusually the kit features 3D printed detail parts. It's an impressive looking machine and the scheme shown is both refreshing and convincing (although as a legitimate 'what if' an earlier completion could be imagined and therefore a natural metal Homeland Defence bandaged version could be justified), but it will set you back the best part of £62 ($77.42 USD). 

The Ki-94 was designed to meet an Army stratospheric fighter requirement and a full scale mock up of the Tachikawa Ki-94 Experimental Fighter (立川 Ki-94 試作戦闘機) was completed by late 1943. The Army rejected the heavily armed design ( 2 x Ho-203 37mm and 2 x Ho-105 30mm) as too complex and unlikely to achieve the estimated performance of 485 mph at 32,810 ft. However, in 1944, with the B-29 offensive a looming reality, the project was revived and accelerated with the design being completely modified into a single engine fighter driving a six-bladed propeller (the Ki-94-II as kitted by RS Models). The Army approved the design and ordered a static test airframe, three prototypes and 18 pre-production aircraft. A single prototype had been completed by the beginning of August 1945 and the first test flight, with a temporary four-bladed prop, was cheduled for the 18th. A second prototype, to be fitted with the planned six-blade prop was still under construction. The rest, as they say, is history.   

Image credit: All © 2019 Ushi Models via HLJ


Ronnie Olsthoorn said...

Cool subject! Looks like a neat little kit. The price though... wow. I wonder how well they'll sell as I have many model kit ambitions but it's indeed the pricing that worries me the most. As in, will there be enough of a margin to make it worthwhile, without having to charge a fortune (and thus have no sales...).

Ken D Glass said...

Thanks for the heads-up, Nick.