Continuing the theme of Army twins into this New Year with a hat tip to Danilo for kindly alerting me to this announced future release by Special Hobby of a 1/72 kit of the Tachikawa Ki-54 Hei 'Hickory', Army Type 1 Transport. Long overdue as a mainstream kit but mixed feelings about likely ease of build and availability. Will this announcement deter Hasegawa, Tamiya, Fine Molds et al and become a sad repeat of the Ki-21 story?
This has an old series number SH72270 but according to Hannants is a brand new kit.
Image credit:- Box art © 2021 Special Hobby
Exciting news! If this is truly a new tool offering from Special Hobby it should go together well, much better than their earlier short run kits. They've made a lot of progress in the quality of their kits. The seemingly old series number MAY be due to their announcing it several years ago but not producing it until now. We shall see!
I hope what Bill says is true, however I'm also of a mind like Nick that this would put Tamiya, Hasegawa, Fine Molds, etc. off from producing one.
We'll see what happens. Special Hobby's latest production is not that bad . However it is puzzling why the Big Sisters have ignored this and several other japanese subjects for years. Something like that happens in Italy where Italeri's production looks more like that of an American or British producer - they left to others models like the Fiat G.55, Macchi C.200, the Reggiane fighters, etc. It is a kind of a mistery!
If the Ki.54 kit gets the same treatment as their just released 72nd Bf-109E, we won't be looking for another from the big Japanese manufacturers.
Here's to hoping for the best of all possible outcomes ..that the new Special Hobby model is indeed a "new' version and that the "Big Three" from the Far East will soon produce a variety of Ki21 versions!
Grazie mille Danileo for the notice !
Thanks Ken - that is encouraging!
Yes Ken, you're right. If it's anything like their new Emils, we're in for a treat.
This is a kit I'd be very interested in building. My son and I visited the Treloar Centre of the Australian War Memorial and saw the rather battered fuselage of their Ki-54 on display there. My son initially thought it was an Electra, but one of the conservation staff explained what it actually was and told us its story. It was the aircraft that General Baba flew in to surrender.
At least from the photos of it I've seen, Special Hobby's Sunderland molds look really nice as well! The Ki-54 is a lovely airplane. I was surprised after the lake-salvaged example in Japan a few years ago that its publicity still didn't garner a new kit. Mayve 1/48 fans can hope for one as well...
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