Monday 27 March 2023

Danilo Renzulli's 1/72 Kawasaki Ki-48 'Lily'

Danilo Renzulli's second Japanese Army twin, the Kawasaki Ki-48 'Lily' Type 99 light bomber (99 Shiki Soh-hatsu Kei Bakugeki-ki  -九九式双発軽爆撃機, informally referred to as 99 Soh-kei  -九九双軽) was built from the much older but unsurpassed Hasegawa kit, first released by Mania in 1973 with the mould taken over by Hasegawa and the kit re-issued under their label and with new box art in 1977. Danilo's kit was the first Hasegawa release with the strange green sky box art of Shigeo Koike, stored unbuilt for over 40 years and surviving a few moves.

The busiest step for Danilo was the interior construction, a task that he accomplished with the help of a dedicated Eduard photo-etch fret and a few modifications. As shown in his photos the front and rear guns mountings were constructed with 0.3 mm brass tube. The forward machine gun was cemented to the clear part from inside while the gun barrel was inserted from outside at a later stage.

Danilo fabricated new undercarriage leg covers cut and bent from aluminium sheet. The rear transparencies were partially substituted by Pavla vacforms after the original was broken. 

The engine air intakes were modified to  Ki-48-II standard. Exhausts were made from copper tube while the pitot tube was made with  0.5 and 0.3mm brass tubes. The wing navigation lights were fabricated from transparent (blue and red) toothbrush handles.

Danilo cut the Sentai tail insignia masks himself, with the hinomaru spray painted using Maketar masks. The camouflage colours were his personal mix using Mr Color paints.

Danilo's model represents an aircraft of Hiko Dai 208 Sentai, (Yasushi No.8328) originally formed in March 1941 as Kyodo Hiko Dai 208 Sentai, an Air Instruction Regiment based at the Paichengtzu Air School in Manchuria (together with the 204th Air Instruction Regiment and 95th Air Instruction Regiment) as part of a planned build-up in anticipation of possible war with the Soviet Union. In August 1941 the Kyodo units were re-designated as the Paichengtzu Instruction Air Brigade under a Brigade HQ. In November 1942 the Brigade HQ and 208th were transferred to the 6th Air Division in the Southern Area together with an Air Sector Command and the 209th Instruction Airfield Batalion.    The tail insignia shown, representing '208', was adopted after May 1944 but it is not known whether it was applied in distinguishing Chutai colours. The previously used insignia was applied in white for the 1st Chutai. The unit actively participated in the second and third New Guinea operations and subsequently in the Philippines campaign, by February 1945 being reduced to only six aircraft.   

With very special thanks to Danilo for sharing these images and details of his build of this classic kit.

Image credit:- Box art © 1977 Hasegawa Corporation; All model photos © 2023 Danilo Renzulli


Baronvonrob said...

Yet another very impressive build from Danilo such a beautiful, blooming lily. Indeed, the attention to interior detail is outstanding, and the overall effect is unsurpassed, creating such a fantastic representation. I also appreciate the exciting outdoor photography.

Much gratitude to Daniela and Nick for the fascinating historical information about 208 Sentai

Michael Thurow said...

Very nice detail again. I love these twins. Any more Danilo?

Andrew said...

Nice work particularly the use of metals other than the photoetch

Alex said...

Fine Soukei and again very interesting story of the unit! The detalisation is just superb. Much thanks Nick and Danilo for sharing.

WD said...

Wonderful interior work, and I love the fabricated landing gear covers.


Kevin Bade said...

I'm in total agreement this is skillful work from the opening of the box to the photos of the finished product. Always great to see Lily built. Is there any other 1/72 kit that aged as well as Manias Ki-48? Almost 50 and she still looks really good.;)

Mark Smith said...

Beautifully built and painted, and the brass details (your handmade ones and Eduard's), make a big difference to the model. Thanks for sharing your work with us. It's always inspiring. Thank you Nick for its presentation.

In terms of its assignments, the Sokei really got around, operating in harsh winter (even on skis and with special cold-weather cowlings according to some of Kikuchi's photos) as well as brutal tropical climes, and busy in many roles. Nick, you mentioned it was 'part of a planned build-up in anticipation of possible war with the Soviet Union' and that expectation compromised Japanese effectiveness in the Pacific. Sometimes history is what *didn't* happen as well.

Mania was a company that, with a very few kits, changed expectations and raised the bar. When Hasegawa bought those molds, their own new releases had to meet the same standard.

blitzkrieg_bop said...

impressive camo job, and very good detailing,


Fred Boucher said...

Danilo, an incredible Sokei. Your skill with fashioning details is an inspiration. Extraordinary models like this is a reason this is a favorite site for me.

In awe, Fred Boucher