Monday 24 June 2024

50th Sentai Hayabusa Duo in 1/48 by Stéphane Sagols Part 2

The second of Stéphane Sagols 1/48 Ki-43-I Hayabusa models crafted from the Hasegawa kit, this one featuring 'Fubuki' as flown by the controversial ace Sgt Satoshi 'Lucky' Anabuki.

The same details for the previous model apply with regard to the interior and engine details as shown below. 

The models were made from Hasegawa kit 09425 Nakajima Ki-43-I Hayabusa (Oscar) '50th Flight Regiment' released in 2002 and which included markings options for all three 'Musketeers', Sasaki, Shimokawa and Anabuki.  Stéphane used the kit decals for the Kanji characters on the rudders but painted the lightning flashes, fuselage bands and hinomaru.

Satoshi Anabuki also forged his flying career over the Philippines in the Ki-27 as a 19-year old Corporal in Lt Kanamaru's shotai in the 50th's 3rd Chutai. He continued to fly over Burma in the 50th acquiring the nickname 'Momotaro of Burma' after a popular Japanese folk hero, a boy who battled demons. After flying both the I and II variants of the Hayabusa and claiming more victories he returned to Japan in February 1944. He was to claim further victories flying the Ki-84  and Ki-100 as a Sgt Maj flight instructor at Akeno.

'Fubuki' was an Aikoku-go machine donated by the Saitama Agricultural Society and Anabuki claimed 14 victories flying it until it was lost when being flown by the 3rd Chutai leader Lt Shigeru Nakazaki who failed to return from a sortie on 23 January 1943. The victory markings on the rudder represent Anabuki's first victory over the P-40 and two Hurricanes claimed on 18 January 1943. The remaining nine victory markings represent those claimed in this aircraft by Nakazaki.  Anabuki subsequently flew a second and similar 'Fubuki' in which he had amassed 200 hours by the time it was handed over to 16 Field Air Depot in Singapore on 7 June 1943. Anabuki then flew a mottled Ki-43-II with the name 'Kimikaze' said to reference his fiancee Kimiko whom he later married. This aircraft was ditched on 8 October 1943 by a wounded Anabuki who claimed he had shot down two P-38s and two B-24s then rammed a third B-24. For this Anabuki received a personal citation from the 3rd Air Army commander Lt Gen Hideyoshi Kawabe, unprecedented for a living pilot. There were no witnesses to these claims and they do not tally with any known Allied losses. Several of his previous claims also do not tally with  any reported Allied losses. Pilots of the 64th Sentai were sceptical of the truth of his claims and one of them commented to this author that the 50th Sentai's criteria for allowing claims were not as stringent as those of the 64th which required witnesses as well as evidence of fire or crashes. Anabuki's mottled Ki-43-II 'Kimikaze' has been variously depicted with dark green blotches over natural metal, blue-grey or khaki. 

Anabuki also survived the war to serve in the JASDF, also rising to the rank of Major. 

With special thanks to Stéphane for sharing these images and details of his two Hayabusa models with AoJ. 

Image credits: All model photos © 2024 Stéphane Sagols; Hasegawa box art © 2002 Hasegawa Corporation via Stéphane Sagols.


Jim Anderson said...

Very nice builds Stephane, I can't say which is better. Good work on the markings and overall finish. Thanks Nick for putting it together for us and the interesting inclusion of the personalities associated with the Oscar.

Michael Thurow said...

Two fine Hayabusa with a fascinating background (thanks Nick!). Stéphane's colour choices are remarkable and match very well with the worn finish. Both models are very worthy to be presented here.

Sergio L. de H. Teixeira said...

Two awesome gems! Thanks a lot for sharing, Nick! I don't know if the 1/72 Fujimi ki-43 I has the correct shape and dimensions, in any case it's the only choice unless one is lucky enough to catch the Fine Moulds.

Baronvonrob said...

A beautiful pair of "Falcons" in a very realistic livery

Thanks to Stephane and Nick !

WK said...

Another great build, Stephane. Although the Hasegawa Oscar doesn't have the best overall shape, it still is quite fun to build and paint the myriad of paint schemes applies to this nimble plane.


Mark Smith said...


I have been guilty of writing that kit off for what, on the sprues, looks like a shape discrepancy. But looking at these two beautiful models, I think my focus has been misplaced, as these are convincing replicas. Nice paintwork and photo-interpretation behind it. Thanks for sharing the build, Stephane, I'm working on a Hayabusa, and this is an inspiration.

Thanks for showcasing these here, Nick, and for the welcome commentary about the Musketeers. very interesting. Your notes on Anabuki reminded me of a brief conversation I had with a noted American WWII ace many years ago, in which I asked about some of his fellow pilots in one of the Fighter Groups in which he served. He was generous talking of each until the mention of one name (a legend by the way), after which he said 'Well...he made several claims for aircraft destroyed during his tour with us, but no one else ever saw any of them.'

Great post, thanks.

WD said...

Beautiful builds, I love the Hayabusa.
I do wish we could get a state-of-the-art kit of this a/c in 1/72nd. (Are you listening Arma Hobby?)


Stéphane Sagols said...


Thank you all for your nice comments, very appreciated.