Kawasaki Ki-45 Kai Tei "Toryu"

ZOUKEI-MURA 1/32 Kawasaki Ki-45 Kai Tei "Toryu"




The Kawasaki Ki-45 Toryu (屠龍, "Dragon Slayer") was a two-seat, twin-engine fighter used by the Imperial Japanese Army in World War II. The army gave it the designation "Type 2 Two-Seat Fighter"; the Allied reporting name was "Nick". In response to the rapid emergence in Europe of twin-engine heavy fighters such as the Messerschmitt Bf 110, the army ordered development of a twin-engine, two-seat fighter in 1937, and assigned the proposal by Kawasaki Shipbuilding the designation of Ki-38. 
This only went as far as a mock up, but by December of that year, the army ordered a working prototype as the Ki-45, which first flew in January 1939. Results from the test flights, however, did not meet the army's expectations. The Ki-45 did not enter service, but the army, insistent on having a working twin-engine fighter, ordered Kawasaki to continue development. Kawasaki responded by replacing the engines with the proven Nakajima Ha-25.
The Ki-45 was initially used as a long-range bomber escort. It was subsequently deployed in several theatres in the roles of interception, attack (anti-ground as well as anti-shipping) and fleet defence. Its greatest strength turned out to be as an anti-bomber interceptor, as was the case with the Bf 110 in Europe. In New Guinea, the IJAAF used the aircraft in an anti-ship role, where the Ki-45 was heavily armed with one 37 mm (1.46 in) and two 20 mm cannons and could carry two 250 kg (550 lb) bombs on hard points under the wings. Soon after entering service, the Ki-45 was assigned to home defence, and several were dispatched against the Doolittle raid, though they did not see action. 
The craft's heavy armament proved to be effective against the B-29 Superfortress raids which started in June 1944. Eventually the end aircraft were used effectively in aerial ramming attacks. They were also used in kamikaze attacks, such as the attack on USS Dickerson on 2 April 1945 off Okinawa. In 1945, forward and upward-firing guns showed some results with the commencement of night time bombing raids, but the lack of radar was a considerable handicap. By the spring of 1945, the advent of American carrier-based fighters and Iwo Jima-based P-51s and P-47s escorting B-29s over the skies of Japan brought the Ki-45's career to an end. 1,675 Ki-45s of all versions were produced during the war.



Size matters ! The big , heavy box with the impressive boxart is easily imposed on the space catching my sight . There is no doubt that the content will be absolutely stunning .
No , it is not just stunning , it is beyond any expectation !
Not less than 560 (!) parts in fine grey and transparent styrene are waiting there for the patient and experienced modeler to marry them to a perfect "Dragons killer" in scale .

- The kit -

Let us remain calm and let's look briefly first and then more extensively on its content and benefits :
*  One (or maybe two ?) super detailed model of the Ki-45 Toryu
*  560 parts in fine grey and clear plastic
*  Very fine external and internal details on every part
*  Main airframe parts (fuselage , wings , engine nacelles) optional in clear plastic for "museum – like"  exhibition
*  Perfect cockpit
*  Perfect engines (including connecting rods and pistons as usual !)
*  Engine exhibition stand (optional)
*  Perfect landing gear (particularly complex)
*  Perfect weapons
*   Possitionable control surfaces (rudder , elevators , flaps and ailerons)
*  All the internal structure of the airframe
*  Very fine and crystal – clear parts for canopy
*  Two  versions (early and late production with different canopy , weapons etc)
*  Two painting options
*  Big decals sheet with all the necessary (insignia , stenciling , decoration etc)
*  The most detailed (and hard to read) instructions booklet.



Starting from instructions , it is absolutely necessary to study them carefully and during the construction to have them in front of you if you want to have a happy end .
They booklet have not less than 59 pages and in comparisson with other companies booklets , looks some chaotic !



Off course this is not true , on the contrary, they are purely illustrative , just the model is particularly complex . The way they guide the modeler in the eyes of the novice in the world of SWS looks like astrophysics !
Every chapter starts  showing all the pieces you will need to complete each subset, eg engines, cockpit, wings etc  . Then some photos of the finished set in color . And final , assembling instructions , very detailed that guides the modeller with so much methodism that the volume of information he provides him, some moments can anxiety him or confuse him .



Excess? Perhaps, but a quieter look at the instructions will help without removing anything from their value. Instead, it is a model for copying. Finishing the construction do not throw them away, save them as precious books because some day they will have a museum value .



Main parts now : Someone has spent a lot of time studying the actual aircraft or even its construction plans! 
This is obvious as I observe the individual pieces of kit . It is not otherwise explained by such a wonderful and thorough insistence on details that either do not look or are not caught by the eye even though it is there in front of us .



This is not this is not necessarily negative, I just describe what I see and the thoughts I make automatically .
Among other things, there are also surfaces that partially cover each other and this is neither simple nor accidental .



All the surfaces are clean from signs of bad casting, handling or poor packaging, it is also characteristic that all frames with the individual pieces are sealed in a separate envelope each .
Some pin markings are visible here and there ,  but in most cases they will be lost from the parts that will be in front or over them .



Particular care has been taken to ensure that the main parts of the aircraft (fuselage, wing, engine naceles) are transparent and let the modeler decide what the final model will look like.
It can be all-transparent , "normal" (full-colored) or some parts transparent (eg half a nose, one half wing and one engine nacele) .
At the end , that means we have almost two kits in the box and using the engine stand (!) that provides in the kit (yes , there is one ) you may have many options in front of you .



The real difference with this kit is the inner details that surpass the imagination of the most demanding modeler .
All the structure with tubes , beams, rings, screws,  junction boxes etc. that form the inner skeleton from the nose to the tip of the tail and from one end of the wing to the other along with the engine naceles is here , making the building of this kit a real building in scale !
Special care has been given to the cockpit, not , to the landing system, not , to the engines, no , to the armor! Well, it has been given everywhere and the individual description exceeds the limits of the presentation  and would require many pages to list all its favors .



The truth is , this kit is designed by modelers to modelers . Look at the seat belts ! No photo etched or fabric belts needed , all you need is on the seat by pure plastic , so clear and authentic . Look at the instruments panel ! 
Two options , one with realistic clear portholes in front of the instruments .Really clever and efective !
Look at the engines , with all the fuel lines , exhausts , radiators , carburatores , tubing housing etc !




Who need the aftermarket resin or photo etched accessories ?
The landing gear , so complicated, so fragile , so reallistic! The guns , two options , looks like ready to fire! The canopy/clear parts , so "crystal-like", without any sign on !





- Instruction Sheet -



We could discuss and describe for many hours and fill endless pages for that kit and again something would be left for more thorough analysis .
If you even think about the price offered (105.00€@11/03/2019 from Volks site).
If you even think of the price offered, while other models also from Japan or China with lower levels of detail but in no case the same quality combined with the uniqueness of the subject, then it is simply unnecessary to talk any more and all we have to say is: run to order as long as it is still available! This is what we say, kit for once in our lives !
Absolutely recommented !
Thanks to Zoukei – Mura for the provided sample .

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