Category Archives: 1/32 Large Scale Aircraft

Hasegawa 1/32 Kawasaki Ki-61I Type 3 Fighter Hien (TONY)

The Kawasaki Ki-61 Hien (飛燕, “flying swallow”) is a Japanese World War II fighter aircraft used by the Imperial Japanese Army Air Service. The Japanese Army designation was “Army Type 3 Fighter” (三式戦闘機).  Allied pilots initially believed Ki-61s were Messerschmitt Bf 109s and later an Italian aircraft, which led to the Allied reporting name of “Tony”, assigned by the United States War Department. It was the only mass-produced Japanese fighter of the war to use a liquid-cooled inline V engine. Over 3,000 Ki-61s were produced. Initial prototypes saw action over Yokohama during the Doolittle Raid on 18 April 1942, and continued to fly combat missions throughout the war.

The Ki-61 was designed by Takeo Doi and his deputy Shin Owada in response to a late 1939 tender by the Koku Hombu for two fighters, each to be built around the Daimler-Benz DB 601Aa. Production aircraft would use a Kawasaki licensed DB 601, known as the Ha-40, which was to be manufactured at its Akashi plant. The Ki-60 was to be a heavily armed specialised interceptor, with a high wing loading; the Ki-61 was to be a more lightly loaded and armed general-purpose fighter, intended to be used mainly in an offensive, air superiority role at low to medium altitudes.
[Source: Wikipedia]

1/32 Scale “Shidenkai no Maki” Kawasaki Ki-61 Type 3 “Tony” Plastic Model Kit.

Kit Highlights

  • Highly detailed plastic pieces molded in gray, cream and clear
  • Limited edition
  • Standing and Seated Figures included
  • Detailed cockpit with instrument panel
  • High Quality Waterslide decals
  • Illustrated instructions
  • Scale: 1/32
  • Length: 10.78″ (274mm)
  • Wingspan: 14.76″ (375mm)
  • Skill level: 3
  • Parts: 151
  • Kit Number: 64746
  • MSRP: $94.99
  • Street Price $79.99 USD

One decal sheet with markings for 1 version:
1) Pilot student, Kei Kogarashi

Welcome to the newest entry on our website. This time we are proud to present the Hasegawa 1/32 Kawasaki Ki-61I Type 3 Fighter Hien (TONY) plastic model. Though this is not a new model of the famous fighter, it is new from Hasegawa under their Creative Works Series.  The model is featuring popular manga [Shidenkai no Maki]. There are no signs of tooling aging on this model kit considering how many copies it has printed. No flash or nasty mold lines are present and the detail is well engraved all over the fuselage. Having said that, the clear parts on this kit at least for *my personal* taste, have very shallow detail on the frame representation. Be ready to either get aftermarket masks or Bare-Metal foil to mask the clear parts. All my attempts with Tamiya masking tape and humble toothpicks were futile. A model builder sometimes need to know when to stop, and I did because I knew I was going to loose my clear canopies. Luckily I had Bare-Metal Chrome foil hanging on a wall and it made the masking job a whole lot easier. Granted, bare metal leaves a gummy glue residue but this was easily addressed with odorless mineral spirit on a cotton swab.

There are aftermarket cockpit options for this kit available. In my humble opinion, the stock cockpit is very good itself and can be made to look even better with some basic scratch building skills. Other than a wash and some aluminum dry brushing on the seat, I left it pretty much stock because I wanted to feature Kei at the knobs and dials.

The figures are a resin cast but not the resin we are used to on figures. This is the kind of resin you would find on figurines at the Dollar Store. It is a non-porous resin and I had a hard time to get the paint stick to it. Wash and sand with #1500 grit sandpaper or pads to create something for the paint to bite on. Your choice, you can paint the eyes or use the supplied eyes via decals. There are also decals for the eyeglasses frame but I decided to paint them and not fiddle with tiny decals. Speaking of decals, they are of the greatest quality I have worked with. They sink almost complete on the fuselage rivets without any decals solvent.

Painting the Hasegawa 1/32 Kawasaki Ki61-I Type 3 Tony.

As most of you know, the secret to a nice NMF is a good foundation. The fit of the wings to the wingspar and fuselage is like a glove. So I worked with my model wingless until it was time to add the landing gear. First, after sanding the minor joint lines, I sprayed the model with Rust-Oleum 2X Black Primer (this stuff is good but cannot say the same about the white version). Corrections were addressed and followed by area touch-ups of more R/O primer. A coat of Vallejo Gloss Black 77.660 primer was added. Since the model already had a coat of flat black primer, this make the Vallejo primer go a long way. Once the G/B Vallejo primer had dried, I sprayed fine misted coats of Vallejo Metal Color Aluminum 77.701 using my Aztek A-470 Airbrush with a Turquoise Nozzle. On top of the aluminum metal color from Vallejo, I added the ‘camo’ look using Tamiya XF-58 Olive Green. The yellow stripes are Tamiya XF-03 Flat Yellow.

Notice one of the pictures below. I made a photocopy of the design from the instructions which is almost 1:1 and cut with my fresh #11 x-acto blade. Since the fuselage has no wings, it made this step easier. I then used the same stencil reversed on the other side of the aircraft. For the wings I used the same template at random followed by a thick coat of Gloss-Cote from Testors and over that gloss coat decals went on and sealed again with another coat of Gloss-Cote. This was finalized with a pin wash of Wash for DAK Vehicles from Ammo by Mig A.MIG 1000. Everything was then sealed with a fine mist of Gloss Cote and the aircraft got its wing and landing gear.


This kit is going to the soon to be reorganized exhibit in our office entrance. I can not recommend it enough!

My sincere thanks to:

Hasegawa USA

Hobbico for sending in this sample.

Ammo by Mig for kindly providing us with their awesome weathering supplies.


AOA Decals: Black Ponies & More Broncos

With the release of the New Kitty 1/32nd scale OV-10A, a new (to me) company announced a sheet of decals specifically for this kit.  AOA Decals has released a sheet of US Navy and USMC Broncos in both 1/32nd and 1/72nd scales.  What attracted me can be seen on the fuel pod in the cropped image below:   AOADecals32004c After all, my Internet name is sharkmouth!  Visiting the web site, I saw that the sheet lists for $22 USD with shipping included within the US.  Upon arrival, one realizes that the price is well worth it as the sheets are huge!  See below where I put my No. 6 scalpel for scale.  Note that there are two sheets and the one on the right is sold separately for $12.50 USD as 32-005 Bronco Airframe Stencils. AOADecals32004a Both sheets are printed by Cartograf and are in perfect register with very little carrier film visible.  The samples used reacted very well to the MicroScale (SuperScale) system but I did not try them with hotter decal solutions.  The larger sheet measures approximately 8.25 by 9.75 inches with the stencil sheet being approximately 4 by 8.125 inches.  The artwork is very well reproduced and the stenciling is legible.  Now let’s discuss what makes this release a work of love; the instructions. AOADecals72003b There are sixteen pages of instructions on eight full page sheets with a correction sheet added.  The latter is not truly a correction set as it was included to make stencil selection for particular airframes easier since the profile image  stencils may be too small to discern.  There are 21 marking options on the sheet:

  • 1 option for VMO-6 “Cherry Six” at Quang Tri, South Vietnam (1969)
  • 2 options (1 aircraft) for VS-41 Shamrocks at Naval Air Station (NAS) North Island, California USA (1969/1971)
  • 18 options (11 aircraft) for VAL-4 Black Ponies at Vung Tau and Binh Thuy, South Vietnam (1969-72)

To make things complete, there are helmet markings, pylon and ejection seat decals, as well as two types of shark mouth schemes for fuel tanks or Mk.4 HIPEG gun pod.  To help out, a full ordnance chart is also included!  Looking through my references, the markings seem to be the correct size with the proper fonts and markings.  Very well researched!  For those that prefer to paint the walkway areas on the wing themselves, separate white stencils are included.  However, it should be noted that only one set of stencils is included for the 32nd scale offering.  If 1/7nd scale is your preference, see below and note that all the markings are on one 4.5 x 8.125 inches sheet which does include two full sets of stencils! AOADecals72003a

Revell 1/32 F-4G Phantom II “Wild Weasel”

Suppressing enemy air defenses is a crucial, highly demanding, and highly dangerous mission. It amounts, tactically to a deadly game of hide and seek in which hidden SAM batteries try to down lurking aircraft before they themselves are destroyed. The F-4 Phantom II was one of the most potent ‘Wild Weasel’ aircraft of the last several decades. These aircraft played a key role in conflicts from Vietnam to Desert Storm. Kit features access ladder, choice of two windscreen styles, wide selection of missiles including AGM-78 Standard and AGM-45 Shrike.

Revell 1/32 F-4G Phantom II “Wild Weasel”

Kit Highlights
-Skill Level 3
-Length: 23-9/10″
-Height: 6-1/8″
-Wingspan: 14-1/2″
-Parts: 328
-Product Number: 85-5994
-Recessed panel lines
-Access ladder and choice of 2 windscreen styles
-AGM-78 Standard and AGM-45 Shrike
-AIM-9L Sidewinder
-AIM-7E Sparrow
-External Fuel Tanks
One decal sheet with markings for 2 versions:
-1) F-4G Boise Idaho ANG 190th FS F-4G 69-0298/WW Frameless
Windscreen Option
-2) F-4G 561st FS, Nellis AFB, NV F-4G AF69-7295
-MSRP: 54.95 USD

It has been a while since the last opened a box containing a 1/32 scale model kit of a large subject. This is the newest iteration of the F-4G Phantom II ‘Wild Weasel’ from Revell, from USA to be exact. With a stamp date of 1994 on one side of the fuselage halves, it is more than obvious that this tooling has standed out the test of time press after press during its different version cycles ever since. The 1/32 F-4G Phantom II from Revell has delicate receded rivets and panel lines. The panel lines and rivets for my *personal preference* are just a bit on the shallow side compared to the F-4J Phantom II from Tamiya. The good thing is that I don’t prime my models so that’s a coat less of media to get into those lines.

As always constructions starts by the cockpit and it doesn’t look that bad at all for the kit’s price point. I still have reference pictures of the F-4 Phantom II that I used when I built Tamiya’s F-4J and to me eyes it look that Revell nailed most of the cockpit components in their right places. The ejection seats will need some TLC or for the after market afflicted, you might want to order a pair from Eduard Brassin.

The gear housing is there for our little viewing pleasure, but the kit has no duct intakes so you might want to check for after market options or add covers to block the view -or the lack of-. On the exhaust side, the, the kit is a bit scarce especially because the afterburner cans are not that deep. The wheel wells look good to me but could benefit from some scratch building wiring which in this scale, is not something hard to do. The decal sheet looks very well printed with very overall solid colors including stencils.

Note from the Author

In a nutshell,
The 1/32 Revell F-4G does look like a very nice kit to be built out of the box. Especially for those wanting to venture into a larger scale without having to sell a kidney on the black market. To take this model kit to the next level, you the model builder will have to invest a few more dollars. This is pretty much the norm nowadays. My previous large scale Phantom II from Tamiya also required some after market details; So for the MSRP on the F-4G from Revell trust me, you can’t go wrong!

My Sincere thanks to Revell USA for the review sample.

1/32 Czech Avia S-199e

The Avia S-199 was a propeller-driven fighter aircraft built after World War II by the two aircraft factories in Czechoslovakia: one of them officially called závod Avia (Avia Plant) (1946–48) and závod Avia-Jiřího Dimitrova (Avia-George Dimitroff-Plant, 1948–49) in Čakovice near Prague, as a post-war corporative part of the Automobilové závody, n.p. [Automotive Works, National Corp.], and the other one called závod Vysočany (Vysočany Plant, 1948–49) in Prague, as a corporative part of Letecké závody, n.p. [Aviation Works, National Corp.] It was constructed with parts and plans left over from Luftwaffe aircraft production that had taken place under the country’s German occupation during the war.

Despite the aircraft’s numerous problems and unpopularity with its pilots, it achieved fame as the first fighter obtained by the Israeli Air Force, for use during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. Czechoslovak pilots nicknamed it Mezek (“Mule”), while in Israel it was officially known as the Sakeen (“knife” in Hebrew). In practice, the aircraft was more often called Messerschmitt or Messer (which also means “knife”, in German and Yiddish).

Source: Wikipedia


I really wanted to get this build done before the new year and I finally crossed the finished line. At this summer’s Nats my goal was to pick up something unique and not really add that much to the stash. My wife blessed me with a few dollars to splurge and I made a purchase that I rarely make. I had always eyed the 1:32 Werner’s Wings S-199 conversion set, but the price of $75 made me hesitant. I decided to make the plunge, so I chatted with the nice Werner’s Wings folks at the vendor table…they are really nice folks.

The base kit I used was the fine 1:32 Hasegawa Bf109G-14. The Werner’s conversion set came with an entirely new nose piece and some great decal options. I have to comment that the Werner’s resin was first rate…finely detailed and not brittle…surface was perfect.

I had to cut off the nose of the base kit and resin nose fit was perfect. I added some RB Productions fabric belts….I also purchased some Barracuda Wheels. Soon after I painted with MM RLM 02 and chose the Czech scheme….

I did make one annoying error….when I clamped the left wing I did it too tightly which compressed the wing…this resulted in poor fit with the resin nose. So the fit in this area was my fault and not the conversion set.

Note from the Author
In conclusion, for my first experience with a full conversion of a kit I am very pleased. It was a fun build…

Tamiya 1/32 F-16 CJ Fighting Falcon

Highly regarded as one of the world’s leading lightweight multi-purpose fighters, the F-16 Fighting Falcon is capable of precision attack during air-to-air and air-to-surface combat. The success of the F-16 comes from its precision control, with aerodynamic body design combining with innovative electronic fly-by-wire technology for precision maneuvering at both low and high speeds, and low and high altitudes. Fitted with one single turbo jet engine, the F- 16 has a top speed of over Mach 2.

Currently used by more than 20 countries around the world, the F-16 has been deployed to actual conflict since the 1980’s including seeing action in significant conflicts such as the Arab-Israeli conflict, the Gulf War, Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq.



Here are the pictures of one of the finest models I have worked with. Everything you’ve read about this model kit, is true. All I have left to add is a great build with little to no fixes required. Every part falls together with a jigsaw puzzle fit.

I love the fact that the kit’s box is also a storage box in case you need to transport it or simply to put it away for a while and use the shelf to display a new model. The kit comes with your choice of clear or smoke canopy with beautiful rivet details.

The cockpit is filled with nice surface details and the ejection seat where many folks would rather go with a resin version, is not bad at all. Provided is a 1/32 scale seated pilot and photo etched seat belts. The pilot you see here is from Verlinden stock #2173. (1:32 Modern US Fighter Pilot F15, F16, A10).

Tamiya 1/32 Phantom F-4J Build

Finally, 80 hours working on this beautiful model and I can just consider it done. This beautiful Phantom F-4J is part of a group build from the Fine Scale Modeler’s Forums. I guess I was the 1st one from the group build to finish this project. For this group build I chose Tamiya’s kit # 60306. I might say that out of those 80 hours, around 15 hours went into the ejection seats. I’m an OOB builder for the most part, but I wanted to take this F-4 Phantom another notch and added the beautiful Eduard Brassin set which features nice photo-etched parts an a clean accurate resin casting.

Tamiya 1/32 Phantom F-4J

The Eduard Brassin set Eduard Brassin 1/32 F-4B/J/N/S  632002 Ejection Seats. I have to agree with Eduard, this is one beautiful ejection seat set. Also to spice up the cockpit, I added some photo-etched mouldings around the canopy. These were parts bashed from the set 1406 from Verlinden Productions.

I originally ordered the set to build the open radome ala Tamiya’s 1/32 F16J Viper. After receiving the set, I had second toughts and decided to go with the closed radome. Having in hand the Verlinden set, I was able to compare ejection seats from Verlinden and the Eduard Brassin. Yup! I’m glad I did ordered the Eduard Brassin set.

The Tamiya F-4J 1/32 is a beautiful kit with no mayor fit issues. In fact, fitting is so good, that I literally painted 90% of the kit on the sprues and/or small pre- assemblies. I like colorful markings on my aircraft kits, so I decided to go with the provided WARLORDS decals. There is only one issue, for such a well molded kit not to mention the price tag, the included decals leave a lot to be desired. Adding insult to the injury, Tamiya is a bit to say the least, bureaucratic.

They want us to mail unused decals in order to issue a replacement set. Man, our modeling time is so limited, why making it harder. I can stop by and order missing parts or decals for a $15 kit no questions asked. Luckily for me, there was a good fellow in the group build building a 1/32 Phantom and kindly provided the decal set he wasn’t going to use.

Note from the Author
This is one great model kit with plenty of out-of-the-box details and plenty of room for either after market or scratch build details. Other than the brittle decals and the lack of a friendlier way for replacement parts, I would definitely recommend this kit. Well worth the price tag.

Kinetic 1/32 scale F-86 Sabre

This kit from Kinetic was built about 6 months ago. The kit comes with what it looks some clunky parts and sprues (thick) especially on the wings but overall fit is very good and for the price, you’ll get a quite n ice surface detail is quite accurate based on my picture references. Even without an after market cockpit resin kit which can be as expensive as the kit itself, it finishes up an impressive model. I painted this model using regular Testors Aluminum in spray and then to matte down the shine and metallic speckles I coated it with Testors DullCote. I left it drying for 48 hours. After the paint was dry, I did started to ”panel it up” with Testors Metallizers. I used Magnesium non-buffing metallizer for the machine gun covers and Aluminum Plate (Buffing) in other areas. Markings for the Kinetic F86 included are:

1- F-86F-1, 51-2910, 39 FIS/51 FIW, ‘Beauteous Butch II’, as it appeared after his final combat mission as flown by Captain Joseph McConnell

2- F-86F-30, 52-4641, 39 FIS/51 FIW, ‘Mike’s Bird’, as flown by Captain Charles McSwain

I chose Mike’s Bird because its a colorful marking on a shelf filled with rather monochromatic colors and markings. The decals are rather thin and settles down to the rivets easily with Microsol setting solution. This is a great kit in my opinion either for large scale enthusiasts or those small scale model builders that would like a larger version of their beloved Sabre F86. 10 minutes away from my home, I have on display and nice F86H where I took a few dozen pictures.

Highly Recommended:

Street Price: $40-$50 USD.