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Hasegawa's 1/48 scale
Kawasaki Ki-61-I

by Chris Wauchop


Kawasaki Ki-61-I Hien (Tony)

images by Brett Green

Hasegawa's 1/48 scale Ki-61-I Koh/Otsu Hien is available online from Squadron.com




Hasegawa's Kawasaki Ki-61-I kit could trace its origins to the exquisite and expensive 1/48 scale resin kit by short-lived Japanese manufacturer, "The Right Staff".

Hasegawa released their plastic kit following the demise of "The Right Staff". This kit featured the same restrained yet impressive surface features of the earlier resin model. The clear parts are also noteworthy, being exceptionally thin and free of distortion.



Chris built Hasegawa's 1/48 scale Ki-61-I Hien shortly after it was released in the 1990s. He originally painted the model in an overall natural metal finish.



Painting and Markings


The model was painted using the metal bodied Testor Aztek airbrush fitted with the fine tan-coloured tip.

The model was originally painted using Mr Color lacquer silver. This finish tuned out to be difficult, as no other paint wanted to stick over the silver coat.

The new paint job represents a Ki-61 Hien attached to 59th Sentai in the CBI (China/Burma/India) theatre during 1945.

The original metallic finish was overpainted with squiggly camouflage. The original Hinomaru decals, yellow leading edge stripes and other markings were left in place while this repainting took place.



The canopy was originally masked using aluminium foil. This was carefully stripped from the canopy frames, except for the rear section. The windscreen and sliding section were then masked and sprayed silver.





The model was photographed in HyperScale's studio using a Nikon D70 digital SLR. Illumination was via two studi flash units - one Bowens 250 and a generic 100 flash - on stands and illuminating from a high 45 angle from each side of the front of the photography table.

The camera was fitted with a Micro Nikkor 60mm lens.

ISO was set to 250, and the manual shooting settings were 1/100 of a second at f.29. The high aperture ensures good depth of field.



The model was placed on a base of static grass in front of an enlarged photograph of sky. The images were optimized (brightness and contrast) in Photoshop CS, resized to 700 pixels in width and saved as 75 dpi .jpg files using Photoshop's "Save for the Web" option.

For the photos with the extended grass foreground, the model photo was merged with a photograph of grass taken at Bankstown Airport in Sydney's south-western suburbs. The colour and tone of the grass was adjusted to match the static grass under the model using Photoshop's "Hue and Saturation" tool. The demarcation between the model static grass and the real grass in the foreground was merged using the Clone Stamp tool.



Additional Images


Click on the thumbnails below to view larger images:


Model by Chris Wauchop
Text Copyright 2007 by Chris Wauchop and Brett Green 
Images Copyright 2007 by Brett Green 
Page Created 19 June, 2007
Last Updated 24 December, 2007

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