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Mitsubishi KI-15 Babs

phantom II

Master at Arms
Hello everyone ! I find this a klunky sort of story but I'll have to give it a shot anyway, so I hope that at least someone will enjoy it.

This story is about an airplane that is not modeled a lot. As a matter of fact there were not that many produced. Less than 500 for all variants.




I spent quite a bit of time in books and on the internet but there are not that many pictures that I could turn up. Which serves to explain why the old build never suited me. The scheme came from a old Donald Thorpe book. Might be accurate ? But boring.



So, I striped it ! ! !
As I said before this airplane must have lived in the shadows. It was first delivered to the Japanese Army in 1937 and served till the end as a Kamikaze plane.



A bit plain in this profile so I continued to look.

When I finally started digging through the Aviation of Japan Webb page I found that other planes like that were deployed to the Sino Japanese war had three tone paint jobs I thought that it could be fun. The KI-27 Nate and the KI-23 Mary sported these paint schemes , so I though maybe ? ? ?



The color combinations are still disputed but the Webb site seems to believe that the Army tanks used these colors and the airplanes were repainted to match the terrain colors.....I'm just gonna have fun with it !



The original build was the Hasegawa kit which is quite good but while searching Pandora's box for some spares I came up with this old Mania kit which proved to be identical :eek:hmy:

The plan has just changed :) The interior is nearly OOB. Just added a few ribs in the fuselage and some wiring for the radio gear.





Some stirrups for the rudder pedals . Improved the camera which I found out latter is the wrong color .

Hope you guys enjoy this. I surely have. Avery interesting little airplane. It was all metal and which in itself was saying a lot for the time period. It set speed records and flew distances that Europe could not touch for sometimes .
It was the fastest recon plane the Japanese Army had until the KI-46 Dinah came into service much latter.

Cheers, Christian
 

jknaus

Moderator
Very cool Chris. As I mentioned I've never seen one of these before. You have a knack for finding obscure aircraft and doing beautiful work on them. Will be interesting to see the second incarnation finished. Keep em coming (y) (y) (y) (y)
James
 

phantom II

Master at Arms
Hey Dave, the Japanese has quite a few airplanes that we just don't or seldom see any material on.

This particular one can still be found one can be found one bay both as Hasegawa or Mania boxing.

If you don't have an aversion for 1/72 kits it is quite well done for a 1972 kit.

Most likely why Hasegawa bought the molds.

Cheers, Christian B)
 

phantom II

Master at Arms
Well, lets post a couple more.
I installed all the office parts



Closed the fuselage and installed the camera window.



It's gonna need sanding to make it flush to the airframe.



Finally the nose cone had to be pulled forward so as to be like the real one. Mania did not provide the spacers,

That's all for now folks. Hope you enjoy it. Comments welcome.

Cheers, Christian B)
 

phantom II

Master at Arms
OK, the left wing had the usual outline for a light but nothing else. So, I formed a lens cover and then cut the slot in the wing and installed a lens. The cover will be installed after the plane is painted.



This seemed like a good time for the wings so they were installed with just a bit of plastic shim.



Primed everything in Tamiya primmer and let it sit



Next was a mixture of Army gray green which does not look much different in the picture but was the original manufacturer's color and can be seen in period photos.



Next will be the dreaded making of a vac u form canopy with my high dollar machine.



Well, that's all for tonight. Hope you enjoy. Comments welcome

Cheers, Christian
 

mikec

Member
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Greetings Chris;


I think you may be right, It just might be a stealth aircraft.









... :pilot ...
Mike
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phantom II

Master at Arms
I have two pal . I can probably find enough stuff around your house to make anther of these George Jefferson vac u form models :rotf I'm afraid you'll have to drill the holes yourself though. Rather tedious.
Cheers. Christian :java
 

phantom II

Master at Arms
Thanks T. It'll get even better with paint. :) Much better model than one would suspect for it's age.

Cheers, Christian B)
 

phantom II

Master at Arms
Well guys, it seems I forgot to take a picture of the first paint process which was a coat of Tamiya rattle can silver followed by the grey green . :blush:

Now I really was having so much fun I neglected some shots. I ( temp ) installed and detailed the engine so I could paint the cowl at the same time as the airframe.



The engine assembly only had the duct entrance drilled out and the ignition wires were a snap since I acquired the this solder.

So, the paint went on ...





Some stripes and decals. I wish the tiger on the side was of better quality but did not have one. :bang head


Personally I thought that the kit canopy framing looked way too wide so the one you see is an old one painted over.
The new one was sanded of details and polished . I used it to vac u form a new one.



The new one was laid on top of an original and the pain staking process of making a new frame ( from blue tape ) and then cutting some mask for airbrushing. :java I could have used a shot of Tequila at this point but have no such icon so i"ll have coffee.

Cheers for now. Christian
 
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