Kawasaki Ki-45 Toryu (Nick) Part 1

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Company: Zoukei-Mura - Website: Visit Site
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Zoukei-Mura’s latest release in 1/32 scale is the wonderful Ki-45 Toryu (Nick). This twin engine 2-seat, heavy fighter was used by the Japanese Army in WWII. Let’s not wait another minute and jump into the box and see what’s what.

The first thing you will notice opening the box is both clean and gray sprues. As with all Zoukei-Mura kits, this has a full interior and to show it off, they give you the option of clear or gray parts. Six sets of sprues are duplicated in clear including the wings, fuselage, tail, engine nacelles and nose. The total of the gray sprues is eighteen plus a clear canopy. Also included in the box are the 59-page instructions, markings for two planes from Cartograf and masks for the canopy. My first recommendation with this kit is to sit and read the instructions. It is as detailed as any book showing where the parts go and in which order. It also explains what the part is and contains tips/tricks for building the kit. Paint call outs are from Vallejo AND are included at the bottom of each page so no thumbing back and forth- what a great idea! The instructions are broken down into multiple parts sub-assemblies and each starts with an exploded view of the parts needed for that step. This is followed by the finished sub assembly and then directions.

The first thing you need to do before starting is to decide which variant you are going to build. The Ki-45 Tai is late production and the Ki-45 Kai Hei/Tai have differences. There are instructions for both and they are color coded which is very helpful. I decided on the Ki-45 Kai Hei/Tei as I like the color scheme.

While most builds start with the cockpit, I have built many Zoukei-Mura kits and will follow the instructions which means I will start with the engines. The variant I am building has all the specifics for this one colored in burnt orange blocks with a “B” in them. Construction starts by assembling the banks of cylinders and yes, there are pistons in each cylinder. Pay special attention to all the detail notes about orientation. Once the cylinder banks are assembled and painted, the next step was adding the pushrod and cam cover. The radiator, gear cover and propeller shat are added. All of these were painted separately and fit perfectly. Flipping this over, the intake pipes are added. There are no differences yet between the two variants.

Starting in step E, this changes as the two exhausts are vastly different. For my version, there is a single exhaust with a collector ring. This was assembled and painted and added to the rear of the engine. Note that these are left/right specific. The next step is building the engine mounts and they are also different to allow for the two exhausts; note they are also specific for left- and right-hand nacelles. For mine, parts J-2 and J-2 are the current ones.

The next steps have you build all the equipment behind the engine such as carburetor intakes, alternator, magneto and the rest. I had a fit issue getting the carburetor assembly on the mount due to the magneto parts but with a little coaxing, they slid into place. The cylinder assembly was added along with some washes and dry brush. I them lightly flat coated the metal parts and flatted the engine mounts. Fit for the entire process was great and I had two finished engines.

I did make one mistake. On top of the carburetor intake, it looked like there was an ejection pin mark and I sanded it smooth. DON’T DO IT. It actually belongs there. Nuts.

In part 2, we’ll tackle the interior of the plane and fuselage.

My sincere appreciation to everyone at Zoukei-Mura for selecting such a great subject, executing it perfectly and engineering it so well. More soon!


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