Ki-21-Ia RTAF - Thailand’s Heavy Bomber

Published on
February 17, 2024
Review Author(s)
Product / Stock #
Company: ICM - Website: Visit Site
Provided by: ICM - Website: Visit Site
Box Art

The modeling community waited for many years for an update to the Revell or MPM offerings of the Ki-21 Sally, and ICM has delivered in spades, creating several variants and boxings of the Japanese heavy bomber. Whereas I paid around $250 for a Revell boxing, and a bit less for the MPM boxing, the Sally is now available from ICM at affordable prices and with quality moldings.

Whereas the Revell offering contained raised panel lines and rivet detail, and built into a respectable kit, and the MPM offering contained somewhat updated molds but poor canopy fit, the ICM kit is in line with the latest high-quality injection molded expectations. There is plenty of interior details (more than will be clearly visible), the exterior has nicely engraved panel lines, the glass components are crisply molded and very clear, and the fit is impeccable!

The kit is a delight to build. ICM seems to be really stepping up their game – quite a difference from the older Tu-2 I built and reviewed last year. My only beef with the kit (and many new offerings from Airfix, Arma Hobby and others) is the difficult placement and thick nature of the sprue attachment points. One must be very careful, especially with the many very small components, to carefully detach and then clean up the parts without gouging them, as the styrene is of the soft nature seeming in vogue. I found that a sharp exacto blade performed just as well as a saw to cut small parts from the sprue, and was more nimble than a razor saw or other cutter.

There were a few anomalies in the panel lines, in that based on references, it seemed there was one missing line running horizontally along the side of the forward fuselage, and some of the lines on the wings didn’t seem correct, as they were offset running from front to back. I added the missing line but left everything else as is.

Putting the kit together, I only have one caution and suggestion. In steps 56 & 58, the intakes (parts D25 and D17) are to be added to the front of the engine nacelles. However, those intakes seat into pretty tight slots on parts 60 and 64 (the engine mount/base of the front part of the nacelle), and if misaligned by a hair could cause fit issues. What I did was have parts 60 and 64 handy, then glued the intakes to the nacelles and slide 60/64 parts onto the front to help with getting the intakes aligned properly.

The only additional work I did on this kit was to add rivets. With the single toned, light-colored scheme I selected, the riveting work paid off along with the nice panel line detail.

A mask template was included in the instructions for all the glass, but with this much complex masking I bought an aftermarket set, and it fit like a charm. In fact, the guys in my club mentioned how well the glass components looks, and I can attest that the mask was the secret sauce to that result!

I never knew that Thailand flew the Sally before securing this kit. There are three different paint schemes and decals for 4 different marking options including in the box/instructions.

I will continue to build these new ICM kits. Many thanks to ICM for supplying a review build.


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