Deadly Dinah : 1/48th Tamiya Ki-46 Shitei III (Dinah)
This 1996 initial release Ki-46 by Tamiya is now over 25 years old, however the kit is still a nice build. Parts fit on the exterior lives up to the Tamiya name giving model makers a stress free build out of the box. The interiors could use a bit of work to improve the look and fill some spaces. Additional detailing will give you a more refined appearance if you are willing to invest the extra work.
Notable Kit Features:
Decently detailed cockpits with camera equipment included
Pilot figures come with kit
Finely engraved panel lines
Simple construction with well fitting parts for the most part
Clear glass parts that fit well (in the closed position - I didn't opt for open)
I came across this kit at a hobby show for a very good price and couldn't pass a deal up on a kit I didn't have a type of in inventory.
There are gaps where the cockpit meets the fuselage - most notably in the rear pit
Wheel wells have a center seam requiring filler & clean-up (or not depending on how you feel about underside details)
Front and rear of the wells are open and do not meet the interior wing structure so you are left with a space to deal with (or again maybe not depending on how you feel)
Simple build with all control surfaces molded in neutral position
The glass parts are a bit thick by today's standard
Kit Additions / Modifications:
I pretty much built this kit out-of-the-box with the exception of adding seatbelts.
The exterior paint scheme of this aircraft was the main focal point of this build. This kit was in the first group I built after returning to acrylic paints (again) after a long run with oil-base paints (so there was that adjustment to make). I was also trying out the somewhat unpredictable "hair-spray paint weathering" technique for the first time on this aircraft.
To start off the paint process, the white tail band was the sprayed and allowed to dry before masking it off. Then the airframe was given a base coat of Tamiya aluminum. After suitable drying, the aluminum base paint was over-sprayed in choice spots with a select bottle of hairspray. Once this layer of hairspray had dried, all would be painted over with the Japanese upper green (Tamiya XF-13) and lower gray (apx. FS 35414) camouflage. These camouflaged colours were varied in tone during the paint process, applying a lightened version in the center of panel and a darker tone along panel lines and battle damage areas. (I prefer this method over the pre-shade with black and overspray with camouflage method.)
This sandwich-layer of hairspray would allow the later brushing / chipping of the paint. If your not familiar with the hair-spray weathering process check out Doogs Models in the link below (or at other paint weathering other sites) for an explanation Technique: Multi-Layer Chipping – Doogs Models The yellow wing leading edges were then painted on after the main colours had dried. Chipping was added to the leading edges. The paint process was followed by the decal process and some end weathering of exhaust stains.
The chipping technique turned out well enough although it was very subtle in this case. This weathering technique requires a bit of experience and can result in getting some results you didn't intend, however it does have its merits. A base aluminum coat (especially when given a sealer coat of clear) also allows you to run a scribe down some panel lines or chip off small bits of camouflage with a sharp object, to show some base aluminum. I will continue to experiment with other weathering methods and potentially apply this method on a suitable subject in the future.
The After-Build Report:
This Tamiya 1/48th Ki-46 kit can be a nice kit for a straight-forward, stress free build. As the parts fit is generally good and there are no great challenges, it is suitable for model makers of any skill level. Veteran model makers may want to spend some time upgrading the interior and wheel wells as well as adding flaps to hone their scratch build skills and have a kit to show off. Lone Star Models (480550) did a nice interior set and Quickboost (QB 48 546) did an upgrade to the exhausts if you want to add on with aftermarket.
Completed build #218 - June 2018 using the 1/48th scale Tamiya #61045 kit.
Feel free to comment or ask any questions - Keep on building, gain experience, challenge yourself if you like, but try not to stress yourself out over the build - it is suppose to be an enjoyable hobby after all - Cheers