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Silver Shoki: 1/48th ARII / Otaki Ki-44 "Tojo"

Updated: Nov 2, 2023

Here is another 1970s vintage kit. For its time this 1/48th Otaki Ki-44 was a decent, although very basic kit with recessed panel lines and definitely overdone rivets (very common for this company's releases). These Otaki kits were re-released by ARII in the 80s, which is how I got this particular kit.


Notable Kit Features:

  • Low parts count

  • Basic construction

  • engraved panel lines

  • Single piece canopy

  • Decent separate engine (although you won't see much of it post-build)

1/48th ARII / Otaki Ki-44 "Tojo"

Build Inspiration:


I came across this model kit at a ridiculously low price and ended up picking up a couple, just for fun or experimental builds. One of the markings provided was for Japanese Ace 2 Lt. Makoto Ogawa of the 3rd Chutai / 70th Sentai based out of the Kashiwa airfield in Japan, June 1945. Looking for a straight-forward build to get myself into build mode again, I selected this kit for its basic finish.


1/48th ARII / Otaki Ki-44 "Tojo"

Heads-Up Report:

  • Instructions in Japanese only (On my version :)

  • Spartan cockpit

  • Thick single piece canopy

  • Recessed rivets overdone (really they weren't close to this noticeable)

  • Poor pilot figure

  • Unknown accuracy (not many references for this type out there that I could find, as no examples survived post war)

1/48th ARII / Otaki Ki-44 "Tojo"

Kit Additions / Modifications:

  • Pilot seat belts added using painted masking tape

  • Drilled out the guns

  • Slight chipping applied to the markings (especially the pilot side #2 as refences seemed to indicate this)


Finishing:


This was a "kick-starter" project to get me back to the bench with a no-stress build, out of the box, no complex paint job - get 'er done kit. This 1/48th ARII / Otaki Ki-44 "Tojo" served that purpose well and produced a decent looking model for the display shelf. The base silver paint was sprayed on using a aluminum lacquer paint. The white fuselage and wing bands were painted on (the kit instructions didn't show these bands however other references I had did, so I went with the evidence) I also painted the leading edge wing stripes in yellow as well as the black anti-glare panel on the nose. My standard gloss coat of "Klear" floor finish was applied to prepare for decal application and any weathering. After that stage came the final top coat of semi-gloss and matte (depending on the desired surface effect).

1/48th ARII / Otaki Ki-44 "Tojo"

The After-Build Report:


I would only recommend these 1/48th ARII / Otaki Ki-44 Shoki kits to a modeler who wanted an inexpensive kit for a simple build or possibly use when you want to try out a technique on a kit without courting disaster on an expensive kit. Hasegawa produced a 1/48th model kit of this Ki-44 series as well, which is an improvement over this kit. Their molds date back to the mid-90s and have been released quite a number of times over the years.


1/48th ARII / Otaki Ki-44 "Tojo"

Completed build #149 - March 2012 using the 1/48th scale ARII #A328-600 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


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