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Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Civil Mitsubishi Ki-15 II newspaper courier

 (this is the step-by-step build, for the completed model please go here in this very same blog:

 After the excesses and debauchery of scratchbuilding, conversions, modifying or superdetailing models, it´s good to take a break and build something simpler and with a tranquil color scheme (hey, just one color!).
Some time ago I bought some kits from the ARII brand of the Mitsubishi Ki-15 (I and II) in order to build the civil versions used as couriers by Japanese newspapers.
A post here depicts the Arii and Hasegawa kits of the Ki-15 I (that had two civil regs of long distance flight fame, J-BAAL and J-BAAI):
Now I just started work on the Ki-15 II kit, in order to render one of the newspaper couriers: J-BACL (Domei Press), J-BACK (Osaka Mainichi Shimbun), J-BACR (also Domei Press), or J-BAAO (Asahi Shimbun). All had variations on the side windows, antennas and small marks.
Here a Wikipedia photo of J-BACL:
(Link to the image):

Rising Decals issued some time ago the J-BIRDS II sheet which has the J-BACL registration (and other civil planes) but is now OOP and unavailable. So if I have to make my decals anyway, I can go for either of the above.
The "new" ARII kit (that seems to be a re-pop of older brands) is very pleasant, with features you wish much modern kits would have. The engraved panel lines are restrained, the surface detail is nice, the breakdown practical. The parts are thin, and not the heavy duty chunks your get even today from certain manufacturers. The transparencies are ok, and the instructions clear enough. The interior is there, although it isn't outstanding, but as usual not much will be seen of it anyway.
One issue: an unrealistic "flattened" engine (although in two rows).
And two nit-picks: so-so wheels (not much will be seen of them anyway inside the wheel pants), and a not very good rendition of the fabric on the rudder (very easily corrected with just a few passes of fine sanding sponge).
The fit seems good, but we'll be checking that as the build progresses.
 The parts:
 Nice surface detail:
Some detail, just a tad chunky for the Pitots:

 Again nice surface detail and very good thin parts:
 ok transparencies:

 ok instructions:
 Discarded parts:
Engine pancake (why did they do that?) and so-so wheels:
Fabric detail could be lightly treated to some passes with fine grain sanding sponge:
The two additional windows on the fuselage side are slightly blanked, to cater for multiple versions:
 Fore this version, one more window, ahead and up, needs to be opened:
 The idea is to keep this build nice and simple, contrary to what I always do.
Some parts glued together. In general good fit, but I removed the locating pins for the nose parts:
 The interior color is applied:
 Inst. panel and engine painted:
 Third window opened:
Once the interior is painted, the parts are glued to the fuselage sides:
 Then the halves are glued together and one of the nose parts is also attached to keep a better grip on the whole. I will also recommend to remove the locating pins here. They are tiny, and don't produce major misalignments, but may be a hair off:
Once the fuselage glue had set, wing and horizontal tail were added, the fit was good with only a slight cleanup needed:
I decided to replace the Pitot arrangement (a bit too chunky in the kit) and the tail wheel (not really the accurate angle).
It is of note that, in spite of what the Rising Decals instructions sheet states, no photo I have of J-BACL shows either a spinner of a mast antenna (almost all other regs. do).
The small bits still in the sprue that are located on the cockpit coaming areas in the kit, are not visible in photos, perhaps deleted from the civil version), so I won't be using them:
OK, I gave in to temptation. I replaced the plastic exhausts which lacked depth (although you could just drill them) with alu tube cut in angle and thinned:
First coat of primer, prop painted gloss black as base color:
Decals printed (Hinomaru will be taken from spare decal sheets):
Canopy masked, grey paint on cockpit area:
Canopy glued on, small fuselage side windows masked with liquid mask:
The darker tone of the green-gray is airbrushed...and I messed up letting a paint drop fall on the wing.
Now will have to wait until completely dry, sand, and airbrush again the area. The prop was painted at this point too:
I just got from Hannants something that I will use on my next Ki-15 (I have two more kits of the I version), excellent Yahu models instrument panels (the other will be for my second civil Spitfire):
 This items are very nice, well done Yahu Models!
 The price of these items is very attractive:
The second paint coat on the model. The prop has already been given the white and red tip bands:
Landing gear legs on, masks off, half engine inside cowl (to put prop on and lock it), openings filled with window maker:
 And the "Oh, I am about to finish the model" syndrome strikes again.
I printed the decals at the wrong size, a fact of course I realized only after cutting the individual subjects of and start to apply them to the model:
The replacement exhaust tubes are given a wash while inserted into a toothpick to facilitate handling:
 Decals still wet:
 Taking shape:
 Too late for a good photo, but:
 Now waiting for everything to set and pick up some details:

To be continued...


  1. Nice Job! I am very jealous of the ease in which you pull your kits together. Another great kit!

    1. Hi Keith
      This is a simple kit, that has no vices, and therefore requires no so much time or energy. And that was the idea behind building it, and easy one.