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Thursday, February 8, 2018

Mania (later Hasegawa) Mitsubishi Ki-15 Karigane I J-BAAI/BAAL

Following now after the civil Karigane II
with yet more Mitsubishi Ki-15 (this time the I variant,  externally differentiated by its Townend ring instead of the full cowl of the II).
Still to be determined is if I will go for the mostly seen variant of J-BAAI, or the twin J-BAAL. Or may be both?
In any case, in the previous post I used for the II variant the LS/ARII kit. Now I will be using the Mania release later on re-issued by Hasegawa.
There is one difference between the Mania and Hasegawa kits. in the Mania sprues the fuselage side windows are flashed over, whilst in the Hasegawa release three windows are opened and the fourth is flashed over. The instructions and decal sets are different too. Both instruction sheets are much better than many contemporary examples.
Comparing this kit with the ARII one:
I like very much both kits, and again, they are both much better than a bunch of currently released kits. The panel lines are gorgeous, neither trenches nor faint suggestions.
The detail on the interior of the Mania/Hasegawa kit is quite better, but alas, the wheel is one piece with the pant, which I find childish and more difficult to paint, whilst on the ARII kit the wheels are separated from the pant. The recent reissue of ARII has two canopies, which is good, since the masking is laborious and can lead to mistakes.
And while we are on the subject, I find strange that no aftermarket vendor has come up with masks for these two kits. which are good, have a fair price and are easily obtainable. Mysteries of the kit industry.
Somewhat vintage Mania kit:
 Decals and instructions:
 Nice canopy:
 A nice interior:
 Good surface detail: 
 Fused wheel/pant, a bit of a let down:
Again nice surface detail:
 A prop that will have its spinner:
 A somewhat credible engine with its exhaust plumbing:
 The fuselage inside:
 Bulkhead detail:
 The more modern Hasegawa issue of the same molds:
 Same mold, windows flashed over (Mania) and not (Hasegawa):
 Very nice Yahu Models aftermarket inst. panel:

 Parts separation a breeze, thanks to sprue gates that don't have the size of a finger:
 Fine locating pins and holes, a delicate touch:
 Started interior assembly:
 Decisions, separate those elevators? to get rid of those childish pants-cum-wheel parts?
Doubt stroke me, so I went to rummage through the boxes in the dungeons, driving away Igor with the pitchfork, and sure enough, I had bought the ARII kit with the J-BAAI registration.
So I have three Ki-15 Is.
This boxing even includes both regs: J-BAAI and BAAL.
So I don't have to worry about the decals.

(Comparison between the Mania/Hasegawa and LS/ARII kits can be seen here:

Wing parts glued. I decided to excise the wheels from the pants and carve a slot for new ones.
The Townend ring halves are glued too.
 Stab/elevators separated. Windows opened (just the aft pair):
 Ready now to paint the interior:
 Base coat on:
 Interior almost finished, and almost ready to close that fuselage:
 Ready to install. This Mania / Hasegawa interior is better than the LS / ARII one, and better by the way than many kits that have succeeded this release by many years:
 Fuselage halves glued together:
 Wing added:
Stabs are glued:
 And the big holes -where some equipment is supposed to go- are plugged, since photos of the actual civil machines show none of them as far as I can see; more likely they were part of the shared molds with the military version:
For the primer now:
The canopy on this Mania/Hasegawa kit is not as good as the one on the LS/ARII kit.
The side windows look wrong, too narrow, leaving a very thick edge underneath.
So the sides were lightly sanded and then polished. The masks will delineated the new windows.
I tried the ARII canopy on this kit, and it could fit with some slight adjustment to the turtleback (One  of my ARII kits came with two canopies), but I opted to modify the kit's one:
Priming now:
 Again masking the canopy the old way, since no vendor is willing to produce a masks set for these wonderful kits. Sigh...
The exhausts have locating holes in the cylinders, a courtesy many current manufacturers obviate. And to think this wonder kit is 44 years old...
I carved a bit the exhaust ends, before painting them:
Black base applied:
 Metal color airbrushed:
Model masked and application of the blue color:
Masks are removed. Thanks to the sharp increase in my dexterity due to age, I managed to drop the model on the floor, breaking in the process of trying to catch it the antenna and Pitot.
Now I am removing traces of lint and fibers. The fun never ceases for a modeller!
The carved pants receive now their half-wheels:

As I wrote before, I am taking advantage of the decal sheet that comes with the ARII kit.
Please notice that the thin red outline on wing tip motif and flag fuselage motif are absolutely bogus, a fact the decal designer could have easily seen in any of the very many photos that exist on the Net.
As it is, you will have to trim it carefully away in order not to render an inaccurate model by default:
Ready for canopy unmasking and decaling:
Engine, Townend ring and prop added, decaling starts:

I put the broken antenna mast where nothing could happen to it. Even that I would find it.
So I had to make a brass one, which is good, since they tend to be knocked off and brake, and sometimes the plastic buckles under the antenna wire tension.
As you can see, this is the lesser seen J-BAAL -a reg. dreaded by some :-) instead of the more commonly represented J-BAAI:
May be tomorrow some touch-ups and the photo session:

To be continued......

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