Kit Ref: 03982
Review by Geoff Coughlin
Price around £4.99 GBP (Jun 2014)
Our thanks to Revell for supplying our review sample. Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For details visit www.revell.de/en, @RevellGermany or facebook.com/Revell
A bit of background
The Kawasaki Ki-61 “Hien” was a Japanese Air Force fighter aircraft with many similarities to the German He100. It completed its maiden flight in December 1941. By the end of the War, 3159 machines had been built.
The Revell Kit
This is a box that promises a lot – great box art featuring an aircraft causing havoc amongst a formation of B-29 Superfortress aircraft. Going inside it’s a very different story though and so I plan, as ever, to be honest and objective in what I say below.
Very few parts make up the model on offer and it’s immediately clear that this is a very old tooling – poor part definition and my initial reaction is that it’s astonishing that Revell still has these moulds today as they show their age in every department: heavily raised rivet detail; poorly moulded pilot figure; propeller blades moulded integrally with spinner, heavy flash and mould marks on components, defects in clear parts – I could go on.
I suggest that you take a look at the following images to get a feel for what’s on offer in this package and then I’ll make some further observations…
Box and contents
The heavy rivet detail can always be sanded off so that in itself isn’t a big deal but the work you’ll have to do to get a good-looking model will be considerable. Some small panels are recessed but you’ll probably need to do some re-scribing using some plans if you can get them.
Into the cockpit – no decals are provided as there isn’t an instrument panel so either significant scratch-building and close the canopy or just attach the one-piece canopy and hope for the best.
The undercarriage is also basic bearing a passing resemblance to the original but you’ll have to add more detail or replace some parts to get a realistic unit. The tyres look too thin and spindly needing more bulk to appear realistic and also have no hub detail.
The clear canopy is poor in this sample: thick frame lines and is one-piece.
Instructions and decals
The Revell instructions follow their usual exploded stages format. Location of parts is clear but colour paint coding is for Revell mixes of their paints only. However, the colour names are provided and this will help you to match your own choice of paints. This is a basic model and so should present little difficulty in working out where all the parts are located, even for inexperienced modellers.
The decals seem good and definitely the best part of the package, being new and manufactured in Italy. Certainly colour saturation and register is good and all markings are accurate and sharp in their detail; they’ll make a world of difference to your completed model.
I’m sorry but I just can’t see the attraction for anyone buying this package – the kit is so old and poor quality that I doubt it will encourage younger modellers to carry on with their model making. There are so many better models in the Revell 1:72 range it’s a real shame that the manufacturer has resorted to such an old tooling that should, in my view be consigned to the bin. If you look around Revell’s area in Here Now you will find a lot of impressive models original to the manufacturer and also others that have been bought in and re-boxed; just pick one of them and leave this one alone!
SMN Quick summary Star rating out of 5
|STAR RATING (out of five)
|Quality of moulding
|Level of detail