Casemate recently sent me a copy of the Kagero title ‘Kawasaki Ki-61 Hien Ki-100’ for review. This title is a part of the Monographs selection of books from Kagero and has elements that make this title a must for any modeller looking to build accurate models of these Japanese fighters.
This title from Kagero is a soft backed book of 114 pages and two A2 pages with 1/32nd scale schematic drawings of both aircraft.
This title is a recent release from Kagero and I have to say from the outset I am impressed with what has been crammed between the covers. The book begins with development of the aircraft and its manufacture; I was surprised to see a good number of period black and white photographs supporting this area of the book and providing some good visual reference on aircraft production during wartime in Japan. This section of the book covers the power plant and prototype aircraft of the Ki-61 aircraft and is also supported with a number of images of the various prototypes produced. The photographs included with the title are showing their age varying from a reasonable quality to good quality considering age. The book then continues covering the same areas on the Ki-100 including in some cases what happened to the prototypes.
The next area of this title looks at the Ki-61 and 100 in the field and covers the Japanese aircraft on the assault, in defence and at the mercy of American attack while caught on the ground. The images of various Japanese aircraft caught on the ground taken by American aircraft while they bombed and strafed the aircraft on the deck really brings home to viewers the true carnage that is war. The stories of Japanese pilots attacking B29 formations flying over Japan and Japanese islands, in some cases flying their own aircraft into B29’s when out of ammunition; the thought of pilots sacrificing their aircraft and themselves is hard to comprehend in the current day. A segment that caught my eye and indicates what a fine aircraft the Ki-100 was, tells how they mixed it up with some P-51 Mustangs and both sides broke off without loss to either side.
The closing section of this title as regards history looks at a number of captured aircraft and ultimately their demise or in very rare conditions the current location. It seems hard to believe that most of these aircraft that were captured were chopped up and sold for scrap or melted down; short sightedness some may think and say, but the same is true of today if you think of the number of Cold War warriors both ground and air that have met the same fate.
The next section of this title covers the ‘Bibliography and Endnotes. This area of the book also provides information on Engine details, armament configuration, fuel loads, weapon characteristics, production data, aircraft specifications and units that operated the Ki-61 and 100.
The last section of the book provides schematics of the Ki-61 and 100 in 1/72nd scale and 1/48th scale, these schematics will be a great reference source for anyone looking to model either of these aircraft. The area finishes with some very nice side on view prints of both of these aircraft. The Ki-61 and 100 are available in both of these scales, with Hasagawa predominantly.
That is the book covered, but not the end of the story. Included with this title are two A2 fold outs covering both the Ki-61 and 100 in 1/32nd scale, the inclusion of these fold out means that all of the major scales are covered by this publication and adds a lot of value to anyone thinking of building one of these models.
I have a number of titles from Kagero predominantly their series of books on the Tiger 1 and Panther tanks. This title in their Monographs selection of books is the first I can record having seen and I am very impressed in both presentation and content. It is good to see titles aimed directly at the modeller that provide not just aircraft data and pictures, but scale schematic drawings as well. It is these drawings that will allow the modeller to check the accuracy of the moulded parts and the raised and recessed details. Judging by the low price that Casemate is asking for this title there is no excuse for not picking up a copy.
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Highs: This title from Kagero will be a fantastic aid to the modeller regardless of the level of finish you are aiming for.Lows: None that I am aware of.Verdict: If a Ki-61 or 100 is in your future this title will benefit you greatly.
Our Thanks to Casemate Publishing! This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.
About Darren Baker (CMOT) FROM: ENGLAND - SOUTH WEST, UNITED KINGDOM
I have been building model kits since the early 70’s starting with Airfix kits of mostly aircraft, then progressing to the point I am at now building predominantly armour kits from all countries and time periods. Living in the middle of Salisbury plain since the 70’s, I have had lots of opportunitie...