Base Kit: Tamiya 1/48 Ki-61 Hien type I-Tei
The Kawasaki Ki-61 Hien ("flying swallow") is a Japanese World War II fighter aircraft used by the Imperial Japanese Army Air Service. The Japanese Army designation was "Army Type 3 Fighter" Allied pilots initially believed Ki-61s were Messerschmitt Bf 109’s and later an Italian aircraft, which led to the Allied reporting name of "Tony", assigned by the United States War Department. It was the only mass-produced Japanese fighter of the war to use a liquid-cooled inline V engine. Over 3,000 Ki-61s were produced. Initial prototypes saw action over Yokohama during the Doolittle Raid on 18 April 1942, and continued to fly combat missions throughout the war.
Recently I was given the opportunity by IPMS USA to review one of Lifelike Decal’s offering for the Ki-61 Hein (48-003). This set from LifeLike is a revised and re-released set that was originally released in 2003 and covering aircraft of the Japanese 244th Sentai. The majority of these aircraft are Nakajima Ki-61 Heins. There are eight subjects on this decal sheet, four are for the Tei version which should ring a bell since the recent release of the 1/48 version of this kit from Tamiya.