u m m a r y
|Contents and Media:
||3 sprues in "limited
run" injected plastic, 29 resin parts, 1 sheet of decals, 6
parts in clear injected plastic (Only 5 used)
||USD$39.96 from Squadron.com
||Pleasing resin castings and
engraved detail; high level of interior detail; welcome subject;
can build two versions from this kit.
||Some small areas of flash.
No locating pins on parts. A number of broken resin pieces.
||Recommended to more
experienced modellers due to the parts fitting requirements and
the multi-media nature of the kit.
by Dale Smith
The Mitsubishi Ki-21 'Sally' was developed in response to
a Imperial Japanese Army specification in 1936 for a heavy bomber that had
an endurance of 5 hours, a crew of four, speed of 400 km/h and be able to
carry a bomb load of 750 kg.
The first 2 prototypes were completed in December ,1936
and were powered by 2 Mitsubishi Ha-6 radials. The third prototype was
powered by Nakajima Ha-5 radials that developed 850 hp each, and
introduced a number of changes to the basic design including a
hemispherical housing on the nose that accommodated a Type 89 7.7 mm
machine gun, and a redesigned rear fuselage. This configuration set the
design for an order of 143 airframes as the Army Type Heavy Bomber Mk 1a.
Additional airframes in the Mk 1a, 1b and 1c configuration totalling 351
planes were also built by the Nakajima Hikoki KK company.
During the aircraft's life, improvements were made in
areas such as defensive firepower, speed and aircraft ceiling. The later
model , designated the Ki-21-II, was ordered into production as the Army
Type 97 Heavy Bomber Model 2A. Total production of all models, including
the prototypes amounted to 2064 aircraft, and the aircraft remained in
service in all theatres till the Japanese surrender.
As far as I can ascertain, the model in this review is the
Some parts are supplied that are marked not for use, but
more on this later. The kit is supplied in MPM's usual 'limited
production' style of plastic, with a small amount of flash on some of the
parts. The parts require careful removal from the sprues, as the molding
gates are quite large, so carefully does it!
Detail is of the engraved variety and is nicely done. No
locating pins are provided on the parts, so careful dry fitting and
finishing will be required before the application of the glue. The wings
and tailplanes also butt joined to the fuselage, so careful fitting is
also required in these important areas.
The clear glazing parts are supplied in a separate bag to
avoid any damage or scratching on the other kit parts. My sample's nose
cone (part CP5) had a small molding blemish on the inner face, and being
quite small, I'll just have to live with it as there is no way I could get
in to the small area to polish or sand it out. All the other clear parts
were nicely molded.
The fitting of the resin machine gun defensive armaments
will require careful drilling of a hole in the clear parts as no holes are
supplied. The Ki-21-IIa model, has a large 'greenhouse' style perspex area
on the aircrafts spine (see boxtop art), however parts are supplied in the
kit ( fuselage spine blanking piece with hole plus turret perspex dome
)that may enable the modeller to construct a Ki-21-IIb model, that had a
gun turret mounted on the spine area. I could not ascertain from the
sprues if all the parts are supplied, but I feel it would be possible. The
only area of concern would be the mounting of the turret proper to the
fuselage spine. A number of small pieces of styrene in the fuselage
interior as supports would probably work. Worth a try for something
The aircraft's main wheels are supplied as standard round
type, so if bulged mainwheels are your thing, you'll need to flatten them
The amount of masking that would be required for painting
of the canopies is amazing, with the rear fuselage perspex alone having 44
separate windows, and 26 on the main cockpit perspex, not counting the
nose cone or lower rear fuselage gunners positions. I can feel my nervous
twitch starting to come back just thinking about it.!! Perhaps careful use
of thin strips of prepainted decal would help in this area.
All paint colour instructions are called out during
construction , with reference to the 'Humbrol' range of paints.
I dry fitted the fuselage halves after cleaning up, and
the fit was quite acceptable. Only a small amount of filler might be
needed to tidy some areas up. The plastic of these 'limited run' kits is
quite soft, so careful and judicious use of the sanding tools will pay
dividends in the final fit and finish. The kits propeller backing plates
have a small hole that the engines drive shaft fits into when fitted, but
in my sample the holes were mishapen and not quite formed, so drilling
with a small drill will be required. All the other kit parts were formed
29 cast pieces in a cream coloured resin are supplied in a
separate bag. These parts cover the quite large (in 1/72 scale) cockpit
tub with rear bulkhead, instrument panel, pilot and crew seats that
include 'molded' seat straps and cushions, pilot and co-pilot control
sticks, front gunner/bombadier position bulkhead, 2 engines, 2 engine
exhaust tubes, undercarriage bay bulkheads, rear gunners position seat,
floor panel and gun mount, 4 x 7.7mm machine guns, tail cone machine gun,
and finally the radio direction antennae. A number of control panels for
the cockpit sidewalls are also supplied. All of the parts are nicely cast,
with no air bubbles evident in any of the pieces. Unfortunately a number
of pieces in my review sample were broken, but I do not feel it was from
the manufacturing process, but simply from being packed in the small
separate plastic bag, and the fineness of the parts. I'll be needing to
break out the magnifying glass to glue some of them back though! Some
parts are very fine, so easy does it when removing them from the molding
Markings are provided for two aircraft. One has a dark
green upper surface and a light grey-green lower surface, and the other in
a silver/natural metal with dark green blotches scheme. The decals are
printed by 'Propagteam' and appear very thin, so should settle down
without any dramas.
MPM have come up with another nice addition for the WW2
1/72 Japanese aircraft modeller.
The ability to model another mark of the plane is a nice
feature, even if the instructions do not mention the option, but the
multi-media nature of the kit makes it more appropriate for the
Highly Recommended to experienced modellers.
Thanks to Squadron Mail Order for supplying the sample.
1/72 scale Ki-21 Sally is available online from Squadron.com
Review Copyright © 2001 by Dale
Page Created 09 May, 2001
Last updated 22 July, 2003
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