Imperial Japanese Army

Ki-44 Oscar - 1/48 Scale

This Ki-43-1 OSCAR is depicted in the markings of the 1st Flying Corps, Japanese Army Air Corps in WW-II.  The Oscar was a light weight, highly maneuverable aircraft, though lightly armed.  When it first made its appearance, its speed and maneuverability allowed it to best just about any allied fighter in the air in the Pacific theater.  However, lack or self-sealing fuel tanks and pilot armor made it vulnerable to well-placed shots.  Further, it was soon outclassed by more capable allied aircraft but it was a flexible aircraft design and modifications allowed it to soldier on until the end of the war.,  This model was built from the old 1970s vintage Nichimo kit.  It was built straight from the box, decals and all except for addition of antenna wire.  Its quite a nice kit, particularly so for its for it's age; it has recessed panel lines (which has been the "rage" and the standard for kits since the 1990s), nice molding and accurate outline, plenty of detail including a well done engine and a particularly well detailed cockpit with pretty-much all levers, knobs, panels, etc as separate pieces (except the throttle quadrant - go figure!!).  The thumbnail picture on my main modeling page was taken in about 1998 while the pictures below were taken in Oct 2004.

The kit was finished in a highly weathered state with much wear and chipping of paint.  This was, in fact, the norm for most painted Japanese aircraft in WW--II, Partly due to the climate they operated in but also a result of rather low quality paint with poor adhesion qualities.  The color is actually red-brown primer.  This camouflage seemed more predominant in Southeast Asian theater; Laos, Vietnam Vietnam (Annam and Tonkin), Burma, China, etc where the soil had a distinctive reddish color to it.  This aircraft depicts the Group Commander's aircraft as it appeared in the northern areas of Vietnam and southern China in 1943.     






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