Oxford Diecast 1/72 scale Aircraft
Oxford Diecast range of 1/72 scale Aircraft
Another piece of brand new tooling brings an unusual WWII addition to the Oxford Aviation fleet in the shape of the Kawasaki Ki-61 Hien, nicknamed 'Tony' by the US Air Force. Decorated in the striking and detailed 'palm leaf' front line camouflage livery, this warplane epitomises the detailed and colourful style of Japanese military aircraft of the period, which many of us may not have taken much notice of up to now. Our aircraft represents the Kawasaki Hein (Tony) Ki61 of Kai-Hei of HQ Chutai, 224th Sentai, Chofu, Tokyo over the winter of 1944/45. The Ki-61 was designed by Takeo Doi and Shin Owada in response to a tender put out by the technical branch of the Imperial Army Air HQ in 1939. The first design Ki-60 was for a heavily armed specialised interceptor, whilst the second and the subject of our Oxford model was the Ki-61, a more lightly loaded and armed general purpose fighter to be used mainly in an offensive, air superiority role at low to medium altitudes. It was an all metal, single seat, single engine fighter and took its first flight in December 1941. It was the only mass-produced Japanese warplane to use a liquid-cooled inline V-engine. Over 3000 were built, seeing service first in 1943, mostly in New Guinea along with combat missions throughout the war until retirement in 1945. One of the negative aspects of the aircraft was the lack of visibility for the pilot, particularly to the rear due to the bulky fuselage behind the cockpit. Used primarily by the IJA Air Force, the Ki-61 was also used by the Chinese Nationalist Air Force and the Indonesian People's Security Force.