Mitsubishi Ki-15-II “Babs” LS Build in 1/72 Scale

Ki15_01
LS released their Ki-15 “Babs” family in 1976.  In spite of their age, the moldings still hold up quite well today.  The kits were originally issued in four different boxings which included the Ki-15-I, Ki-15-II, the Imperial Japanese Navy C5M, and  the civilian-registered “Kamikaze”.
Ki15_02
The moldings feature finely recessed panel lines, razor sharp trailing edges, and excellent fit throughout.  Cockpit detail is basic, but little can be seen anyway.  Even though this is an old mold it still holds up well by today’s standards.
Ki15_03
One weak point of the kit is the engine, which is oddly shaped.  When I first built this kit in the late 1970’s one of my first efforts at improving a model was to substitute a spare engine from an Italeri Ju 88 in place of the LS kit engine.  For nostalgia’s sake I will do the same on this build.  Not perfect, but a substantial improvement over the kit part.
Ki15_04
Here the basic cockpit is in place and the Italeri engine has been painted.  Seat belts are made from masking tape.  All the interior components have been given a black wash to bring out details.
Ki15_05
The kit goes together without any drama.  Fit is excellent throughout, a real joy to build.  I gave the wing joints a swipe of Perfect Plastic Putty, that was all the filling required.
Ki15_06
I was quite happy when I saw that Dead Design had released a canopy mask for the Ki-15 and bought one straight away.  Unfortunately, it does not fit the LS kit.  I was able to modify some of the masks, but wound up making most myself from household masking tape.  Maybe the Hasegawa kit is different?  Here is the model under a coat of Mr. Surfacer, tell-tale seams have been re-sanded.
Ki15_07
I used Maketar masks for the Hinomarus and masked off the white combat stripe.  I prefer to mask and paint the Hinomarus when possible.
Ki15_08
Mr. Color 128 Gray Green is the base coat, 16 IJA Green was used for the camouflage.  I am really liking the Mr. Color paints!
Ki15_09
After a removing the masks the model was shot with Testors Glosscoat.  The tail markings are from Rising Decals Emperor’s Eyes Pt. II which have markings for several Japanese reconnaissance aircraft.  The decals performed flawlessly.
Ki15_10
The model was given an acrylic wash to bring out the panel lines, and then shot with Testors Dullcoat, mixed with about 1/5 gloss.  I wanted it to be flat, but not too flat.  The antenna wire is Uschi elastic line.