LS Nakajima Ki-43-I Hayabusa “Oscar” LCOL Takeo Kato, CO of the 64th Sentai in 1/72 Scale

Takeo Kato opened his account while flying Ki-10 “Perry” biplane fighters during the Sino-Japanese War in 1937-38, where he was credited with nine victories over Chinese aircraft.  After rotating out of China, he was part of a Japanese delegation which traveled to Europe to inspect Luftwaffe units.  At the beginning of the Pacific War he was the Commanding Officer of the 64th Sentai, which frequently clashed with British units and the American Volunteer Group.  On 22MAY42 he and his group intercepted a Blenheim IV from 60 Squadron RAF.  Kato’s Oscar was hit by return fire and crashed into the sea.  He was credited with 18 aerial victories at the time.

Fly Fiat G.50 Freccia of the 1540 Gruppo Autonarno in 1/72 Scale

This is the Fly Fiat G.50 Freccia (Arrow) kit in the markings of the 1540 Gruppo Autonarno while at Berat, Albania in 1941.

Construction posts here:

Super Model Fiat G.55S Silurante in 1/72 Scale

The Silurante was a one-off effort to convert the excellent Centauro fighter into a torpedo-bomber.  The radiator was split into two units, one under each wing, to allow the torpedo to be carried under the fuselage.  The two machine guns in the cowling were removed to save weight, and the tailwheel was extended to allow clearance for the torpedo.  The modified airframe (MM.91086) was tested in this configuration in March 1945 and was found to be a success, but it was not put into production due to the deteriorating war situation.

I have depicted the model in Luftwaffe day fighter colors of RLM 74 / 75 / 76. This is one of the options which match the tones in photographs and the scheme would be effective for over-water operations in these colors.  The actual colors used by the ANR on the Silurante are unknown, and the aircraft is also depicted in a combination of Italian Dark Green over Sand. 

Sword Fiat G.55 Centauro of Capitano Ugo Drago in 1/72 Scale

This is the mount of Capitano Ugo Drago while he was serving as Commanding Officer of 1a Squadriglia, IIoGruppo Caccia at Cascina Vaga, May 1944.  Drago had scored 4 victories while flying the CR.42 biplane early in the war, and eventually was credited with 17 aerial victories.  11 of his victories were scored while flying with the ANR.  Drago survived the war and immigrated to Argentina.

LS Nakajima Ki-43-II Hayabusa “Oscar” of the 20th Sentai in 1/72 Scale

The LS kit was first released in 1964.  It featured recessed panel lines and moveable ailerons.   There was no engine or cockpit.  This is a survivor of my first “batch build”, I built five of them simultaneously.  (The madness set in early.)  These builds received basic cockpits scratched from plastic sheet, and one got an “aftermarket” radial engine from an Italeri bomber.

Japanese Army aircraft stationed on Formosa conducted most of their operations over water, and several sported Dark Blue upper surface camouflage.  This Oscar is from the 20th Sentai during 1944-45.

Isuzu Type 94 Trucks in 1/72 Scale

I thought these trucks would be a straight-forward conversion of the Hasegawa Type 97 fuel truck kit, just add an extra axel in the rear and a cargo bed.  It turned out just about everything was slightly different on the Type 94.  I wound up re-shaping the hoods and scratchbuilding the frames.  The fenders were vacuformed, and the wheels are resin copies of the Hasegawa kit’s.  The cargo beds were built from Evergreen.

Hasegawa Hucks Starter Trucks in 1/72 Scale

This is the classic Hasegawa kit of the Toyota GB truck which was released in 1974.  The kit boxing is of a Hucks aircraft starter truck, which was used to start aircraft engines.  I built one kit as the standard starter truck, but replaced all the oversized shafts and supports with thinner rods.  The cargo truck was a rather straight-forward conversion, the kit bed was cut off and a new one built up from Evergreen strip.  The cargo was built up from various bits and copies were cast in resin to make several different loads.