Fine Molds Messerschmitt Bf 109G-6 Build Part I

Fine Molds began releasing their Messerschmitt Bf 109 series of kits in 2005. They boxed all the later variants from the F-series through the K, inserting a bewildering variety of combinations of small sprues to portray the versions desired. These were an immediate hit. Tamiya has recently released a G-6, but opinions vary as to how big of an improvement over the Fine Molds release it is (which speaks volumes).
These are the basic sprues in the G-6 boxing. An interesting feature which has been copied by other manufacturers is the engine molded under the cowling. This has allowed Fine Molds to account for additional versions by substituting cowling panels while allowing for the option of displaying an exposed engine.
If you like parts for the spares box and want to build a G-4 or a G-6, the Finnish boxing is the one to get. This one has the maximum number of secondary sprues, and all the original parts are still there on the main sprues. You can basically build any G-6 with the parts in this box with the exception of the tall tail varieties.
The side wall detail in the cockpit is basically raised lines with little depth. This benefits from some basic scratch building to beef up the detail. The large round structure represents the trim wheels. The real trim wheels were spoked, but I find that the spoke detail is largely hidden by the pilot’s seat and difficult to see from most angles in any case so I represent them with disks for closed canopy builds.
The cockpit under a coat of paint and with Eduard PE seatbelts. The yellow tube is a fuel line with a sight glass, a prominent detail which is not difficult to add with a piece of solder.
If you study photographs of Bf 109s it is very difficult to find one on the ground with the flaps in line with the wing, and is almost impossible to find one without the leading-edge slats deployed. These were spring loaded and intended to automatically extend at lower airspeeds to increase lift. A Bf 109 just doesn’t look natural without the slats and flaps repositioned so these were all cut out. If the Fine Molds kit could be improved, separate slats and flaps would get my vote!
The fit of the Fine Molds kit is excellent, and here it is with the flaps and slat re-attached. The inner flaps on the 109 are split to allow for the radiator exhaust, the pilot could control the engine temperature by varying the effective aperture at the trailing edge of the wing.
I made canopy masks from Tamiya tape and using Montex masks as templates. The Montex masks do not adhere well, and this especially true if there are any curves involved. I have had trouble with these, every time I’ve tried to use them they’ve lifted off so I’m going with the Tamiya tape for this build.

Fly Fiat G.50 Build in 1/72 Scale Part I

This is a relatively new release from Fly, kit number 72039 in their 2019 Fiat G.50 family. This is one of those subjects which was used by several air forces in several different schemes, and Fly has issued boxings with both the markings and detail differences to cover several options. The problem is definitely deciding which subject to build!
The basic sprues really don’t have an overwhelming number of parts, which is a welcome change from how some manufacturers would have handled this subject. There is a small resin casting to handle a few finer pieces. One really, really nice consideration which I wish more manufacturers would emulate is the mass balances for the ailerons, the subject needs four but the kit contains five as they are easily lost. Good on you, Fly!
I added a few enhancements to the cockpit from Evergreen. The cockpit opening is small so all of this will be difficult to see unless you are one of those guys with the little flashlights at the model shows. There were no surprises with the fit of the cockpit.
This the cockpit all painted up. The contrasting colors show up pretty well, but the sidewall details tend to get lost in the shadows.
The engineering on this kit is superb, there are no seams to speak of. It’s nice to have this kind of fit on a model! Everything lined up perfectly and responded well to MEK.
There are no masks in the kit but the windscreen is small so this is not a big deal. The G.50 canopy was open on the top which would make the type interesting to fly over the Eastern Front!

Part II here:

Fiat G.55 Centauro Comparison Build in 1/72 Scale Part V

Painting is one of my favorite parts of a build. This is one of the Sword kits wearing the segmented three-color scheme, with a fuselage stripe and Axis yellow recognition panel under the nose. There was a lot of masking required for this scheme, which was done with Tamiya tape.
The other palette used on this batch consisted of the standard Luftwaffe RLM 74 / 75 / 76 colors. The Mr. Color paints used were thinned with Mr. Leveling Thinner and performed well.
I used Tamiya black wash to bring out the panel lines. This is best applied over a gloss coat, and any excess can be wiped away with a cotton swab and thinner. I use standard paint thinner for this, if you use a “hot” thinner like those intended for lacquers it will cut through all the paint layers.
This is the Supermodel Silurante with decals from the Sky Models sheet, which performed flawlessly. This was the only G.55 of the four which I could confirm wore the ANR fasces in the prescribed manner with both the outer axe heads facing forwards. Two of the others likely carried two “left-handed” insignia on the upper wings, the remaining example I couldn’t confirm either way.
While the paint coats were drying I went to work on the landing gear. The parts on the left are from the Supermodel kit, these are a bit clunky and like most kits of the era the legs are too thick. The middle gear are replacements built up from Albion tube and Evergreen sheet, with resin castings of the Sword wheels. The gear on the right are from the Sword kit.
When I get to this point I always get the feeling that the build is almost complete, but aside from the prop and the wheels there are still several “fiddlybits” left to make and attach. I began listing them all in my mind, but when I got to twenty I stopped counting.
A view into the cockpit showing the 3D printed seatbelts from Kits-World, KW3D72019. This was my first time using these, they really look the part. They are intended to be applied like decals, but they do have some heft to them which allows them to be draped around to a degree and looks more convincing than standard decals.
This is the Silurante with the torpedo in place. The torpedo was painted Alclad Burnt Iron, which turned out to be almost a black with very little of the iron look I was hoping for. It didn’t look bad though so I left it as it was.
Here are all four completed models together, the two Sword kits in the foreground, Special Hobby in the upper left, and Supermodel in the upper right. I really like the sleek look of the Centauro, and the design is much bigger than I expected it would be. Updating the Supermodel kit added some extra time to building the batch but it was fun to add all the little details.


The Sword kits are the most recent issue of the three.  They are limited-run kits but still nice even without the locator pins.  They are not Tamigawa kits but still go together well, with the exception of gaps at the wing roots.  You get two complete kits in the box with decals for seven different machines, and the kits provide the option for both styles of vertical tails.  Shapes look good, they have captured the outline of the G.55 well.  This is the preferred place to start as it will be the most accurate out of the box and the easiest to build, plus you’re getting two kits for the price of one.

The decals are printed by Techmod and are of the best quality.  However, if you follow Sword’s marking guides you will apply the flags backwards on the starboard side, and they do not provide wing fasces with the axe on the right side facing forward, which will certainly be wrong for some if not most of the schemes included.

The Special Hobby kit is another limited run effort and is a decade older than Special Hobby’s.  The molding has thicker attachment points on the sprues and more pronounced mold lines, and the parts show a little less finesse and detail.  Many of the finer parts are cast in resin, and there is a small fret of PE included as well.

The Special Hobby kit has some fit issues at the wing roots.  The wheelwell is provided as a resin piece, and this also does not fit well between the wing halves which results in another seam to fill along the leading edge.  The PE fret is stainless steel which makes it difficult to remove the parts, I wound up only using the radiator grids and sway braces and skipped all the rest.  The shapes look good on the finished product though.  It can still be built up into a nice model, just not as easily as the Sword kit.

Being much older, the Supermodel kit is surpassed by both the others and is not the best place to start to get an accurate, detailed model.  It completely lacks any cockpit or wheelwell detail, so these will have to be added by the modeler. Panel lines are raised and the detail at the control surfaces is soft, so you will need to either ignore this or re-scribe the whole kit.  I built it as a skills exercise and for the fun of adding the improvements.

The kit does have some glaring shape issues once you get to looking at it.  The biggest of these is the fuselage is about 4 mm too short aft of the cockpit.  This can be corrected with a little surgery.  The wings are also too broad in cord, so you’ll need to reduce the trailing edge about 2 mm at the roots and 1 mm at the tips, and then thin the trailing edge from the inside.  This will throw off the dimensions of the flaps and ailerons so those will have to be re-scribed at the very least.  The fuselage appears thick and bloated compared to the other two and I couldn’t find an easy way to fix that.  I think the wing is positioned a little bit too far forward on the fuselage, another issue which I left alone.

I knew what I was getting into when I opened the box and looked forward to tinkering with the Supemodel kit, but the Sword kit is where you want to start if you want an easier row to hoe and a better finished model.

G.55 Construction Part I here:

Fiat G.55 Centauro Comparison Build in 1/72 Scale Part I

WWII Italian aircraft are some of the more attractive designs of the period. I have a few in the stash, but oddly I have none in the display case, something which I will fix with this build. The Sword and Special Hobby kits are relatively new limited run efforts, while the ancient Supermodel kit is “mainstream” with locater pins, although the age of the molds makes this pretty much moot. “2 in 1” means different things to different manufacturers, Sword covers both interpretations by including two complete kits with parts to model two different versions. All of these are end-opening boxes, the old flattened Supermodel box best demonstrates one of the reasons why this is a bad idea.
This is a sprue shot of the Sword kit, you get two of these sprues to the box. Surface detail is finely engraved and looks great. The G.55 has engine accessories visible in the wheelwell similar to the Fw 190D, this is provided as a resin insert. In the lower left region of the sprue is a part for the shorter version of the vertical tail, to use this the molded-on tall tail must be removed with a razor saw. This kit was first issued in 2017.
The molding on the 2005 issue Special Hobby kit is a little softer, the parts a little thicker, the sprue gates a little thicker. Surface engraving is still nice.
Special Hobby provides several parts as resin castings and also a photoetch sheet for some of the finer details. These are often a mixed blessing, we’ll have to see which of these get used in the end.
The Supermodel kit was new in 1968. The Silurante was a modified version intended to carry a torpedo which necessitated splitting the radiator among other modifications. Back in the day, the cockpit detail consisted of a seat and a pilot, and the wheelwell was a hole. Surface detail is raised and the dimensions are suspect. Some modelers would call this kit “unbuildable” at this point but I see the challenge as an opportunity to hone my skills.
These are the fuselage sections taped together to compare profiles. In the foreground are the Sword and Special Hobby fuselages which match up very well. In the background are the Special Hobby and Supermodel kits. The most obvious problem is the Supermodel fuselage is about 4mm too short aft of the cockpit. This is fixable, but obviously the old Supermodel kit is not the ideal place to start if you want an accurate model out of the box.
These are the underwing parts. Sword on the bottom, Special Hobby in the middle, and Supermodel on top. Span-wise these compare well, but the Supermodel wing is too thick in chord. In addition, the old Supermodel kit has both shape and size issues with the wheel well cut-out. The other two kits compare well, both in size and detail.
Here are the wheels compared, Sword, Special Hobby, and Supermodel from left to right. The Sword wheels are closest to what can be seen in photographs.
The cockpit assemblies are a commentary on the progression of molding standards over the years. The dark gray parts are from the Sword kits, the shapes are good and the molding is good for a limited run kit. Special Hobby provides details in resin, they haven’t captured all the nuances of the prototype but the parts are functional. The Supermodel parts are an attempt at camouflaging the lack of any detail by inserting a pilot, but that was typical for the time.

Part II here:

Plastic Soldier M3 Stuart Honey Build in 1/72 Scale Part I

Plastic Soldier has released a series of simplified kits aimed at the wargame market. They come three to a box, and include parts to build multiple versions of the subject. They generally include some optional parts to help customize the builds to a degree. For me these are fun builds which allow for some opportunities at improving a basic kit and practice painting and weathering armor.
The parts are few but the molding is crisp. There are parts to build either the flat sided or round turrets, and both come with the option of posing the commander’s hatch open. The two partial figures represent either American or British uniforms, your choice.
The running gear comes as a single piece for each side, with or without dust guards. Some accuracy has been sacrificed for improved durability and ease of assembly. These don’t look bad under a coat of paint but compromises have been made here. You are given choices for the storage boxes, but these have sink marks which will need filling. The lower hull and rear plate are at the bottom right. This is a little puzzling to me as the only thing keeping you from building six Stuarts to a box is there is only one lower hull per sprue – all the other major components are there!
Here is the running gear. I have opened up the spaces in the idler wheel on the left, a quick job which improves the look. If you look closely at the top of the fender you can see another sink mark. I generally fill these with superglue, hit them with accelerator, and file them smooth. Only takes a minute.
The tracks don’t mate to the lower hull cleanly. Test fit and trim off some of the material on the key which slots into the hull until the dust guards mate with the hull properly. The headlights are just blobs on the fenders. Stuff like that bugs me and will have to be fixed.
The turrets needed a little filing and filling to eliminate the seams. Here I have filled the seams at the sides of the front armor with superglue and the top seams with Perfect Plastic Putty.
The kit includes a ridiculously out of scale .30 caliber machine gun for the turret. I used the guns from the accessories sprue included in the Academy deuce and a half truck kits which is a much better representation.
Assembly is complete, with various detail improvements. The headlights are Evergreen round stock with the backs tapered down, their brush guards were made from flattened solder. Replacing the kit machine gun barrels is also a simple but noticeable improvement.

Part II here:

Nakajima Ki-43 Hayabusa 隼 “Oscar” Comparison Build in 1/72 Scale Part IV

The Oscars are complete, seven examples from four different manufacturers. I’ve always liked the look of the Ki-43, and there is no lack of colorful schemes. Arma Hobby has stated that more Japanese subjects are in their pipeline, here’s hoping that a new-tool state-of-the-art Oscar is next from them!
Here are the two Fujimi Ki-43-I. These are excellent kits and a real pleasure to build. No fit problems of any consequence. I added some Evergreen detail to the cockpits, wire brake lines, and pitot tubes from Albion stock and Nitenol (all seven kits got these). The erroneous landing light on the wing leading edge was filled. The gun gas vents on the upper nose are scribed too low, I drilled them out a bit higher. One commonly overlooked detail is the two rear canopy braces are inside the glazing, not external. These were made from 0.015″ Evergreen, painted RLM 66 gray, and fixed in place with LiquiTape. Gear down indicators were added from 0.01″ wire and painted red. Fine Molds has released a Ki-43-I which is said to be spectacular, but I have only ever seen one in person as it is ridiculously hard to find.
This is the Hasegawa Ki-43-II kit. This kit has raised panel lines, but otherwise stands up very well. Fit is excellent, no worries getting this one together. I beefed up the engine with another row of cylinders and wired it, plus added detail to the cockpit. The spinner shape is suspect, but I did not replace it on this build. Canopy is a Rob Taurus vacuform. Hasegawa gives you a choice of both styles of the single collected style exhaust types, which allows you to model all but the very last production run of the Ki-43-IIs. Painless kits to build.
Next are the Special Hobby kits, I built two -IIs and one -III. These got all the mods listed for the kits above. These are limited run kits, with all that goes along with that. Normally that means no locating pins, but the major components have pins here. Wish they didn’t though as they don’t line up well and must be removed if you want anything to fit. I had a lot of trouble getting the cowlings on these. There is a separate panel on each side and no positive location to the fuselage. I needed filler on the cowls on all three kits. Special Hobby omitted the cooling slots for the engine accessory section, and the gun gas vents are engraved one panel aft of their actual location. If you correct all this they can be built into nice models, but they are not straight forward builds. These were difficult to finish, but not the worst of the batch.
Last is the AML kit. This one is kitted as the last of the Ki-43-II production run which had individual exhaust stacks, but in a different pattern than seen on the Ki-43-III. Another limited run kit but even more crudely done than the SH offering, and with resin to fill in the gaps. I rarely give up on a model, but this one almost went into the dumpster. The aft fuselage proved to be beyond redemption, and the resin cowling has a different cross-section than the rest of the kit and wasn’t going to go on in any case. In desperation I turned it into a “FrankenOscar” and finished it as a -II, mating the after fuselage and nose from an old LS kit in the spares bin. I paid $5 for this kit at a show, which was about $30 too much. No kits are truly unbuildable but some are just not worth the trouble!

Part I here:

Hasegawa North American B-25J Mitchell “Pretty Pat” in 1/72 Scale

Pretty Pat was named after her pilot’s wife, and was assigned to the 499th Bomb Squadron of the 345th Bomb Group.  43-3698 was converted to a strafer and began operations in November 1944.  On 27MAY1945 she was hit by flak over Formosa, her pilot made it out over the ocean and ditched successfully.  Her crew were in the water less than a half an hour before they were rescued by a waiting Catalina, all survived.  Hasegawa kit, markings from DK Decals sheet 72041.

North American B-25 Mitchell Batch Build in 1/72 Scale Part VI

A big box of goodness from Hannants arrived in the nick of time with another set of DK Decals. It’s been awhile since I’ve botched up a job to the point where I had to re-order parts, but I did manage to get the decals applied to the noses this time. Not perfect, but close enough. The Mitchells of the 345th Bomb Group sported some very attractive schemes, but there is a reason you don’t see them built more often!
The Airfix sprues in their B-25C/D kits are also used in their B-25B kits, late in the build I noticed where this has resulted in a small inaccuracy. The C/D introduced a small astrodome for the navigator behind the cockpit, on the B-25B this is a small rectangular window. The kit is molded with the rectangular opening appropriate for the B, when modeling the C/D the opening should be round. Mine was opened up with drill bits from the garage until the size of the opening matched the astrodome. It looks rough but any variations are hidden under the astrodome frame.
Props are some of the subassemblies which I work on right from the start of the build and finish along the way. I sprayed the backs of the blades with Alclad to simulate the “sandblasting” paint wear often seen there.
Here are the dorsal turrets, Airfix on the left and Hasegawa on the right. The supporting interior detail is nice but cannot be seen inside the fuselage. The Hasegawa turrets sit a little too high, but this is easily remedied by trimming down the base at the bottom until the height is right.
Round engines leak oil, I grimed up the undersides with Tamiya brown wash. Paint chips were added using an old square bottle of Testors Silver applied with both brush and sponge.
This is an overall view of the underside of one of the Airfix B-25Cs. I modulated the tone of the Neutral Gray, and picked up the panel lines with a wash. The nacelles got oil streaking with a brown wash and exhaust staining with oils. I mixed in just a drop of tan with the DullCote to unify the finish and simulate dust.
These are the references which were most useful on this build. The Squadron Signal volumes are great sources for photographs and do a good job of illustrating the differences between variants. Modelers and collectors should note that there are often multiple volumes within the various series which are titled the same, in this case there are two “B-25 Mitchell” books in both the “In Action” and “Walk Around” series, so four Squadron Signal B-25 Mitchell books. Lawrence Hickey’s “Warpath Across the Pacific” is an incredible unit history, with hundreds of photos of 345 BG aircraft and their targets. Not cheap but an impressive work which is well worth the money!
Nose art for “Pretty Pat” from DK Decals

DK Decals 72041 345th Bomb Group Summary

The 345th Bomb Group Mitchells displayed some of the more interesting nose art schemes you’ll find.  The DK sheet provides fourteen choices, more than enough to keep any Mitchell fan busy.  The print quality is excellent, and the colors are opaque so no problems with coverage.

I knew the markings were going to be the major challenge of these builds, and sure enough I screwed up the decals on two of my Mitchells the first time I tried.  You’re never really beaten until you give up, so my stubborn streak manifested itself and I ordered another set.  This time I got the decals on okay, not perfect, but okay.  So what did I learn?

If you look at the picture of Pretty Pat above, the white bat wing is all one big decal, port and starboard.  The mouth and eyes are separate, Dirty Dora is laid out the same way.  DK provides a downloadable PDF file on their site which can be used to make a stencil to paint the black background, and the white border can be positioned over the color separation.  This gives you roughly +/- one millimeter to play with when positioning the decal.  This is obviously tricky even on a good day, and there are three potential source of error – the size and positioning of the stencil, the size and positioning of the decal, and the dimensions and shape of the model.  All three need to be in harmony for the application to work.

Another problem is the design of the decal itself.  The artwork is printed as one large decal on a very thin carrier film.  Given the design is basically a white outline, a large portion of the decal is just carrier film with no ink.  Once removed from the backing sheet, the carrier film has no rigidity to speak of, and is more likely to wrinkle rather than to allow itself to be pushed into position.  Add a rather sticky adhesive and you soon have a torn ball of film where your decal should be.  I was not able to “float” the decal to get it into position, it wanted to stick, bunch, and tear.

On the second attempt the solution was to cut the single decal into several pieces.  All the boarders were cut loose and into sections, allowing them to be positioned individually, and any portion of the decal which “stuck out” was separated to prevent it from folding over.  Each side was cut into 9 – 10 sections, and I worked my way around the black background until I got everything in place.  Still, the decal turned out to be bigger than the stenciled background, and I ended up trimming bits from the borders to get it to fit.  If I were to build Pretty Pat or Dirty Dora again (or any of the others), I would set my printer to increase the size of the PDF stencil to 105%, and maybe even a little more.  I think that would ultimately result in a better fit.

Airfix B-25C/C Mitchells

Airfix B-25C/D Summary

Airfix continues to step up their game, and their Mitchell kits are some of their better offerings.  The “trench digger” is gone, panel lines are appropriately sized and there is rivet and fastener detail on some surfaces as well.  Fit is excellent throughout.  The interior is nicely rendered and the detail is good for what can be seen through the transparencies.  There are parts provided to position the flaps in either the raised or lowered positions, and all the tail control surfaces are molded separately as well.  There are two sets of cowls included, the early type with the single collected exhaust or the individual Clayton stub exhausts.  Bomb bay doors can be open or closed, and there is a bomb load of four 500-pound bombs.  The clear parts fit well, which can be the difference between a good kit and a bad one, and two slightly different cockpit canopy styles are included.  The astrodome opening should be round, not rectangular, but this is easy to fix.  The Airfix kit is a pleasure to build and results in an attractive model when completed.

The Hasegawa B-25H (left) and B-25J (right)

Hasegawa B-25H and B-25J Summary

Hasegawa has a reputation for excellent fit and fine surface detail, and these kits certainly live up to that reputation.  Hasegawa is also known for simplified cockpits and basic wheelwells, the interior does need a little extra help but the wheelwells can’t be seen on the Mitchell anyway.  I did replace the small open portions of the wheelwell doors as these were overly thick.  The Hasegawa business model is to mold subassemblies which allow for kitting several variants from the same set of molds.  Sometimes this can result in an overly-complicated build but in this case all the differences are concentrated in the nose and the parts breakdowns make sense.  There should be two fuel dumps at the back of each nacelle, not one, and the landing lights at the wingtips should only be at the tips, not on the top and bottom.  These issues are easily fixed.  Another improvement which is well worth the time to correct is the size of the cowling front.  The kit cowling opening is too small, but can be enlarged to the proper size with a 0.5 inch drill bit – just take your time so the hard plastic doesn’t crack.  This solution is easier and cheaper than substituting the Quickboost replacements which have their own set of issues.  The Hasegawa Mitchells are great kits and a pleasure to build, and can be easily improved with a few simple adjustments.

The whole batch together! I just liked the picture.

More completed model pictures here:

North American B-25 Mitchell Batch Build in 1/72 Scale Part I

Mitchells! This is a small batch of Mitchells, the 2018 Airfix C/D and the 2008 Hasegawa B-25H and J. These are both nice kits, but Mitchells came in a variety of variants and were subject to conversions and modification in the field. The Pacific Mitchells also present some painting challenges, but the artwork is irresistible.
Here are the main sprues from the Hasegawa kits. Parts breakdown is conventional, and these are molded in the typical Hasegawa hard plastic with finely engraved panel lines.
Sprue “C” has the tail assembly and various interior and detail parts. The fuselage gun packs are optional, not all Mitchells carried them. Locating holes for the gun packs are to be drilled out from the inside to accommodate aircraft with them. The kit provides only one style, so some subjects will need some help from the aftermarket.
Sprue “E” has the engine and other details, sprue “D” is interior parts. The engine is basic, but what is there is good and will look the part with a little added detail. The included bomb load is two 1,000-pound bombs. The interior bulkheads include sections of the main spars to help get the dihedral right.
The Hasegawa business model is to release several versions of the same basic kit with different detail parts and decals. On the top are the unique sprues for the B-25H, on the bottom sprue “M” and “J” are for the B-25J.
The Airfix B-25C/D is a quality kit, but the plastic is much softer the Hasegawa’s. The kit features finely engraved panel lines. Airfix has fired their trench digger, the panel lines on their more recent kits look just right. There is also subtle rivet and fastener detail in some areas which sets of the panel lines nicely. Note the bombay doors are molded into the interior detail – no broken doors on this model.
Sprue “C” has the engines, which are pretty well rendered. The kit provides optional flaps to represent both raised and lowered positions, but the raised option has a sink line through the middle which will require filling. The bomb load here is four 500-pound bombs.
The tail surfaces are all positionable. Also included are two options for the cowlings, one with the single exhaust port and the other with the individual ports.
There’s lots of aftermarket for the B-25, here is a sample. I am really impressed with the Master gun barrels, they are incredibly detailed and really draw the eye.
I began with the engines, Airfix is the lighter plastic, Hasegawa is darker. The top row is stock kit parts, the bottom row is dressed up a bit. For the Airfix engines I added ignition wires to the back row. For the Hasegawa engines I added wires and push rods.
Here are the main wheels with resin aftermarket – Airfix, Hasegawa, Eduard, and Quickboost. The Quickboost is the smallest of the group. From my perspective none of these are so bad they will detract from the finished model, your mileage may vary.
A comparison of the engine cowls, Quickboost on the left, Hasegawa on top, and Airfix below. The cowling opening is 36” in real life, which is 0.5” in 1/72 scale. I measured the openings, Quickboost came in at 0.508”, and went egg-shaped when I removed the casting block. Hasegawa was too small at 0.466”, which doesn’t sound like much but is noticeable. Airfix came in at 0.492″ but went to a perfect 0.500” after the interior mold seam was removed. I expanded the openings with a 0.5” drill bit from the garage, the widened kit parts are on the left, uncorrected parts on the right.

Part II here:

RS Models Kawasaki Ki-100 Build in 1/72 Scale Part II

The Ki-100 was the result of fitting a radial engine to the Ki-61 airframe which was designed for an inline. The Japanese engineers did a remarkable job of blending the wide engine to the narrow fuselage. RS molded a separate fairing which fits over the standard Ki-61 wing, and as you can see the fit is not great.
The upper wing joint needed some filling as well. The landing light on the leading edge of the wing was missing, I added one here using a section of clear sprue and superglued it in place. This will be filed down to match the contour of the wing and polished smooth again.
The canopy was masked the old-fashioned way with Tamiya tape, it also needed some filling to blend properly. Whenever test fitting reveals clear parts will need filler, I run a black Sharpie along the mating surface so the putty color can’t show through.
I installed the landing gear legs at this point to support the model during painting. Mr. Surfacer 1000 was applied overall, and any remaining filling and scribing errors were corrected. I also drill out any holes for the remaining parts at this point, as any slips of the drill bit can be easily corrected before painting has begun.
The finish is Mr. Color 130 Kawasaki Green over Alclad Aluminum. The Mr. Color 58 Orange Yellow wing ID panels were painted after the Alclad but before the upper surfaces.
There were a number of problems with the kit supplied drop tanks, so I substituted spares from the Arma Hayate kits. Aircraft operating over the Home Islands could carry Orange Yellow drop tanks which made them easier to locate and re-use.
I used the kit decals. They performed fairly well, but are thin and long so are a bit tricky to apply. The decal sheet is very crowded which makes them harder to cut loose. The black decals for the walkways are not the same shape as the molded relief on the wings, something which I didn’t notice until I was actually trying to apply the decals, so mine are painted. This kit takes a little extra work, but builds up into a nice representation when done.

More completed photographs here: