Popular Culture Collectibles Reviews

Friday, March 11, 2016

Tony, Taiwan and Nachi

Hasegawa Hobby Kits presents a trio of new war machines: two aircraft and one ship.
The 1/48 Scale Kawasaki Ki-61-I Tei Type 3 Fighter Hien (Tony) "Prisoner of War" Limited Edition WWII Japanese fighter aircraft packs a few surprises.

So maneuverable and deadly was the 'Tony' that the American military was hot to get its hands on this lethal non-traditional Japanese fighter.

Equipped with a inline V engine the small aircraft also boasted more armor, heavier and more deadly weapons, fuel tanks that self-sealed and other 'surprises'.

Minimalist in design the 'Tony' didn't appear that unorthodox at first glance. 

Small for a fighter the aircraft sat one pilot, had a standard wingspan and a tri-propeller.  Everything about the aircraft screamed, "ordinary!"  Not so.

The hobby kit duplicates and captures the look of the fighter used by the United States for testing and evaluation.  No doubt taking its cue from the 'Tony' the U.S. military incorporated much of what it learned from the aircraft into its own fleet of fighters.

As with all Hasegawa Hobby Kits the 'Tony' kit comes with highly detailed instructions for assembling, painting and decaling and parts detach easily from part trees with little or no flashing and fit together snuggly with no mismatched surfaces.

The 1/48 Scale F-16B Plus Fighting Falcon "Taiwan Airforce Flying Tigers" Limited Edition fighter jet model kit recreates the impressive Taiwan fighter in perfect detail right down to its landing gear.

A superior aircraft that is both light, less expensive than most fighters and capable of impressive aerodynamic capabilities the F-16B is easy to upkeep and ready in an instant for action.

Fast and capable of landing, re-arming and taking off in a short period of time the F-16B is regarded as one of the most versatile aircraft in existence and respected by military forces around the globe.

The model recreates the aircraft in perfect miniature from external tanks, twin cockpit, single engine and deadly arsenal.

I've always been a sucker for large naval vessels-especially vintage WWII heavy cruisers and the like.

So it should come as no surprise that my favorite model of three is the 1/700 Scale Japan Navy Heavy Cruiser Nachi Full Hull Limited Edition model kit.

What a beauty with its full armament, cranes, conning tower, railing, smokestacks and wooden deck.

Part of the Myoko class heavy cruisers the ship served in the Philippines, Its battery of guns: ten 8-inch guns and eight 127 mm guns along with its 12 Type 93 Long Lance Torpedoes made the Nachi a worthy adversary.

Unfortunately minor repairs stuck the ship in the Philippines at the end of the war where it was eventually sunk by the Allies.


The ship model comes with a display stand that showcases the entire ship from tip to tip and propellers to stern.  It's an impressive model recreating a time when navies could turn the tide of war.