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Nichimo's 1/48 scale
Mitsubishi Ki-51 Sonia

by Randy Lutz

 

Mitsubishi Ki-51 Sonia

 


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Construction

 

Here is my my Nichimo 1/48 Mistusbishi Ki.51 "Sonia"

It is finished as a machine flown by Captain Yoshio Itsui, of the 23rd Shinbu-tai, while stationed at Mibu Airbase, Utsunomiya, Tochigi Prefecture, Japan during March 1945.

I am surprised that we do not see this model built more often, as the Nichimo "Sonia" while being an older kit, packs a fair amount of detail and has surprisingly good fit. As such, not much is needed to bring the kit up to to today's standards. While I performed the following minor enhancements to the kit, some could be considered as superfluous as they are not readily apparent when looking at the completed model.

Cockpit

 

 

  • scratchbuilt pilot's seat and seat support

  • pilot's rollover structure modified to correct style

  • seat belts added

  • structural detail added to cockpit using strip styrene

  • scratchbuilt throttle quadrant

  • observer's machine gun barrel drilled out

  • elevator trim wheel added

  • bomb release electrical junction box added

  • radio control and start-up relay added

  • camera electrical junction box installed

  • flight suit heater control unit installed



Fuselage

 

 

  • rear observation windows opened

  • exhaust pipes made from plastic tubing

  • ignition wires added to engine

  • pilot's sliding canopy replaced with a homemade vacuform unit

  • antenna wire made from stretched sprue

  • rear navigation made from clear sprue



Wings

 

 

  • reduced  grossly exaggerated control surfaces detail

  • solid plastic landing lights replaced with clear styrene

  • wing tip lights replaced with clear styrene

  • wing gun barrels replaced with plastic rod and drilled out

 

 

Painting and Markings

 

The airframe was painted with Xtracolor X320 Air Canada Teal Green and X352 IJA Grey.

 

 

All markings are from Aero Master Special Attack Squadron SP48-06.



 

References

 

  • Asahi Journal

  • Japanese Aircraft Interiors 1940-1945, Monogram Technical Publications


 

Additional Images

 

Click on the thumbnails below to view larger images:


Model, Images and Text Copyright 2005 by Randy Lutz
Page Created 05 October, 2005
Last Updated 02 November, 2005

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