Having released its Ki-21-Ib recently in 1/72 scale, Ukraine’s ICM has now issued a 1/48 version with full bomb bay, as CHRIS CLIFFORD discovers.
Whether you’re a diehard modeller of Japanese World War Two aircraft, or have a more general interest in medium bombers, ICM’s 1/72 Ki-21-Ib Sally must surely have piqued your interest on its debut last year. However, you may have felt short-changed if you build exclusively in 1/48… but the wait is over. ICM has now issued afresh kit in this scale, with even more detail.
While much of the moulding is to the same standard and level of fidelity on the 1/72 version, this 1/48 product (48195) offers a complete bomb bay with shackles and stores, which can be displayed due to the provision of open doors. Most of the runners have rearranged parts and unlike the one-piece interior floor of the 1/72 kit, ICM’s new 1/48 offering has separate sub-assemblies to complete the cockpit and adjacent fuel-tank area, plus the rear gunner’s station. As with its smaller cousin (and as you’d expect) this kit also features separate flying control surfaces, while the engine detail is the same, just larger (it’s excellent in both scales).
Above and below: While ICM's 1/72 Sally has a one-piece floor that runs from the cockpit, the new 1/48 version has separate cockpit/cabin and gunner assemblies.
Decals for four Japanese airframes are provided and just one of the colour schemes is repeated from the original 1/72 release. Three wear overall grey, while the fourth has the same scheme enlivened by an intricate green mottle pattern on its upper surfaces. The liveries are:
• Ki-21-Ib, 60th Sentai (60th Air Group), China, 1940
• Ki-21-Ib, 60th Sentai, 2nd Chutai (60th Air Group, 2nd Squadron) China, 1940
• Ki-21-Ib, Hamamatsu Army Flying School, Japan, probably 1941
• Ki-21-Ib, 25th Hikodan Shireibu Hikohan (25th Air Brigade HQ Flight), Japan, 1943
The decals are beautifully printed items with thin, gloss carrier film and the sheet includes instrument panel detail.
If you’re a died-in-the-wool modeller of 1/48 subjects and favour Japanese aircraft, there’s no longer the need to feel ignored by ICM. It is interesting to see just now much of the detail corresponds in quality across both kits, as it’s often the case that the 1/72 version wouldn’t be quite as impressive. It’s testimony to ICM that its Sally in both scales is so good, although the bonus of the 1/48 version, of course, is the complete bomb bay and stores. It costs £59.80 and is available via ICM’s UK importer/distributor Hannants.