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Matsudo Airbase, Japan, 1944
In response to other countries developing two seat fighters, Japan ordered the Ki-45 and started taking delivery in 1939. Initially used as a long range bomber escort, it was clear the fighter could not hold its own against the allied single seat fighters. The role was then changed to an attack aircraft and a bomber interceptor. The lower 20 mm cannon was replaced with a 37 mm gun and upward firing 20 mm cannons. Deployed against the B-29 bombers attacking Japan in 1944, the aircraft had limited success and trouble reaching the B-29's at high altitude. It was more effective when used in ramming attacks on the B-29's.
This was a fairly simple kit but had good detail in the cockpit and nice recessed panel lines. I added a bit more detail to the cockpit as it would be very visible through the windows. The aircraft is painted with a mix of Aeromaster (out of production) and Testors paints. The camo is done freehand with a Paasche H airbrush. In an attempt to lighten weight and increase performance the rear gunner, rear MG and other items were removed from this plane. I used aftermarket insignia, painted the white banners and stripes and used the kit tail markings and stripe under the rear cockpit.