IntroductionKi-48 Sokei/Lily Photo etched parts
is a 1/72 set intended for the Hasegawa Ki-48. It is item M72X-07
. Hasegawa acquired the model from Mania so the set will work with kits boxed by that company, too. You can see a review of that kit via Click here for additional images for this review
"Lily" was the Kawasaki Ki-48 Army Type 99 Twin-Engined Light Bomber (九九式双発軽爆撃機, shiki-souhatu-keibaku
, shortened to Sokei
). "Lily" was the Allied code name for the Ki-48. It was designed as a fast bomber and joined the war in late 1940 over China and was used almost everywhere the Japanese Army Air Force fought. Early in the Pacific War it was challenging for Allied fighters to run down, although by 1943 it was increasingly vulnerable. "Lily's" bomb load hampered her offensive effectiveness and the design lacked the ability to usefully improve, although the Ki-48-11b was equipped for divebombing.
Ki-48 has been a favorite Imperial Japanese aircraft of mine since I was a kid. When Mania released it in the mid-1970s I bought one immediately; it was an amazing excellent model and fortunately, when Mania went defunct, Hasegawa acquired the tooling.
Nice as the interior was then, it could be improved, and Platz
stepped up and created this excellent photo-etch set.
Packed in a small plastic bag with a stiff card backing, Ki-48 Sokei / Lily
consists of a thin metal photo-etched (P/E) fret and instructions. The P/E is etched by Eduard. The metal is not brass or copper. Perhaps aluminum or a steel?
There are 62 parts, including:
Instrument panel x 2
Instrument consoles x 6
Gun sights x 8
Seat belts x 6
Rudder bar and pedals
Crew seat x 2
Landing gear torque link x 2
Mounting brackets x 2
Levers x 10
The remaining pieces are knobs, cranks, instruments and other apparatus.
The parts are sharply and cleanly etched. Detail is crisp. Platz conscientiously provides an extra set of some of the smaller pieces for clumsy modelers such as myself.
Raised and recessed detail is etched into the metal. Lightening holes and stitching are etched into the seat belts and buckles. The engine and propeller control levers are individually formed, four are to be glued into slots in a guide plate and two to be glued to a control panel.
Perhaps the most interesting detail are the instrument dials and bezels. Please examine the photographs.
Instructions and Painting
A small yet professionally printed instruction sheet guides the modeler in using these parts. It is illustrated with four-color line art with some shading. A key to symbols is included although it is printed only in Japanese.
Many of the parts are pre-painted. The paint does not obscure any detail and the fidelity of the colors of separate items on various parts is precise. The overall effect is excellent.
Not all parts are painted. Only the arts with a variety of features. I can not state whether they are intended for the modeler to paint or if they represent components left unpainted in the prototype. Regardless, the pre-coloring is excellent.
My reference is the classic Monogram booklet Japanese Cockpit Interiors, Part 1
. It features four (4) useful pages of "Lily" photos and a diagram of a Ki-48 instrument panel keyed to 35 components. It does not state which Ki-48 version is shown although it illustrates a panel with an section mounting an accelerometer, inclinometer, and backup airspeed indicator. The instrument panel of this set does not feature that section of panel. The instruments in the top part of the panel also are in a slightly different layout than as illustrated in the book.
Discerning the actual colors of an object through black-and-white photos can be inaccurate; however, the instrument panel photo shows tones that suggest that some segments of the panel were painted black, whereas it is uniformly green in this set.
That does not mean this set is incorrect; instrument panels were frequently modified, often dramatically. Unfortunately, the pilot seat of the Ki-48 featured in the book is out of the photo, so I scan not verify whether it was painted or not. The book features another Kawasaki, the Ki-61 Hein, and it's seat is painted, for what that is worth.
For 1/72 modelers of the Ki-48, Platz
offers an excellent set for super-detailing. Etching is crisp and sharp, very detailed, with some pre-colored parts. Platz conscientiously provides an extra set of some of the smaller pieces for clumsy modelers such as myself.
One will need to verify with external sources whether the parts not painted by Platz are bare metal or not.
Overall this is an excellent set. I am anxious to use it in my Mania Ki-48 model. Recommended.
Thanks to Platz for providing this set. Please remember to mention to Platz and retailers that you saw this item here - on
Robert C. Mikesh. Japanese Cockpit Interiors, Part 1
. Monogram Close-Up 14. 1976.
Aviation of Japan. [Web.]