Kawasaki Ki61 Hien (oz12146)


Kawasaki Ki61 Hien (oz12146) by Chris Golds 1996 - plan thumbnail

About this Plan

Kawasaki Ki61-1 Hien. Radio control sport scale model.

QUote: "Kawasaki Ki 61-1 'Hien' (Swallow). When he not building and flying monster gas turbine-powered scale jets and multi-engined ducted fan giants, aviation artist and aemmodeller extraordinary Chris Golds turns his hand to delightful little Cox-engined fun models like this!

When it first appeared aver New Guinea in the middle of 1943, the Kawasaki Ki 61 was believed to be a licensed copy of the Messerschrnitt Me 109. It certainly looked similar to the famous Luftwaffe fighter because the engine was a licensed copy of the Daimler-Benz DB 601. its similarity to the newly emerging Italian Machi C202 lead to its chosen American code name of TONY (Antonio) and this was to stick.

A beautiful aircraft with a wing loading of under 30 pounds per square foot, it was very manoeuvrable and fast. it was improved steadily until the end of hostilities but it was dogged by engine problems and lack of supply until it was mated to the plentiful radial engines available in early 1945 as the Ni 100, to become belatedly the best the Japanese Air Force had at the collapse. For us, it models well with its perfect proportions, sweet lines and colourful finish.

The Fuselage: This model is so simple to build that anyone who can read a model aircraft plan will need no prompting. However, for those who require basic guidance, the following should be adequate.

Trace and cut out the 1/16 sides, the 3/32 bulkheads and the single 1/8 Liteply bulkhead. Cyano the forward bulkheads to the left fuselage side, taking care to glue them square to the side. Lay on and pin the other side - all square -and cyano into place. Add the 1/4 square bottom longerons (these are to enable you to round off the rear fuselage bottom corners) and triangular reinforcements using PVA. Next, add H and cyano the rear ends together then add the rest of the formers and other fuselage cross pieces.

Now cover the fuselage bottom with 1/32 sheet grain fore and aft leaving a small triangular hole at rear for aerial exit. Fit the elevator snake keeping it overlong so you can shorten as needed later. Use the inner of a white lightweight snake as your 'outer' and 22 swg wire as the new 'inner'. Note that the rear decking is provided with a spine and top deck mounting strips.

Tail feathers:Trace and cut the fin and rudder, tailplane and separate elevators. Replace tips with 3/32 x 1/2 in strips to give cross grain strength, Sand smooth with rounded leading edges and tapered trailing edges. Check the finished fin and tailplane on the fuselage for squareness of sit and, when satisfied with the alignment, cyano all into place on fuselage - 30 minutes work. I used Kavan mini-hinges on the elevators and cyanoed them in place. I make a pin hole through the balsa surface and hinge blade and drop in a little cyano. Precaution: oil the hinge pins first to prevent cyano locking the hinge. I use 3 in 1 oil. Slide the elevator into appropriate position and cyano into place then check for hinge freedom. 15 minutes work.

Wing: Join two sheets of 4 inch x 1/16 soft balsa using Sellotape and obtain a tight join. Turn sheets over and cyano all along the join. Sand smooth and turn over again. Remove tape and re-cyano the join. Sand smooth. Trace and cut out the two wing panels. NIB: sheet abuts the leading edge. Next, cut the 1/2 in square soft leading edges, with trailing edges and all the ribs in 3/32. Pin down leading and trailing edges over the plan protected by cling-film etc, then add ribs, keeping rib bases firmly pinned to work board and cyano to the leading and trailing edges. Notice how the ribs provide the washout.

Now, thin bead PVA all ribs and front edge of skin and pin in place. Allow to dry completely (about five hours). When dry, un-pin and sand leading edge to conform to skin. Cut the dihedral brace from 1/8 Liteply and slot into centre section ribs. Slide the wing panels onto brace and cyano into place. Pin brace to workboard and add centre section leading and trailing edges.

Cover wing centre section with .4mm ply grain across. Fill gaps in ribs 1-4, made by inserting dihedral brace with 1/8 scrap, and sand smooth. Time taken, about one hour.

Wing fixing is by twin 1/8 in dowels and 3/4 in self-tapping screw into 1/8 Liteply cross plate.

Canopy: Build as shown on the plan: take care not to cut too much away when fitting to fuselage - remember 'cut and fit, cut and fit'. You could use a commercial canopy, about 5 inches long.

Painting: I have always loved colourful aeroplanes and, as an aviation artist, I occasionally get a commission with the words 'you choose the subject', YIPFEEEE! With models, I get to choose every one I make and so colour plays a large part in my choice of aircraft. The Kawasaki Ki 61 is no exception - in fact, you could hardly wish for a more colourful aircraft than the Hien: even at the end of the conflict, replacement aircraft were still being sprayed in Squadron colours. Our aircraft belonged to the Headquarters Chutai of the 244th Sentai based at Chofu in the Tokyo province, and thus its squadron colour was blue, this appearing on the fin and rudder and the fuselage lightning stripe.

Once again the colour list is based upon the Humbrol matt colours and up to five coats of 50/50 dope/thinners, sanded down lightly between coats, may be needed to fill the grain before you start.

The national markings are red discs with narrow white edges. Cut out the red discs from Fablon and stick onto white Fablon - then cut round to obtain the white edge. Remember to rub the grey/green surfaces with a dry cloth before sticking on the markings. All that remains is to smudge on the exhaust burns as far back as the fuselage red disc - but be sparing with this effect. Tuffcoat all over and thoroughly inside the cowling (Cox fuel - 25% nitro -will eat most paints unless well protected). Finish with thin panel lines and you are ready to fit the radio.

Radio fit: Fitting the radio gear last allows you to get as close as possible to the planned CG without resorting to ballast.

My prototype ended up at 12 ounces ready to fly, including 1 ounce of ballast (curses!) My total empty airframe, painted and proofed but without engine and radio gear, weighed 6 ounces so this should give you a lead as to eventual weights.

Flying: This model is strictly for hand launching in the accepted fun-fighter manner. Run the engine at home to get the best settings. For starting, my old faithful David Brock 6 volt mini-starter (soon to be featured in RCME mag, along with my special glow-clip idea for starting cowled Coxs) copes admirably.

To hand-launch, grip the model with thumb and finger tips outside of each root rib just behind the C of C and launch slightly upwards into wind, over grass. Do NOT launch downwards at all as you will not have time to grab the stick before you hit the ground. Or get a good hand-launching friend (rare these days!) to do the job for you.

Now you're set for between 2 and 2-1/2 minutes of fun flying and a really slow landing with no tendency to tip-stall at the last moment.

If you have enjoyed this unusual little model, keep your eyes peeled for some more to be tried this year, beginning with the Junkers D1 'Tin Donkey' visible in one of the photographs and, later, an Me 110 twin-engined fighter, Happy landings and FLY SAFE!"

Quote: "Kawasaki 51: Chris Golds' take on the all-sheet fun-fighter genre from the May '96 Radio Modeller. Though similar in size to John Rutter's models, Chris' is much lighter weight (originally for his favorite; the Cox TD020) and may take better to modern electric power."

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Kawasaki Ki61 Hien (oz12146) by Chris Golds 1996 - model pic

  • (oz12146)
    Kawasaki Ki61 Hien
    by Chris Golds
    from Radio Modeller
    May 1996 
    36in span
    Scale IC R/C LowWing Military Fighter
    clean :)
    all formers complete :)
    got article :)
  • Submitted: 27/04/2020
    Filesize: 521KB
    Format: • PDFbitmap
    Credit*: RMC
    Downloads: 1301

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Kawasaki Ki61 Hien (oz12146) by Chris Golds 1996 - pic 003.jpg
Kawasaki Ki61 Hien (oz12146) by Chris Golds 1996 - pic 004.jpg
Kawasaki Ki61 Hien (oz12146) by Chris Golds 1996 - pic 005.jpg
Kawasaki Ki61 Hien (oz12146) by Chris Golds 1996 - pic 006.jpg
Kawasaki Ki61 Hien (oz12146) by Chris Golds 1996 - pic 007.jpg
Kawasaki Ki61 Hien (oz12146) by Chris Golds 1996 - pic 008.jpg
Kawasaki Ki61 Hien (oz12146) by Chris Golds 1996 - pic 009.jpg
Kawasaki Ki61 Hien (oz12146) by Chris Golds 1996 - pic 010.jpg

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User comments

Hi, here is my recently completed Chris Golds KI-61 [pics 007-010], the plan was downloaded from Outerzone, very pleased with the finished model, it is electric powered on a 3s 1300mah lipo. It has come out slightly over the weight of Chris's one but is very light for it's size and weighs only 1lb 1oz ready to fly. The finish is Tamiya acrylic paints airbrushed over 3 coats of Sanding sealer which were rubbed down with 400 grit wet and dry between coats, canopy was made from a pop bottle formed round a foam mould I made and heat from my hot air gun. I have had another set of parts laser cut to build a second one which will be done in a completely different scale scheme to this one, awaiting test flight in the next week or so.
Many thanks for the website, looking for a Mitsubishi KI-21 Sally to build, nothing on your website, I may have to scratch build it from 3 views...
Martin Collins - 14/08/2022
Plane has now flown very stable at low speed and very smooth on the controls, a delight to fly.
Martin Collins - 24/08/2022
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