Even during the busiest times of my life I have endeavored to maintain some
form of model building activity. This site has been created to help me chronicle
my journey through a lifelong involvement in model aviation, which
all began in Mayo, MD
hard to imagine back when only 14 years had passed - to the month
- since the Japanese surrendered to the U.S., that this article
was written in the August 1959 edition of American Modeler. The
Imperial Japanese Air Force, like the German Air Force (Luftwaffe),
was made up of highly skilled pilots and increasingly capable aircraft.
The Japanese were a notable more terrorizing enemy since many were
willing to sacrifice their lives in battle, whereas the Germans
were more of the mindset of living to fight another day. It is now
52 years hence since this article was written and very few of the
men who fought WWII - on all sides - are still alive to bear witness
to the action.
As long as there are people who want to dominate
the world, there will be wars. Today, it's militant Islam that wants
everyone to submit to Sharia law. The difference with this fight
is that political correctness prevents us from winning by conjuring
"rules of engagement" that are more likely to get our soldiers killed
than the enemy's. All of the lawmakers should be required to fight
on the front lines for a month under the rules they impose on the
troops. I'm guessing it would not take very long to wipe them off
the face of the Earth.
Kawasaki Ki-61 "Tony"
Slick World War Two Control Line Scaled 3/4 Inch to Foot
by Walter A. Musciano
The only Japanese single seat fighter
to be powered with an inline liquid cooled engine during World War
II was the Kawasaki Ki-61. This plane was used by the Japanese army
virtually throughout the war in New Guinea, Rabaul, China and Philippines
and over Japan intercepting B-29 bombers. The Ki-61 is generally
considered to be the Japanese Army's counterpart of the Japanese
Navy's vaunted "Zero." The U.S. recognition nickname for the Kawasaki
Ki-61 was "Tony."
The 3,120 "Tony" fighters that saw
service were powered by a twelve cylinder, Vee type engine of 1175
horsepower, designed Ha-40. This was undoubtedly a German design
built in Japan under license. In fact, the entire treatment of cowling
and exhaust stacks gives "Tony" a typical German rather than a Japanese
appearance. Maximum speed was 348 mph with a gross weight of 7650
lbs. The craft could climb to 16,400 feet in seven minutes. Armament
consisted of two 20 mm cannon mounted in the wings outside of the
propeller arc and two heavy calibre machine guns buried in the cowl.
This was one of the few Japanese planes that was well armored.
Kawasaki Ki-61 Tony
Sporting Chinese insignia, Jap Tony (upper left) like one above
shows influence of Germans. Full size plans for constructing
a Ki-61 model are available on Group Plan #859 from Hobby Helpers,
770 Hunts' Point Ave., New York 59, N. Y. (85c). When ordering
specify plan number desired, rather than name of model.
An air cooled engine version was also produced in limited numbers
during the closing years of the war. This was the Ki-100. Reports
indicate that the Kawasaki Ki-100 could meet U.S. "Mustangs" on
equal terms and the better pilot usually won.
is beautifully proportioned for control line sport flying and this
3/4" to the foot scale model can be powered by a glow plug or diesel
engine from .09 to .19 cubic inch displacement. Standard two line
control system is shown; however, the Stanzel Mono-line control
system can be installed if desired. The clean, uncluttered lines
and absence of struts or rigging makes this "Tony" a pleasure to
own and fly.
As is customary with our vertical keel
fuselage construction, the wing is built first. Begin by cutting
the spar and ribs to shape and cementing these together. The 3/32"
sheet lower covering should be assembled to form the correct chord
distance from standard 3" balsa sheets. When the covering has been
assembled and cut to shape it can be cemented to the bottom of the
ribs and spar. Start with the spar and work the covering towards
the leading and trailing edges of the ribs. Use plenty of cement
and hold the covering in place with pins until the cement is dry.
Bend the wire landing gear struts to shape being certain
to make one left- and one right-hand strut. Sandwich the upper portion
of the struts between two rectangles of plywood. Drill small holes
and firmly "sew" this assembly together. Use plenty of cement. When
dry, the landing gear is cemented to the wing spar, ribs and lower
covering. This is done by passing the strut, from above, through
the lower covering in the exact location that· the strut emerges
at the bottom. Do not spare the cement in installing the landing
gear. Several applications are recommended.
sheet balsa wing upper covering is installed in the same manner
as the lower. Before this is attached, however, be sure to bevel
the leading and trailing edges of the lower covering to match the
contour of the ribs' upper camber.
Sheet balsa wing
tips are laminated of 3/16" sheet balsa and cemented in place. Entire
wing should be sanded thoroughly at this time with 3/0 sandpaper.
Cut the body keel to shape and cement it to the wing.
Be certain to cut openings in the keel for the fuel tank, and bellcrank
movement. Cut the bulkheads and formers to shape and cement these
to each side of the keel. Install the engine mounts to the bulkheads
using plenty of cement.
The elevator and stabilizer
are cut to shape, sanded to a streamline section, and hinged together
after the control horn has been firmly installed. Cement the stabilizer
into the slot in the keel.
A hardwood block serves
as the bellcrank mount. Attach the lead-out lines to the bellcrank
and then bolt the bellcrank to the mount. Slip the control rod onto
the horn and bellcrank and then cement the mount very securely to
the top of the wing. It will be necessary to make a small hole in
the wing covering to accommodate the nut.
your "commercial" fuel tank at this time. This must be rigidly wedged
The fuselage is planked with 3/32" x 14"
balsa strips. These should be carefully fitted and cemented to the
fuselage formers as well as to each other. Hold in place with pins
until cement dries. Small hairline spaces between the planking strips
caused by improper fitting can be easily filled with "Plastic Balsa."
When the planking is complete the nose block should be installed.
Install the engine mounting nuts and bolts tightly. Apply plenty
of cement around the nuts to hold them in place.
the nose block roughly to shape and then split it apart along the
horizontal centerline. Hollow the interior to clear the engine mounts;
and then cement the nose to the fuselage. Complete the nose and
sand the entire fuselage thoroughly.
Cement the wing fillet
sheet balsa foundation to the wing and fuselage. When dry apply
several layers of "Plastic Balsa" with the fingers to form the
fillet. Make the fillet slightly oversized to allow for sandpapering
when the "Plastic Balsa" is dry.
The fin and rudder should
be cemented in place.
Carve the radiator from soft
balsa and sand smooth. Cement this to the fuselage belly and form
fillets with "Plastic Balsa."
The windows forward
of the cockpit and the rear vision panels behind the cockpit are
cut out and covered with sheet plastic. The planking should be cut
away about 1/32" all around the opening. This cut must be to a depth
equal to the thickness of the plastic sheet. Carefully cut the plastic
to 1/32" larger than the opening and cement it in place.
Seal any rough edges or imperfections around this installation with
"Plastic Balsa." Sand smooth. Those modelers who are not interested
in these details can use black or blue decal sheet for the windows
and this can be applied after the model has been painted.
At least six coats of Balsa Filler should be liberally applied.
Sand each coat when it is thoroughly dry. Up to twenty coats can
be applied for a super finish.
The Kawasaki can be colored
all light gray with black anti-glare panel forward of the cockpit,
or it can be colored all bright green or bright green with splotches
of yellow and a hazy blue bottom. The red ball insignia is outlined
with a white band only when the plane is camouflaged.
The splotches of yellow on the green are made by cutting yellow
"Wondurcal" decals into small irregular pieces and applying them
onto the finished model. These will adhere tenaciously and are fuel
The cockpit canopy can be cut from a standard
bubble. many of which are available at most hobby shops. This should
be installed now. Other miscellaneous details such as exhaust stacks,
radio mast, tin can metal wheel covers, and wheels are added.
Carefully cut a hatch in the cowl in order to install
the engine. Loosen the mounting bolts gently in order not to the
nuts that were previously cemented to the mount. Openings for the
cylinder and needle valve are cut in the nose. The entire cowl interior
should be well protected with several coats of fuel proof dope.
Install the engine and attach the cowl hatch with a few drops of
fuel proof cement.
The model should balance at the
point shown. Lead weights, firmly attached to the inside of the
nose or tail, should be used to remedy any unbalanced condition.
In view of the relatively small wheels it is advisable
to fly your "Tony" from a paved area or grassless packed earth.
Flight lines thirty to fifty feet long can be used for flying this
model. The prototype airplane was flown with a three bladed propeller.
KAWASAKI LIST OF MATERIAL
Material is Balsa
except where otherwise noted.
Three 3/32" x 3" x 36" for
wing covering; (1) 1/8" x 3" x 36" for wing ribs, fuselage formers;
(1) 3/16" x 3" x 36" for tail surfaces, wing tips; keel; (1) 1/4"
x 1" x 36" for spar; (15) 3/32" x 1/4" x 36" for fuselage planking;
(1) 1/8" x 6" x 12" plywood for wing Joiner, bulkheads, landing
gear supports; (1) 1/4" x 1/2" x 12" hardwood for engine mounts;
(1) 3/32" dia. x 18" music wire for landing gear; (1) 1/16" dia.
x 24" music wire for control rod, tall wheel strut; (1) 3" x 3"
x 3" for cowl, radiator, scoop; (1) Berkeley Canopy; 8 oz. Aero
Gloss Balsa Filler Coat; 4 oz. Aero Gloss Swift White dope; 1 oz.
Aero Gloss Jet Black dope; one sheet red Wondurcal decal.
Miscellaneous - Straight pins; "3/0 dry sandpaper; 6/0 and 8/0
sandpaper; brass washers; Aero Gloss Plastic Balsa; one tube Ambroid
Cement; small jar clear fuel proofer to protect canopy; aluminum
Color note - add the black dope to tile whit. a
little at a time until a pearl grey is obtained - use the remaining
black for the landing gear struts and the anti-glare panel forward
of the cockpit.
<click for larger version>
The AMA Plans Service offers a full-size
version of many of the plans show here at a very reasonable cost. They will scale the plans any size for you. It is always
best to buy printed plans because my scanner versions often have distortions that can cause parts to fit poorly. Purchasing
plans also help to support the operation of the Academy of Model
Aeronautics - the #1 advocate for model aviation throughout the world. If the AMA no longer has this plan on file, I
will be glad to send you my higher resolution version.