Mitsubishi Ki-21"Sally"
Ki21 references, interiors & armament
Ki-21 Interior colors.
MPM Ki-21 arrived from NKR Models
Combat Photo Sally Over Water *PIC*  
Got some Ki-21 cutaways - NOW WHAT?? (New)
MPM Sally - thanks 4 the tips guys! (New)
Mitsubishi Ki-21 "Sally questions (New)
Ki21 references, interiors & armament
Posted By: Nick Millman
Date: Friday, 13 April 2001, at 3:25 a.m.
For all those lucky folk who already have an MPM Ki21 may I recommend the Maru Mechanic on the type as a good general reference for modellers. This is still available as a composite, with the Hayate and Emily, from Hobbylink Japan.
The MM has exploded colour views and interior schematics, (showing the interior colour as a medium blue-grey) as well as clear interior photographs.
It also presents good armament details, including the tail "stinger" and interesting photographs of ventral gun, beam guns, a gun fitted in the open crew door and even a gun fitted in the main cockpit to fire sideways and rearwards from behind the right hand seat!
How to find that Maru Mechanic in HLJ's catalog
Posted By: Charles Metz <>
Date: Friday, 13 April 2001, at 1:06 p.m.
In Response To: Ki21 references, interiors & armament (Nick Millman)
I second Nick's recommendation of the Maru Mechanic volume on the Ki-21. Like virtually all other Maru Mechanics, it's a marvelous book.
However, my main reason for posting here is to help other j-aircraft readers find the reprints (note plural!) of this book in HobbyLink Japan's on-line catalog. The procedure isn't at all obvious:
-- Click the link below, which will take you to the section of HLJ's on-line catalog for "Kojinsha" publications
-- Click on the "Books/Magazines" icon you'll find there
-- Scroll approximately halfway down the resulting page to the section entitled "Maru Mechanic"
-- In that section, find the contiguous listings for "Maru Mechanic #7" and "Mechanism of Military Aircraft #7", which are what you're looking for. The information in both of these books is identical, but "Maru Mechanic #7" is hardbound and approximately 8.5" x 11" (22 cm x 28 cm) in size, whereas "Mechanism of Military Aircraft #7" is softbound and approximately 7" x 9" (18 cm x 23 cm). [I half recall that "Maru Mechanic #7" also includes more color, but I'm not sure.]
Ki-21 Interior colors.
Posted By: Pete Chalmers <>
Date: Thursday, 5 April 2001, at 3:33 p.m.
In anticipation of building the MPM kit, I thought we might start a vigourous debate on the interior colors.
The Maru Mechanic artwork depicts a grey cockpit interior, consistant with the pre-1941 information, quoted here from an old Owaki-san post:
"By revised regulations on Feb.5,1936,Aotake was changed to opaque metal primer which was dark blue gray called Hairanshoku(Hai-Ai-iro,FS26118/36118) and tough touchness than Aotake.However,Aotake was usually painted for internal areas except crew area."
Later Mitsubishi-built Army aircraft - the Ki-46 in particular - used the more familiar Mitsubishi cockpit olive green ~FS 34098. Would it be reasonable to assume that later aircraft switched to this color ?
I realise that some Ki-21's were built by Nakajima, so this throws another variable into the mix !
MPM Ki-21 arrived from NKR Models
Posted By: Pete Chalmers <>
Date: Wednesday, 11 April 2001, at 1:32 p.m.
Well, got my kit(s) today - 5 working days as always OZ to USA( 4 April order via the web ) - great price and great service.
Looks like a winner - I note that MPM opts for Humbrol H52 "Baltic Blue" for the interior - i.e. "Aotake" - I somehow doubt it !
Easy conversion to famous Yontan Airfield Special Attack aircraft "546" underway ( separate exhausts and cover for turret panel ) as soon as Turbotax lets me go !
I think the little lower "stub" wing root pieces are to be glued first, which will ease problem of butt-joined wings.
Nice detail !
Re: MPM Ki-21 arrived from NKR Models
Posted By: Bill Sanborn <>
Date: Thursday, 12 April 2001, at 12:49 p.m.
In Response To: Re: MPM Ki-21 arrived from NKR Models (Pete Chalmers)
I cannot argue with the service from NKR!! I got mine on Monday, just have not had a chance to look it over. No canopy masks with mine.
I would not wholly discount the aotake. Hiroyuki T. posted a comment by a KI-49 crewmember a few years ago that (paraphrasing) "climbing into a Donryu was like climbing into an aquarium". FWIW, granted it is a different plane, manufacturer, and the comment is open for interpretation, but it may indicate that some bombers MAY have had aotake interiors on some of the interior. I'd be interested to see what Mikesh's book has to say.
Re: MPM Ki-21 arrived from NKR Models
Posted By: Pete Chalmers <>
Date: Thursday, 12 April 2001, at 4:19 p.m.
In Response To: Re: MPM Ki-21 arrived from NKR Models (Bill Sanborn)
The kit is typical "better" short run and some of the the resin is a bit crude, outline looks pretty good.
Engine cowls have very faint flap lines - easy to rescribe, and only a "3-way" mold would fix.
I drilled out the door porthole and the closed portside window in a few minutes, scribed and cut one cowl / flaps in about 10 minutes.
Fit of the engine nacelle halves and fuselage bits looks good - I'll check the wings tonight.
Transparencies are mixed - the big ones are great, the small not so. I prefer these to vacs, and the framework on the "uppers" is nice.
As to the interior color - I'm starting to think that Nakajima was more likely than Mitsubishi to leave lots of unpainted Aotake in the pilot's cabin. I would "Guess" that Mitsubishi might have used their usual interior olive-green in the crew areas - especially given that practice for most ( if not all ) of their IJN and IJA aircraft for which we have artifact info.
Since my initial subject appears to be an airframe which has been retrofitted with later individual exhaust engines and cowls from another aircraft, I have no clue as to what the interior colors may have been, or even if the original airframe was Nakajima or Mitsubishi built. I only hope that Mikesh includes a bunch of photos of this airplane, as it looks like it was examined closely after the Yontan mission.
B&W photos in MM "seem" to indicate a color without the typical "sheen" of Aotake - could be the earlier "grey" primer ~ FS 36118 or the olive green.
I hope the Mikesh book addresses this aircraft and also the Ki-44, which seems to be another "mystery ship" re. the interior.
Re: MPM Ki-21 arrived from NKR Models
Posted By: Bill Sanborn <>
Date: Thursday, 12 April 2001, at 4:56 p.m.
In Response To: Re: MPM Ki-21 arrived from NKR Models (Pete Chalmers)
WOW! I cannot wait to see it built. I figure I'm at least a year from starting one!!! How is the fuselage cross-section?
I bet they will also do a KI-21-IIb since the parts are there, but nothing in the directions about the parts. I'd like to see the resin bits for the turret, that could be really neat. I hope they will do at least a conversion set for a KI-21-Ib.
Re: MPM Ki-21 arrived from NKR Models
Posted By: Pete Chalmers <>
Date: Sunday, 15 April 2001, at 4:54 a.m.
In Response To: Re: MPM Ki-21 arrived from NKR Models (Bill Sanborn)
Well, it turns out that MM DOES have a few fuselage cross-sections - stations 8, 11, 18, 30, and 32 - which also appear in the Green Arrow "Illustrated Warplane History".
The bottom of the fuselage MAY not be quite flat enough, if these drawings are to be believed, but it's not significant.
Re: MPM Ki-21 arrived from NKR Models
Posted By: Pete Chalmers <>
Date: Saturday, 14 April 2001, at 2:00 p.m.
In Response To: Re: MPM Ki-21 arrived from NKR Models (Bill Sanborn)
The Maru Mechanic drawings don't have fuselage cross-sections - the kit looks perhaps a bit too "round" in cross section but that's probably an illusion.
The biggest problem is the wing leading edge landing lights - they are presented as engraved detail in the wing plastic - no transparencies. Can be fixed but this is a bit tedious.
Although you need to go through the usual sand-fit-sand-fit as with most limited run moldings, the wing parts fit together nicely. I've decided to assemble the wings to include the lower inner piece(s) and to put some .080 or .100 strip blocks on the fuselage/wing root butt plate so that I have a tight friction fit - probably make a Lego jig, adjust all the angles to the eye, and then MEK the joint. This is the only potentially difficult area of assembly, IMHO.
I'm not a micrometer guy, so I'll leave those criticisms to others - I think the kit is quite good, and the only problem I see is that I KNOW that Hasegawa will do it !
Re: MPM Ki-21 arrived from NKR Models
Posted By: Win Jackson <>
Date: Wednesday, 18 April 2001, at 9:08 p.m.
In Response To: Re: MPM Ki-21 arrived from NKR Models (Pete Chalmers)
I received an MPM KI-21 from Squadron Mail today. The first thing I did was to compare it to an old unasembled Revell KI-21 kit I also own.
Apart from the resin interior parts, the MPM KI-21 parts are EXTREMELY close to the shape and size of the old Revell parts. They are virtually interchangeble. The left and right fuselage sides could be borrowed form the Revell kit and used to complete the MPM model with no trouble at all. The same goes for the wings and clear parts. The interior resin parts are a nice touch. However, Revell is still the better buy. The quality of all Revell parts is exellent.
Unfortunately, MPM inherits the flaws of the Revell kit. The Revell fulsalage is too broad in x-section and the nose is noticeably unspherical on the top part.
As the Revell, so the MPM.
I do hope that Hasegawa will do the Mitsubishi KI-21 Sally justice. The real KI-21 was such a beautiful aircraft! I hope Hasegawa will capture some of that beauty more than MPM and Revell have.
Combat Photo Sally Over Water *PIC*
Posted By: Rich Lane <>
Date: Sunday, 24 March 2002, at 8:10 a.m.
US Army Air Air Force combat strike photo of a Sally over water. Photo probably taken with a large format hand held aerial camera. No photo credits on the back
Editors note: Picture at
Got some Ki-21 cutaways - NOW WHAT??
Posted By: George Dively <>
Date: Sunday, 21 April 2002, at 4:09 p.m.
JEEZ guys, just when I thought life made sense n' all... Nick sent me some scans which I assume are from Maru Mechanic (thanks Nick!) and they show the metallic blue color - the "Aotake" I presume... But I can swear I've read some comments, kit reviews, etc. in which they speak of a Mitsubishi interior gray-green or grayish color. What's right here?? I just wanna get this **%#$*!! MPM Sally interior done and get it wrapped up - all the other major and sub-assemblies are done. Thanks guys! George
BTW, so you don't think I'm over-reacting, I'm not. It's just that I was ready to believe that my recollection of Japanese AC interiors always - or almost always - being metallic blue was outdated. I was all ready to believe that there were, in fact, several different and darker interior colors, based on manufacturer. What's up??? And although I'm seeking free advice on this MPM Ki-21 to be able to wrap it up, I have already begun the catching-up process on my research, and I have several books on the way...
Re: Got some Ki-21 cutaways - NOW WHAT??
Posted By: Joern Leckscheid <>
Date: Monday, 22 April 2002, at 1:35 p.m.
In Response To: Got some Ki-21 cutaways - NOW WHAT?? (George Dively)
believe me, choosing the right interior color is the least worry you should have on your mind when tackling the MPM kit. I finally finished mine late last week; it took up almost all of my spare time over the past couple of weeks.
As Nick relates, the color in the old "Maru Mechanic" is more like a blue-grey. Note that a colour loosely matching this tone appears in the list of standard colors dated Feb/05/45, which was provided to us by Owaki-san some time ago.
The color in question is L3, which is matched to FS 35164.
I have mixed a close match to this using Gunze Aqueous Acrylic colors, H 56 (50%) + H 308 (45%) +H 54 (5%).
Thatīs the mix I used for the crew areas of my kit, and the result seems quite realistic to my eyes.
Anyway, you REALLY shouldnīt worry too much about this point, the last surviving Sally was scrapped in Australia in the 50īs or 60īs if I recall correctly, and unless some relic collector has unearthes some pieces showing the correct color itīll be hard for the color poliece to go after you.
The one thing I Really, REALLY HATE about this kit (besides the simply terrible fit) is that they got the shape of the engine cowlings COMPLETELY wrong. It looks like a cross of a Model I and Model II cowling, but is wrong for either one! I didnīt notice that until my kit was finished, and I havenīt heard anyone noticing this before. Boy, am I mad at MPM for ruining the appearance of the Sally by making such a stupid mistake. Besides this, the surface detail is surprisingly good, I must admit that.
I wish you all the best with your kit, itīll be a true test of your patience. May the force be with you!
MPM Sally - thanks 4 the tips guys!
Posted By: George Dively <>
Date: Monday, 22 April 2002, at 7:57 p.m.
In Response To: Re: Got some Ki-21 cutaways - NOW WHAT?? (Joern Leckscheid)
You're right. This one is a test. And this is the FIRST kit I'm working on after a "lay-off" of over 15 years! The FIRST! My "re-introduction to the wonderful, relaxing world of modeling, as it were... %&#**%& you MPM!!!
Just kidding. I am actually enjoying it and enjoying my self-imposed challenge to do it in less than 12 hours! Why? Well, why not (ha-ha!)
There is an upcoming build review by Peter Fearis in Scale Aircraft Modeler (or whatever) and I've read the reviews (at least 3 so far) by others on the web. I never heard anyone criticize the cowlings, except for the practically non-existent cowl flaps. RATS! That's gonna be hard to overlook Joern - you know, like a dripping faucet at night that keeps you awake...
Seriously, I know what you mean by the "correct-color police" but actually I do enjoy the research part that leads up to the painting and detailing of any kit. So I am not gonna kill myself over having this Sally perfect - but I DO intend to post a JPEG of it when I'm done and see what the j-aircraft gang thinks... Later, George
Re: Got some Ki-21 cutaways - NOW WHAT??
Posted By: Nick Millman
Date: Sunday, 21 April 2002, at 11:55 p.m.
In Response To: Got some Ki-21 cutaways - NOW WHAT?? (George Dively)
I interpreted the Maru cutaway as representing a combination of dark bluish-grey opaque paint (as used in the cockpit of the Ki-27) and the so-called aotake. This is discernable in the original if not in the scan. But for all the reasons discussed over on the other board in respect of translations, interpretations, etc., we have no way of really knowing.
The Monogram book also suggests the "gloomy" bluish-grey as the interior colour for Sally and cites another Japanese source to support that.
I'm also sending you a scan of a photograph of a Ki-49 interior which, albeit a different aircraft, clearly shows a predominantly metallic finish, either natural metal or very translucent so-called aotake!
I'd go for the bluish-grey on an early version and perhaps the metallic finish on the later models.
Re: Got some Ki-21 cutaways - NOW WHAT??
Posted By: Dave Pluth <>
Date: Sunday, 21 April 2002, at 8:38 p.m.
In Response To: Got some Ki-21 cutaways - NOW WHAT?? (George Dively)
The very general rule. Crew areas, similar to interior green. Non-crew areas, aotake. This doesn't hold true 100% of the time, but as a general rule, it arguably correct.
Mitsubishi Ki-21 "Sally questions
Posted By: jerry S. from Belgium <>
Date: Thursday, 13 June 2002, at 10:21 a.m.
Well I found some info so far, but now I got some questions;
What was the interior color of the Ki-21 (early type, Aotaki blue, perhaps?
I also notice that two extra machine guns could be fired from the aft cockpit windows. Did these gun stands had any glazing?
And my last question, the gun(s) carried in the turret looks a lot like a German MG 81 Z. A two barreled gun with on hand grip. What kind of MG did the Japanese Army Air force used here?
Re: Mitsubishi Ki-21 "Sally questions
Posted By: Nick Millman
Date: Thursday, 13 June 2002, at 2:01 p.m.
In Response To: Mitsubishi Ki-21 "Sally questions (jerry S. from Belgium)
The interior was probably a dark blue-grey, an opaque paint, in the early versions at least. Don't get me started on aotake - certainly not "aotaki blue"!!! The many interior shots I have of the Ki-21 give no indication of a "translucent" or "metallic" finish and the evidence of wear suggests an opaque paint.
When deployed the guns could be fired through the lower of each pair of windows, with the glazed panel removed. In addition there was a downwards rear-firing gun in a ventral position and guns could also be fitted to fire from the fuselage access door and from the aft windows of the cockpit (behind the pilot and co-pilot seats). A "tail stinger" could be fired from the dorsal turret position.
Most early versions of the Ki-21 used the hand-held 7.7mm Type 89 and Type 92 machine guns. The mounting you refer to was a double, rather than twin, Type 89 fitting, with the gunner holding two sets of grips and triggers. In the Maru Mechanic cutaway it is not clearly drawn. This mounting was also used in the Ki-48 Lily light bomber. Later, the 7.92mm Type 98, derived from the German MG 15 was used in a genuine twin mount, with a saddle drum type magazine. I can send you close-up photos of all these types in use if you wish.
There are gun experts on this site, better qualified to correct or elaborate further on this.
Re: Mitsubishi Ki-21 "Sally questions
Posted By: jerry S. from Belgium <>
Date: Thursday, 13 June 2002, at 2:29 p.m.
In Response To: Re: Mitsubishi Ki-21 "Sally questions (Nick Millman)
Thanks for your response, I have been studying the Maru Mechanic cutaway you send me, but as you described not everything is drawn clear. So far I made some pencil drawings based on the MM drawing to get a more clear perspective on the interior.
I think I will have to scratch build the guns, since the Contrail/Sanger items don't look very realistic. They look more like 20 mm cannons.
Well i'm not really a specialist when it comes to Japanese Aircraft, but they look like a very intersting modeling subject to me.
Re: Mitsubishi Ki-21 "Sally questions
Posted By: Nick Millman
Date: Thursday, 13 June 2002, at 3:35 p.m.
In Response To: Re: Mitsubishi Ki-21 "Sally questions (jerry S. from Belgium)
I'll send you some scans of the interior photos and guns which will hopefully make things clearer for you.
The Type 89 is a bit odd looking and sometimes get mixed up with the Type 99 20mm cannon. The "twin" mounting had very odd looking magazines like a circle with a quarter segment missing.
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