Arii/Otaki Ki-43-IIB Oscar
Kit #: Otaki OT2-5/Arii A322
By Dave Pluth
This kit was originally released in the late 70's early 80's by Otaki. When Otaki went out of business, Arii bought the molds and began producing them. Thanks to Arii, they are still readily available today.
This kit builds surprisingly well. Most of the Arii kits that I've built have been rather average in building, but this one is quite nice. There is quite a bit of seam filling on the fuselage, but this is actually pretty normal for kits of this era. The wing fit is nice and the wing root isn't all to hard to hide, which is a bonus. The biggest problem I have with this kit is the canopy, it's awful! It doesn't fit and in the four kits I have of this aircraft, none of them are unscratched or unmarred. There is no vac canopy currently for this kit (I'm working on that however) so you are stuck just a bit with what you have.
Kit decals are worthless, not a surprise, get yourself "Eagles of the Rising Sun" by Aeromaster, there are several options there that are pretty neat. The above photo is from that particular series.
There are only two IIB's available, this kit for around $14 and the Fine Molds kit for around $75. For the money, buy this kit, there is not a very significant difference between them. The only physical complaint with aircraft is the wingspan looks a bit narrow, but I haven't scaled it out yet.
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