Wednesday 18 June 2014

Yokosuka/Kawanishi K5Y1 #Willow" kits - 1/72

As promised we would like to introduce the various "Willow" kits, starting with the 1/72 scale. There will be different postings for each scale that will be updated with new kits, comments, etc.
LS released their "Willow" in 1/72 after 1966. It's an old but really pretty kit in orange plastic, small windshields, no help for the wire bracing and decals for one orange trainer plane belonging to Kasumigaura Kokutai, tail marking "か-835" (Ka-835). The marking should be one on the centre of the top wing and one under the port and starboard lower wings, but there is decal for only one. Curiously there are a couple unnecessary markings in white.
I am building one now so I will comment on the difficulties, fit etc as I make progress.

In 1992 LS went bankrupt and the kit molds ended up in ARII which re-released the Willow kit in 1/72 with a different box (but retaining in the centre the old design), different instructions, different decals and in slightly less orange plastic. From 2004 ARII changed their name to MICRO ACE and the kit boxes started to appear under this name.
The decals offer two options, one for an all silver plane belonging to Kasumigaura with tail marking "か-821" (Ka-821) and another orange with green camo belonging to Mineyama Kokutai, tail marking "2ミホ-827" (2MiHo-827).


AZ Model 


Unfortunately AZ Model and VALOM kits are quite expensive in Japan, so if you have any of them I would appreciate it if you could send photos of the kits.

All the parts of the Gunze kit are metal and need plenty of work to make a dissent model.
Feel free to leave a comment and send us photos of your finished model if you have built any of these kits. 


D. Chouinard said...

I agree, the LS kit is a real gem, especially considering it's age. I have the same kit, only with the float option. The decals in yours look much better than mine, for sure!
Interesting to see if there are any problems, getting the wings and struts lined up looks to be the biggest headache. (As with any biplane)
Hope to see more soon!

Iskender said...

Hi George,

Here are a couple of links to Valom's K5Y reviews (both have sprues' pictures):

There was also an excellent Russian article comparing LS kit with Valom, written by an avid Japanese aviation fan - Igor Lishkanets (aka Lish), unfortunately the link is dead. I remember reading that Valom's kit is related to Arii (fuselage halves are almost interchangeable, propellers are the same), though the former is better in detail (cockpit, engine, separate ailerons) and corrects some of the Arii's shape issues (fin, elevators). I also recall that prior to AZ Models release the Hannant's newsletter said it was ex-Valom.

Best regards,