Below are photos of my recently finished Nakajima Ki-27 "Nate", Hasegawa 1/48, belonging to the 68th Shimbu-tai. I had no problems whatsoever with the fit of the classic kit, removed the flares on the starboard wing rear edge and the drop tank access holes. There are no references showing what kind of drop tanks these "Nates" used or how the 250kg bomb was attached to the fuselage so I decided to leave them out. The decals are from the Create 301 (Aeromaster?) "Special Attack Squadrons" (1996) which had fantastic rendering even though they were very delicate and cracked. I feel though that the front part of the thunderbolt should not reach the front edges of the cowling. They overall result is really beautiful. There are only two photos of the unit featured on p.92&93 of MA#451 and they show the aircraft with the hinomaru having a darker green surround, to cancel the high visibility white surround. The Create 301 decal set does not provide hinomaru with the surround, so I had to mask. As always, I used MrColor paints.
About the base. I used the chocks and the barrel from the Hasegawa set and added the ropes, scratch built the ladder and attempted to replicate the pieces of cloth often used to cover the aircraft to protect from the elements with cigarette paper. I used the Tamiya "Soil Effect- Dark Earth" from the "Diorama Texture Paint" series for the airfield ground with sprinkles of grass from KATO railway diorama accessories. I wanted to add a bit more ground equipment and a pilot with a ground crew but wanted to finish it as soon as possible. More about the base soon.
The 68th Shimbu-tai was organized on March 23, 1945 with 12 Nakajima Ki-27 "Nate" from Hitachi Kyodo Hikoshidan (Flying Training Division). On March 30 seven planes led by unit commander 2Lt Yamaguchi took off from Maewatari airfield, Ibaraki Prefecture which was the name of the airfield of the Mito School and after stops at Sagami, Tenryu, Kakogawa and Ashiya airfields finally reached Chiran on April 5. The 68th was to take part in the Dai 1ji Koku So-Kogeki (First Massive Air Attack) but the planes were in badly need of maintenance so none participated. On April 8, at 6:30, 2Lt Katayama took off and attacked enemy ships in the Okinawa area. On the same day at 19:30 2Lt Yamada took off from Kikaijima with the same target. On April 9, at 17:40, 2Lt Yamaguchi also took off from Kikaijima and also perished in the Okinawa area.