MPM 1/72 Ki-64 'Rob'






One option


Scott Van Aken


One of MPM's first kits


You can always trust engineers to never be satisfied with the status quo and to want to push the envelope a bit. This was the case at Kawasaki. Though their new planes, the Ki-45 and Ki-61 were still in prototype development during 1940, the Kawasaki designers came up with a high speed aircraft that was supposed to reach higher speeds than what current fighters were attaining.

The way to make the plane faster was to add a second engine. This second engine was buried in the fuselage and drove the second of two co-axial props. In order to keep from having radiators pop out all over the fuselage to keep the engines cool, they developed a steam/vapor cooling system that used the wing  and flap surfaces for the coolant area.

Needless to say, the system seemed to work and though the coolant (water) took up space that could have been used for fuel, the plane did make five flights in late 1943 before the rear engine caught fire and extensively damaged the airframe. Because of the aircraft's low priority, the repairs were never made and the airframe captured by the Allies at the end of the war. Only the one prototype was built and flown


As one of MPM's first kits, this one is the epitome of 'Czech short-run'. You have it all. Fine engraved detailing that will quickly disappear under sanding and filling. Thick sprue gates that will require the parts to be sawn off. Flash of some level or another on most all parts. Ejector towers on the large bits. Somewhat amorphous detailing on parts like wheels and gear struts. Sparse interior with no sidewall detail and generic interior bits, and a vac canopy. Finally, excellent Propagteam decals.

You'll also note that there is no wheel well detailing at all and all the flight surfaces are butt joins. There is also a touch of short shot on one of the trailing edges of an elevator. This is endemic to the mold as another kit I have of this plane has the same problem. This kit is currently available, but like most of MPM's early kits, has been upgraded with resin and etched bits.

The instructions are adequate, providing a scale three view, a parts diagram and an exploded diagram for construction. There are two decal placement guides; one with and one without the red side lightning bolt. If you choose the scheme with the bolt, you'll need to remember to place this on the kit before attaching the supercharger intake. The bolt section will then need to be painted on as there is no way this decal will fit with the intake in place.



Don't be fooled by the minimal parts count on this kit. I've built some of these early MPM kits and they take a great deal more work than one would initially imagine. I'd not doubt if there will be a major fit problem with the wing and fuselage. However, it is a very cool looking plane and that is why we build short run kits!


Japanese Aircraft of the Pacific War, by Rene J Francillon

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