have released a couple of new Brassin upgrades for Tamiya’s recent Ki-61 since our last look
. This time the focus is on the wheels and cowl guns.
Both sets arrive in standard blister packs, which protect the parts well with plenty of soft foam backing. Inside each, you find a well-produced sheet of instructions, which in this case are pretty self-explanatory - if you've realised you want these upgrades, you probably also figured out how you're going to use them.
Item #648 317 - Ki-61-1d Wheels
The set comprises a pair of resin mainwheels, plus a new tailwheel cast integrally with its yoke and leg. The mainwheels are grey resin, while the tailwheel is white - whether this is a different density resin, I don’t know.
To be honest, when I first looked at the mainwheels, I thought Eduard
had simply filed flats on the kit parts to make them “weighted”. They wouldn’t do that, would they? Well, of course, no - they wouldn’t! When you look closer you realise just how much subtle new detail there is on the redesigned resin parts.
On the tyres themselves, apart from being "weighted", there are now two tread grooves missing on the kit parts. Turning to the hubs, in the kit they are essentially blank on the front, but Eduard’s
have tyre inflation valves and screw holes, while on the back there’s a tiny connection for the brake-line. The differences are subtle but certainly worthwhile.
The tailwheel is harder to just in the photos, simply because it’s cast in white and not exactly camera-friendly. It's a different story under a magnifying glass and you can see that the tyre has a slightly different cross section, and the way it meets the hub is totally changed. A little spigot on the kit part has gone, and Eduard
have opened up a hole in the axle. Finally, of course, there's no ejection pin mark to fill!
The set also includes a small sheet of die-cut kabuki tape mainting masks and the instructions provide Gunze Sangyo colour matches.
Price: 5.95 Euros
Item #648 321 - Ki-61-1d Gun Barrels
Until I examined them side by side with the Brassin barrels, I hadn’t realised just how
basic Tamiya’s cowl guns are. The new parts feature perforations in the cooling jackets, and you just need to drill out the ends of the barrels carefully before installing them as direct replacements for the originals.
If I have a disappointment, it’s only that Eduard
haven’t gone one stage further and provided complete guns instead of just the barrels. That way you could remove the top of the cowling as Tamiya would have you do and actually have some guns to look at inside.
Price: 3.75 Euros
latest Brassin sets for the Tamiya Ki-61 are faultlessly cast and will be simplicity itself to prepare and use. If you're new to using resin upgrades these will be an ideal introduction. Meanwhile, superdetailers looking to add that little bit extra to the kit will definitely appreciate the subtle refinements offered here. With some upgrade sets, you look at them and think "I could do that myself" - but it's the tiny details that make all the difference and these are just in a another league to what most of us mere mortals could hope to achieve.
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