Something different for a change :o
This is F-Toys 1/144 scale Wing Kit Collection shokugan. The one I've got for myself is a Kawasaki Ki-61 Hien (飛燕, i.e. flying swallow), which is the top plane that my figma Haruhi is pointing at.
I have mentioned about shokugan toys before (What is a shokugan?), of which some come pre-assembled, and some not. Planes are usually the latter, but they are pretty simple to build. I rarely buy Japanese warplanes as I do not recognise a lot of them, but here I've bought a Hien as it is one of the few I know and that it has large resemblence to German or Italian designs - in fact it was the only mass produced Japanese fighter aircraft that has inline V engine.
Anyway, let's have a look how this one looks like in 1/144 scale~
Opening the box there's the kit as well as small instruction manual. As you can see, even if they come unassembled, shokugan toys are prepainted already, which saves you the trouble of painting if you are not so skilled at it (like me orz).
The whole kit unpacked
Removing the parts from the runners - some of them, like this green one here, are incredibly tiny, and care must be taken not to have them rolled/blown off and lost. I've had parts dropped and bounced off my desk on previous kits before, which took me a while to find them on the floor T_T
The instructions itself - pretty self explanatory and simple. There are options for you to choose between flying or landed configurations. I choose the first as it has less parts and easier to assemble.
Assembling the model is pretty straightforward as seen on the manual in the previous picture. Gotta be careful putting those small pieces in though. That piece on the tweezers (it's a tail wheel btw) is probably only 3mm long ^^;
The completed model in flying configuration without the decals. The plane itself is very well painted already, so you can just have it like so just fine.
Decals are water transfers so simply wet the decal sheet and transfer each decal to the model with a pair of tweezers. Dab off excessive water with something like tissue or cotton bud and leave them to dry off.
Completed model with the base itself.
Underside of the plane.
A quick comparison with the German Heinkel He-100 on the left, of which the Hien's design seems to be heavily based on, although people often compared Hien to the much more popular German Messerschimtt Bf 109.
As an emphasis on how small the plane it is, here's Haruhi holding it. It's like a massive model plane for her! ^^;
Shokugan toys sure are small, but the unassembled parts are even smaller! While they are fairly popular in the Far East such as in Japan and Hong Kong, they are often overlooked outside Asia due to the small size, lesser details, and expensive shipping, which make them seem less valuable. However, their small size and cheap price make them more favourable to me, as I can collect more of these rather than owning just a few larger ones. Besides, I am a fan of 1/144 miniatures, be it Gunpla or military models, and as technology advances in plastic models, even smaller miniature models like these are getting improved too.
P.S. Despite the fact that I am a fan of WWII stuff, especially tanks, I've decided to keep it in low profile here because I don't find it mix well with the other stuff I usually blog about. However, mentioning some now and then without going over those boring facts or technical stuff probably wouldn't hurt. Hope you do find this article on shokugan model planes interesting though!