Ki-102 "Randy" and Otsu

Started by NARSES2, July 30, 2020, 06:36:46 AM

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Kawasaki Ki-102b armed with I-Go Otsu missile

A brief background, courtesy of Wikipedia, only because I couldn't be bothered to re-type what's in the Putnam's

First the carrier.

The Kawasaki Ki-102 (Army Type 4 assault aircraft) was a Japanese warplane of World War II. It was a twin-engine, two-seat, long-range heavy fighter developed to replace the Ki-45 Toryu. Three versions were planned: the Ki-102a day fighter, Ki-102b ground-attack and Ki-102c night fighter. This aircraft's Allied reporting name was "Randy".

The Ki-102 entered service in 1944, but saw limited action. The main type (102b) was kept in reserve to protect Japan, although it did see some limited duty in the Okinawa campaign. It was kept out of front line service because it was hoped that it would be the carrier of the Igo-1-B air-to-ground guided missile when the Allied invasion of Japan occurred.

Now the weapon.

Mitsubishi Igo-1-B, otherwise known as Mitsubishi Ki-148 was a World War II Japanese guided air-to-surface missile designed in 1944. Developed along its sister projects of Kawasaki Igo-1-A and Tokyo Imperial University designed Igo-1-C, the Igo-1-B was a simple radio-controlled guided bomb propelled by a rocket engine generating 150 kilograms (330 lb) of thrust for up to 80 seconds.

Test trials were carried out in late 1944 and the weapon was quickly ordered by the war ministry. Launched during tests from a modified Kawasaki Ki-48 light bomber, its standard mother aircraft was to be the modern Kawasaki Ki-102 heavy fighter. Although approximately 180 missiles were built, none saw service before the end of World War II.

The Build

This is the Sword 1/72 model of this aircraft and weapon combination, and is a modification of their existing standard Ki-102b kit. All I'll say about this kit is that while it may well be limited run it is at the top of the scale when it comes to that genre. I did not have a single problem when it came to fit or ease of build and virtually no filler was used at all. What was used was down to me. I thoroughly enjoyed the build until it came down to painting and then I had serious problems with Tamiya's paints, particularly their Japanese Army Green, which seemed to be drying on the brush unless I thinned it to such a degree that it almost became like a wash. I used White Ensign paints for the interior and details and wish I'd used them for the entire build, I'd forgotten just how nice they are.

The model represents an aircraft of the 3rd Chutai, 5th Sentai, Imperial Japanese Army just before taking off on the 2nd November 1945 from an airbase on the Japanese home island of Kyushu as part of the massive assault launched against the Allied invasion fleet which had launched Operation Olympic (the first part of Operation Downfall) the day before. Whilst scoring several successes against the Allied fleet, including severely damaging 3 aircraft carriers, the operation could not be considered a success as most of the attacking aircraft failed to penetrate the Fleet's combat air patrols (CAP) and those that did were hammered on the way home. It is estimated that less than 20% of the attacking aircraft returned to their home airfields and most of those had suffered damage of one form or another. Interestingly specific instructions had been issued to the attackers that kamikaze attacks were forbidden as the aircraft had to be preserved for future missions. This did not stop them completely however as severely damaged aircraft made a number of kamikaze attempts on the Allied ships and at least three struck home. Overall the attacks had been thwarted by the CAP's although a number of allied aircraft themselves were shot down by their own AAA as they followed their intended victims into the AAA "zone" despite being under instruction to not follow beyond a minimum altitude.

As for the Otsu's ? Most were never launched as their carriers were shot down before reaching launch range, of those that were launched most failed either because their mother aircraft was shot down after launch and they suffered a loss of guidance or they simply wandered off into the blue when their internal guidance systems failed. However 2 did strike home and caused severe damage and the Allied naval commanders were worried about this form of attack as if the Otsu's range could have been increased it would have been a difficult weapon to stop. However the damage done to Japanese industrial capacity meant that these developments never happened.

So what of Operation Olympic ? It became an extremely bloody campaign and losses on both sides were huge. However just before the "successful" conclusion of the campaign the long delayed Manhattan Project came to a conclusion and the two attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in January 1946 brought the War to end thus saving possibly the  millions of lives that would have been lost if Operation Coronet had had to of been launched.

So overall a thoroughly enjoyable project until it came to the paint. Would I build another ? Most certainly, but I'd put the Tamiya away. Paints used apart from the afore mentioned Tamiya were White Ensign, Xtracrylic and Humbrol. The transfers came from an old Avi Print sheet – B-29 Hunters – for the unit insignia and the kits for the national markings which behaved as well as the rest of the kit. The only thing I changed was to put two strips of aluminium transfer sheet over the 20mm gun muzzles as the missile carrying gear covered the area where the guns were. The aircraft retains its 57mm gun.

I'll simply finish this off by saying "Well Done Sword".

The Model

Underside with a view of the Otsu

Do not condemn the judgement of another because it differs from your own. You may both be wrong.


Reality is an illusion caused by an alcohol deficiency


That looks REALLY good Chris.  :thumbsup:

How much, if any, of it is a Whiff though?
Kit's Rule 1 ) Any aircraft can be improved by fitting longer wings, and/or a longer fuselage
Kit's Rule 2) The backstory can always be changed to suit the model

...and I'm not a closeted 'Take That' fan, I'm a REAL fan! :)



Thanks gents

Quote from: PR19_Kit on July 30, 2020, 07:37:53 AM

How much, if any, of it is a Whiff though?

Not that much actually Kit. I've done it in operational markings and the combination wasn't used operationally, also as far as I'm aware the Otsu wasn't actually carried by the 102. It was the intended carrier, but they never got that far.

So it's probably a wif, certainly in those markings anyhow.
Do not condemn the judgement of another because it differs from your own. You may both be wrong.

Old Wombat

Nicely done, Chris! :thumbsup:

If there aren't any verifiable images of a real one, it's a whif! :wacko:
Has a life outside of What-If & wishes it would stop interfering!

"The purpose of all War is Peace" - St. Augustine

veritas ad mortus veritas est


The dogs philosophy on life.
If you cant eat it hump it or fight it,
Pee on it and walk away!!


Fascinating what could have been. At Okinawa, for instance. Lovely build, by the way.


[the word "realistic" hurts my heart...]


Quote from: stevehed on July 30, 2020, 10:06:10 AM
Fascinating what could have been. At Okinawa, for instance.

Very much so. It's made me dig out my copies of Okinawa by George Feifer and Codename Downfall by Allen and Polmar for the re-reading rack.
Do not condemn the judgement of another because it differs from your own. You may both be wrong.


Whif or RW, I am enlightened about this weapon system the build is serving an educational purpose.. well done


Thank you.

As an aside whilst the Imperial Japanese Army was only looking at developing air to ground missiles the navy also had a couple of ground to air missiles in the pipeline, one of which was a radar controlled system.
Do not condemn the judgement of another because it differs from your own. You may both be wrong.



- Can't be bothered to do the proper research and get it right.

Another ill conceived, lazily thought out, crudely executed and badly painted piece of half arsed what-if modelling muppetry from zenrat industries.

zenrat industries:  We're everywhere...for your convenience..

comrade harps



How to reduce carbon emissions - Tip #1 - Walk to the Bar for drinks.


Do not condemn the judgement of another because it differs from your own. You may both be wrong.