Kayaba Ka-1 “KA-GO” (0-GO) Model 1 | Fine Molds 1:72

Please welcome the Japanese gyroplane used by the Air Forces of the Imperial Japanese Army during World War II: Kayaba Ka-1 “KA-GO” (0-GO) Model 1.

It was the first armored rotorcraft used in combat although, given the low load capacity, military successes could not be spectacular. But as a reconnaissance and artillery fire control machine, it certainly could prove itself. However, there is no certainty whether it really worked.

The machine was built on the basis of the Kellett KD-1A, one copy of which the Japanese bought for testing and quickly crashed. Therefore, after purchasing the license (ah, that Japanese commitment to the law), a new version of this gyroplane, modified to Japanese factory standards, was developed at the K. K. Kayaba Seisakusho factory, although external similarity remained. A German in-line engine (manufactured under license in Kobe) was used, air-cooled 8-cylinder V8 Argus As 10C. I must admit that a nice machine was created from this marriage.

A miniature (literally) by FineMolds in  1:72 scale hit the worskshop almost accidently – it’s not my usual scale these days. Not a new model, poorly detailed, but somehow charming in its own way. Problems that occured during the construction process were a slight shift of forms, as well as emptiness and lack of finesse in the cockpits, and lack of engine.

I addressed these shortcomings with some additions: the fronts of the Argus cylinders were provided by CMK, while the control panels are Yahu-made Jungman ones. The seat belts came from Eduard.

Decals for rotor blades were also troublesome, they didn’t come out as I expected – maybe someday I will replace them with the painted ones.

Fit of parts was not a challenge, so the construction went smoothly.

In case of complaints with regard to the colors, please contact Gunze (H series, IJA Green, IJA Gray) and MRP, whose RLM79 contributed to the appearance of spots. The rest of the details – Vallejo.

A dark brown wash and pigments were provided by AMMO Mig and AK.

And now, to the photos:

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