1/72 Meng Kayaba Ku-4 Katsuodori

Gallery Article by Thomas Brückelt on November 5 2015



Japanese ramjet and training glider

Meng realized with the Kayaba Ku-4 Katsuodori an interesting Japanese ramjet project. The box includes two kits. The quality of the kit is on a very high level. The parts are very accurate and they fit very well. The clear parts look excellent.

There is only very little information to find about the real project. Just a simple drawing.  I wonder that Meng did not realize a ramjet, as they wrote it on their box.  In the front there shall be a compressor, in the rear a generator is placed: So the model shows a gas turbine and not a ramjet! A ramjet is just a tube with a cone inside (depending on the layout, some don´t have a cone) and has no moving parts.


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The cockpit - no matter if ramjet or gas turbine - avoids that air goes through the fuselage, this wouldn´t work. Compared to the drawing I found in the internet it seems as the pilot is in a lying position above the intake. Very similar to the German ramjet project Skoda Kauba SK P.14.

I modified my model to make a real ramjet out of it. I removed all holders for the cockpit parts inside the intake to make it looking like the empty tube of a ramjet. I used an external fuel tank of another kit as the cone and fitted it with a carbon fibre rod. I built a new cockpit and added a pilot in lying position.

Further I thought about the landing. The kit includes a non-retractable landing gear, but this does not really match to a supersonic-fighter. So I added a landing skid, like the Me 163 Komet has.

After all the cockpit parts of the ramjet-fighter were left, I had the idea to make a two-seater out of the second kit. It´s a fictional glider to prepare the Ku-4 pilots for the ramjet fighter. I used polystyrene-sheet to adapt the bottom of the cockpit and I made a new instrument panel for the rear cockpit. To close the intake I made a deepdrawn nose, for closing the nozzle I found another matching external fuel tank I used therefore. Also the rear canopy was made out of a deepdrawn part I made.

Both models got an antenna and a pitot tube. The glider got a tow release in the nose. I painted both planes with brush.   After attaching the decals I sprayed clear varnish over it.

After all I enjoyed making these models, because the parts are made in a good quality and the modifications I made gave a little challenge to this project.

Greetings from Germany

Thomas Brückelt

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Photos and text © by Thomas Brückelt