This is an older build of the Hasegawa Ki-84, which was first issued in 1987 according to ScaleMates. I recall building this one in 1985, so now I’m not sure when I originally completed it but it has been in the display case for years. It was painted to match a profile in Thorpe, but neither the model nor the research has aged well. Thorpe identified it as an aircraft from the 52nd Sentai, but current thinking is that the tail markings indicate it was actually from the 102nd Sentai and that the camouflage was a solid color, not mottled.
Somewhere along the line the tail wheel was lost, so that’s definitely something which needs repaired. Since I was building a batch of the new Arma Hayate I decided to dress this one up as I went along.
At the time the conventional wisdom was that everything inside a Japanese aircraft was supposed to be painted transparent blue, so that is what was done. I managed to pop off the canopy in one piece and repaint the interior green, adding masking tape seatbelts and an instrument panel while I was at it. I also added a landing light made from clear sprue to the leading edge of the wing. I blended this with superglue and filed it to shape before polishing it clear again.
I was also able to sand off the canopy framing and polish it clear. The canopy was then masked and put back into position, with any visible seams addressed with Perfect Plastic Putty.
I primed everything with Mr. Surfacer 1000 and this is where the Hasegawa kit shows its age. This must have been one of the last molds Hasegawa cut with raised panel lines before switching to recessed ones. The shape looks good, rescribing the panel lines would really make this kit pop.
I wanted to use the Brown over Gray Green scheme from the last months of the war. The browns were mixed with a few drops of Red and applied in thin layers with variations in the density to alter the tone.
I replaced the guns and pitot tube with Albion Alloys. The mask has been removed from the landing light on the wing. One thing I didn’t replace is the landing gear – the legs are much too thick.
I found a suitable replacement for the tail wheel in the spares box, the missing tail wheel was the proverbial camel’s nose in the tent which originally started the whole idea of a re-build. The bomb and drop tank are spares from the Arma Hayate, which was also the source for all the decals except for the tail markings, those are from a SuperScale sheet.
Here’s the old kit under a fresh coat of paint. While there’s no comparison to the new Arma kit, I couldn’t bear to throw this old bird away after all these years, and it will look just fine in the case with the others.
More photos here:
The Ki-100 was the result of fitting a radial engine to the Ki-61 airframe which was designed for an inline. The Japanese engineers did a remarkable job of blending the wide engine to the narrow fuselage. RS molded a separate fairing which fits over the standard Ki-61 wing, and as you can see the fit is not great.
The upper wing joint needed some filling as well. The landing light on the leading edge of the wing was missing, I added one here using a section of clear sprue and superglued it in place. This will be filed down to match the contour of the wing and polished smooth again.
The canopy was masked the old-fashioned way with Tamiya tape, it also needed some filling to blend properly. Whenever test fitting reveals clear parts will need filler, I run a black Sharpie along the mating surface so the putty color can’t show through.
I installed the landing gear legs at this point to support the model during painting. Mr. Surfacer 1000 was applied overall, and any remaining filling and scribing errors were corrected. I also drill out any holes for the remaining parts at this point, as any slips of the drill bit can be easily corrected before painting has begun.
The finish is Mr. Color 130 Kawasaki Green over Alclad Aluminum. The Mr. Color 58 Orange Yellow wing ID panels were painted after the Alclad but before the upper surfaces.
There were a number of problems with the kit supplied drop tanks, so I substituted spares from the Arma Hayate kits. Aircraft operating over the Home Islands could carry Orange Yellow drop tanks which made them easier to locate and re-use.
I used the kit decals. They performed fairly well, but are thin and long so are a bit tricky to apply. The decal sheet is very crowded which makes them harder to cut loose. The black decals for the walkways are not the same shape as the molded relief on the wings, something which I didn’t notice until I was actually trying to apply the decals, so mine are painted. This kit takes a little extra work, but builds up into a nice representation when done.
More completed photographs here:
Japanese aircraft often sported multiple painted bands and panels, and many of their squadron markings are geometric shapes which are relatively simple to mask off. On the down side I have come to the realization that the Mr. Hobby thinner reacts to the adhesive in the generic masking tape I have been using, causing some colors to seep underneath. On this batch I’m using Tamiya Tape for the hard edges, which appears to have solved the seepage problem.
A few of the Hayate production run came from the factory uncamouflaged, some during the pre-production series and another run supposedly due to a shortage of paint. Photographs show a few of these received mottled camo in the field, but the field-applied mottling on a Hayate is rare compared to other JAAF types. One of the builds in this batch will be in an Alclad Aluminum NMF. On the NMF aircraft I paint the markings after laying down the Alclad, otherwise the textures and tones can show through the finish. All the builds got Mr. Color 58 Orange Yellow wing ID panels and Mr. Color 137 Tire Black anti-glare panels.
The initial factory applied camo was either Olive Drab over Gray Green or Dark Green over Gray Green. Good luck differentiating between the two in black and white photos, and you can find little agreement between profile artists. On this example I went with Arma’s color call outs using Mr. Color 304 over 128. The white bands were used by some units on home defense duties.
Late in 1944 paint shortages resulted in Nakajima switching to dark brown as an upper surface camo on some production runs. According to Ian Baker there were three browns used, and variations within those. The brown on this model is a mix of Mr. Color 42 Mahogany and 22 Dark Earth, with a few drops of Red added for good measure. Mixes with 131 Propeller Color or 520 Lederbraun would result in a similar tone. 128 Gray Green was used on the undersides, and Baker indicates that the browns lightened with white were also used on the undersides. The unit markings on the tail were masked off, and the chipping is a base coat of Alclad with stippling of a liquid mask, then the finish paint layer was pulled off with masking tape.
I used the kit decals for the Hinomarus and stencils, and some of the unit markings. There are ample stencils in both red and yellow options. All the decals performed flawlessly, but several are long and thin so they take some fiddling to get them straight.
The underwing stores were secured directly to the wing and steadied with a series of sway braces. The larger braces are provided in the kit and were used on the drop tanks. The smaller braces were used with bombs, and are missing from the kit. Mine are made from wire, and while not perfect they will look the part over the bombs and drop tanks.
The models were given an acrylic wash using Tamiya German Gray over Testors Glosscote, and sealed with Dullcote. I had issues with the Glosscoat pulling off the paint if I masked over it, the Glosscote didn’t bond well to the Mr. Color paint. I’ll likely shift to a different gloss next build.
The Hayate had an unusual radio antenna arrangement, which I replicated with my standard go to 0.005” Nitenol wire. Resistors are gray paint. Photos show this particular aircraft had lost all the paint off the upper fuselage. Chipping was done by stripping the camo off of an undercoat of Alclad, supplemented with sponge and brush chips.
Here are all six finished models together. IJAAF aircraft are one of my first modeling fixations, so this build had some strong nostalgic elements. If the aftermarket blesses us with some interesting decal sheets I could see myself building more!
This is another strong release from Arma, coming close on the heels of their P-51B/C Mustangs. The fit is excellent, and the surface details are finely engraved and look just right. Many of the parts go together with that satisfying “click” which I just love. The decals performed flawlessly, and there are enough stencils on each sheet to do two aircraft which supplies spares and insurance against mishaps. There are six marking options provided, all are attractive aircraft. The geometric nature of IJAAF unit markings makes masking certain tail markings an option – two of my builds feature painted unit markings. For those planning to build this kit, here are some construction notes:
The cockpit tub and engine can be inserted after the fuselage halves are joined. Doing it this way will allow the fuselage to be glued from the inside and ensure the cockpit is seated properly. The forward fuselage has two tabs which must be removed for the wings to seat. Easy to fix, but this is not noted in the instructions. Also, the PE wiring harness will show its raised detail if it is installed opposite from the way shown. Missing are the carburetor splitter plate and bomb shackles. Making these are not difficult but they are unexpected omissions given the level of detail of the kit. The engine cowling is effectively four panels and a front ring. These are a little tricky to align so plan on taking your time here. The rearmost section of the canopy does not fit into the slots in the fuselage. Carefully cut the tabs off the bottom of the clear piece. The pilot’s seat needs some help. I drilled holes in mine which improved the looks substantially but it still has some shape issues. Eduard has already announced a 3D printed replacement which should be coming along soon. If I were recommending references my first choice would be Aero Detail 24 with Kagero Monograph 18 following close behind. There are also a number of Japanese language references which are useful, but you will soon begin seeing the same material again and again. The Kabuki tape masks worked great, they definitely made construction easier.
Part I of the construction here: