This is a re-build of an old Hasegawa kit to represent an aircraft of the 58th Shinbu-tai. The original model was finished several decades ago. It was repainted and received several detail enhancements, and decals for the Arma Hayate kits. Tail markings are from an old SuperScale decal sheet. The fuel truck is the old Hasegawa release form the 1970s, coincidentally another re-built kit.
This Ki-84 was assigned to a special attack unit, the 57th Shinbu-tai. It was photographed at Shimodate on 17MAY45, with pilot 2Lt Tetsujiro Karasawa. The 57th participated in the attack on the U.S. fleet off Okinawa on 25MAY45 which hit several USN ships. The inscription on the sides can be translated as “must kill” or “sure to kill”.
Late in 1944 Nakajima began finishing their aircraft in a dark brown, as seen here. IJA aircraft were not generally primed, and photographs show the paint had totally sloughed off the upper fuselage on this aircraft. This aircraft was photographed at Miyakonojo Airfield in Miyazaki Perfecture on 12APR45, piloted by 2Lt Jiro Ito.
This aircraft is from the 3rd Chutai, 47th Sentai at Narimasu, Japan, February 1945. The white bands under the Hinomaru are Home Defense bands, applied to aircraft operating from the Home Islands during the last year of the war. The drop tanks were also associated with units based in Japan, they were painted yellow to allow for easier location and potential re-use.
This aircraft was captured intact at Clark Field in the Philippines and was subsequently the subject of several photographs. It has been attributed to the 2nd Chutai. The serial number is known, 1446. It was repaired and test flown by the Americans, who were impressed by its performance.
This Ki-84 belonged to the 104th Sentai which was based in Aoshau, Manchuria. It was one of four which was flown back to the Home Islands and photographed there at the end of the war at Ota. It has been attributed to the commander of the 2nd Chutai, Matsuo Tomiya. Mashiki (益城) is written on the starboard side.
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.
WHENEVER ANY FORM OF GOVERNMENT BECOMES DESTRUCTIVE OF THESE ENDS (LIFE,LIBERTY,AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS) IT IS THE RIGHT OF THE PEOPLE TO ALTER OR ABOLISH IT, AND TO INSTITUTE A NEW GOVERNMENT― Thomas Jefferson