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Louis Gardner
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1/32 Hasegawa “Oscar” Ki-43 II Otsu 77th Sentai

November 26, 2016 · in Aviation · · 19 · 3.1K

Tonight is an article about a model that I built about 10 years ago. It's kit number 08053. It was a really nice kit to build. Simple and easy to construct, with enough detail to keep you happy. The only thing I didn't like was the seam along the lower wing that runs through the flaps and ailerons. Once the ailerons were painted it's not too noticeable, but it really stands out on the flaps since they are aluminum color. (I really should have filled this in).

Model Master enamels and Metalizers were used on the plane. I used an artists colored pencil to pick out high lights on the instrument panel.

Once the build had progressed to the point to where painting began, I sprayed the yellow leading edge of the wings and "Blue Black" anti glare on the upper cowling and forward section of the fuselage. I painted all of the fabric covered control surfaces with Japanese Army gray.

After masking these sections off, it was then finished with an overall coat of Model Master Metalizer and polished.

Then I sprayed "Aotake" blue in the wheel wells. I didn't shake the paint before hand to mix the pigments. I wanted to use only the bluish colored clear. (Years later I found that Tamiya makes this color right out of the bottle). I sprayed it heavy in some areas and lighter in others to try and replicate the Aotake protective finish that was found in various areas of the plane. Aotake was a clear bluish / green tinted clear aluminum protectant. It looks convincing when sprayed over a metal colored surface. It wasn't sprayed evenly and varied in transparency because of this.

Metalizer sealer was applied over the "Aluminum Plate" to replicate how the bare aluminum probably would have oxidized in the harsh jungles. The sealer tones down the polished effect.

Next the Japanese Army Green camouflage was sprayed on. Once the green dried I used my "tape method" to remove some of the green as if it had been worn off or chipped away. What you see here are the end results. The final icing on the cake were the application of the decals and bare metal foil on the canopy framework.

The decal set used was produced by Eagle Strike productions, entitled "Falcons of the Rising Sun" #32026.

I chose the last plane on the set to depict an aircraft flown by Captain Yoshihide Matsuo, (the 77th Hiko Sentai leader), which was flown from New Guinea in 1944. The 77th Sentai was literally decimated by American and Allied forces. Only a few of it's members survived and eventually returned to Japan.

Captain Matsuo would not be one of them. He was shot down and wounded while in combat with B-24's near But, New Guinea on March 12, 1944. Captain Matsuo later died while walking overland to Sarmi with the remaining few members of his unit in May of 1944.

On that fateful day Capt. Matsuo was shot down and wounded, out of the 7 attacking Oscars, 5 were lost (including Matsuo's plane).

As always, comments are welcomed.


Reader reactions:
6  Awesome

32 additional images. Click to enlarge.

19 responses

  1. Louis, nice work, and good paint technic. Its got that real look appearance. I like it !

  2. Ooohh...I like this one a lot, Louis...this build is top-notch. And I know of which you speak regarding MM Metalizer 'sealer'. I've used their "buffable" metalizers in various shades a lot, but only used their "sealer" ONCE. As you said, it just about erases any shine that you worked to get and wanted to KEEP. After that, I used Future (same thing as 'sealing', but maintains the shine). Using THEIR sealer is tantamount to using a FLAT clear coat to seal it. NOT good and NOT what I wanted to achieve. Lesson learned. Again, nice build, Louis.

    • I agree that the Metalizer sealer turned everything flat. I kind of wish the lower surface was a little more shiny than it is. But honestly since the real plane was in the jungles of New Guinea I'm sure it lost its luster fairly quick. But if I had to do it again I would have gone with the Future this time. Thanks again for the compliments buddy.

  3. Lovely build with a very nice paint job, Louis !

    • Thanks Bernd. This was a very easy build for me. I built it right after my Revell 1/32 Wildcat that I opted to fold the wings on. So after that build it was nice to do something easy. Thanks again my friend.

  4. Very nice paint job,Louis,on a very beautiful airplane

  5. Nice job Louis, really like the paint job.

    • Thanks Tom. One thing that I forgot to mention in the article was that later on a year or so after the building was completed I wanted to add the exhaust stains. So I used Tamiya smoke and lightly sprayed it on the plane. It's heavy in some places and dried with a glossy finish that looks almost like burnt exhaust with oil mixed in. Radials are notorious for leaking oil and smoking on the initial startup. I think I captured the look I was going for. Up until that point the plane was missing something.

      Thanks again for the compliments friend.

  6. Nice work, Louis. A couple suggestions for future projects: a good way to "pop out" cockpit detail in a simple kit like this is to use that Tamiya "smoke," and brush paint it over the cockpit after you've painted it. It will pool in places and run along fuselage frames, etc., and give you the sense of more detail in there than an unshaded monochromatic paint scheme will do. Also, with 70s/80s Hasegawa 1/32 kits, they did that business about the trailing edge of the wing on all those kits. If you flood that area with a "hot" glue, then attach the parts together along that seam first and squeeze tight, melted plastic and glue will squish out and fill that seam, then it's much easier to just trim the excess with a sharp #11 X-acto.

    Again, nice work on this model.

  7. Thanks for the tips Tom.

    I noticed after I had posted the photos here that the cockpit was really bland and didn't match the rest of the plane as far as weathering goes. It's kind of hard to see once it was built. (maybe I need my glasses more than I think...)

    I'll give the Tamiya smoke a try. I'm working on 3 F4U's and a SB2C-4 (all 1/48 scale) at the moment. Your building tips on the wing attachment for the Pro Modeler SB2C were right on the money and helped my build considerably.

    Thanks again my friend !

    • Louis, beautiful Hayabusa, I agree the lines of the plane are just striking. Congratulations on the green splotching, hard to pull off .(no pun intended)

      • Good one ! Thanks buddy.

        The green was a little tricky. I was afraid that I would spoil the Metalizer base coat if I made a mistake. I used an Aztec air brush with a tan tip to do the splotching. It's one of those deals where if you go crazy with it you can spoil the whole look you were going for. The trick is to learn when enough is enough. However I have seen some original B & W photos that show runs in the mottling as it was sprayed. I'm sure that most of these were painted hastily under very poor conditions.

  8. Very nice build and paint work.

  9. Great job, love the camo.

    • I appreciate the compliment Robert.

      If I had it to do over again I would take Tom's advice and wash the cockpit with Tamiya smoke, and take care of the trailing edge gaps along the lower wing surface like he mentioned. I've been modeling for years but there is still a learning curve. I try out new things and learn new approaches on almost every build.

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