1/32 Hasegawa “Oscar” Ki-43 II Otsu 77th Sentai
Tonight is an article about a model that I built about 10 years ago. It's Hasegawa 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 New Guinea 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.