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Frank Steffens
13 articles

Tamiya 1/48 Ki-61i Hien

March 13, 2017 · in Aviation · · 22 · 3.4K

Here is 's 1/48th Scale Hi-61I finished as "Blue 24", Captain Teruhiko Kobayashi's mount from February to April, 1945. Of the six victories depicted by the kill marks, one is for ramming a B-29. The 244th Flight Group at Chofu Airbase was tasked with defending the Japanese homeland from B-29 bombing attacks.

Tamiya's kit of the Hien is probably the best kit I have built, ever. The fit is flawless, the engineering is elegant, with most seams falling on panel lines.

The Natural Metal Finish starts with a light coat of Mr. Color Black Surfacer 1500, followed by a base of Mr. Color GX-2 Gloss Black, which was then polished. Alclad II 101 Aluminum was then laid on, with the ailerons painted Alclad II 116 Semi Matte Aluminum and the panels over the gun bays in Alcladd II 103 Dark Aluminum. A barrier coat of Alclad Aqua Gloss Clear was sprayed on, and the leading edges of the wing were sprayed with a mix of Tamiya Yellow and Tamiya Orange. I used Maketar Kabuki Masks to mask the Hinomarus, which were painted with Tamiya XF-7 Red over the NMF on the wings, and over Tamiya XF-1 White on the fuselage. The blue fuselage stripes are Tamiya XF-8. The Tail is Tamiya XF-7 Red. All paints mention were thinned 50/50 with Mr. Color Leveling Thinner, except for the Alclad paints, which were shot straight from the bottle. After another protective layer of Aqua Gloss Clear, I did a sludge wash of Windsor and Newton Burnt Umber, Black and White thinned with Grumbacher Odorless Thinner (odorless IS NOT vaporless, so wear a respirator as you would when using any other smelly solvent!) After wiping off the sludge, I sprayed Alclad's Semi Matte Klear Koat for a slightly worn/oxidized appearance. The paint chipping was achieved by spraying hairspray over the anti glare panel, prop/spinner and leading edges, drying them with a hair dryer (which is why I got the stink eye from my wife when she saw me taking her hairspray and hairdryer down to the basement), and then applying the colors over that. Once dry, I rubbed the areas I wanted to chip/scratch with some wet 600 grit sponge. The chipping step was done BEFORE the protective layer of Aqua Gloss Clear. Stains and soot made with pastel chalk and India Ink pens rounded out the weathering.

Reader reactions:
15  Awesome

9 additional images. Click to enlarge.

22 responses

  1. Excellent job Frank, really turned out well. I like it.

  2. Lots of techniques there Frank - thanks for sharing. This is an outstanding build. The chipping and weathering looks very realistic.

  3. Lovely NMF, so much more realistic than many super shiny ones in my opinion anyway! Not that there weren't super shiny NMF aircraft, but most I think look more like you portray here, excellent!

  4. Excellent build, finish and photography Frank. Your's is one of the best I've seen. Certainly has me excited to start on mine. The excellence of the engineering on this kit seem unanimous, I guess Tamiya's P-47's must surrender that exalted position.

  5. This is a beautiful Hien, very well done. I like it !

  6. Just outstanding build and NMF! A diamond in your hands looks even more valuable! Good show all around.

  7. Very nice work on this, Frank. I really like it, and thanks for sharing your build tips, especially the painting technics.

  8. A very sharp lookin' presentation in ALL respects, Frank...stellar workmanship indeed.

  9. Great work Frank - nice balance to the weathering - subtle and not overdone.

  10. You are hereby ordered to cease and desist all this Pied Piper of Hamelin attempt to lead people into the path of economic destruction due to buying more models. Your ruthless attempt to accomplish this through displaying a great result is the devil's work.

  11. That is a gorgeous Hien, Frank! The NMF looks fantastic - nicely weathered and shaded. A great build all the way around. I've got several 1/72 Hasegawa kits of the Tony, and hope they come out something like yours!

  12. So, yeah...that's gorgeous. 🙂

  13. Profile Photo
    said on March 13, 2017

    Very nice work.

  14. Great finishes. I think it's the case that you need to over-emphasise the finishes in modelling terms to replicate the 'actual.' One minor quibble is the radio wires. To me they look a little out of scale, but that's just me. All in all a great result.. ?

  15. Yeah, the Tamiya 1/48 Ki-61i Hien seems to be the darling of the modeling world. With no one offering any real criticisms or Debby downer comments. Several reviews have commented that the engineering is excellent and when Tamiya takes the time ( as in years) they seem to hit a home run. I can only echo whats been written, excellent nice,great,gorgeous, sharp beautiful... devils work. Lord have mercy.

  16. Beautiful model! Great job!

  17. "Stunning" and "Gorgeous"are only two of the words that I would use to describe this kit...and I have seen it in person too! Congrats Frank on a terrific build!

  18. Simply an outstanding build. Everything else has been said. Bravo!

  19. Very Nice! Excellent weathering!

  20. Very impressive, especially the finish, thank you for letting us know your painting and weathering technique.

  21. Excellent build. The NMF with the weathering is an really outstanding result.

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