1/48 Hasegawa Ki-27 Nakajima Type 97 “Nate” 246th Hiko Sentai
This article is part of a series:
Here's one I finished up a few days ago. I finally got around to posting up some photos... I was inspired to post this plane after looking at the excellent posting by John Clark with his "Nate".
This is a fairly recent edition of this nice little kit. I think this one is from the mid 1990's. Hasegawa releases this kit on occasion with new decals. The original version of this model was manufactured back in the 1970's by a company called Mania. They are no longer in business, and Hasegawa ended up with the molds, along with some of the employees from what I have read online...
Here's the box art, which happens to be rather nice I think.
I am really surprised that there are not more of these planes built. The fit is still rather nice. I didn't have to use a drop of putty anywhere during the build.
The Ki-27 was operated with numerous paint schemes. The plane was given the Allied Code Name of "Nate". Fighter planes were given "Male" or "Boy" names, and Bombers were given "Female" or "Girl" names
They were initially used in China, and during the Nonmohan Incident. The type was operated as a front line fighter with the Imperial Japanese Army Air Forces until it was gradually replaced by the Nakajima Ki-43 "Oscar". Then it was relegated to Home Defense units and fighter training schools. Some of these "Nate's" were even used on Late War Kamikaze missions...
My particular built was modeled after a plane that flew with the 246th "Hiko Sentai" which was primarily a Japanese Island "Home Defense" Unit. Most of the time, the Home Defense planes had a white "bandage" applied behind the Hinomaru markings. These type of fighter protection units were necessary after the Doolittle Raid on April 18th, 1942. This Raid caused the Japanese to pull back units that would otherwise have been used against the Allies.
I found a photo of the actual plane online...
When I started this build, I wanted something that was going to be an easy build. Since this plane has a single base color, I thought this would fit the bill... But then I made things a little more complicated because I wanted to paint on the various colors that were represented with decals.
Here's a link to the build journal, where I built two of these little guys at the same time...
I tried something new with these and used an oil wash to bring out the panel lines.
The base color was Tamiya XF-14, Japanese Army Grey. I used Tamiya "Smoke" for the exhaust stains. Overall this was a fun little kit. My only complaint was the clear parts as they are not all that clear and the fit is not all that good. Still they are not too bad, especially when you consider the age of this kit...I have had worse.
But after a dip in some "Future" the canopy looks much better.
I believe that Hasegawa has recently released this little gem of a kit again. It builds up rather quickly do the limited number of parts. If I didn't want to spray on areas that were provided as decals, this one would have been done a long time ago.
If you have one of these in your stash, build it... You will be very happy you did.
Here's wishing that we all have a Happy / Healthy New Year, along with more time to do what we love to do... gluing plastic bits together.
As usual, comments are encouraged.
24 additional images. Click to enlarge.