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Hasegawa 1/48 Nakajima Ki-27 “Nate”

Hi everyone!

This is my Nakajima Ki-27Ko, built as part of “The Empire of Japan 1919-1946” Group Build, hosted here in this site.

The Nakajima Ki-27 (九七式戦闘機, Kyūnana-shiki sentōki, or Type 97 Fighter) was the main fighter aircraft used by the Imperial Japanese Army Air Force up until 1940. Its Allied nickname was “Nate”, although it was called “Abdul” in the “China Burma India” (CBI) theater by many post war sources; Allied Intelligence had reserved that name for the nonexistent Mitsubishi Navy Type 97 fighter, expected to be the successor to the carrier-borne Type 96 (Mitsubishi A5M) with retractable landing gear and an enclosed cockpit.

The Ki-27 made its first flight on 15 October 1936. Although it had a slower top speed and worse climb performance than its competitors, the Army chose the Nakajima design for its outstanding turning ability granted by its remarkably low wing loading. The Army ordered 10 pre-production samples (Ki-27a) for further testing, which featured an enclosed cockpit with sliding canopy and larger wings.

The type was officially accepted into service in 1937 as the Army Type 97 Fighter. In addition to Nakajima, the Ki-27 was also manufactured by Tachikawa Aircraft Company Ltd and Manshukoku Hikoki Seizo KK, with a total of 3,368 built before production ended in 1942.

The Ki-27 was the Imperial Japanese Army Air Force’s main fighter until the start of World War II. When placed into combat service over northern China in March 1938, the Ki-27 enjoyed air superiority until the introduction of the faster Soviet-built Polikarpov I-16 fighters by the Chinese.

The Ki-27 was also exported for use with Manchukuo and Thai armed forces, seeing combat with both. In Thai service, Ki-27s reportedly damaged two North American P-51 Mustangs and shot down one Lockheed P-38 Lightning.

I bought this kit some 15 years ago, for a mere 12 euros. It is the ex-Mania kit, with a bonus “initial release” resin wheels. The kit itself is excellent and went together rather well. No negative comments whatsoever.

I did “30” plane of the 84th Flight Company Squadron, Guangdong 1939. I used the kit decals that were 32 years old, but behaved themselves with Mr Mark Softer’s help. I was really lucky to discover two excellent quality B/W pics of the exact plane I was modeling, which of course proved heavenly helpful (isn’t life wonderful?)

I did some blackwash, engine staining, minimal chippinghere and there and wheels and uderside dirtying.

So here is my little cutie.

If you wish to see the building sequence, you can find it here: https://imodeler.com/groups/the-empire-of-japan-1919-1946/forum/topic/nakajima-ki-27-nate-hasegawa-1-48

Happy modeling!

15 additional images. Click to enlarge.


28 responses to Hasegawa 1/48 Nakajima Ki-27 “Nate”

  1. That turned out very nice Spiros. Well done

  2. Thank you George @blackadder57! Even more ‘thank you’s” for the helpful and supportive commenting during the build.
    Cheers, my friend!

  3. Beautiful little Ki.21, Spiros. You are contributing very quickly to the Empire of Japan build! I like the way the riveting of the surface makes the IJA Gray look so much more interesting. Such surface detail is not typical for Hasegawa. I guess it’s because it is an ex-Mania kit, as you said. You brought out that detail very well with the black wash. Whether that red stripe is painted or a decal, you have done it so it looks painted on – very sharp. I also really like the subtle exhaust staining you did at the base of the cowling and on the underside.

    • Thanks Colin @coling! Indeed this subtle riveting was a very pleasant Mania style surprise. It was begging to be black washed. When I studied the pictures of the actual plane, I deemed the black wash realistic. It went onto the surface like a dream. The reds are all decals except the cowling, which is painted scarlet red (it matched adequately). The decals were very old and did not want to come off their backing paper but only after many minutes soaked in hot (yes hot!) water, with even some force applied in a terrifying way. A couple of them started to crack, but I salvaged them. Mr Mark Softer took some quality care of the right conformation.
      Staining was done with pastels, again by studying the old photos, which show the upper part of the wing. For the underside, I figured the pattern of the exhaust flow and pastelled accordingly.
      All the best!

  4. Spiros, A beautiful looking airplane, has that classic 30s style look to it, and a very nice looking build. Well done !

  5. Great work on this Spiros! I’ve just finished mine and will post photos soon.

  6. Nicely done, Spiros! Great work as usual.

  7. Fabulous build Spiros! The color scheme is particularly interesting on this Nate!

  8. This turned out wonderfully !!! You did an excellent job with your build Spiros. @fiveten

    When I built mine, I used a thin wash on it too. It looks better in my opinion with the wash than it did without it. It looks like your two little helpers will need another model to keep them busy now……….. hint hint ; )

    Thank you very much for participating in our EoJ GB………..and I believe you were the very first one to complete a model from the group so far. I am very pleased with the participation we have had. It has exceeded my best expectations.

    This is all due to members such as you, who have made the group become what it is today. Thank you very much, and I hope to see you building some more Japanese models if you can. Your work has been very inspirational to many…………

    • Thank you Louis @lgardner! The subject of this Group Build was really intersting. However, I have to confess that, it was yours mainly (but also many other members) warm welcome and constant participation, monitoring, advising and encouraging (to name a few) at my build that really boosted my will to go along with it, finish it and start a new one (a Val) immediately.
      So a big thanks to you and all these members.
      Also congratulations for the inspiration and forming of this Group Build!
      all the best, my friend!

  9. Wow! That’s fantastic! I like the light weathering.

  10. Fantastic Spiros! Congratulations – not just first in the GB but absolutely stunning! Great to see an early war 30s plane kicking us off – the GB has a great variety of subjects and a lot of learning to be had around less commonly seen and built planes – and this will be inspirational to many as Louis says!

  11. Love the paint job and subtle weathering. Another winner!

  12. Turned out nice, I like the colourful markings!
    My dad often made the same experience with Hasegawa decals…decades old but still working.

  13. And a real cutie that she is, Spiros. Nicely done.

  14. A real beauty! Love the slight weathering to the paint work. Nicely done!

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