E of J Build: Nakajima Ki-84 Hayate
The internet is awash with Nakajima Ki-84 Hayate (Frank) kits in all scales and brands. Judging by the multitude of completed Hayate photos out there, it seems to me this well designed fighter is just as popular as the Zero, the only other Japanese WWII plane I’ve ever built. Hats off to Louis Gardner for his invite to join the Empire of Japan group build that got me going. I chose Hasegawa’s excellent 1:48 Ki84-I Type 4, a kit’s that’s been around since the mid 90’s.
I opted to depict mine as a late war Frank looking tired and a bit frazzled just so I could try a new chipping technique. Towards the end of the war, Japanese plane manufacturers skipped using primer here and there and applied the final paint job directly on bare metal. That caused it to peel off rather rapidly under the Pacific’s harsh weather conditions and explains why so many Japanese fighters looked ready for the scrapyard.
To get the look I wanted, I first sprayed the plane aluminum using Alclad II lacquer, which is pretty bullet proof. Where I wanted to show peeling paint and chips, I dabbed those areas with liquid mask using chunks of an artist sponge and let it thoroughly dry. Next I applied the final colors top and bottom using acrylics and later removed the masking using blue tape and toothpicks.
Except for the resin seat from Ultracast, everything is right out of the box. I had a great time putting this Hayate together. The fit was fabulous. A headache free build and a whole lot of fun.
Now I have two Japanese fighters sitting on my shelf. (Of course the other is a Zero!)
You can follow my Hayate build here: https://imodeler.com/groups/the-empire-of-japan-1919-1946/forum/topic/nakajima-ki84-1-hayate-frank-1-48-hasegawa/
Here’s a must-bookmark reference site for Japanese WWII planes including the Hayate’s development history:
7 additional images. Click to enlarge.