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Eric Berg
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E of J Build: Nakajima Ki-84 Hayate

September 11, 2020 · in Aviation · · 19 · 3.5K

The internet is awash with Nakajima Ki-84 () 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 '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:

Here's a must-bookmark reference site for Japanese WWII planes including the Hayate's development history:

Reader reactions:
6  Awesome

7 additional images. Click to enlarge.

19 responses

  1. Really nice weathering. Great result here, Eric.

    So, how did you retract the flaps? The only way I know of is to cut out the flap area in the lower wing - that or sand down the inside of the flap. Just curious.

    • Thanks TC. I was getting worried I was overdoing the weathering. I cut the nibs off the flaps, sanded them a bit and glued them back in place. EZ. As I understand it, the flaps were always retracted when the Hayate was parked.

      • Regarding those two flaps: I sanded each one a lot on the hidden side until almost wafer thin flat, test fitting as I went so as not to over do it. Thin is the key.

  2. Eric, @eb801
    This looks fantastic ! I have enjoyed watching your build journal, and I'm very pleased that you accepted the invitation for our EoJ group build. Because of people like you, who have made wonderful contributions like this one, the EoJ group has considerably exceeded my expectations. There's still plenty of time left, so if you decided to build another Japanese subject, you are always more than welcome to come back and build more. I thank you for posting your work here for all of us to enjoy.

    Your Ki-84 looks even better (and more realistic) with the flaps raised. I did the same thing with the 1/32 Hasegawa Ki-44 that's almost done... The finish with all the chipping is what makes it really "pop".

    Two thumbs up and I pressed the "liked" button too.

  3. Great work! Nice weathering technique.

  4. Beautiful work Eric!

  5. Let me be frank...that's a great Frank!

  6. This is a wonderful Hayate, Eric, that I had the pleasure to follow along through its build.
    The weathering turnrd out exceptionally!

  7. Fully agree on all the comments about the weathering.
    Exactly like those Japanese planes during that time.
    It looks superb, Eric.

  8. Very nice build! I enjoyed the build thread, and it came out great - nicely well-worn.

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