1/32 Hasegawa Ki-44 Shoki ”Tojo”

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  • Louis Gardner said 4 months ago:

    I know that I had stated earlier that I wasn’t going to start another build until I have cleared the work bench of several projects…………………….. You can see where this is headed.

    Yesterday I was moving some shelving around to do some cleaning. I keep my model stash stored on these wire rack shelves. I added wheels on them so they’re easy to move. As I was moving the 1/32 scale storage rack, I bumped into the Armor shelving. The collision caused this kit to fall onto the floor and the box top fell off, spilling some of the contents onto the floor.

    So I picked the box up and surveyed the contents to see if anything was damaged. Luckily, everything was fine………….

    One thing led to another and two hours later this is where things are. I have assembled and painted the cockpit. The seat was drilled out and I think it looks much better now.

    The engine parts were cleaned up and I started drilling holes for the spark plug wires.

    The cowling and carburetor air intake was assembled.

    The fuselage halves were painted after a few small parts were glued in place.

    The elevators were assembled. Of course I managed to get a fingerprint on one side. Luckily it sanded out this morning.

    The wing has a reinforcement wing spar. I glued it in place while it was still attached to the plastic trees. Then this assembly was also painted blue.

    I placed some clothes pins on this and allowed it to dry overnight.

    After some research I did a while ago on the various colors that were used for Japanese aircraft, I decided on using German RLM 24 as a blue base to start with. Once I get some chalks and dusts on top of the blue it will more likely resemble the color that was found on these planes and other Japanese Army aircraft from this time frame.

    I used Aviation of Japan as a reference for the color I chose. Here’s a link to the article in case you think I’m a bit “mad” with the choice.

    http://www.aviationofjapan.com/2009/08/useful-colours-army-interiors-part-one.html

    as always, comments are encouraged.

  • James B Robinson said 4 months ago:

    I don’t know Louis @lgardner

    ………………kind of looks like you officially started. LOL!

    Looking good so far.

  • Spiros Pendedekas said 4 months ago:

    Great stuff, Louis! Looks sharp already! I’d go thumbs up with the base blue!

  • Michael Ezat said 4 months ago:

    Ah , a big Tojo is always interesting to follow . And by your hands better . I will follow for sure !

  • John Healy said 4 months ago:

    Nice choice. I’ve been tempted to build one of those 1/32 Hasegawa Japanese kits.

  • Bill Koppos said 4 months ago:

    This was no boating accident….this was a sign from above….you were meant to build it.
    This kit is truly a box shaker, a real Hasegawa beaut. Um, if it’s not too late, Nakajima interiors were a green much like Mitsubishi’s or a little lighter olive drab. When in doubt, go Cleaver. Usually saves me some time 🙂

  • Louis Gardner said 4 months ago:

    Hello again everyone.

    Yes I have done some more work on it. The engine is now almost completely done. I’ll try to post some photos up later tonight.

    It is a real beauty of a plane to build. I took it as a sign when the box fell on the floor, so I went with it. Now I am glad that I did.

    Hello Bill, @billkoppos
    Thanks for the comments, but I’ll have to disagree with you about the interior color. I have found on more than one occasion that Cleaver is not always correct, even though he would lead you to believe otherwise. Granted he is very knowledgeable, but there are others out there who know more about this stuff than he does.

    One person in particular who is an expert on the subject, (and also a published author), is a gentleman named Nicholas Millman. He operates a website called the Aviation of Japan. Here’s a link that shows the various colors used on the interiors of the Ki-44 and other IJAAF aircraft. This is only part one !!!

    http://www.aviationofjapan.com/2009/08/useful-colours-army-interiors-part-one.html
    It seems there were different colors used, and it depended on what time frame the plane was built as to what color the interior was.

    Here are Nick’s color choices as used on the Ki-44 verbatim.

    “I would have no hesitation in using it as the basis for painting a Shoki cockpit. In fact my own pecking order, included for interest rather than mandated in any way, would be as follows:-

    1. Dark blue-grey, # 3, for early and mid-production examples

    2. Yellowish olive green, # 29 for mid-production to late-production examples

    3. Olive drab, # 7, for late production examples

    4. Translucent yellow-green aotake as a possibility on some mid-war examples.

    5. Blue aotake.”

    I have spent countless hours reading the various articles that Nick Millman wrote. He has a ton of them over there. If your curious about leaning something new on the various colors that were used by the Japanese, you can literally spend hours reading his stuff over there.

    Another great place to spend some time is Jaircraft.com These guys really know there stuff too.

    Thanks again everyone and please stop back by for another update.

  • Bill Koppos said 4 months ago:

    Matter of fact, IIRC I did my Ki-27 with a French type blue. Think I got this from TC who got it from somebody else, etc. Did the Ki-44 with the lightened Olive Drab (yellowish Olive green?) and the Ki-84 in Aotake (Tamiya clear blue over Alclad Aluminum). Sooooo….turns out I win! Purely by accident? So-how do I do my Ki-43-II? Back to the OD. So it turns out we have 5 choices after all. Never did understand that Munsell business anyway.

  • Louis Gardner said 4 months ago:

    Hello again Bill, @billkoppos
    The Ki-27 used the same colors as what I have shown here. The Ki-44 could have used a lightened Olive Drab color you mentioned . It all depends on the time it was produced. The Ki-84 would most likely have been a different color, again depending on the time frame when it was produced. But in all honesty who is to say for sure ??? We can only go from what has been documented from relic parts that were found and have managed to survive over 75 years. The paint can degrade some but there again some samples have been found to remain very stable, and once buffed a little, regained the original color. Once a plane went in service in the field, it is anybody’s guess as to what could have happened to it. It could have been touched up, and some planes might have even left the factory with some areas of metal left unpainted…………… It’s a best guess approach in all reality.

    The Munsell system is based on a series or decks of color chips, and offers a lot more possibilities to match almost anything.. There are hundreds of choices, and each letter / number designates a specific color.

    You will hear people mention using a Federal Standards book or FS colors. I have one of these books. But it wasn’t even around during WW2. The FS system came into being in the mid 1950’s, and is really a standard for American paint colors produced to a US Government standard.

    There are even more choices for you to make, as some Late War Japanese planes had the cockpits painted the same color as the exterior was painted.

    I suggest you make a visit to the Aviation of Japan website and look around a bit. There’s a lot of information that Nick has posted and some of it covers the Ki-43 II……….. which can be different from the other versions of the Ki-43. They were manufactured by several different companies and that’s another can of worms……..

  • Louis Gardner said 4 months ago:

    Hello again Bill, @billkoppos
    The Ki-27 used the same colors as what I have shown here. The Ki-44 could have used a lightened Olive Drab color you mentioned . It all depends on the time it was produced. The Ki-84 would most likely have been a different color, again depending on the time frame when it was produced. But in all honesty who is to say for sure ??? We can only go from what has been documented from relic parts that were found and have managed to survive over 75 years. The paint can degrade some but there again some samples have been found to remain very stable, and once buffed a little, regained the original color. Once a plane went in service in the field, it is anybody’s guess as to what could have happened to it. It could have been touched up, and some planes might have even left the factory with some areas of metal left unpainted…………… It’s a best guess approach in all reality.

    The Munsell system is based on a series or decks of color chips, and offers a lot more possibilities to match almost anything.. There are hundreds of choices, and each letter / number designates a specific color.

    You will hear people mention using a Federal Standards book or FS colors. I have one of these books. But it wasn’t even around during WW2. The FS system came into being in the mid 1950’s, and is really a standard for American paint colors produced to a US Government standard.

    There are even more choices for you to make, as some Late War Japanese planes had the cockpits painted the same color as the exterior was painted.

    I suggest you make a visit to the Aviation of Japan website and look around a bit. There’s a lot of information that Nick has posted and some of it covers the Ki-43 II……….. which can be different from the other versions of the Ki-43. They were manufactured by several different companies and that’s another can of worms…….. Much like the F4U Corsair was built by Vought, Goodyear or Brewster.

    Here’s a good book that Nick wrote.

    He has written several such books on Japanese fighters. He knows his stuff especially when it comes to the ever evolving study of the various colors that were used during the War. Now we are finding out that there was much more to this than we ever thought. And that the translucent Aotake finish you mentioned was more often than not used in other places of the airframe instead of the cockpit.

    Hope this helps buddy………..

  • Louis Gardner said 4 months ago:

    Last night I worked on the engine for the Ki-44. Most of the time was spent drilling out these tiny holes using a #78 drill bit. Also, some of the push rods are a bit too long. I bent this one trying to see how it would fit if I forced it……….. The resulting effort got me a bit more work to do. It’s not good when you bend a pushrod tube !!!!

    I am going to wire the ignition harness, and each cylinder will get two spark plug leads. I had to drill out the back side of the ignition ring, and that was very tedious work.

    I spray painted the engine using Model Master “metallizer” paints. Stainless steel was used for most of the engine assembly.

    The front crankcase cover was painted in Aluminum plate. Once it’s all assembled, I’ll give it a wash using black and brown oil paints after they have been excessively thinned down.

    Now I’ll be threading the copper wire to replicate the plug wires………………… This is how the engine looks now.

    The crazy thing is that most of this detail work will probably be hidden behind the cowling……

    Time will tell.

    As always comments are encouraged. Good night.

  • Spiros Pendedekas said 4 months ago:

    This is s fantastic looking engine, Louis! As you mentioned, maybe a lot of the detailing will be hidden. However, especially at the radial engines, the hidden detail is more or less a continuation of the “non hidden”. So a very finely detailed engine like yours “projects” very clearly to the viewer’s imagination all its unseen detail, which is a nice thing.
    All the best!

  • Bill Koppos said 4 months ago:

    Motorhead! Up all nite working on engines. Is that an intake or exhaust pushrod? Probably bent due to overrevving. You can see plenty of that when it’s cowled up, looks great so far.

  • Louis Gardner said 4 months ago:

    Hey Spiros, @fiveten
    Good morning and thanks for the kind words. I was hoping that my detailing the front of the engine and installing the “open” set of cowling flaps, it would allow the viewer to see some of the detail work I added. Like you mentioned, that which is not seen will allow the viewers mind to fill in the blanks……. hopefully. Thanks again my friend, and please stay tuned. I hope to post another update tonight.

    Hey Bill, @billkoppos
    You must know me too well………. I profess, I am a serious “Motorhead”. When I scratch or accidentally cut myself working on my real engines out back in the shop, I bleed Chrysler “Hemi Orange”, instead of red. There for a while when I tinkered around with bikes, I bled HD Orange and Black…….. We sold our bikes about 6 years ago. I had a Fatboy and the misses had a Sportster 883 Iron. I miss not riding but there’s a lot of fools on the road down here, and they’re the ones you have to watch out for.

    You got me curious as to what pushrod was bent, so I placed the exhaust ring against the cylinder heads and confirmed it is an Intake valve………….. I must have over revved it without having the engine under a load. Or I missed a gear !!! That could have done it too.

    Anyhow gentlemen, stay safe, and stay tuned for another update later tonight.

    Thanks for the compliments.

  • Louis Gardner said 4 months ago:

    Today I spent a lot of time adding the spark plug wires. My first thought was to install the wires into the tiny holes I had previously drilled on the ignition harness ring. This worked until I moved the part around some, when the wires fell out.

    So back to the drawing board…………… Then I glued the front crankcase cover in place and started attaching the plug wires on the engine, one at a time……..

    Eventually I got the hang of it, and the task became easier as I went. Believe me, there was a time when I said to myself “Why ???”

    After all of the wires were installed, I aligned the pushrods. I then scratch built a new one using round plastic rod. Once I had it trimmed to the correct length I glued it in place.

    After I painted the new pushrod to match the others, I gave the entire engine a wash using Tamiya “Smoke” instead of the oils as I had originally planned. I wanted the engine to dry fast, and this was the ticket…..

    The Tamiya Smoke color brought out the fine details molded in the cooling fins. This is what I wanted.

    To see if all this work was done in vain, I temporarily placed the engine inside the cowling to see how much would be visible.

    I’m very happy with the end results.

    You all stay safe, healthy and have a Happy Easter.

    As always, comments are encouraged.

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