Hasegawa 1/48 Nakajima Ki-27 ”Nate” two builds in one……………..

Started by Louis Gardner · 38 ≡ · ↻ 5 years ago · 1/48, Hasegawa, IJAAF, Ki-27, Nakajima, Nate
  • Profile Photo
    Louis Gardner said 5 years, 11 months ago:

    I have had these two Hasegawa kits sitting in the build pile for a while, and was looking for a hopefully quick and easy / relaxing build. I wanted something with a low parts count , decent fit, and an easy one color paint job. This one looks like it will fit the bill nicely.

    Recently I saw a photo of several AVG "Flying Tiger" pilots standing next to a rudder that was removed from a Ki-27 "Nate" that they shot down near their air base. This was the inspiration for this "out of box" build... I was thinking of building an AVG P-40 (or two) next for the "Year of the Cat" group build, and thought it would be cool to have a "Victor and Vanquished" article with both a pair of AVG P-40's and two Nate's in this article. So far I haven't nailed down the paint scheme on these pair of Ki-27's, but I can tell you that one will be from the 77th Sentai, which is the unit markings shown on the rudder in this picture below, that came from the shot down plane.

    In my typical "Gardner Iron Works" assembly line fashion, I have found it easier to build two similar planes at the same time, since they share the same colors.
    So I started out by assembling the cockpits for each plane. From the reading I did on line prior to construction, these parts will not be too visible once I get the fuselage halves buttoned up. So I'm not going to go crazy with super detailing anything...

    There was the usual research done to determine colors used. My best guess from what I have seen, is that the Imperial Japanese Army made it a policy around 1935-36 to paint the crew portions of the interiors on it's planes in a grayish blue color. This blue gray paint color apparently was used on most IJA planes, including some of the earlier Ki-43 Oscars that were built up until early / mid 1942.

    Surviving relics have been checked against color standards, and the closest match is "Gunship Gray", FS 36118.

    Another close match is WW2 US Navy "Intermediate Blue". I compared dried examples of both of these colors side by side and they are strikingly similar in appearance.

    So this is what I'm going with... gunship gray on the cockpit and fuselage sidewalls.

    Just to be safe, I went ahead and glued the fuselage halves together and performed a test fit to see exactly how much of the completed cockpit would be visible once it was glued in position...

    and promptly found out that not too much will be seen...

    So far the fit has been spot on. There were no gaps on the fuselage haves where they were joined together. This is outstanding, since these kits were originally tooled up by a company called Mania in the early 1970's. Hasegawa purchased the molds and hired a lot of the former employees from the Mania company when they went out of business in the mid 1970's. These kits are occasionally re released by Hasegawa from time to time. You can still find them on line at various sources too. The details are very comparable with current standards.

    The next step will be to spray the "Gunship Gray" on the completed cockpits and fuselage sides.

    But for now I'm calling it a night... comments are encouraged.

  • Profile Photo
    Louis Gardner said 5 years, 11 months ago:

    Earlier today I sprayed the interior of the fuselage with "Gunship Gray"...

    along with the cockpit assemblies. It actually looks more of a bluish shade than how it appears in these photos. I'm sure the lighting has something to do with this. In these pictures the color looks more like a German RLM 66 interior color, but it's not.

    Later tonight I hope to do some detail painting on these parts. Hopefully I can get the cockpits installed.

    Please check back for further updates.

    Again, comments are encouraged. Thanks for looking.

  • Profile Photo
    Louis Gardner said 5 years, 11 months ago:

    Today I detailed the cockpit and installed it into the fuselage.

    Not much is visible once it was installed...and it will be even worse once the canopy and wind screen is on.

    Then I concentrated my efforts on building the engine. It looks pretty nice once everything was given a light oil wash to bring out the details.

    Then I installed the engines into the cowlings. This was probably the worst part of the build so far. The engines rely on a friction fit to hold them properly squared into the cowling opening. Also pay close attention to the oil cooler ring. If you look close, you will see that the curves in the oil cooler ring are not the same. You will see that one end has more of a wider radius to it, and that the flat sides taper inwards towards the bottom of the cooler.

    The cowling is a two piece part. I had to rely on brute force to close up the gaps as tight as I could. I held the parts together tightly and applied a hot liquid glue. This will require some clean up and possibly some filler. Here is how it looks from the side view:

    I found several cool B & W photos online, showing close ups of the engine in a Ki-27 "Nate". I used these as a reference to make sure that I had the cylinders oriented properly as well as the oil cooler ring.

    That's all for today... calling it for now.
    As usual, comments are encouraged.

  • Profile Photo
    George Henderson said 5 years, 11 months ago:

    Looking good. I've always liked this wee beastie. Odd setup for an engine but it looks cool

  • Profile Photo
    David A. Thomas said 5 years, 11 months ago:

    Man, this is really nice work!

  • Profile Photo
    Louis Gardner said 5 years, 11 months ago:

    Thanks George, it's a cool looking little plane. Sort of reminds me of a P-26 "Peashooter". I believe the oil cooler was very similar to the one used in the Ki-43 Oscar, which replaced this plane as a front line fighter.

  • Profile Photo
    Louis Gardner said 5 years, 11 months ago:

    Thanks David for the kind words !

  • Profile Photo
    Louis Gardner said 5 years, 11 months ago:

    I made some more progress on the planes...

    I glued the landing gear spats together. If you look close you can see where I numbered them with the kit part numbers to keep them easily separated right from left.

    Then I glued the upper wing halves to the fuselage. This eliminated any possibility of wing gaps. You must be very careful when doing this, since the bottom wing is keyed off the top wing halves as well.

    and filled in the holes that were on the bottom wings with plastic rod .

    There was also a single hole on the upper Port side wing half. This was for the wing mounted gun camera. I didn't want to use this option on my builds, so I plugged these holes too. After the glue dried, I trimmed off the excess plastic rod with a single edge razor blade. Next I polished the top of the wing some with very fine sand paper, cleaning up the area where the rod protruded from the outer wing surface.

    The next step was to glue the bottom surface of the wings in place...
    and I sat the planes on these little storage cups to dry.

    I was on a roll so I glued the horizontal stabilizers in place. Then the landing gear on one of the planes... Afterwards I realized that I had not yet sanded the leading edges of the wings. Oooops !

    So this caused some delay as I carefully took care of the seam on the leading edge of the wings without rubbing against the landing gear... It was tricky, but I managed.

    So if you're building one of these, wait to glue on the landing gear until after you have the wings squared away. In this photo below, I have test fit the cowling / engine on the fuselage. The fit was spot on.

    I was not happy with how one of the oil coolers looked. To me it was off center and not in proper alignment. So I removed it and repositioned how it fit against the engine's push rods.
    Here in this picture below, you can see how the second "Nate" looks at the moment.

    and how the pair look sitting side by side.

    This last picture is a close up of the second "Nate" The fit has been very good so far. Even the cowling was able to be salvaged by careful sanding an no filler was needed there either.

    Hopefully tonight, I can get some more done on these two...

    Enjoy ! Comments are encouraged.

  • Profile Photo
    Greg Kittinger said 5 years, 11 months ago:

    Coming along nicely! I always debate how much detail to put into the cockpits, since they are always closed up and in 1/72 even harder to see. However, I've learned not to assume, but like you, do some test-fitting! Sometimes (especially depending on the thickness of the canopy) more is visible that one might suspect, at least for some of the controls mounted near the edge of the canopy - like throttles and such.

  • Profile Photo
    Louis Gardner said 5 years, 10 months ago:

    Thanks Greg. I agree with you that sometimes there are some surprises in store for you if you don't test fit things first. I'm really glad that I tried the fit of the cockpit first on this one. However I have not yet tried out the canopies. I really should soon but it's too late for any detailed work on the cockpit areas.

    Tonight I have installed the landing gear

    and sprayed on the base coat of Tamiya XF-14, Imperial Japanese Army Grey.

    Here's how they look at the moment. Yes I broke off one of the oil coolers. I would definitely recommend leaving this part off until closer to the end of the build if I had it to do over again. I have managed to knock these parts off several times now. They're only held on by the engine push rods.

    I'm going to let these dry overnight.

    Take care and comments are encouraged.

  • Profile Photo
    David A. Thomas said 5 years, 10 months ago:

    Lou, these posts are very helpful and instructive. I noticed that you mention using hot glue. Is that a glue gun like the kind used for crafts?

  • Profile Photo
    Louis Gardner said 5 years, 10 months ago:

    I was hoping that someone would find them useful... Thank you.

    When I mentioned a "hot" glue I should have been more specific, as one could draw the same conclusion as you have.

    No it's not anything to do with a hot glue gun. Instead it is a liquid type cement that is very strong. If you use too much of it, the glue can actually melt the plastic parts into a messy blob... ask me how I know.

    I use several different types of liquid glue. Each has their own benefits and uses. Here's a photo of the two primary glues that I use.

    The one on the left with the white label seems to be more of a "hot" glue to me than the other in the orange bottle. Both are applied with a brush, and will melt your plastic parts if too much is used.

    The white bottle glue is thinner and seems like it is easier to use (at least for me). You can allow it to be drawn into the joint by capillary action. Simply press the parts together and hold them. Lightly touch a small amount of glue against the objects to be glued. The plastic almost absorbs the glue, like a wick on a candle absorbs wax. It is also very fast drying and strong. I use it most of the time. Sometimes I use Tamiya bottle glue too. It also works very well.

    Hope this helps you. Please don't hesitate to ask any questions. If I know the answer I will definitely try to steer you in the right direction.

    Thanks again my friend, especially for letting me know that my efforts in posting these articles are helpful to some. I sincerely appreciate that.

  • Profile Photo
    David A. Thomas said 5 years, 10 months ago:

    OK, I get it--technical shop talk for solvent glue rather than mere adhesive.

    I'm learning...

  • Profile Photo
    Louis Gardner said 5 years, 10 months ago:

    Yes David that's correct. You got it and I'm sorry to have caused you any confusion.

    Last night before working on the Panther tank I also did a little work on this one...

    First off, I masked the rear fuselage on one plane to prepare it for a set of thin blue stripes, which I brush painted on.

    I used Model Master "Blue Angels Blue" enamel as the color. I'm not 100 percent sure about the correct shade of blue, but this one looked good enough for me...

    Here's the results...

    The plane was left to dry overnight. I'm pleased with how the stripes turned out.

  • Profile Photo
    Jeff Bailey said 5 years, 10 months ago:

    Louis, my friend - I have a question: what is the yellow on the leading edge of the one for? For that matter, same question regarding the many British planes that also had the yellow-painted wing's leading edges? Was it for aircraft identification? Or was it simply a yellow coloured boot over a de-icer system? I don't see the yellow on many late-war aircraft.

    If you (or anyone else) knows, I'd love to be informed. I've wondered about that since the 1st time I noticed that detail - probably in 1959 or '60.


    1 attached image. Click to enlarge.