Hasegawa Ki-84 Hayate 'Frank'

by Lou Correri

Photos by Mike Fleckenstein

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Approximately 113 pieces in gray and clear plus 8 vinyl grommets. Markings for two aircraft in factory finish of dark green over light gray.

Iíll start by saying right off of the bat that this is a great kit although it does have itís minor faults. The mouldings are excellent with very well done panel lines and rivet detail that are consistent throughout the model. There are no weird flow marks in the plastic like their P-47 kits. Fit was excellent except for a minor gap where the back of the lower wing meets the fuselage. Remember to deepen the rivet holes and panel lines before filling and sanding and go over them as you sand so that you donít have to do them over from scratch.

The cockpit is about as good as it gets with excellent detail from the 22 parts that make it up. There are plenty of knobs and switches and handles. The instrument panel is great with lots of engraved detail and a unique option. While I usually stay away from instrument panel decals, preferring to drybrush instead, Hasegawa gives you two options. One is the usual instrument faces on a black background. The one I used had the instruments on a clear background. I painted the panel overall dark gray and then put the decal over it. The panel itself is not flat but sticks out in spots and I was worried that the decal would not fit properly. However, after numerous applications of decal solution and pricking holes in the clear portion the decal lined up perfectly and gave a very convincing effect. Trim away the excess clear film, pick out a few knobs and switches, and VOILA! Done. Japanese cockpits came in a variety of colors. I used Aeromaster Nakijima green as my basic color, aluminum for the seat with a brown back cushion and black, brown ,tan, yellow, aluminum, and red to pick out small details. I gave everything my patented raw umber shadowing effect and drybushed the highlites. The only thing missing is a set of seat belts which I did not add as this was strictly out of the box.

My original intent for the finish was to be an undercoat of aluminum overpainted in the green and gray and then sanded away in areas to represent wear. However, I started experimenting with the SNJ that I was using and I started to get some very good effects. I liked it so much that I left it in the natural metal finish. After misting on several coats of the SNJ sprayed at 10-15 pounds of pressure I let it dry for about 15-20 minutes where it seemed dry enough to handle I ran raw umber artistís oil paint straight from the tube into the panel lines. Ran isnít exactly correct as the paint is pretty thick so I guess painted is more correct. Then I took a soft cloth and wiped away the paint leaving a little of it in the recesses. This smoothed out the finish and left it with a slightly amber tint. I then used some Blue Magic polish on a Q-tip and carefully rubbed out some panels. This left the panels a slightly darker aluminum without the tint but it also gave a somewhat swirled or mottled effect which I felt looked very realistic. The next thing that I tried was to very, very lightly sand with something like 3200 grit paper from a polishing kit the wing tips and a few other panels. I found that this required heavier coats of SNJ so that I wouldn't sand through. This gave me another natural looking aluminum finish with a somewhat grainy look. Only sand in one direction and when wiping . also go in one direction. The last effect was just straight SNJ on a few panels. I ended up with a multi toned natural metal finish which quite a few people complimented me on. I used a blue-black enamel for the anti-glare panels and Gunze Japanese light gray, which has a very definite green tinge, for the fabric covered control surfaces. I thinned the Gunze with lacquer thinner (it works great!) to ensure good adhesion to the SNJ. No clear overcoat was used.

I must say that Iím sold on SNJ. It goes on great and itís quite durable and it stands up very well to handling . I used low tack masking tape and had no problems. Aside from being easily scratched the only other drawback that I encountered was that it didínt adhere well to the crazy glue and easily rubbed off of it.

I used Aeromaster decals for the markings but I was unhappy with the way they looked. This was not the fault of Aeromaster. Since I did not use an overcoat the decals remained shiny and just didnít look right. Next time I plan to overspray the decals with Dullcoat before I cut them out. I usually trim away all of the clear film so this should not present a problem.

I was trying to finish the model for the IPMS nationals and I rushed a few things towards the end. The main thing being the canopy and windscreen. I did not have any masks so I used masking tape and I was unhappy with the results. Needless to say I spent about $40.00 for masks at the Eduard booth before regaining my sanity. I will be redoing the canopy using the Eduard masks.

Now for the minor faults and nitpicks. The vinyl grommets worked pretty well for everything except the main landing gear. One side was pretty tight while the other side was loose. I couldnít find anything that would adhere to the vinyl and that included epoxy. Jack Kennedy suggested white glue. Iíll have to give it a try. The little oil cooler under the wing is nicely detailed and in three pieces. Being so small makes it very difficult to hold to clean up the seams. I have no idea why the headrest cushion is in two pieces when youíre not going to see the back anyway. Again, very hard to handle to glue the two pieces together. There are these very teeny tiny wingtip lights which are very hard to cut off of the sprue, clean up and attach. After launching several of the little so and soís I gave up and painted the areas the appropriate clear red or green and used some crazy glue to form the lenses. It can be done though! There was at least one Frank at the nats with them on. He should get an award just for that.

I might mention that I had a problem rescribing a panel line along the top of the rear fuselage. I couldnít get my guide to keep from moving around so I solved the problem by first drawing a pencil line as a reference and then white gluing my scribing straight edge along the line. Once set up it didnít move while I was rescribing and it was easy to remove without leaving any marks on the plastic.

Even though it didnít do anything at the nationals( it just sat there), there were at least five other Franks as well as superb Zero 22 that took judgeís best a/c, Iím still very pleased with the results.

Many thanks to Tony Darienzo for giving me the spare kit to replace certain parts that I damaged beyond repair or lost and to Mike Fleckenstein for the great photos.

Lou 

IPMS 12664

Long Island Scale Model Society

Northern Virginia and Washington D.C former member

Text © by Lou Correri

Photos  © by Mike Fleckenstein