1/32 Hasegawa and Doyusha Nakajima(s) Ki-44 and Ki-84

Gallery Article by Olivier Barles on May 2 2012

 

 

2 emblematic Nakajima Fighter planes: one that started the Pacific War, the second one that finished it...

Interesting to see that just a few years after, the concept of the light "Hayabusa", hyper-maneuverable, non armored and designed for offensive has been changed into some heavy, solid, powerful and "defensive" concept, following the course of the war for the Japanese Army and making the Hayate one of their best Fighters...

The Ki-43 is the old Hasegawa model that has been significantly improved mainly by having engraved all structures lines and scratch-built the cockpit.

The Ki-84 is the "very old" Doyusha model that has been "deeply" modified and improved (as I had purchased it long before Hasegawa even thought of producing their own interpretation of this plane!)...

So, nearly everything key step of its assembling leaded to some hard work, main ones being the engine, the cockpit and the undercarriage.

 

Click on images below to see larger images

I had the chance to see one of the last existing and complete real Ki-84 at the "Kamikaze Chiran Museum" in Kyushu 15 years ago, where I took dozen of photos having in mind to someday, take some time to build it at my favorite scale!  Then, by also using the "AeroDetails" brochure on the Ki-84, I had the most complete collection of data I could possibly have.

In fact, even if the cockpit was quite hard to make up, the main challenge I had was to fully re-build the undercarriage, including the wells...   It started by too thin tires to inexact compass and leg shapes, through totally wrong and "not deep enough" wheels wells...

Not to mention the obligation for some "heavy filler use", the need to add one by one those very special "scratch-built" lozenge shape rivets creating rectangular lines at the central intrados part (one of the key characteristics you cannot miss when looking at the Ki-84 but that was simply "forgotten" by Doyusha) and an attempt to make the fuselage section more ovoid at its rear part - while it looks too much "circular" at that level - heavy work to reshape, re-engrave and do some "constrained gluing"...

Interesting work though (even if long, "swearword producing" and sometimes a bit depressing when you cannot see the end of it - I'm sure that every modeler knows what I mean!) before the "Fun Time" starts with painting and weathering.

The two planes were based in China.  
The Ki-44 is from an unidentified unit and looked attractive because of the brown color on its upper surfaces (a nice change from the usual green)...  The Ki-84 holds the colors of a plane based in Hankow (Wuhan) in Spring 1945, belonging to the "Sentai Stab" of this unit and having on its rudder the colors of its 2 "Dotai"...

A lot of work indeed but for a result I'm quite pleased with...

In the meantime, I also built the 1/32 scale Nakajima Ki-27 (edited a couple of years ago by Special Hobby - painted under some "Nomonhan colors conflict" ) and the 1/32 scale Nakajima Ki-44 from Hasegawa.

I now have the complete "1/32" collection of all the Nakajima single-engine JA Fighters that fought during WWII (I definitely need to prepare an article with the 4 of them!)...

And I'm now in the process of achieving the same with the JN Mitsubishi fighters for the same period, starting with the 1/32 A5M-2 "Claude" (Special Hobby), through the Tamiya A6M-5 "Zero" and finishing with the Hasegawa J2M-3 "Raiden" (I already provided an article to ARC with the latter)...

It's a good time for the 1/32 nerds!

Olivier Barles

Click on images below to see larger images

      

Photos and text by Olivier Barles