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1/48 Tamiya Nakajima Ki84-IA 

Hayate (Frank)

by Rai

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This is a Hayate from Tamiya, one of their older kits.  It came with raised lines which I re-scribed.  External detailing (apart from the raised lines) was generally okay and the fit was good.  The cockpit was something else though.  Tamiya had this weird 2-piece cockpit display that required the corresponding decal to be cut in half to fit.  Not much in detail which was also a common trait with the wheel-wells.  I did not use any aftermarket detailing for this build, but added seatbelts which were fabricated from masking tape.

I painted the kit to replicate a plane that flew with the 104th Sentai at Heizan, Manchoukuo in 1944.  This Hayate was in all bare metal finish which interested me as I wanted to experiment with the 2-tone silver finish.  I used Tamiya X-11 Chrome Silver enamel (lighter tone) and Mr Color Chrome Silver No.211 (darker tone)  to simulate older and newer metal paneling.  I guessed some parts were maintained more often than others, which meant they were either in better condition or seriously beat-up, such as the gun chambers, engine access, etc.  I might have perhaps gone a bit too far, but I liked the overall effect.  

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Weathering was confined to the black anti-glare band over the nose.  To achieve the paint-peeling look, I used the sticky-tape and blade-peeling technique.  A major mistake I made was with the painting of the wheel wells.  It was supposed to be in metallic blue but I got it wrong and painted it in Mr. Color Nakajima Interior Green.  Didn’t spot it until I was about to weather the kit.  By then, I decided to close one eye, and upon many viewing later, to close both eyes on this oversight.  Soot from the engine exhaust and gun ports was applied using Tamiya Weathering Master Series B – snow/soot/rust.  It was easy to use and the color and texture rendition quite well defined

I was glad that finally I got to build a Hayate – a personal target since as long as I can remember. Together with the Ki-100 radial-engine Tony, the Frank is the best Imperial Japanese Army Air Force fighter of WWII.  When the Americans tested one after the war (using high quality octane fuel which the Japanese were of course denied during the war), the Hayate reached 690km/hr (430mph) – equivalent to most high performance Allied fighters such as the P-51 Mustang and P-47D Thunderbolt.  In the hands of a good pilot, the Hayate would have been a tremendous handful to the Allies.

Rai

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Photos and text © by Rai

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