1/32 Hasegawa Ki-84 Frank

by Malcolm Reid

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Having committed myself a couple of years ago to building only modern jet fighters, I bought this kit on a whim due to a really low price at the local hobby shop. Upon opening the box one is presented by a beautifully moulded set of sprues typical of the recent Hasegawa quality. Thereís not much to say about the kit which has not already been written in the various modeling websites. The assembly is straightforward and the fit excellent.

I decided to try my hand at a natural metal finish and read somewhere on ARC that the best way to fill the fuselage seams is with super glue. I was very happy with the result with no visible seam visible after painting.

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The only parts I added to the kit were :

  • Some wiring inside the cockpit and behind the instrument panel associated with the gun breeches. Not really necessary as this is all lost once everything is put together.

  • Seat harnesses using wine bottle foil.

  • Ignition harnesses to the engine Ė this is a must as the engine detail is very visible.

  • Some structural detail inside the engine cowling.

  • Some piping and electrical cables to the undercarriage bays.

Apart from that, the kit was assembled straight out of the box.

Cockpit interior was painted in a mix of 3 parts Pactra IJ20 and 1 part Tamiya X1 white. Exterior painting was preceded with pre-shading using Tamiya X-18 black. All six Hinamarus were painted using Tamiya X2 red and then masked before application of natural metal. Basically all the red makings were airbrushed instead of using the kit decals (Iíve never been too successful at applying decals to natural metal base coats). The antiglare panel and wing walkway were painted natural metal, random areas masked using liquid latex, over sprayed with a dark grey and then the latex mask removed to simulate paint chipping. The natural metal base coat was airbrushed using a mix of Xtracolour X-602 Flanker Blue (30%) and Tamiya X-11 silver (70%). Ad hoc panels were shaded using various mixes of Tamiya X-11 / X-16 Aluminium. Final weathering was done using pastels (grey and black).

The final result is an aesthetically pleasing airplane and a nice addition to my collection. I enjoyed this build so much that I ended up buying the Hasegawa 32nd scale Ki-61 (and Iím sure Iíll soon be getting the 109 as well).

Malcolm Reid

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Photos and text © by Malcolm Reid