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opus999

Ki-43-IIa Oscar, 1/72 Hasegawa

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Ki-43-IIa "Oscar" | Hasegawa | 1/72

Japan -- 50th Sentai, 3rd Chutai -- Satoru Anabuki, Pilot

1943

 

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Finished this one on Feburary 3rd, 2019.  It was done completely on impulse.  After reading a complementary review of the old Hasegawa Oscar kit, I pulled that same kit out of my stash and started working on it.  The reviewer was pleased with how the kit just fell together, which was mostly true for me, except for the port wing which had some interference keeping it from making a snug fit -- never figured it out and had to do a little filling to compensate. When I looked closely at a build log of this same kit, I couldn't see that person had the same problem, so I guess I'm just lucky.

 

The Ki-43 Oscar was the Imperial Japanese Army's primary fighter until mid- to late-1943 when better types were introduced. It is often mistaken for the Zero by non-enthusiasts, but the Zero was a superior fighter to the Oscar. The Oscar was nimble and in the right hands could be a potent adversary. I like to think of it kind of like our P-40: It was a workhorse that served through the entire conflict and was "good enough".

 

This particular aircraft was flown by Sgt. Satoru Anabuki, who ended WWII with 51 claimed victories (39 officially recognized). After the war he flew helicopters for the Japanese defense force, retiring as a Lt. Colonel in 1971. He went on to fly for Japan airlines, retiring from there in 1984. He passed away in 2005.

 

Finishing: Seams filled with CA (superglue), port wing root seam filled with Apoxie Sculpt epoxy putty.

Paints:  no primer  > Tamiya TS30 Silver Leaf (decanted into airbrush) > Some panels painted with Mr. Color Super metallic stainless steel (darker) > some panels painted with Alclad White Aluminum (lighter) > Dark aluminum used for faint shading > Mottling is a mix of Mr. Color greens to replicate Tamiya IJA green > Tamiya IJA gray for control surfaces > sealed with Testors Metallizer sealer

Decals: Kit decals

 

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Kinda wish I knew how to make the bottom a little dirtier.  It looks a little too clean, but will be OK sitting on a shelf.

 

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One thing I noticed in the historical reference photos I have is that the nose cone on most (not all...) Oscars was really chewed up! Sometimes it was the most worn part of the plane.  I wonder if it's because of the Hucks starter they used? Backing the starter truck up can't be easy -- maybe they bunged up the nose that way? Anyway, I used salt chipping on the nose and front of the cowl to match the look of the historical photos I had.

 

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Painted the engine black, and then went over it with a pencil -- new technique for me, but it worked really well!

 

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I treated this build like a full NMF build, even though it might have been completely covered by mottling. This gave me the opportunity to practice a bit more with the Silver Leaf.  I found that adding a little Mr. Color leveling thinner and then spraying it so that it wet makes for a much more reflective surface than on my previous build I used it on (Jian Ji-2).

 

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Build notes:

  • The Hasegawa kit practically fell together.  I was apprehensive about the raised panel lines, but I think they look OK.  The eye can be tricked into thinking they are recessed. I think I may be more comfortable with NMF and raised panel lines since this one came out OK, which means there might be a Airfix P-80 on my bench soon!
  • Mottling on the empanage was Tamiya IJA green, but I found that it scratched off very easily!  Not easily enough to take it off though, so I switched to Mr. Color for the rest. I found that scratched off fairly easily, but not nearly as easily as the Tamiya acrylic. I'm still not sure about the durability of acrylics, although the slickness of the NMF may partially to blame here.
  • I had the worst time trying to decide how to do the mottling. There aren't many good quality historical photos of the Oscar, and those that are there seem to have mottling styles that are all over the place.  Same with models I've seen, some are like mine, some are a fine scribble. I couldn't find any reference photos of Anabuki's plane, so in the end I used the Hasegawa studio model as a reference, hoping they'd done their homework!

 

Thanks for looking! Comments, questions and constructive criticism always welcome!

Edited by opus999
Forgot to note it is a IIa model

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That's a real beauty! It came out nice.

 

 

Chris

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I really like your Oscar. It's well photographed, too.

 

I also like your theory for the nose cone.

 

Do you know how the Hasegawa kit compares to the Fujimi (mk I Oscar) kits? I'm tempted to get the Hasegawa one now...

 

Regards,

D

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This Hayabusa looks really nice. Great job on the mottling!

There is a good summary about the yellow IFF stripes on the Arawasi website: https://arawasi-wildeagles.blogspot.com/search?q=iff+stripes

As an easy start for traces of dirt I scratch some powder off artist chalk (available in all colours) and brush it across the wing with a small short stiff brush. Blow off the access and seal with clear varnish. If it doesn't stick give the surface a coat of flat clear first. It looks very realistic behind bullet case openings, wheel wells and on control surfaces.

Good luck, Michael

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Fantastic job there!! The wear in the nose area looks great. Well done!!

 

Miguel

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Love that scheme, looks very nice indeed

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21 hours ago, Dazey said:

It's well photographed, too.

Thank you! I've been inspired by several RFI's here to improve my photography skills.

 

21 hours ago, Dazey said:

Do you know how the Hasegawa kit compares to the Fujimi (mk I Oscar) kits? I'm tempted to get the Hasegawa one now...

I haven't see a lot about the Fujimi kit, but I got the impression from a couple of sites that the Hasegawa and Fujimi kits are comparable. Well, apparently the Fujimi kit had a bit of a difficult fit to the wing, but so did I!  Although, no other build logs of the Hasegawa seemed to have the same problem I did.

 

And as you point out, the Fujimi kit is a Ki-43-I and mine is a Ki-43-IIa

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16 hours ago, Toryu said:

As an easy start for traces of dirt I scratch some powder off artist chalk (available in all colours) and brush it across the wing with a small short stiff brush.

I will need to try that. I think my main problem was not getting the Tamiya weathering pastels to stick (although they did OK on the top). Plus I was a little uninspired by the bottom.  I have troubles weathering NMF because my usual techniques are pretty difficult on the smooth surface.

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Very nice Oscar! That's an aeroplane I used to not particularly care for, but it's grown on me over the years. I think I'd like to do a version with the two-bladed propeller.

 

Regards,

 

Jason

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12 hours ago, Learstang said:

That's an aeroplane I used to not particularly care for

Funny! I kind of felt the same way until I saw one for real in Everett, Washington. I don't know why but seeing it for real really made me appreciate its look.

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Great looking Oscar, really nice result

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An excellent result and a very nice NMF 👍

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Love what you've done here!

I'm always gratified to see that older kits can build up as well as today's new offerings.

I'm tempted to seek out one of these kits myself.

The mottle camouflage is particularly skillfully applied.

Well done.

:clap:

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I was told the other day that you can use Tamiya smoke to give variation to a metal finish. However, I would test it first before you use the technical on your model. Might give you what you want for the under surfaces.

You made a good job of the Oscar. I did the 1/48 Hasegawa kit for the Pacific GB. I also did my Zero in the green blotch scheme for the same GB. Mind you I think it would be harder to do in 1/72. So well done.

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12 hours ago, kapam said:

I'm tempted to seek out one of these kits myself.

You should! it was a ton of fun and only 10 USD. Frankly I was a little surprised that it built up as well as it did.

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9 hours ago, Greg Law said:

I was told the other day that you can use Tamiya smoke to give variation to a metal finish.

Yeah! I've used that on my F-84E build and it worked really well.  This time I used dark aluminum after seeing a guy's build where he did the same thing. You're right though... using Tamiya smoke on the underside might make it a little more realistically dirty.  I think I'm going to have to revisit that...

 

Thanks for the suggestions!

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