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Special Hobby 1/72 Ki-43 Oscar

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Second completed build of the year, the Special Hobby Ki-43 Oscar. This has a somewhat amusing - now, from a distance - history, as my Oscar build was intended to be the AML version, which came with resin parts, etch and vac form canopies.


Unfortunately the kit turned out to be one of those that exceeded my modelling skills - such as they are - and due to some fit issues - of mega proportions - I reluctantly abandoned the kit.


Which was a shame, as I wanted to use the AML kits' unusual paint scheme and decals supplied,  a red brown upper surfaces over a grey undersurface, instead of the usual Japanese gree/mottled/ nmf scemes Japanese aircraft kits seem to come in.


Here's the AML painting instructions;




Then out of the blue for me at least,  Special Hobby re released their 1/72 Oscar in in "Japan's Allies" markings, but crucially with a dual fuselage  and exhausts for the both the Ki-43 III ko version, ie the AML version, as well as the cowlings with the single exhausts for the Ki-43 II version used by the "Japanese allies".




Enthused, the Big H were duly ordered to supply one such Special Hobby Kit (in exchange for coin of the realm, of course) which arrived before Christmas.


Hmmmm, thought I when fondling plastic, isn't this the AML kit re boxed without the resin, - or the AML kit was the Special Hobby kit reboxed?


Further checking revealed neither was the case, and preparatory work was done - painting as much as possible on the sprue, etc., before New Year's Day, in tandem with the Revell 1/72 V2 rocket I made between Christmas and New Year.


Once I began putting it together, oh dear, some fit issues again, again with the cowling, but nothing this time that couldn't be solved. Eventually.


Now my experience with Special Hobby has been varied - ranging from the "it went together fairly well" (10) to "What the &*%*^&&&*&%^$"£ is going on here! (0)" but this one was more  a 5.  In other words, it needs some modelling skills. That pleased me because it meant I must have some!!


There is a build of this model in the supplied Thai air force scheme in a recent issue of Airfix Model World magazine which I found interesting if not terrifically helpful.


So here's the Special Hobby Ki-43 III Oscar in the AML paint scheme.


I used the AML decals to go with the paint scheme. They weren't very good. In fact, the hinomaru were  - let's say, not good at all. However, with some micro sol and micro set, gentle persuasion with a paint brush, they went on in the end. I only had to paint over tears in two hinomaru.


Paints by Tamiya, Revell and Mr Color. My biggest disappointment was the Mr Color red brown was far more of a chocolate brown, ie it wasn't the right color..  I decided to leave the paint as it was and look for a different brand paint in that red brown colour for future use.


Sam_3784 Sam_3785 Sam_3786 Sam_3787 Sam_3788


Out of interest, I put the 5 Japanese fighter kits I've made together for this photo;




clockwise from top left they are the RS models Ki-87,  Hasegawa Ki-61 Tony, Special Hobby Ki-43 Oscar, Hasegawa J7W1, and Hasegawa Ki-44 Tojo.


I was quite surprised to see how small the Ki-43, Ki-44 and Ki-61 are compared to the J7W1 and Ki-87. The Ki-87 never got to the prototype stage, though I am pretty sure at least one J7W1 prototype flew, but looking at them, I am still not convinced that the Ki-87 is actually a 1/48th kit mislabelled as a 1/72!


Thanks for looking.

Edited by Whofan
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Glad to hear you didn't give up after your AML kit troubles.

Yes, that is a very interesting and somewhat unusual color scheme. 

I wonder what the thinking behind this was - the terrain in the area of ops perhaps?

Anyway, good job on getting it across the line. 👍

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it's always good to get past a rogue kit, which the AML kit was. It was a shame, as its resin parts were beautifully cast, especially the cowling, but it was too small.


I confess that I read a fairly long article a while ago on another modelling site which did discuss the use of the red Brown paint as camouflage, but as is usual I can't remember the site where I found the discussion!

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Oops.  I forgot the most important thing, your build and finish of this kit after your experience with the AML kit.  It is a very nice build and finish.  The brown does look a little too dark brown, but the actual color "brown" seems to be one of choices and still up to debate.  (Forgive me Mr. Millman if I over simplify.  Your input would be greatly appreciated.)  But, I think because of the lighting and the angle of the pictures some of the photos of the brown are appearing darker than what is actually painted.  Anyway, it is a very nicely done kit and way to finish a project even having to resort to a donor kit to complete.  Thanks for sharing.

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@georgeusa ,


thanks for the kind words 

 and the links.


Compared to the AML painting instructions graphic, the brown is in the flesh darker but with a slight reddish tinge.


As I mentioned, I had seen on another site a discussion on the red brown colour, I’m sure it was the aviation of Japan site as referenced in the build you linked and the direct links.


I do wonder if AML perhaps got the colour wrong, but short of going to them and asking, we’ll never know.


I do have now a Japanese plane in an alternative to the green/grey/nmf finish, well two with the Ki-44 in overall black night fighter finish.


I may stick to the green/grey/nmf for the other 4 Japanese planes in the stash 😏



Edited by Whofan
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  • Whofan changed the title to Special Hobby 1/72 Ki-43 Oscar

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