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  • Writer's picture@PlaneThought41

Frank's Paint Job: 1/48th Otaki Ki-84 Hayate (Type 4 Frank)

Updated: Sep 20, 2021

Here is another old kit, originally released in the 70s. For its time it was a decent, if basic, kit with recessed panel lines and lots of rivets... lots of rivets... definitely overdone (very common for this company's releases). Note: These kits were re-released by ARII in the 80s.

Notable Kit Features:

  • Low parts count

  • Basic construction

  • Nicely molded air scoops

  • Single piece canopy

  • Decent separate engine (although you won't see much of it post-build)

Build Inspiration:

My model collection was lacking a decent variety of Japanese types. Wanting to have some opposition to the few Pacific Allied types I had built, I decided to round out my collection with a few IJAAF aircraft.

During my research I found that some late war Ki-84’s were delivered in natural metal, with camouflage paint being applied at the unit level, as time and supplies permitted. Due to the extreme conditions of the Pacific theater, the effects of the salt spray and sun had these paints peeling off during the aircraft's service career. Typically because no primer was used to act as an bonding agent for the top color coatings.

I selected a few inexpensive stash kits to experiment with a few choice processes of chipping paint finishes away to reveal exposed natural metal underneath. These Otaki kits would serve the purpose well as I had picked a few up for between $3 - $10, so on with the experiment!

Heads-Up Report:

  • Instructions in Japanese only (On my version :)

  • Spartan cockpit

  • Thick single piece canopy

  • Recessed rivets overdone (really they weren't close to this noticeable)

  • Poor pilot figure

  • Unknown accuracy

Kit Additions / Modifications:

Out of Box build, but let's take the time to look into the paint application...

To provide the natural metal sub surface, I sprayed most of kit, with the exception of the fabric control surfaces (as these wouldn't show chipping) with a coat of aluminum paint (at this time I was spraying oil based paint). After that paint cured, I brushed on a thin coat of Future / Pledge floor finish on the places of the aircraft where I wanted to do some later chipping effects. Once that coat had sufficiently dried I sprayed the final Japanese Army upper Green and underside Gray, again using Model Master enamels.

After allowing the top coats to dry, I then used a various selection of tapes, starting with a light tackiness and working up, to lightly lift off the green topcoat in various locations. Note: this is a somewhat unpredictable manner of peeling the paint as you can remove large areas depending on your paint bond. Once I went far enough with that stage I top-coated the aircraft with a sealer and moved onto the decal stage. A few spots on the decals also required some chipping effect so these were applied with a sharp knife and a toothpick.

End Result:

This Ki-84 kit was essentially built to test a chipped paint scheme and I am pretty happy with the results achieved and the lessons learned here.

The After-Build Report:

I would only recommend this Otaki / ARII kit to a novice modeler who wanted an inexpensive kit for a simple build or possibly an intermediate in similar circumstances to myself where you want to try out a technique on a kit and don't want to chance a potential disaster on an expensive kit.

The 1/48th Tamiya kit is slightly better than this series (being of a similar vintage). It also has a low parts count, but no overdone rivets and nice cockpit glass, so it may be a better inexpensive kit option.

If you want to build a nice 1/48th Ki-84 Hayate - you want the Hasegawa version. Their (JT 67) kit is outstanding. The Hasegawa kit has an exceptionally detailed cockpit, optional dropped fowler flaps, beautiful surface detail and a thin 3-piece canopy.

Completed build #150 - April 2012 using the 1/48th scale Otaki #OT2-10-600 kit.

Feel free to comment or ask any questions - Keep on building, gain experience, challenge yourself if you like, but try not to stress yourself out over the build - it is suppose to be an enjoyable hobby after all - Cheers

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