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Hasegawa's 1/48 scale
Nakajima Ki-43-I Hayabusa

by Marcel Merces

Nakajima Ki-43-I Hayabusa (Oscar)

Eduard's 1/48 scale Oscar Color Detail Set is available online from Squadron




This is my 1/48 scale Hasegawa kit no. JT80:2200, Ki-43-I Hayabusa (Oscar). Here are some notes and hints for those who would decide to build this elegant WWII. plane.



Here is a list of mprovements that I have made.





Position lights and the landing reflector

The position lights are a CMK 010 set – the Clear Cast. The wing tip lights are brush colored by TAMIYA Clear Green resp. Clear Red. The two lights on the rudder were left unpainted. All the lights were glued onto the kit using water-soluble PVA glue. This looked more practical than cyanoacrylate glue because of better possibility to better position the lights – the upper and lower lights on the wing tips are aligned with each other (looking both along the airplane longitudinal axis or perpendicularly). You would probably try several times to achieve this geometry so it is better to use nonaggressive and slowly drying glue.

Older Ki43-I. type was not equipped with the landing reflector. The kit’s wing has a “dent” for landing light glass within the wing leading edge though. This indention had been filled up by the clear (kit) part Q1 and a little putty, then sanded very thoroughly - because of the natural metal finish would magnify every little inaccuracy.


The Pitot Tube

I used two thin metal pipes (injection needles) inserted one into another. Using caynoacrylate glue, the tube was glued into the original opening within the leading edge of the wing.


The Interior

I used the PART Photo etched set S48-112 for the cockpit interior. The set contains also useful exterior details, such as very thin undercarriage covers, engine cowling flaps or other engine enhancements. There is also the landing reflector framing – save it for another plane.



I also added some lead wires inside the canopy according to reference photos. The cable attached to the control stick was made of a thin lead foil.


The Canopy

You can find the insection made into the front canopy window within the kit. The tubular gun-sight goes through this (oversized) opening. To make this detail more realistic there are two main ways:

  • To replace the canopy with a brand new acetate (vac-u-form) one and to drill a new (and smaller) opening into the front windshield.

  • To use the original canopy and modify it – to make the insection look smaller.

I went the second way. I had cemented the gun-sight onto the fuselage at first and glued the front canopy part (R2 kit part) onto the fuselage.



Then I cut out a thin aluminium-like foil stripe - as wide as was the canopy framing and with the span as was the windscreen base. The stripe covered the lower part of the oversized gap in the front canopy window and merges properly – you merely see it.



Painting and Markings


Interior Color

I have used Mr. Color # 127 COCKPIT COLOR (NAKAJIMA) as the main interior color, “leaving” the rudder pedals, the pilot 's seat and the control stick in natural metal finish - ALCLAD II Aluminium. Main instrument panel and some more instruments have Dk. Grey color.

The Mr. Color Super Clear gloss coat was used after applying the interior colors - serving as a protecting sealant. The patina and “dirt” were made using a mix of brown (Burnt Sienna) and black oil color (in varying amounts) diluted in Mig’s Thinner for washes.

The edges were dry brushed very gently using Light Grey and White. The Dk. brown wash is used for emphasizing the detail depth


Surface finish

I decided not to make a camouflaged bird, but an overall natural metal finish instead – to enhance the elegance and shape smoothness of this Nakajima flying jewel. Different ALCLAD II colors were used to make the feeling of natural difference of particular covering plates. I decided to use only 2 basic shades of aluminium: Aluminium ALC101 and Polished aluminium ALC105. All the additional shades were achieved very simply - by overspraying these basic shades with a thin Dark aluminium coat. I placed a Sticky Note paper on the panel edge line (masking neighboring panel) and oversprayed the panel – but only partly, with a thicker coat near the paper edge and nearly no coat on the opposite side (see picture below).



This is a very simple and quick method - saving time, masking work and as a bonus – you will save money for various paint shades. It is suitable also for those modelers who prefer equal shade across every particular panel. The Sticky Note paper can be cut into smaller pieces and then stuck around the panel as a mask. The whole surface of the panel is then oversprayed with darker shade evenly. The different panels will get different amount of darkening coat this way.


Painting the “moving” surfaces

All “moving” surfaces (fabric covered in reality) were airbrushes using Mr. Color #128 Gray Green. The color was not uniformly sprayed onto the whole surface, but in color gradients simulating real shadows in lower areas and lighter uppermost ribs. I tried to achieve this effect using the same “shadowing” method as I used with (upper mentioned) aluminium plates, but with one basic color and two additional shades. The darker shade was the original Mr. Color gray green paint. The lighter one was a mixture of the gray green color with white. The lightest color was the same mixture, but more drops of white were added. The shades were applied in the same direction on both wings (as the sun shines from one side of the real plane in a moment when we look at it). This effect is more pronounced on upper surfaces and rudder and less on the lower ones. I tried to use more white on upper surfaces too (to simulate the whitening effect caused by sunshine exposition).


The Hinomaru Red Color

I always like to use paint rather than decals. So I threw the Hinomaru decal roundels away and used the same color as with my Ki-27. You can read my Hinomaru color survey here.


The ALCLAD II Dark Aluminium was used as the base first, than oversprayed wit Mr. Color 11136 red. Every Hinomaru roundel has this (same) base to achieve the same red.



The original plane according to which I tried to build my was one of those flying in the famous Akeno flying school. “My” plane had the Akeno emblem (most probably in red) on its rudder with two supposed pilot’s Katakana symbols above it. Also the Aikoku number (most probably in black) was on the fuselage (just ahead of the tail planes). I had no such decals so they had to be made according to the historical (b/w) photographs.



I scanned a real plane photo, then traced the Akeno emblem using Adobe Illustrator on my PC. I wrote the Aikoku and Katakana letters using common Japanese typefaces. My modeler-friend printed the home made decal for me, using his laser printer and blank decal paper.


Weathering and Patina

The kit acquired the Mr. Color Super Clear gloss coat despite the fact that ALCLAD colors do NOT need any sealant or varnish coat. The Super Clear was applied as the unifying base (for sure to tell you the true) for weathering mix of brown (Burnt Sienna) plus black oil color for “oil stains” and “dirt” diluted in Mig’s Thinner for washes.

The lower part of the main undercarriage and wheels, the undercarriage wells’ rear surfaces, the lower tail plane surfaces, plus the fuselage lower rear end were oversprayed with very light coat of the matt Light Earth Brown (HUMBROL) – to imitate dust and/or dry mud from the airfield.



The black antiglare panels (just forward and behind the canopy) were paintbrushed onto the ALCLAD allu base. By the way, also my black is not truly black. There are several very faint whitening sprayings onto the gloss black coat. I used the Model Master # 1723 Gunship Gray color.

The color chipping was then made as in real service – by scraping the upper color away.



It had to be made very gently using a surgical blade or a thin needle tip. I appreciated a thick Super Clear coat in this stage – it helped me not to scribe through - into the ALCLAD allu base. Another place where I used the same method was the black walkway wing panel.


The Aerial Cord

The aerial cord is made of a thin monofilament. I chose the black one (dark brown in real), so there was no need to paint it additionally, unlike when using a thin and colorless fishing line. The cord was glued by the Super Glue and tensioned by heating with a hair dryer afterwards.




The Pros and Cons of the Kit (as I see it):


  • Finely molded surface details, especially “moveable” fabric surfaces, wing flaps, their neighboring surfaces and wheel wells

  • Very delicately recessed panel lines

  • Precisely injected parts (minimum of sanding and filling needed), no molding flash, Minimum of sink marks

  • Comprehensible instructions + simplicity of building

  • Relatively high overall quality



  • Main undercarriage covers are too thick

  • The universal wing with additional wing tips (for particular Oscar variant) is complicating the wing assembly – the joint line goes through the elevons

  • The non realistic insection - opening in the front canopy window panel (for a tubular gun-sight)


My special thanks to:

  • Mr. Marian Holly – who helped me with information concerning the Aikoku and Katakana lettering

  • Mr. Maros Sedlak – who kindly made the Akeno School Emblem and lettering decal for me

  • Mr. Ivan Visvader – great help with valuable reference info + advisory words

For more (mainly interior) photographs, please visit my Model Talking blog. (https://eshop.hobbyart.sk:4443/modeltalking/?p=1614)


  • Hasegawa 1/48 scale Ki-43 Oscar: Image
  • Hasegawa 1/48 scale Ki-43 Oscar: Image
  • Hasegawa 1/48 scale Ki-43 Oscar: Image
  • Hasegawa 1/48 scale Ki-43 Oscar: Image
  • Hasegawa 1/48 scale Ki-43 Oscar: Image
  • Hasegawa 1/48 scale Ki-43 Oscar: Image
  • Hasegawa 1/48 scale Ki-43 Oscar: Image
  • Hasegawa 1/48 scale Ki-43 Oscar: Image
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Model, Images and Text Copyright 2011 by Marcel Merces
Page Created 14 April, 2011
Last Updated 14 April, 2011

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