We are greatly in debt to the museum staff especially Oyanagi Shigezo-san and Hikichi Katsuhiro-san for giving us special permission to see the plane from very close and try to take colour samples.
The "Hickory" doesn't have any primer as was to be expected from an IJAAF aircraft , the overall gray paint is applied directly on the surfaces. The exterior has been gently cleaned by the restoration team and as a result inevitably a proportion of the original paint has been lost. There are nonetheless plenty of intact panels and the pilot seats from where good colour samples can be taken.
The hinomaru and the tail markings are in fairly good condition and they all seem to have been painted by hand. A fact confirmed by a visitor to the museum who happened to actually build this particular type some 70 years ago at the Tachikawa factories.
There is a debate among the restoration team whether to repaint the a/c or keep it in the present condition. I guess we will have to see where the restoration effort will go.
We used the Federal Standard 595 deck (check HERE for the on-line version) and the JPMA Standard Paint Colors (2005). The light conditions were brightly dim, with no direct sunlight and we took many photos with or without camera flashlight. We tested colour suggestions from various Internet sites and blogs and tried to find matches as close as possible with the decks at hand. As you will see there are no perfect matches but the colour chips in connection with the relic will hopefully give you and idea of the actual colour.*
First the hinomaru red.
IFF stripes on the wing edges.
C09-20D from the JPMA deck is closer of all.
The same room where the "Hickory" was on display featured a Zero-sen propeller in quite good condition. We had the chance to compare the propeller colours of the two aircraft and to our surprise we found that the Zero prop was much brighter than the "Hickory".
The overall hairyokushoku gray.
here) although it doesn't look that good in the bottom photo (sorry) against the fuselage surface which is more ash gray.
That's all folks. We hope you liked this short one on the Misawa "Hickory". Many more photos will be featured in a forthcoming Arawasi magazine special.
As usual feel free to share your thoughts and ask whatever question you might have.
*One last word for the colour police lurking somewhere ready to put down our effort: get your decks or spectroscopes, go to Misawa and by all means, please, do take better colour samples!
Finally I see fitting the following dialogue from the wonderfully delicious movie...sorry, film "SIDEWAYS" with brilliant Miles (Paul Giamatti) and Jack (Thomas Haden Church).
M: Let me show you how it's done. First thing hold the glass up and examine the wine against the light. We're looking for color and clarity. Just get a sense of it. Thick, thin, watery, syrupy...Now tip it. What you're doing here is checking for color intensity as it thins out towards the rim. That's gonna tell you how old it is...Stick your nose in it. Don't be shy. Mmm a little citrus, there is some strawberry, passion fruit and just like the faintest of asparagus and a flatterer, like natty edam cheese.
J: WOW! Strawberry, yeah, strawberry. Not the cheese.
M: That's what you do with every one of them.
J: When do we drink it?
M: Now!....Are you chewing gum???!!!