Nakajima Ki-43 "Hayabusa" (Oscar)

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Misawa - The Colours

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.
It certainly is less bright than the colour used in most decals. FS21136, 21140 and even 21105 are close enough.

IFF stripes on the wing edges.
These were very well preserved and were basically yellow-orange. In the top photo FS13432 is very close but the online chip looks too orange in my screen. The FS13415 is much closer to the original. The second sample is from the JPMA deck and the C17-70X was an almost perfect match even if it doesn't show in the photo.

Propeller colour.
The port propeller was in quite good condition. Most of the colour on the blades was intact and was very very dark brown without a hint of green. It was difficult to find a close match in the FS deck. As you can see in the middle photo FS10075 is too bright. FS10032 and FS10049 are fairly close. FS10111 is also too bright.
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".
FS10059 is a fairly close match.

The overall hairyokushoku gray.
The remaining colour on the fuselage is much brighter than some better protected  panels. Gray with light green and a little brown. FS15622 (top) is ridiculously bright and blue, FS16350 (middle) is too dark. I was quite fond of FS16357 and found it matching nicely most of he panels (especially as seen on the net sample 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.
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*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???!!!

5 comments:

Calin Ungureanu said...

Great photos !
Thank you for your effort and a thanks also to Oyanagi san for alowing you to share this priceles visual information.
It apear that at least the yellow parts and the hinomaru have been retouched repainted prior to the accident. The older yellow underneath looks a bit less intense than the newer one.
Excelently preserved. I dare to sugest that just preservation will be enough. But the last word will be said by the museum restorers.
On the eroded parts of the propeller do I see blue/green anodized spots or there is just algae. Color police, don't kill me I'm just asking.

Arawasi said...

Thank you too.
Yes, at first glance I thought the blue/green spots were maybe aotake or something. Actually they were algae. There is no primer.

Harold K said...

Wonderful; says it all.

D. Chouinard said...

Well done! You will get no argument from me! :)
Despite the paint having no primer under it, it seems to have stuck very well to the metal.
Interesting the difference in the props.
Very informative, thank you!

Panagiotis said...

A very interesting and informative trip that was Giorgo! Thanks a lot for sharing!