Arawasi Contest 010

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Japanese Aircraft Online Model Contest 004 - MICHAEL FURRY

1/48 Nichimo Ki-43-1 "Hayabusa" (Oscar)
The Nichimo Oscar has been around since the 1970's and in my opinion is the best Ki-43-1 kit to date. While out of production, they are quite easy to find on the model show circuit. I made some minor improvements to the cockpit, this biggest is cutting the front of the floor off and flipping this piece upside down to raise the cockpit floor, otherwise it is quite deep. I also replaced the kits oversized instrument panels with a resin copy from Hasegawa Ki-43-1. The kit is one of the best fitting kits I have built and this lends to rather quick construction. Since the kit has wonderful exterior detailing, it lends itself quite nicely to a bare metal finish. There is a slight pebbly texture to the parts that some may want to polish off, I chose not to. I painted the model in a few light coats of Floquil Old Silver. After letting this dry for a few days I began to buff and polish the paint with pencil graphite, SNJ aluminum buffing powder, and brown chalk pastel. I plan to have the kit completed for the May contest deadline.
Michael Furry - Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, USA

Update #2
The polishing and buffing continues. I systematically work my way around the model working on a small area at a time. Masking over polished areas will leave a slight distortion to the polished and buffed areas. Simply re-buffing those areas with a small amount of graphite will restore the finish.  Masking the clear parts provided a bit of a challenge since the corners are rounded. I still need to paint the rear of the canopy (I did not pay close attention when masking). Hopefully by the end of the week I can get the markings painted and start working on the bottom of the model. 

Update #3
All of the markings were painted using stencils cut on a plotter cutter. My good friend Charlie Swank designed and cut these for me. The tail marking is 24 Sentai 2nd Chutai. This aircraft is depicted in the Czech publication Japanese Army Air Force Units Volume 1. According to the text, the aircraft I modeled was based in Formosa in 1942. I cannot verify the validity of this, I just liked how the red markings contrast with the natural metal finish. The wheels were weathered with light brown pastel chalk manipulated with water. The scratches on the drop tank were simulated with water color. I tried this method in order to keep the effect restrained. I will begin to polish the bottom of the aircraft to the same effect as the top but use a bit more brown pastel to simulate mud and dirt. 
Thank you all for commenting!
Update #4
As I stated in an earlier post, Nichimo's Ki-43 is probably one of the best fitting model kits ever produced. Some of the detail is a bit questionable, but nonetheless, this kit will provide hours of trouble free modeling. I enhanced the kit by adding seat belts to the seat, replaced the over scaled instrument panels, raised the cockpit floor, added break lines to the landing gear, added mounting posts to the drop tanks, and finally replaced the molded on landing gear indicator pins with wire. All of the markings were painted. These were designed and cut on a plotter cutter. I elected to leave the wing landing light simply because I like the way it looks. Thank you to all for the previous comments and suggestions. 

I spent some time observing my aerial wire lead-ins and decided that the white was too stark. I took the plunge and removed the entire antenna/aerial assembly and set off to create a better representation. I made the tail attachment out of thin wire bent into an L shape. I then coiled thin beading wire around the l-bend creating in essence a spring. I super glued the spring to the L-bend and inserted the aerial wire into the coil and fixed this with white glue thinned with water. I approached the antenna mast the same way. I made a wire coil, fixed this to the mast and attached the aerial wire to the coil. I then glued the tail antenna L-bend and mast to the model and shrank the aerial wire with the heat from a match. I think this representation is more realistic and offers a cleaner more streamlined appearance.


Michael Thurow said...

Hi Michael,

I see you prepared an opening on the left leading edge - for a landing light? Be aware that the -I didn't have one.

Otherwise your model looks great so far.

Michael Thurow

D. Chouinard said...

Really like the weathered aluminum effect! I wouldn't mind trying the technique you are using. (Being an artist, I have plenty of pencils, thus plenty of graphite!)Can't wait to see the finished product!

Michael Furry said...

Regarding the landing light slot, it is molded in the kit, I didn't open it. The model is a production transition aircraft. The pilots welcome the landing light since it helps make the aircraft more visible when operating near the airbase and reduces the potential for mid-air collisions.

Michael Furry

Arawasi said...

Looking very very good. I wouldn't mind a few clearer photos of the cockpit to see what color/paint you used and the underside. Did you go for aotake for the wheel wells or unpainted? Will it have iff stripes? If yes, what color/paint do you plan to use?
And finally what markings?

Michael Furry said...

I made an attempt to take photos of the cockpit but was unsuccessful. The small opening combined with the fact that I am not very good at taking photos with an I-phone made it challenging. I will make a few more attempts to get some better cockpit photos. I painted the cockpit in aotake. I am not 100% sure this is correct, but I wanted to try a different painting technique which is as follows: paint cockpit and associated parts in neutral gray then heavily dry brush with chrome silver, most of the gray gets covered except for corners. This gives a hazing metal finish. I then sprayed heavily thinned aotake(Model Master Enamel) in random cloudy patterns. This gives the impression of some areas being more heavily coated than others. I used black water colors as wash in all corners and crevices and finally dry brushed again with chrome silver. I have tried various techniques to simulate aotake and I think the way described above is the most pleasing(again my opinion only) I painted the wheel wells as described above but only painted the landing gear leg slot with thinned Model Master aotake. This gives a two color effect in the wheel wells and breaks up the aluminum finish. My reason for painting the wheel wells this way is simply: artistic license. I have the markings planned out and cut, but cannot remember the Sentai, I will need to check my reference. According to the profile, the A/C will not have IFF stripes. The next update I plan to have some photos of the bottom of the model and the markings painted. I hope this information is helpful. Feel free to ask questions and thank you for the interest.


Panagiotis Koubetsos said...

Very good work so far although the riveting effect should be subtler..I like it a lot.

Michael Furry said...

The riveting effect is molded into the kit. I chose to gently highlight the rivets with graphite and pastel chalk as opposed to using a black as so many others do. Using a black wash would have resulted in the model looking like an ink drawing. When viewing the model in person, the rivets disappear and reappear depending on the angle and lighting. Thanks for looking and commenting,


Arawasi said...

Hey Mike,
looks really great and I love how the top looks.
You got all the info right but according to MA#395 the particular plane was based in Akeno, Mie Prefecture. One small detail, the red tail marking had a white surround which was particular to the 2nd Chutai, again according to MA#395.
There is also a photo of the plane with a VERY prominent exhaust smudge.

Michael Furry said...

Hi George,
Thank you! Japanese Army Air Force Units Volume 1 has a second aircraft profile that features the same style tail marking in white with a red outline which I am guessing, is a different Chutai? MA#329 Camouflage and Markings of Imperial Japanese Army Fighters illustrates the aircraft I modeled on page 73 without a white outline. I am unable to read any of the text, but it may offer an explanation. What are your thoughts? The Czech publication illustrates a white tail band, MA#329 does not show a white tail band. What are your thoughts on this as well? At this point, adding the tail band would be quite simple. I always like to add artistic license to my models and the tail band would help break up the overall aluminum finish. Thank you for the information and insights.


Arawasi said...

The text of MA#329 was written by Akimoto-san and there is no mention about surrounds. MA#395 by Nohara. In the text of the latter he says that the 24th had all white marking for the 1st Chutai, red with white surround for the 2nd and yellow with white surround for the 3rd. There are very few 24th Sentai Hayabusa photos. The one featuring your subject plane in MA#395 can be seen as having or not having a white surround.
In general, unit marking surrounds were there to make the marking more visible. An all red marking on an unpainted plane is visible enough and would not need any surround. A white marking on an unpainted aircraft would be little visible and so they usually received red surrounds. A red tail marking on a green plane would equally be little visible, so they often received white surrounds. But, of course, not always. It depended a lot on how much time the ground crew had in their hands to paint elaborate tail markings with surrounds or not.
I don't think there is an issue whether Akimoto or Nohara is correct since they are both refferening to the main marking, so both are correct regarding that. The issue is whether the surrounds were significant on this particular Sentai and followed a certain pattern as Nohara mentions in MA#395 or not. Since there are very few photos (I know of only one maybe two) of this Sentai I don't believe that Nohara drew his conclusions based only on observing photos of this unit. So I assume he had more information, maybe from a veteran. If that's the case since the information in MA#395's text is more detailed I would agree about the surround and place it on my model.
But if you choose not to, I don't think there will be many to tell you that you're wrong to do so.

Michael Furry said...

I think at this point I am going to leave the tail marking as is. I would need to have a new stencil made and getting everything to align would take more work than I am willing to put forth at this point. I am going to add white tail band around the rear fuselage. This will help to break up the overall aluminum finish and add a bit more interest. I am not sure if the tail band is 100% correct, but I always like to use artistic license when modeling. Thank you for all of the information and insights.


Arawasi said...

WOW! I love it! 5.0

Anonymous said...

Very nice work and good research. I appreciate the effort you put into a 72 scale project. I vote 4.7

Wind Swords

Jan Kaňov said...

Good work! 4,8.

Bruce S. said...

I like how posted in progress photos of your work. The natural metal finish looks like natural metal. The overall impression is very authentic and artistic. I give it 5.0.

Michael Furry said...

Mr. Anonymous, be aware that the kit is 1/48, not 1/72.


D. Chouinard said...

Really love the natural metal effect, very nice finish! 5.0

Fluffy said...

This is amazing! 5.0!

Charlie said...

Nice rendition of NMF. Nice to see an almost 30 year old Nichimo 1/48 kit so well.Nice attention to detail. love the in progress photos. I give it a 5.0

Anonymous said...

Nice job! The paint finish is done very well and the fact the markings are all painted is a bonus. 5.0

R. Laurent said...

This is an example of "model art". Everything makes sense on this model. Nothing is overdone or overstated and everything is perfectly balanced. Excellent, I give it 5.0.

R. Laurent

J, Kimak said...

Amazing! The only thing missing are squashed bugs on the leading edge and prop. 5.0.

J. Kimak