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Hasegawa's 1/32 scale Ki-84 Hayate
in Chinese colors

by Ian Robertson


Nakajima Ki-84 Hayate (Frank)


Hasegawa's 1/32 scale Ki-84 is available online from Squadron.com




The Japanese Army Air Force’s Ki-84 Hayate was one of the best fighters produced by Japan during WWII. It exhibited excellent speed, maneuverability, firepower, and defensive armor. After the war in the Pacific, numerous Ki-84s that had been abandoned by Japanese units stationed in China and Manchuria were taken over by Chinese armies, one of which supported Chang Kai-Sheck’s government, the other Mao Tse-Tung’s communist movement. Both sides employed Ki-84s during China’s 1946-49 civil war. Those aircraft found near Nanking, Beijing, or Hankow were taken over primarily by the Kuomintang’s China Air Force and held in reserve. It is unlikely that they were used much, if at all, in combat. Those Ki-84s found in Manchuria and northern China were taken over by the Red Army and used in a ground attack role.


My model represents a heavily weathered aircraft, perhaps a derelict (but the aircraft seems intact, if not pristine, in the photo I used), from the Kuomintang China Air Force. Jerry Boucher presents a very nice color profile of this aircraft in a recent issue of Scale Aviation Modeller International (Vol 12, Issue 10). The photo and profile served as the inspiration for my project.

As an interesting side note, a recent discussion over at j-aircraft.com suggested that the script over the national marking on the port side reads “Divide China” - a fitting slogan given the turmoil within China at the time.






After this article was first published, a number of people from China and elsewhere contacted me regarding the script on this aircraft.

While their comments differed slightly as to the exact meaning of the script, most suggest that it indicated the aircraft was to be dismantled. Given the dilapidated condition of the aircraft in the photo reference I used, this interpretation seems likely.

Hasegawa’s 1/32 Ki-84 Hayate represents an excellent offering in this increasingly popular scale. As we have come to expect from Hasegawa, the model is cleverly engineered, well detailed, and the fit is superb. The cockpit is a bit clunky (e.g., lots of the details are molded directly on to the sidewalls), but once it is put together the cockpit looks quite good.

The only addition I made to the cockpit was a scratch built seat based on details provided in Aero Detail’s book on the Hayate.

On the exterior I repositioned the ailerons and dropped the flaps as they appear in the photo (see above). The control stick was cocked to the left to reflect the positioning of the ailerons. I used copper wire for the brake lines.



Painting and Weathering


I painted the cockpit in bare metal – one of the color options recommended on j-aircraft.com – using Alclad II over Tamiya fine gray primer. The instrument panel was painted scale black. Washes of Tamiya black and Model Master raw sienna / burnt umber were used to weather the cockpit.


I began painting the exterior by priming the entire model with Tamiya fine gray primer from a rattle can, and then polishing the surfaces smooth with a micromesh sanding cloth. I painted and masked the yellow ID bands on the leading edge of the wings. The masks were left on until it was time to weather the model.

Alclad II “duraluminum” was used as the base for the natural metal finish. I did not spend much time altering shades on the bare metal on the upper surfaces since most of it would be obscured with green paint later on anyway. On the lower surfaces I used various shades of Alclad (aluminum, dark aluminum, semi-matt aluminum, duraluminum), and I applied dark washes of highly thinned Tamiya black acrylic to give a more natural look to the metal.


Fabric control surfaces were painted in dull aluminum to represent silver dope, which was an option on Ki-84s according to my Aero Details book. From the photograph it certainly appears that the elevators were shiny where the paint had chipped away.

Prior to painting the green upper surfaces of the model, I brushed on patches of liquid mask in areas I wanted to remain exposed as bare metal. In some places the mask was added in large continuous swaths, whereas in others it was stippled on or added in specific patterns with a small pointy brush. Efforts were made to match the chipping as seen in the photo.

Once the liquid mask had dried, I sprayed the upper surfaces of the model with a mixture of 2/3 Aeromaster Nakajima Army Green and 1/3 Polly Scale US Olive Drab. I also masked and painted the black anti-glare panel on the nose and canopy deck.

With the upper surface painting complete, I peeled away the liquid mask to reveal large areas of bare metal. To further the weathered look I wet sanded some of the remaining painted surfaces, being careful not to sand through the layer of Alclad beneath. If I sanded too far I sprayed more green and repeated. Additional paint chipping was simulated by rubbing a cotton swab dampened with Tamiya acrylic thinner in strategic places on the model, and then scraping the softened paint with a toothpick. The thinner softened the acrylic paint without removing it, and the toothpick easily scraped the paint away without damaging the Alclad finish underneath. Note - if you scrape very hard or for too long the Alcad will show the effects.


I painted the spinner and propeller blades with Polly Scale RLM 62 over Alclad II duraluminum. I painted and chipped the yellow tips of the propeller blades, but relied on the kit’s decals for the thin yellow warning stripes. I chipped the paint on the rear tips of each propeller blade using the techniques described earlier.

Finally, I painted the antenna mast brown and then added a coat of Tamiya clear orange to give it a glossy wooden look. Stretches sprue was used for the antenna wires.


I simulated overpainted hinomarus by masking and painting appropriately-sized dark green disks on the wings and fuselage. I then applied Chinese markings using EagleCals 1/32 sheets #68-70 (AVG P-40s). I used the two dark, unfaded, markings provided with each decal sheet; however, for some reason their colors bleached out in the photographs.

The Chinese characters on the port national marking were scanned from Jerry Boucher’s aircraft profile in Scale Aviation Modeller International, cleaned up in Photoshop, scaled, and then printed on to Testor's clear decal paper.



I hand painted the yellow “44” on each side of the rudder and then wet sanded them to simulate fading. No stenciling was added to the model, although I did leave a hint of the yellow access hatches on the fuselage and wings.


A wooden cutting board was used as the base for the model. Celluclay was used to make the basic ground cover. The celluclay powder was mixed into a paste with water and white glue, tinted with dark brown Polly Scale acrylic paint, and then spread thinly over the cutting board. Note that the cutting board had previously been treated with several coats of clear lacquer to prevent warping while the celluclay dried.

While the celluclay was still wet I added pieces of Heki grass mat (item # 1574 - Wild Grass Savanna) and fine sand. Heki products are now available for purchase in the United States at “Scenic Express”.


Once the celluclay was dry I used EnviroTex Lite high gloss finish to simulate puddles. This product is a two part epoxy that dries crystal clear in 24-72 hours depending on temperature and thickness.



Images of the completed model were taken outdoors in natural light with a Nikon Coolpix 5400 digital camera. The “unsharpen mask” tool of Adobe Photoshop was used to restore some of the clarity and crispness lost during image compression.



Boucher, J. 2006. Scale Aviation Modeller Internatinal, Vol 12(10). Sam Publications.

Nohara S, and M Tanaka. 1999. Aero Detail #24: Nakajima Ki-84 “Frank” Hayate. Dai Nippon Kaiga Co.

Wieliczko, L. 2005. Nakajima Ki-84 Hayate. Kagero Monograph #18. Kagero Publishing.


Additional Images


Click on the thumbnails below to view larger images:

Japanese Army Air Force Aces 1937–45
Aircraft of the Aces 13

US Price: $19.95
UK Price: £12.99
Publisher: Osprey Publishing
Publish Date:
 April 15, 1997
Details: 96 pages; ISBN: 1841762865
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Model, Images and Text Copyright © 2007 by Ian Robertson
Page Created 14 January, 2007
Last Updated 24 December, 2007

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