Hasegawa 1/32 Ki-44 Shoki

By Jeff Herne

This model was a ‘speed build’, a self-inflicted test to see how quickly I could build a model without compromising the quality of the build. The kit itself if a joy to build – the cockpit is more than sufficient once you add a lap belt, and the model itself required very little filler.

I started the model on Wednesday, April 23, and finished it on Friday, April 25th about midnight. The model traveled to a show and competed to a silver medal on Saturday!

The cockpit was sprayed with Gunze Green – the instructions called for a Khaki Green, but it was a little too dark for my liking so I went with an RAF green, followed by a burnt umber wash and some drybrushing. A black pin wash was applied to add some extra contrast in places. The instrument panel is the kit panel and the kit decals. I cut each decal and fit it to the appropriate gauge on the panel, followed by Micro-Sol and eventually Humbrol Gloss Clear. The fuselage was primed with Gunze Sangyo flat black thinned with Dupont Centari Mid-Temp Acrylic Enamel Reducer. It’s an automotive thinner that performs flawlessly with Gunze paint. I buffed the flat black down with sanding sticks until it resembled Bakelite, then applied a thin, dry coat of Alclad Aluminum to the model, rubbed that down with a clean cotton cloth, then applied several low-pressure, wet, coats of Alclad. I allowed it to dry overnight (Thursday), then masked and painted the white Home Defense Bands on Friday morning, the hinomaru on Friday afternoon, followed by the leading edges of the wings and anti-glare panel.

I masked and chipped the model using a combination of Scale Precision Masks, 3m Kapton tape and liquid mask. I used Alclad on a brush to paint each of the panel lines on the painted areas before applying a Warpigs’ black sludge wash. The black wash provides a subtle delineation between the panel lines, and creates the effect of chipped edges between the panels.

This was originally a 40mm aircraft, but I decided to go with the more commonly-seen 20mm wing guns. I found a photo in Thorpe’s IJA Aircraft book of a 20mm aircraft from this particular Sentai with no other markings or numbers, so it worked out.

From the time I opened the kit until I packed it in the case, a total of three days and 25.5 hours of time had passed. Although I built at a hurried pace, I think any average modeler could turn this kit out in less than 30 hours. I won’t be doing any more speed builds, but I am very pleased with the results.

© Jeff Herne 2014

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This article was published on Friday, May 09 2014; Last modified on Tuesday, January 24 2017