Nakajima Ki-84 Type 4 Hayate (Frank) Combo

Published: December 30th, 2012     
Box Art
Box Art
Reviewed by: Clarence Wentzel - IPMS# 1096
Scale: 1/72
Company: Hasegawa
Price: $44.99
Product / Stock #: 01979
Product provided by: Hobbico

"Forget it, it's a Frank." This phrase from the old Famous Fighters series comes to my mind whenever I think about the Ki-84. It is attributed to allied airmen who watched radar screens to find Japanese aircraft that may be potential targets. It meant that the very high performance Frank would be equal or better than the allied aircraft and would not be an easy target. The Nakajima Ki-84 Hayate (Gale) was the culmination of a line of fighter aircraft initiated by Nakajima in 1935 with the Ki-27 Nate and followed by the Ki-43 Hayabusa. The Ki-84 possessed a more powerful engine and was extremely sturdy and possessed good firepower and protection for both the pilots and the fuel tanks. On the down side, the Hayate was beset with problems with hydraulic and fuel pressure systems, brakes, landing gear struts, and a slipping of quality control during manufacture. Fortunately for the allies, the Hayate was never produced in the quantities required by the Japanese Army.

Recently, Hasegawa has been releasing some limited edition dual kits of a number of their older designs. These kits feature new color schemes and markings while providing two acceptable kits at a reasonable price. This kit provides three sets of markings for the models. One of the schemes is provided with key markings in both yellow and white to satisfy different experts. In my opinion, offering dual kits is a good move for Hasegawa. It allows the modeler to add some of these kits at a reasonable price and with new markings while keeping these older tools in operation. I have the dual kit of the I-16 in my stash.

The Hasegawa kit of the Ki-84 Hayate has been around for some time. I checked my stash and found that I had a single kit of the Ki-84 from the same molds. The directions on that kit were dated 1987. As with kits of that time period, the kit features mostly lightly raised panel lines and not a lot of detail in the cockpit, but as far as I'm concerned the kit builds up into an accurate representation of this important Japanese fighter.

The build is fairly simple. The cockpit consists of four pieces - floor, seat, control stick and instrument panel. I used some colored pencils to draw some detail into the cockpit side panels, but if the modeler is really interested in detail, True Details set 72463 provides a complete interior for the model.

When the wing is attached to the fuselage, attach a piece of tape across the fuselage and to the wing tips to hold the dihedral in place while the glue dries. Other than that, the assembly is a breeze. The landing gear and gear doors fit well and the propeller is finely molded and fits the spinner well. The kit comes with the radio antenna molded integral with the fuselage side. As much as I tried to be careful, I broke both of them off during assembly. When the kit is redesigned, please make this part separate as well as the pitot tube. This kit includes drop tanks for the models. I could not find many photos of the actual Frank with drop tanks so I installed them only on one of the models.

Two different paint schemes are offered: olive green over light gray and dark green over natural metal. I modeled an aircraft from the 51st Flight Regiment - Shimodate Field in the first scheme, and an aircraft from the 22nd Flight Regiment - Korea in the second scheme. I used some old Aero Master paints but Testors has the same colors available. Most photos of the Frank seem to show lots of paint damage. Apparently the paint did not adhere well to the surfaces. The box top showed some paint damage and other photos show extreme damage. I used a silver pencil and an art blender tool with silver powder to apply some distress to the paint scheme. I tend to feel that less is better.

The decals are impressive. The colors are bright but opaque and the decals lie down readily. The bright yellow leading edge decals are a little difficult to apply since they have to be threaded over the wing cannons which are molded in place. My first decal application had lots of problems with alignment and fit. On the subsequent leading edge decals, I slit the decal to go around the cannons. This solved the problem. Lots of markings are applied to the wings, like colored trailing edges, fuel tank locations and fillers, don't walk markings, and the wing walk, etc. These all fit well but the number of them required several days of decal applications to allow proper drying time.

I was pleased with this kit. For its age, it is accurate and it is easy to assemble. It is well recommended for most modelers considering the suggestions noted above. This is a good way to obtain more than one of the kits for club building projects or classes. I would like to thank Hobbico for providing the sample and IPMS for allowing me to complete this build.

  • Painting and marking instructions
    Painting and marking instructions
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