Sunday 25 July 2010

Paint Matters ~ Mr Color Ki-27 Mix

Recently Hasegawa have been suggesting a 50/50 mix of Mr Color 115 RLM 65 Light Blue and 128 IJA Grey Green for their Ki-27 kits (both 1/72nd and 1/48th scales). Not everyone has or can easily obtain Mr Color paints so I prepared the mix and then measured it using a photospectrometer.

The resulting colour is Munsell 2.9 G 5.8/1.2 with the closest "standard" Munsell being 2.5 G 6/1 @ 2.38 (where less than 2.0 = a close match) and the closest FS 595B value being 14277 @ 2.92. The latter has a stronger blue-green hue and is slightly darker, the mix being somewhat lighter and greyer. What is surprising about the mix is that it did not result in a more blueish colour as expected. It appears to represent a slightly darker blue-green version of JAAF #1 Hairyokushoku (ash green colour) and may be based on facsimile reproductions of the JAAF paint standards published by Gakken.

According to the Ki-27 factory manual in the Japanese Centre for Asian Historical Records Archive the original factory applied colour of the Ki-27 was a "sage green" paint described as "Mignonette". Mignonette is a genus of fragrant herbaceous plants native to the Mediterranean region and to southwest Asia, from the Canary Islands and Iberia east to northwest India, also known as Resada. Its colour is a pale yellowish blue-green or slightly blueish sage green. Rikyu Watanabe described the colour of the Ki-27 as "mei-hairyoku-shoku (IJA gray-green) - a glossy gray that has a very slight green tint".

When the film "Aa Rikugun Hayabusa Kettoutai" was made in 1969 the Ki-27 replicas were depicted in a noticeably glossy pale blue green colour (the screen shots below over emphasise the blue). This colour could be described as a "traditional" (and older) representation of Army Hairyokushoku, much brighter and more blue-green in character than the likes of Mr Color 128 or Tamiya XF-14 suggest. But more like the appearance seen in the Okinawa Ki-51 film.

The colour is estimated to be similar to 2.5 G 7/2, something like FS 34410, stronger, brighter and lighter than Hasegawa's mix. These pale blue-greens bear some resemblance to Thorpe's A4 Light Green and particularly A5 Light Grey Green but are bolder than the Hairyokushoku hobby paints. The problem is that the original paint surface would quickly succumb to oxidisation and chalking when exposed and unmaintained, resulting in a whitish-grey patina over the surface that would conceal any hint of blue-green subtlety in the original paint colour. Also extant samples have probably darkened and yellowed slightly with age.

Unfortunately I don't have a measured value for Mr Color 128 but it is similar to XF-14, slightly greyer, slightly less green and rather like a somewhat duller, greyer version of FS 34424 (which is often cited for RAF Sky). These descriptions are relative, as are the paint colours when seen in juxtaposition to each other as above. The paint colours 128 and XF-14 look inherently brighter away from the strong pale blue-greens shown here. They both seem to have been based on the 1927 archive sample.

Can these variances be resolved? Not really. But the original Hess-Ives values for the authorised colour range of JAAF # 1 do reveal a remarkable variance from a strong, bright pale blue-green to a much duller olive grey. Rather than fret over the variances, enjoy them.

In yesterday's blog post on RS Models re-released Ki-60 I mentioned that the photo-etch sheet is pre-painted. It is not. It is plain brass. I have amended the original blog accordingly. Having examined the kit more closely I discovered that the numbers engraved on the photo-etch sheet bear no relationship to the photo-etched parts numbers shown in the instruction sheet!  There is a schematic on the instruction sheet with the "correct" numbers that re-pays careful study. 

Image credits: Box art © 2002 Hasegawa; Rendered color chips © 2010 Straggler; Mignonette (Resada) author's collection; "Aaa Rikugun Hayabusa Ketouttai" images © 1969 Kadokawa Herald Pictures Inc.

Saturday 24 July 2010

New Japanese Aircraft in 1/72nd!

Special Hobby have now released their Nakajima Ki-43-III Ko Hayabusa, the last operational version of this fighter. Not seen yet but presumably similar to their workmanlike Ki-43-II. From the box art it looks like the # 7 colour penny has finally dropped!

Sword have released an interesting looking early version Hayate. Also not yet seen, but their earlier Hayate release looked OK. Anyone built one?

RS Models have released the Kawanishi E15K1 "Shiun". Two boxings are available, the "prototype" 92075  and service version 92076 but they appear to be identical apart from the markings options. Very simple kits these, without any resin or photo-etch, but they do include a beaching dolly. Previous kits of the machine in this scale were the very old and crude Aosima (or Aoshima) and the limited run Aviation Usk release which may still be available under the Xotic-72 label. Both are probably no contest to this latest model from RS but I can't help wondering what a Hasegawa, Fujimi or Fine Molds "Norm" might look like - and what they might cost!

This was a large and impressive looking floatplane with contra-rotating props and retractable wing floats. There is a fascinating operational history in Arawasi magazine # 1 by Komine Bunzo. Tail codes for the operational versions remain, as far as I know, speculative.

RS Models have also re-released their neat Kawasaki Ki-60 kit as 92068 which is good news. This important prototype "heavy fighter" makes an interesting table-top comparison to the Ki-28, Ki-44, Ki-61 and He-100. This kit includes a sheet of photo-etch and options include a couple of spurious "what if" versions, but not the semi-plausable 47th IFC version this time! Did this aircraft see service over Burma with the 47th? On 25th December 1941 AVG and RAF pilots (Dupouy and Bingham-Wallis) insisted that they had encountered and shot down a Japanese "Me 109" type  fighter with inline engine and square wing tips over Rangoon.

Important Update: Please see Dan's comment re the Quickboost "Pete" set in the previous JASIG Extra blog entry  !!!

Image credits: All ©2010 Special Hobby, Sword & RS Models

Monday 5 July 2010

JASIG Extra - Aftermarket Goodies

From JASIG member Derek Cooper, via JASIG Leader Gary Wenko, comes this useful list of links for recently released accessories and aftermarket enhancements for Japanese aircraft types.

1/72 scale

Resin Art 7203 J2M3 interior & exterior sets (for Hasegawa kits)

Resin Art 7303 A6M5 exhausts & wheels (for Hasegawa kits)

Resin Art 7308 J2M3 simplified detailing set (for Hasegawa kits)

1/48 scale

Quickboost 48278 Ki-61-I Gun barrels & pitot tube (for Hasegwaw kits)

Quickboost 48283 Kugisho D4Y1/2 exhausts (for Fine Molds kits)

Quickboost 48290 J1N1-S exhausts (for Tamiya kits)

Quickboost 48294 Ki-43-II exhausts Type B (for Hasegwaw kits)

Quickboost 48295 Ki-43-II exhausts TypeA (for Hasegwaw kits)

Quickboost 48302 Ki-44 exhausts (for Hasegwaw kits)

Quickboost 48303 Ki-100 exhausts (for Hasegawa kits)

Quickboost 48311 Ki-61 undercarriage covers (for Hasegawa kits)

Quickboost 48312 A6M2/5 Zero pitot tubes

Quickboost 48313 F1M2 exhausts (for Hasegawa kits)

Quickboost 48323 F1M2 wire covers (for Hasegawa kits)

Resin Art 4902 J2M3 exhausts & weighted wheels (for Hasegawa kits)

SBS Model 48006 A6M seat (for Hasegawa & Tamiya kits)

SBS Model Ki-43 seat (picture not yet available)

1/32 scale

CMK Q32111 A6M2/5 wheels (for Tamiya kit)

CMK Q32116 A6M2b seat (for Tamiya kit)

Master Casters 32042 Ki-84 seat & frame (for Hasegawa kits)

Master Casters 32048 Ki-44 weighted wheels & seat (for Hasegawa kits) (no picture available)

Quickboost 32072 Ki-44 exhausts (for Hasegawa kits)

Quickboost 32075 Ki-61 undercarriage covers (for Hasegawa kits)

Quickboost 32077 Ki-44-II Hei gun barrels (for Hasegawa kit)

Quickboost 32083 A6M2/5 Zero pitot tubes (for Tamiya kits)

Quickboost 32084 A6M5 exhausts (for Tamiya kit)

Quickboost 32086 A6M2 exhausts (for Tamiya kit)

And one from me. The Rob Taurus range of vacform replacement canopies now available from HLJ. This range includes numerous Japanese types in both 1/72nd and 1/48th scales. The canopies are made of a more rigid material than most vacforms, easier to cut out and install but still crystal clear.

Thanks to Derek and Gary for compiling and sending this information.

Image credits: Author's Collection and ©Resin Art