Saturday, 26 November 2022

Francesco Borraccino's 1/72 Hayate - Yes, That One!

Francesco Borraccino has very kindly shared these images and details of his splendid build of the Arma Hobby Ki-84 Hayate in 1/72 scale, representing an aircraft of Hiko Dai 73 Sentai. 

Francesco deems the new Arma Hobby kit as beautiful and a really enjoyable, carefree build, maybe not to a Tamiya standard but really amazing. A negative for him were the landing gear covers - too thick! He found the kit relatively easy to build except for a couple of passages, firstly in the placing of the photo-etch engine spark plugs (a problem was also that the instructions were a bit confusing) and secondly the rear portion of the canopy that require some filing to fit on the fuselage depression. I would add to that the rather disappointingly chunky pilot seat which lacks detail.

Francesco opted for a representative Depot finish of blue-green paint over natural metal. He tried the new # 27 by Mr Paint, but in his opinion it lacks the blueish hue and is too olive, so he chose to mix Gunze H-59 IJN Green with AK RC332 Blue Green.

Francesco interpreted the tail number as yellow on a yellow outlined red panel and hand painted it together with the sentai insignia, adding a red painted spinner and aerial mast. The hinomaru are the Techmod decals provided. The only detail he added to the model was the antenna wire which was tricky. 

The 73rd (No. 18431) was formed at Kita-Ise airfield, a branch of the Akeno Flying Division, at Kamayama in Mie Prefecture in May 1944 and together with Hiko Dai 71 Sentai made up the 21st Air Brigade. The simple three line sentai insignia was designed by painter and unit member Tsuruoka Yamamoto. From September 1944 the unit was deployed briefly on Homeland Defence operations at Tokorozawa before being designated (with the rest of the Brigade) as the third phase reinforcement for Sho operation No.1 in the Philippines. The unit deployed to Mabalacat East Airfield, Luzon in December and together with other Hayate units was placed under command of the 30th Fighter Group which as losses mounted became the de facto Hayate unit in operations. The 73rd engaged in airfield and shipping attack operations as well as special attack escorts. The sentai commander Maj Teruo Misumi and the Hikotai leader Capt Hiromitsu Kajiwara were both killed in action during January 1945. In the same month a special attack unit was formed within the 30th Fighter Group and three 73rd Sentai flyers including the former Olympics swimmer Kiichi Yoshida volunteered and were subsequently lost in action. The surviving personnel, eventually without aircraft, joined the Japanese ground forces although 70 ground crew members of the 30th Fighter Group, considered essential, were evacuated. The unit was formally disbanded in Japan in March 1945.

Some detail images of the build:-

With special thanks to Francesco for sharing these images and details.

Image credit: All photos © 2022 Francesco Borraccino.


Baronvonrob said...

A truly stunning Hayate ! Mr. Borraccino has masterfully crafted the new Arma Hobby model to such an astoundingly high standard !

Bravo to Arma Hobby for this new Ki84 version and continuing the 1/72 renaissance with hopefully more subjects to come in the near future!

Ben fatto Francesco & Nick !!

Alex said...

Fantastic Hayate! A very interesting and useful color choice for an early Ki-84.
Thanks for sharing.

Michael Thurow said...

Excellent detail work and an interesting marking scheme on this Hayate so splendidly modelled by Francesco. I don't build 1/72 but this Arma Hobby kit looks very tempting. Thanks.

WD said...

A beautiful build. Arma Hobby has really been hitting them out of the park with their releases. Another aspect of them I'd like to bring up is their responsiveness to customer feedback. I ordered two Ki-84 kits from them, had to come via FedEx, and the box arrived looking as if someone had sat on it for the lunch break. The kit boxes were crushed, but all seemed fine with the kits. I let Arma Hobby know about this, so they could package kits for shipment more sturdily, and they insisted on sending me two more kits! I told them I didn't need two more kits, that I wasn't writing to complain, but they insisted. You don't see that kind of response much these days from a kit manufacturer.

WK said...

The paint finish and weathering are absolutely stunning, excellent work. I'm really digging the blue green and the mottled edges of the paint by the cockpit.

I've always associated Ao Midori Iro (AMI) with Kawasaki or at least camouflage applied in New Guinea, and Midori Iro with Nakajima. I can only think of a few cases were AMI was applied to non Ki-61: Ki-84 in Korea, Ki-44 (as in your Ki-44 Aces book) and this Ki-84. As my research/interest in a plane peaks while I'm building a model of it, I haven't really looked into Hayate colours too much, but when I do I will have to keep this colour in mind (and its very dark appearance in photos.

Nick, as MRP has released their Japanese paints, would we be seeing your review sometime in the future? I would like to get your take on them and comparison to existing paints.



Straggler 脱走兵 said...

Hi Woody

I have the MRP paints but have not yet made swatches from them for measurement or comparison purposes. The blue green and green were used fairly interchangeably and so far without an apparent pattern in their use deduced. There is evidence of green in SWPA, blue green in CBI and vice versa. Until the introduction of factory painting late in the war all camouflage for single engined fighters was applied in Army Depots and/or by receiving units so there were no manufacturer-type protocols. The applications were mostly determined by paint supply and urgency with official instructions advisory rather than mandatory, hence the eclectic nature of colours and schemes. This situation was probably exacerbated by the inconsistency of terminology in official documents so that 'dark green' was used as a generic for both green and blue green.


WK said...

Thanks Nick, that makes sense.

Kevin Bade said...

Cool to see the Arma kit. Looks like all the Hayate we will ever need in 1/72, enticing in the box and stunning put together. Skillful weathering and a bold green. Now I gotta build one of these....

Mark Smith said...

Francesco, take a bow. Everything about this one is well considered and executed. I like the wear pattern you chose to depict. I could tell you worked on the cockpit a lot as you wore most of the paint off in that area! :>)
You're a gifted craftsman.

The shot of Arma's engine made me think of my only Hayate build, from the old Revell 1/72 kit of the Pleistocene Era, remembering its 'details' - or lack thereof! And the final picture of your article is my favorite, showing the Frank's distinctive lines captured as well in 1/72 as Hasegawa have in a pretty recent 1/32 release. Arma is to be congratulated for offering the *very best* 1/72 kits of many interesting WWII types.

WD said...

I'd like to add: that photograph against the clouds is perhaps the greatest model photo I've seen in a long time. Bravo!

Fred boucher said...

Sir, I greatly appreciate your sharing your extraordinary Hayate with us. Nick, thank you for posting it.

Fred Boucher

Unknown said...

I am working on a 1/48 A6M2 and can hardly make out the engine with glasses. Insane to think that engine is 1/72.

Ken Glass said...

Very nice work on this great kit, Francesco. An interesting write up of the unit history, Nick. Thanks to both for taking time & trouble to share all this with us.