Friday 27 January 2023

The Origin of the Species

Back in October 2022 in a blog post featuring the 1961 Marusan 1/50 scale Hayate reference was made to the 1960s UPC re-issue of this kit with box art by Andrew 'Scottie' Scott Eidson (shown above) featuring an unusual camouflage scheme. The origin of the scheme seems to be an article on Hayate by the well-respected author Richard M Bueschel in the April 1957 issue of the magazine Royal Air Force Flying Review (RAFFR). The article, entitled 'The Hayate - Japan's White Hope' includes a monochrome four-view plan by W Heumann (shown below) featuring a camouflaged Hayate sporting tail insignia attributed to Hiko Dai 102 Sentai, and almost exactly similar to the UPC box art.

In the article an insert box describes the camouflage as follows:-

Upper surfaces: mottled olive green and brown overall. Under surfaces: light grey. Japanese red disc insignia outlined in white appears on upper wing surfaces and fuselage sides and without white outline on under wing surfaces. Unit marking appears in white on the vertical tail surfaces. 

The colour of the spinner which appears in the same tone as the insignia on the plan is not mentioned, but in the UPC box art tail insignia and spinner are both depicted as yellow. The box art also depicts orange yellow wing leading edge IFF strips which are omitted on the RAFFR plan view. Note also on the RAFFR under surface plan view the representation of heavy exhaust stains across the undercarriage covers, incorrectly interpreted as paint in some early illustrations. The stains are shown in a different (and incorrect) position on the RAFFR profile view.

The article (shown above) also includes an annotated cutaway illustration and four photos of the aircraft, one of which shows a 102nd Sentai Hayate which might or might not have a mottled finish but is usually depicted in a weathered and worn solid finish, often brown of various shades. 

The same photo also featured on the 1972 Tamiya 1/48 Hayate kit instructions (shown above), although not one of the decal options offered in the kit. In Tamiya's 1964 'Flight Series' 1/72 Hayate kit the scheme is depicted as dark green mottle over natural metal and the aircraft presented as belonging to the 52nd Sentai. The Revell 1964 1/72 Hayate kit (box art at foot) has a similarly tapered cowling as presented in the RAFVR plan view. Of note is that the photograph appears to show a white border on the underwing hinomaru not picked up in the depictions. 

In an era of sparse references for Japanese aircraft the RAFFR articles and colour profiles had an influence but the 1971 Aircam Aviation Series No.29 on Hayate did not follow suit, the Richard Ward profile F2 depicting the aircraft in a solid green scheme with mottled or weathered rear fuselage only (shown above).  If the dubious RAFFR/UPC scheme takes your fancy then nothing wrong in applying it to a model which would then be simply a 3D representation of those historic interpretations. No harm done if presented as such. 

Image credit: RAFFR pages © 1957 The Royal Air Force Review Ltd; Tamiya kit instruction sheet © 1972 Tamiya Inc; Aircam Profile © 1971 Osprey Publishing Ltd & Richard Ward; Box art © 1964 Revell Inc.


WD said...

Thank you Nick, I do love the scale modeling history you and others bless us with here.


Michael Thurow said...

Very interesting summary of the early Hayate kits and publications that you referenced in your camouflage considerations, Nick. Since my interest in Japanese aircraft was as early I own(ed) most of them. The Revell 1/72 had a fabulously inviting box art (Brian Knight, I guess) and the Tamiya kit was the only one available in 1/48 for a long time, although closer to 1/50 in most dimensions. How I loved the Aircam series, besides the Profile Publications a benchmark for painting models at that time. Many thanks!

Straggler 脱走兵 said...

Thank you both for your kind and positive comments. Yes, Michael, Revell Ki-84 box art was by Brian Knight, and it invited me too. I thought I had presented it on this site but a search (not until the cows came home though) did not reveal it. It might be out there still lurking in a blog post without Hayate or Ki-84 in the title but in the meantime I'm going to add it to this blog post for the memories. One of my favourite Revell small box art works fondly remembered and always a delight to see.

PS Would you believe that Google makes me prove that I'm not a robot to add comments to my own blog!

Unknown said...

Very interesting interpretation of so the unusual variant! Thank you, Nick. I think it's good idea to try.

Baronvonrob said...

Let’s just say it …for me, the Brian Knight Revell Ki84 box top is got to be one of the greatest of all time on any scale

It’s easily in my top all-time Box art top 10 from the positioning angle of the B-29s in the background, the color of the sky, and the slanted horizon (John Ford approves, :) It’s just perfection.

Hats off to Nick, the Cows, and a victory roll two Brian Knight wherever you are!

Ken Glass said...

All great stuff, Nick. Thanks for sharing.