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Hasegawa's 1/48 scale
Ki43-II Hayabusa (Oscar)

by Bruce Salmon


I built this Oscar 4 years ago and it was my first aircraft modelled after a hiatus from the hobby of about 15 years. I started back with a Panzer IV so I could practice up on my techniques especially the weathering not wanting to waste good money learning on precious aeroplanes.


Aftermarket Products Used:

Eduard PE set (49 202) Ki-43 II Oscar

Cockpit / Fuselage

I began with the cockpit and there is a load of PE to go in here (almost a full replacement!). This being my first experience with PE and superglue it took a while to get the hang of things and not glue myself permanently to the kit. It all looked pretty good once painted. The tail wheel poly-cap attachment set up was discarded in favour of something more permanent.

Engine and Cowl

The engine also took a while to construct as there are lots of tiny PE bits to add besides the electrical harness spark plug leads.



Note: You have to be careful fitting the engine and cowl otherwise they will easily get off-centre.


Fit of the wings is good except for the usual putty needed at the underside fuselage join. Pitot tube replaced by brass tube and wire. I also cut out and repositioned the ailerons, elevators and rudder.

Little Bits

The landing gear doors involve lots of tiny PE bits and were a trial of patience and anger management. Exhaust pipes were dremelled deeper and a correct narrow roll over bar installed.

Painting and Markings

I decided not to go with the kit schemes as I wanted something not modelled before and besides the “white” decals were too yellow for my liking. The scheme I chose is an aircraft from 59th Sentai piloted by Capt. Shigeo Nango, But Airfield, New Guinea, Sept 1943. Details can be found in Osprey Aircraft of the Aces 13. Japanese Army Air Force Aces 1937-45.

I started with the wheel wells and manoeuvring flap wells which were painted Aodaki Blue and then masked. Next I sprayed the undersides in MM Aluminium Plate Buffing Metalizer which was also continued onto the upper leading edges and fuselage and wing roots near the cockpit for later chipping. This was then buffed using a soft cloth and sprayed with MM Metalizer Sealer. I then masked up for the top coat MM IJA Green which was post shaded adding more H226 and white. The fabric surfaces were lightened even further.


Upon removing the masking I find that the tape pulls up the aluminium coat (almost back to plastic in some places). This could be due to it being buffable (like a coat of dust) and so not really a solid paint layer. I resprayed some areas later after first masking and painting the Hinomarus and stripes.

The anti-glare strip, leading edge stripes and propeller were also painted at this stage then the model was then given a coat of satin varnish before weathering commenced. The canopy was masked using Bare Metal Foil and painted during the above process, so too was the propeller using Humbrol H160 German Red Brown.

All paints used are enamels and my mixes are as follows:


Interior & Wheel Wells Aotaki Blue: Tamiya X23 Clear Blue over Tamiya XF16 Flat Aluminium


Upper Green: 15 – Model Master IJA Green / 2 - Humbrol 226 Interior Green / 1 – Tamiya XF2 White


Lower Surface: Model Master Aluminium Plate Buffing Metalizer


Hinomaru: 6 – Humbrol 153 Insignia Red / 1 – Humbrol 113 Rust / 1 – Tamiya XF2 White


Leading Edge Stripes & Prop Tips: 7 – Tamiya XF3 Yellow / 1 – Humbrol 82 Orange Lining / 2 – Tamiya XF2 White


Exhaust Pipes: 2 – Tamiya XF2 Black / 1 – Humbrol 113 Rust


The only decals used were the “NO STEP” and trim tab markings everything else is masked and painted.


I started with an overall wash using a mix of raw umber and burnt sienna oil paint thinned with turps. This was applied with a wide brush being very careful not to go over the same place twice or it would wipe off the underlying paint – which of course happened several times. This method is interesting in that the wash will actually stain the paintwork giving it a very realistic weathered look.

Chipping came next and I began by using Tamiya tape to remove large sections of the upper green paint by burnishing it down and ripping it off quickly. Luckily it was buffable Aluminium underneath otherwise I don’t think this method would have worked. As expected some Aluminium areas had to be resprayed with the edges of the large patches and fine chipping done with Tamiya XF16 Flat Aluminium and a fine brush. There were many patches resprayed (sometimes more than once) due to various disasters.



A few oil stains were also drybrushed and exhaust staining done with Tamiya X19 Smoke. A matt-ish varnish was then sprayed onto the green areas and more MM Metalizer Sealer onto the bare Aluminium.

Final Assembly

All the small bits now get attached: Tailwheel, PE landing gear doors, landing light (which I find is way too small and too problematic to fix now that painting is complete) – I bung it on anyway, manoeuvring flaps are positioned wrong on my model (outer portion sticking out way too far) mainly due to lack of references and poor instructions in the Eduard PE set., canopy, propeller (this is where I find out that the engine is off centre), aerial mast and wire.


It ended up being a fair bit of work for my first super detailing experiment and I sure learnt at lot of things not to do. After having a good look again at the model when writing this article I can see that I might have to build another to make up for all my shortfalls during the learning process - or maybe I’ll just rehash this one…


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Photographs and Text Copyright © 2007 by Bruce Salmon and Testor Corporation