Hasegawa 172 Nakajima Ki-44
If ever a model could be considered to be cursed, it's this one. I built it, painted it, stripped it, painted it again, stripped it again, repainted it (again), dropped it, rebuilt it, broke pieces off, fixed them, touched up the paint, clear coated it (with Alclad Clear - a product I will never use again. It doesn't dry... ever.), stripped the clear coat, lost pieces in the move back to Canada, made new ones... well, you get the idea. I didn't think I was ever going to finish this, but at last here it is, warts and all.
A pretty ancient kit but stll quite nice. Completely lacking in cockpit and wheel well detail but the outlines look good. It looks like a Ki-44 in other words. I used an Eduard etched set for the gear doors and other bits and pieces and a True Details resin cockpit. The gear wells were scratchbuilt, though I didn't have a good picture of them at the time so they are mostly a best guess. Having since found a picture of the gear bays I wasn't too far off. Hasegawa missed the bulge on top of the cowling over the carb intake. I built this up with a bit of plastic and filler.
Guns and pitot tube are from Aber, canopy and landing light cover are Falcon's finest and the antenna mast was filed and sanded from some flattened brass rod. Antenna is Uschi elastic.
The model represents aircraft 2321 from the 3rd Chutai, 246th Sentai, based at Taisho airfield in Osaka, 1944. All the markings were masked and painted, with the exception of the unit badge on the tail and the shadow shading on the gear door numbers. I created decals for these and printed them in black on clear decal paper with a laser printer. Metal finish is various shades of Alclad.
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