Thursday, January 26, 2017

Imperial Japanese Army Air Forces Trainer

Tachikawa Ki-55 Type 99 Advanced Trainer

While at MarauderCon 2016 decided to pick this kit up.  Only cost me a fiver and it was well worth it!

The Subject

The Ki-55 was a demilitarized variant of the Ki-36 light bomber.  Essentially the bomb racks and bombing windows were removed, and a second set of controls were put in the rear.  As I understand the history (and I don't know that much!) the IJAAF needed a trainer, and the Ki-36 was a good means of getting one with little development effort.

The Model

The kit had 30 parts and given it's from 1983 unexpectedly the panel lines were all finely recessed.  Construction was very straightforward and only took a weekend to get it primed and ready for paint.

I chatted with Nick Millman regarding the orange color, and his advice was to start with a color like RAF Trainer Yellow (Humbrol 24) and add RAF Middlestone (Humbrol 224) until it had a "khaki orange" tint to it.  It turned out I had those two colors and quickly had a shade that was not quite orange, but definitely no longer khaki.  With that in my mind I then mixed some Tamiya paints as I prefer working with those.

I also decided to take some license with the "cocoa brown" color recommended by Fujimi for the cowling and landing gear covers.  Instead of a brown shade I used a blue-black cowling color that all other Japanese aircraft of that period had.  My own opinion is the "cocoa" color came from the heating of the cowling from the engine.

For the interior I added masking tape lap straps for the seats, otherwise a simple interior olive green paint.  The small instrument panel I painted black.

Decals are simply 4 Hinomarus, the "trainer" character on the tail and the unit marking on the cowling.  Very easy albeit the Hinomarus were a bit pernicious and one cracked on me.  I was able to sort it on the wing and when it dried I couldn't see the damage.


Chatting wth Nick I learned quite a bit about Japanese orange colors.  Navy and Army were quite different, with the Army color more like a khaki.  I also learned quite a bit about trainers in general that I'd known existed, but never thought to investigate.

Thanks for looking...

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