By Noa Brown
A major strong point for many model kits made by Hasegawa is their surface detail. Their 1/48 scale kit of the Ki-27 Nate is certainly no exception.
The Ki-27 was a fighter plane produced by Nakajima for the Japanese Air Force during the 1930s. It featured a closed cockpit, all-metal construction, fixed landing gear and two 7.7 millimeter machine guns. The aircraft served primarily in the border-conflicts with Russia before World War II and was quickly outdated by the breakout of the war.
The model kit itself has exquisite surface detail, featuring both recessed panel lines and rivet holes. Assembly was quite brief due to the small number of parts. However, assembly was not totally clean. A proper fitting of the fuselage parts and the wing fairings required a small amount of putty to fill in empty spaces. Additionally, the fit between the radial engine and the cowling was extremely tight and formed some cracks.
Painting was done primarily with Tamiya acrylics. The cockpit walls and side panels were painted a medium shade of blue, pin-washed in turpentine and dusted with Tamiya weathering pigments. The exterior of the aircraft was then pre-shaded with flat black along the all the panel lines using a dual action airbrush. Following the pre-shade, a base coat of Imperial Japanese Airforce grey was airbrushed onto the aircraft.
The waterslide decals on the model were quite durable, yet also thin enough to adhere quite nicely to the model’s complicated surface. The decals, however, were quite glossy. They also had a rather large transparent backing on them that was especially noticeable on the smaller ones. Model Master’s decal set was used the assist in decal adhesion and Micro Sol was used to allow the decal to conform to the surface.
Following decal application, a coat of floor wax was airbrushed on to protect the decals. Additional Tamiya weather pigments were used to make the aircraft look as though it had been operating off a grass airfield. To simulate the effect of soot from the aircraft exhaust, a ground black pastel was brushed on the aircraft surface.
Overall, Hasegawa’s 1/48 Ki-27 was an enjoyable build. There is a small amount of effort involved to get the best fit on the parts, but it is not excessive. This model would be ideal for any skill level except for a first-time builder.