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1/32 scale Ki 44 Shoki


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#1 alaninaustria

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Posted 28 October 2009 - 02:59 PM

Hej guys! I have finally found heaven on earth... the Shoki is one of my all time favorite aircraft and it has now finally arrived in 32nd scale thanks to the good fellas at Hasegawa!

I started on the cockpit as per normal SOP....
I really like to have flat faced glass instrument panels so I made my own... not 100% authentic, but close enough for the girls I date...
:speak_cool:
I got the idea to make these instrument faces from LSP Rato... many moons ago when he demonstrated his Me 262 cockpit build... thanks Rato!

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#2 alaninaustria

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Posted 28 October 2009 - 03:02 PM

The faces were made using kit sprue, cut to length and then heated over a flame, then stretched. Once I have uniform thickness in the stretched sprue, I wrap it around the same punch I will use to punch out the decals from the sheet (www.mikegrantdecals.com) that I use....

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#3 alaninaustria

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Posted 28 October 2009 - 03:04 PM

I then place the wrapped sprue in hot water for a few minutes and then cold, this helps set the shape! To get a uniform thickness in the stretched sprue takes practice... I don't always get it right the first time either!

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#4 alaninaustria

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Posted 28 October 2009 - 03:06 PM

Once I have the wrapping removed from the punch, I make ONE slice with the knife and presto.... you have got rings... and most of them will be the same size, which is what you need....
I like to use future to glue them down, that makes for a nice uniform smooth surface when painted.

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#5 alaninaustria

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Posted 28 October 2009 - 03:09 PM

I usually make all the rings I need, including the different size ones and then paint on a layer of future before placing all the rings where I need them...
I really enjoy using this technique... it can be so usefull for a number of different projects...

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#6 alaninaustria

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Posted 28 October 2009 - 03:10 PM

Moving along, I have a finished instrument panel with flat faces...

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#7 alaninaustria

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Posted 28 October 2009 - 03:13 PM

After the instrument panel was done, I tackled the engine... this was a very easy part of the kit... this little kit practically falls together... painted in Enamels from Modelmaster (burnt metal) I used stretched sprue (of a different color - from an armour kit) to make the wiring harness for the ignition... nothing worse than painting a scratch made wiring harness only to have it break off.... so make it from a different color of plastic, that way you don't have to paint it after! :doh: :speak_cool: :coolio:
Normally radial engines of the period had dual magnetos, that means two ignition lines per cylinder... however, I didn't want to over due it and destroy what I had, so this little power egg got one harness per cylinder :BANGHEAD2:

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#8 alaninaustria

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Posted 28 October 2009 - 03:16 PM

Again, I have said it before.... and I'll say it again... the decals and placards from Mike Grant are well worth it... :BANGHEAD2: :coolio:
It will not be easy to see, but I added a bit of ribbing for her pleasure in the engine cowling :speak_cool:

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#9 alaninaustria

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Posted 28 October 2009 - 03:20 PM

Just a quick tip.... the less mess you make while you build means less work when it comes to finishing the kit :BANGHEAD2: so I have started using these shears to get nice clean cuts when removing parts from the sprues... not a flog, just a good tip from me to you :speak_cool:
These are the newest tool from Xuron.... they are not the normal cutters, but the shears... and YES, they do leave a really nice clean flush cut

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#10 alaninaustria

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Posted 28 October 2009 - 03:22 PM

Next up I started with the lightening holes in the wings and gear bays... the Japanese were masters at getting every excess gram out of their fighters during design... so I just HAD to drill these out...

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#11 alaninaustria

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Posted 28 October 2009 - 03:24 PM

The seams will clean up nicely with the Mastercasters sanding sponges... :speak_cool:

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#12 alaninaustria

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Posted 28 October 2009 - 03:26 PM

Drilling was finally finished... :speak_cool:
I went nuts doing this... :BANGHEAD2:

Don't forget to drill a reverse side camber... it adds scale thickness to the lightening holes and leaves no messy edges... just use a larger diameter drill bit for this job

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#13 alaninaustria

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Posted 28 October 2009 - 03:27 PM

This is such a beautiful compact little fighter... I couldn't resist a test fit...

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#14 alaninaustria

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Posted 28 October 2009 - 03:38 PM

Back to the cockpit... I started to put the cockpit together... and detail up the side walls and floor areas with full artistic licence! The bundled cables are the same stretched sprue from an old armour kit, using Tamiya tape to buddle them all together...

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#15 alaninaustria

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Posted 28 October 2009 - 03:41 PM

The cockpit starts to get busy.... as you can see, fwd of the cockpit area are small panels that need to be glued into place... best performed using a glue applicator from the rear side to hide any glue marks.... let cappiliary action due its thing... again, I have used self made instrument rings with punched Mike Grant decals to simulate the instrument faces... finished off with a drop of future to represent the glass... :speak_cool:

The trick to getting a good glue seam that has no mess, streaks or bubbled out material is to use the touch in flow applicator (I get mine at Spruebrothers) and to apply the glue from the side that you don't want to be seen.... gluing part together requires strategy and a plan... so don't miss this part of the build... nothing farks up a great finish faster than a poorly executed gluing task

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