Been a while since I posted (or even finished) a LSP build. This Ki 43 was supposed to be a quick weekend project, but it ended up taking me a couple of weeks, as I ran into some trouble. This particular boxing was one of the limited edition versions that came with a replacement resin cowl. The new cowl, while not exactly "correct", was still an improvement over the original kit part. However, that was not to be, as I found out that the resin part had either shrunk significantly, or was never quite large enough to begin with (kind of leaning toward the latter). So, I used the original plastic cowl, instead, but did a few modifications in an attempt to improve it's looks. Not sure if I accomplished that, but it made me feel better, anyway. I sanded about a millimeter off the front face of the cowl to shorten if a touch and then recontoured/opened up the opening, itself, to round it back off again. The next step was to improve the looks of the intake by building it up with Milliput and sanding it smooth. Hardly noticeable unless you're looking for it. But, again, it made me feel better.
I also decided to add a pilot, but didn't want to use the "Gingerbread man" type that was originally issued with the kit (which I believe may be older than I am). I used the pilot from Hasegawa's more recent Ki 61 kit. Beyond that, I made a new pitot tube from Brass/hypodermic tubing, as well as adding brake lines made from wire. The cowl flaps are PE parts that I had left over from my last Ki-43 build, several years ago. I used mostly Model Master enamels for the main finish and took a swing at the hairspray technique to achieve the chipping I was after. I made a big painting blunder on the fuselage sides, so I ended up going over those areas again. I like the way it looked before I messed it up, even better, but it is what it is. The final step was to do some oil filters/wash. The photos don't do it justice and I found it extremely difficult to get good, representative photos of the model. It's no contest winner, but I can honestly say that it looks much better in person than in the photos (especially the depth of the finish). Oh, I also forgot to mention that all the markings were masked and painted, using the kit decals as a stencil to cut masks for the tail number. The only decals used were on the trim tab and flap warnings, which are almost invisible, anyway.
A fun build, but also reinforcing my opinion that we need an updated kit of this iconic aircraft. Hope that comes soon!
Thanks for looking!