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Ki-86a Cypress - ICM 1/32 - Complete

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So this will be my contribution to the Training Day theme.  It will be a while before I have substantial work to show, as I need to finish my Zero first, AND I have an airliner kit that I may build in parallel.  But I can definitely get it done before the end of February...  It's not a complex kit in terms of the plastic, but there's the joy of biplane rigging to consider, as well as the opportunity to detail the engine...  And then that color scheme.  The kit provides several suggested monotone schemes, but who could resist that two-tone green camo OVER trainer orange?  "Eye catching" to say the least.  That will be an adventure in masking.



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19 minutes ago, LSP_Mike said:

Interesting. I have a German marked kit. Might be an option.


Yes this is a straight-up German design (Bücker Bü 131) licensed to Kokusai to build, powered by a Hitachi engine that was just a license-built version of the Hirth engine that powered the Bü 131.  I don't know if there are even any part differences between this and ICM's Bü 131 kit.  Probably not, other than the decals, of course.

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  • 2 weeks later...

OK!  With my Zero project officially promoted to the display shelf, we're off to the races with this model.  I'll have some photos of plastic shortly, but for now, the scheme I'm going to attempt:



This is obviously going to be a mask-making challenge, even with the new Silhouette machine on deck.  According to ICM's info, the camo pattern was painted on both upper- and undersides of both wings.  I'll have to deviate from the kit build sequence enough that I can do the finished paint scheme on each wing and the fuselage separately, then join them.  Need to get the fit dialed in the bare plastic so that no filler is needed, if at all possible.  Because every project needs to be harder than the one before, I guess.


I hope to pull this off without using any decals at all.  I scanned the kit decal sheet:




None should be terribly hard to do as masks *except* for those pesky little white Kanji characters at the bottom, which need to go on the vertical stabilizer.  May take a few test runs on plasticard to sort out how I want to do those.

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No real interesting progress to show - I've been prepping parts and investigating cockpit photos of existing Buckers with an eye to scratchbuilding some hopefully-somewhat-accurate control linkages and similar detail.  


One thing I have determined pretty definitively is that the engine included in this kit is incorrect.  It is a Hirth HM504, which is appropriate for the Bucker Bu131.  What I've discovered is that the Hitachi Hatsukaze engine, while derived under license from the HM504, by the time it made it's appearance in later-war planes like this Cypress, as the Ha-11, it was quite different.  Most importantly, the HM504 has both intake and exhaust valves on the same side of the cylinder head:




Note the exhaust header (and barely visible intake manifold) both on the port side of the plane.


There are almost no photos of Hatsukaze engines available out there in interweb land, EXCEPT, some beautiful photos of one engine preserved by the Smithsonian:




Note intake on near side and exhaust on opposite (starboard) side.


ICM has included in the kit a supplemental sprue that has the different cowl pieces for the Japanese model, including exhaust header clearance holes on the starboard underside to accommodate the above engine configuration.  But no revised engine - it's an HM504.


All of this is just a longwinded way of saying that this is going to be a closed-cowl model.  I probably won't even install the engine since the exhaust headers are supplied as stubs that attach to the inside of the cowl.  Maybe if this kit goes well overall I will have to build a second one as a Bu 131 so I can build a detachable cowl (I had already figured out how I was going to do it) and detail the engine.

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Spent some time today trying to get both upper and lower wings ready to paint.  The leading edges required modest, but not onerous, filling and sanding.  I had to tweak the ailerons just a bit as well to get a good fit before gluing them in place.  In anticipation of doing lots of masking and not wanting to pull up paint, I gave the whole surface of both wings a solid sanding with a 2500-grit sponge to give the surface some good tooth.  I'll wipe it down thoroughly with alcohol before coating with Mr. Primer Surfacer 1000.  Hopefully this will give a solid bond!  I also taped up the fuselage to check fits (good) and glue the forward side pieces in place so I could have the full fuselage halves up to the firewall in one piece before doing any interior detailing.  I can only guess that there are other variants of the kit in the works that would use a different version of that forward part; otherwise why make it separate?




This also allowed me to check the fit of lower wing to fuselage, which is also pretty good (especially relative to the SH Nate):




I then began work on the anchor points for all of the rigging wires.  On the actual aircraft, some of these attachment points are covered with leather or rubber boots, as you can see here on the attachment points just inboard of the interwing struts:




No provision is made for these boots in the kit, but Quickboost makes some resin ones, which I ordered.  If those look nice and straight forward to use, I'll go that way; otherwise I might try to make them with e.g. built-up layers of PVA glue over the attachments.  For the other attachment points, that don't have boots, I'm just gluing in tiny wire eyebolts that I can connect the rigging wires to.





I've got more of that to do tomorrow...

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  • Alex changed the title to Ki-86a Cypress - ICM 1/32 - Complete

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