My last three builds have all been Imperial Japanese Army aircraft, accompanied by Hasegawa’s fuel and starter trucks, so naturally I wanted to put together a small scene — despite the fact that the winter sunlight is not generally favorable to the kind of outdoor shooting I tend to do. I have also been eager to keep practicing my leaf-blower technique on the moving props, so here I’ve given it a go. The look of the scene was mostly inspired by this photo of a muddy airfield:
The Nakajima Ki-48-II Hayabusa (“Oscar”) is a vintage kit I picked up on the spur of the moment at my local hobby shop. I show a Hasegawa pilot figure climbing in. There is another Hasegawa pilot standing on the tarmac to send him off. The Mitsubishi Ki-46-II (“Dinah”) by Airfix was easy enough to build, but the kit has not been updated since the last time I built one, around 1976. Finally, the Mitsubishi Ki-67 Hiryu (“Peggy”) by Arii is old fashioned in that it is designed to have all the moving parts move — like the gun turret, flaps, bomb bay doors, and wheel well components. I took that as a challenge and tried to make it all work. I think I succeeded, which means that for this set I had everything open and down, but I can also try an in-flight configuration another time. It seems that many models of late-war Japanese aircraft I’ve seen lately show numerous un-repainted chips and scratches, especially around the engines. I put an all-over undercoat of silver on the Peggy so it could shine through, but in the end I didn’t try to take it very far. You can see for yourself if you take a look at the gallery. There is an interesting pilot figure that comes with the kit; he is holding a samurai sword. The only problem is that he is significantly smaller than the Hasegawa figures, so he looks like a boy or something.
As for the leaf-blower, it’s tricky to get enough wind to make propellers spin, even two or four at once, without blowing the model away, too. That is what happens more often than not, despite my attempts to hold them down with sticky tack putty. I made a couple of those shots work, but all in all, it feels like this diorama might need a re-do down the road.