Part I | Part II| Part III | Part IV
In Part I, the Frank got built up.
Now, it’s time for paint.
From a process perspective, the Ki-84’s scheme is a rather complex one. You have the yellow leading and trailing edges on the wings. The fat red hinomarus surrounded by the white Home Defense squares…all chipping away to reveal bare metal beneath. Just getting my head around how to approach this paint scheme probably took more effort than the actual painting!
Step 1 – Bare Metal Base
I decided early on that I wanted the chipping to be actual chipping, not some faux chipping added after the fact. So I started by priming the Ki-84 in Tamiya AS-12 Bare Metal Silver, overcoated with Alclad metalizers.
Step 2: White, Orange Yellow and Red
Laying down a bit of liquid frisket as a chipping mask, I next sprayed down Gunze C69 Offwhite for the Home Defense bandages and as a base for the yellow leading edge bands. C58 Orange Yellow went down over the white.
Next, the hinomarus were masked using Montex masks and sprayed first with C58 Orange Yellow, then with a 50/50 mix of C3 Red and C108 Character Red.
Frustratingly, the Montex masks supplied only four properly usable hinomaru masks. Two of the wing masks included the thin white outline for the white surround ring…which is something not at all needed when the Home Defense squares are in play. But the material is so floppy that getting it properly aligned is an exercise in complete frustration. I ended up stealing from another mask set for an A6M5 Zero.
I will not be rushing out to pick up any more Montex sets anytime soon.
Step 3: Cover Up
With the main markings and leading edge bands down, I got to spend a few nights carefully masking the things. You’d think the Montex set would include some big square patches for the Home Defense bandaids. You’d be wrong.
Once the masking was complete, I covered up any overspray with additional layers of Alclad.
Step 4: Nakajima Dark Green
At last, everything was good to go for painting the main Dark Green over Gray Green scheme.
To get the ball rolling, I used more liquid frisket (it’s basically liquid latex suspended in ammonia), applied with a toothpick and an airbrush needle, to, mask the areas I wanted chipped. Then I preshaded the main panel lines with Gunze C2 Black.
I’ve been a fan of using a solid black base under main paint schemes, but this time around, I decided to get a bit cheeky with the shading. I wanted some interesting tonal variation, so I started with a splotchy, thin coat of IJN Green, which is a far more “emeraldy” green than the Nakajima dark.
This was followed up with heavily thinned black, some dark grays and some Sea Blue.
After this, I finally put down the Nakajima Dark Green and pulled off the masking and liquid frisket.
Step 5: Gray Green
For the Gray Green, I opted for my tried-and-true black base approach.
Step 6: The Balance of the Markings
After the main colors went down, I still had some additional markings to deal with. The only ones that posed a real problem were the tail stripes. These are provided as two giant masks intended to overlay the whole tail, which is stupid. Instead, I pulled out the “white” portion of the stripes, laid them down, then ran Tamiya tape right along their borders.
I masked the tail heavily, because overspray is of the devil.
The red was tackled in the same way, using the stripe portion to establish position, then “masking it out” with Tamiya tape.
The cowl and fuselage codes, leaping deer artwork, and a few stencils were added…
Step 7: Propeller Blades
Lastly, I knocked out the propeller blades, which were painted Gunze C319 Light Green, streaked with some variations mixed with white or Gray Green. These were then masked side-by-side, and the tips and stripes painted with everyone’s favorite, Orange Yellow.
That’s a Wrap
That brings this Part II of the Ki-84 build to its end. Next up – the joys of weathering!