Nakajima Ki-44 "Tojo" Pt 3
Ki-44 Cockpit Colors?
Ki-44 Cockpit Colors?
Posted By: Paul O'Neil <>
Date: Thursday, 5 December 2002, at 1:50 p.m.
With the Hobbycraft P-35 & Otaki P-40E in captivity projects well along, I thought it might be time to move into some of the good stuff hoarded for so long in the closet. The Ki-44 II ko Shoki "85th Flight Regiment" in 1/48 by Hasegawa fell to hand and for the last several evenings, I have been pouring over my research materials and kit pieces.
There seems to be a controversy about the cockpit colors for the Ki-44. The kit instructions, and the illustration in Maru Mechanics seem to indicate it should be "Nakajima Interior Green."
Mikesh in Japanese Cockpit Interiors says only "No information available. Since the interior coating of the Ki-43 Oscar can be substantiated as being fully coated in the cockpit area with the blue-green aotaki, this close cousin, the Ki-44 Tojo most likely was painted the same." OK, fair enough.
In the same book, and also in Aero Details No. 29, many nice shots of the early Oscar in NZ are printed, all of which depict a translucent green coating with little hint of blue. It would probably be possible to lump this finish in with interior green.
In the section in which Mikesh deals with aotake, he says "Encounters with aotake in protected areas such as under riveted pieces of metal reveal a deep translucent blue. In areas where long exposure has occurred, aotake is much lighter and greener. When trying to match a color sample to the record, almost every variance in lighting produces a different shade and color. Aotake seems to vary with every sample examined."
What does this mean to the modeler? I have seen several aotake brews for sale in the hobby shop, but they were all a bright blue with not a great deal of green in them. I mixed a little Gunze clear green with their aotake and came away with a neat looking turquoise, but still short of the deeper green of the NZ aircraft.
What have others done with the cockpit areas of their Oscars & Tojos?
Re: Ki-44 Cockpit Colors?
Posted By: Grant Goodale <>
Date: Friday, 6 December 2002, at 12:40 p.m.
In Response To: Ki-44 Cockpit Colors? (Paul O'Neil)
My philosphy would be to paint either waya that you wanted. The onus would now be on someone to prove you wrong. If, indeed, they had solid proof that you were wrong then you would have flushed out some new research material that people have been seeking for a long time.
Re: Ki-44 Cockpit Colors?
Posted By: Nick Millman
Date: Friday, 6 December 2002, at 2:20 p.m.
In Response To: Ki-44 Cockpit Colors? (Paul O'Neil)
IMHO too much is made of the translucent blue-green so-called "aotake" as an interior cockpit finish and the various metallic turquoise model paints may be lovely to look at, but are much too bright and much too blue.
Cockpit photos of Tojo suggest an opaque paint and I am tempted by the colour photos of extant instrument panels in Mikesh (and other relics) to believe the Nakajima blue-grey interior paint may have been used on more than just Nate.
I would say use the opaque "bamboo greens" to be safe, mix your own "aotake" if you must follow current convention, but be bold with blue-grey if you dare.
If there is somebody out there who was lucky enough to peer inside the cockpit of every Ki-44 ever made the chances of them posting here is pretty remote and of peering into the cockpit of your Tojo model to prove you wrong even more so!
Re: Ki-44 Cockpit Colors?
Posted By: Paul O'Neil <>
Date: Friday, 6 December 2002, at 3:53 p.m.
In Response To: Ki-44 Cockpit Colors? (Paul O'Neil)
Thanks Grant & Nick for your observations. One of the things that attracts me to j-aircraft is the paucity of knowledge of the details. Nobody knows the TRUTH about Ki-44 cockpit colors who is still alive to tell the story. I'm comfortable with that concept, and am quite happy with a "best evidence" type of conclusion.
I know also that the color choices I "feel" are right could well be flat wrong. My "feelings" tell me that cockpit colors should be muted greens and grays. What looks right to my late 20th century American eyes may not have looked right to mid 20th century Japanese eyes.
I'll have another look at the references tonight and make a decision. I've got all the sub assemblies completed and ready for the interior color. It's time to get on with it!
While we are talking about cockpit colors, are there examples of ANY j-aircraft with the bright translucent blue aotake as the primary colors in the cockpits?
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