Hasegawa 1/32 Ki-43-II Oscar WIP: Part I


There is always a little bit of excitement and anxiety associated with the opening of a kit to start a brand new project. I always wonder if the plans in my head will match the final product. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don't, but that is all part of the journey that takes place between opening the box top and spraying that last coat of matte varnish.

I opened the Hasegawa Ki-43 last night and pretty much dove right in, feeling much like a young swimmer jumping into a pool on a hot summer day. It was both refreshing and a jolt to the system as I have not worked on a kit from start to finish since the Revell '41 Chevy Pickup back in April of this year.

The kit is nice, being the largest scale aircraft I've assembled to date. There is good detail, good enough any way, but it is the perfect platform for additions as you will soon see. I bought it for $18 several years ago as one of those kits that just seemed to speak to me from the vendor table. I've always had a bit of a love affair with the Oscar, which may be obvious as its the second one I will have built, and having one in 1/32 is awesome. The box art is fantastic and worthy of a frame, in my opinion...


 The instructions start as any other aircraft build would - the cockpit. You know as well as I do that its necessary to have some good references while working on the pilot's office. When comparing the kit parts to the photographs it was clear that some scratch built details would be necessary to help the kit out a little.
So, first I hollowed out the rudder pedals and added foot straps using blue masking tape...



 Much better. From there is was on to the cockpit. The real Oscar is quite full of wires and cables running throughout the length of the cockpit. To my surprise, there is a wire attached from the control stick to the floor, and though I'm not sure its exact purpose, I replicated it as best I could...


I'm happy with it. From there, references pointed to a lot of wiring along the cockpit floor and cables running from the rudder pedals to the rear, under the seat...



I'll be adding some more items to bulk up the cockpit side walls. I've started a little bit already, creating this control box and handles from some spare parts I had laying around...


So that is where I left off last night, tired and bleary eyed around 1230 in the morning. I forgot how involved this work can get! Never the less, it was fun and I think I'll be happy with the final results.
Thanks for reading!

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