This is the old Tamiya 1/48 scale Ki-84 kit that was first released in the mid-1970’s (someone correct me if I’m wrong here). It’s still in production and can be had for about $8 as of the time of this writing.
This is one of the very first kits I bought when I returned to building models as an adult. As a kid, I don’t recall ever having any kits from a Japanese company—everything I built was either from American companies like Revell, AMT, and Monogram or from Europeans like ESCI and Italeri.
In surfing the web and forums, it was pretty clear that Tamiya was now the state-of-the-art and setting the standard for high-quality kits. I saw this kit with its very low price and thought “Wow. What a bargain!”
As most of you know, and as I didn’t know at the time, there are really two Tamiya’s: the “old” and the “new”. This kit is the “old” Tamiya and there is nothing state of the art about it. It’s actually toy-like. It was not a joy to build.
I’m not saying it wasn’t good in its day and I’m not saying a good modeler can’t make something of it. I’m saying that, for about $10 more, you can get the beautiful Hasegawa kit that is beautifully detailed and well engineered. Unless you already own the kit, built it as a kid and there’s some nostalgia factor, or are just the type of person who has to see it for themselves, I would steer clear of this one.
I lost interest in the build about halfway through. As I said, it wasn’t an enjoyable experience this shows in the finished work. I think this was my first attempt at chipping paint and I don’t think it looks very convincing.
All the markings are painted with masks I made myself and stem from a Polish book on late war IJAAF units. I can look up the specifics of this sentai if one of you needs the details.