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Frank Kit

Swallow 1/32 Ki-84 Hayate (Frank) Kit First Look

By Ray Mehlberger

Date of Review July 2007 Manufacturer Swallow
Subject Ki-84 Hayate (Frank) Scale 1/32
Kit Number 3203 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Beautiful detail for an older tooling Cons  
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) Out of Production

First Look

Frank Kit
Frank Kit
Frank Kit
Frank Kit
Frank Kit
Frank Kit

I had never heard of Swallow brand before seeing this kit on a vendor’s table at an IPMS contest I went to years ago. The scale interested me and the vendor allowed me to look in the box. The beautiful engraved detail sold me.

Swallow (out of Japan) I think went out of business, but Tomy brand re-released this kit under their label as kit no. HP1. Swallow also did a Zero and a George in this scale and those box arts are shown on a side panel of this box.

The box art shows a full color photo of the model made up. It is in the markings of the Japanese Armies 56th Kamikaze Attack Group. (one of the options on the decal sheet).

Inside the box are two large cello bags. One cello holds four large light gray trees of parts.

The second cello holds the huge decal sheet and the clear parts.

The instructions complete the kits contents.

The instructions are a single large sheet that accordion folds out into six pages.

Page one gives the history of the Frank in English, followed by general instructions in English and three other languages.

Pages two to three give a total of seven assembly steps. This is very few, considering the scale of the kit.

A pilot figure and optional drop tanks are provided.

Unfortunately, all control surfaces are molded solid and cannot be posed at an angle unless you do surgery.

Pages four to six are spanned with a colors listing, decal application instructions and illustrated paint schemes for four different Frank units.

  • The Army Kamikaze 58th group (the box art subject) with a skull and crossbones insignia on the tail
  • The 520th Special Air Defense fighter group. Nose number 24 with a leaping antelope above the number and Bandage style red sun marks on the fuselage and upper wings
  • The 73rd Fighter Group, 2nd Squadron. Overall bare metal scheme with three vertical stripes on the tail
  • 4. A Frank assigned to the Hitachi Flight School group, with a winged insignia and the numeral 63 on the tail

Except for the overall bare metal scheme, the rest are dark green over light gray bottom.

The parts trees in the kit are not alphabetized. They do have part numbers next to the parts on the sprues however. This means that you are going to have to keep trying to identify these parts by searching the two sprues with multiple parts on them. The other two sprues will be easy, as they only hold the fuselage halves and the upper and lower wing parts. Bad move Swallow and this will make the building job a little tedious.

Swallow does call out the colors of individual parts as you do assembly. This is a good move.

The first large tree of parts holds: the drop tanks, prop and it’s spinner, cowling parts, horizontal tail surface parts, drop tank shackles, joy stick, pilot seat, landing gear doors, air intake scoop and screens, exhaust pipes, foot pedals etc. (45 parts)

The second large tree of parts holds: the landing gear legs, wheels, instrument panel, cockpit tub and floor pieces, tail wheel, engine, pilot figure etc. (43 parts). Strangely, there are two sets of tires. However, the ones marked as part numbers 57 & 58 don’t seem to be the set to use on this kit. I suppose they are spares.

The next tree is the two fuselage halves.

This is followed by the three with the upper wing halves and full span lower wing part. This is a nice way of doing the bottom piece, because it sets the dihedral at the right tilt. The wheel well detail molded into it is also beautiful…as is all the engraved panel lines and rivet detail. Fabric molding on the flaps is also top notch.

The clear parts tree holds the canopy windows and a wing leading-edge light lens. However, the formation lights on the wing tips are molded into the wings. It would have been nice, especially on a kit this scale, to have those clear too.

I think this kit is very well detailed. Only some seat belts are needed in the cockpit. I’m sure that there are probably some after-market sets out there for this one too someplace?

Recommended to modelers that like the larger scales…like I do.