Mitsubishi A6M2b Zero
by Ian Robertson
The A6M2b (model 21) Reisen was similar to the A6M2a (model 11) except for the addition of a tail hook and folding wingtips for carrier duty.
The A6M2b spearheaded the attack at Pearl Harbor and quickly became established as the most formidable fighter early in the Pacific War. However, the light armament and armor of the Zero became its Achilles heel once opponents such as the F6F Hellcat entered the scene.
I built Hasegawa's 1/48 A6M2b out of the box. The wingtips were cut and repositioned in the folded position for stowage on carriers.
I don't know where I came up with the formula for the camouflage, but here it is: 2 parts IJN sky grey, 1 part light gull grey, 1 part white, 1 part soviet interior green. Looks OK to me but there are probably better formulas out there. The cowl was painted blue-black, the interior light grey-green, and wheel wells and interior gear doors aotake (metallic blue-green). All painting was done using Polly Scale acrylics. Weathering was kept to a minimum and consisted of running thinned burnt umber and rust paint through the panel lines after the camouflage was applied.
The markings are for an aircraft that served onboard the carrier "Kaga" in 1942. Hasegawa's decals wrinkled irreparably when decal softener was added (I've since avoided using softeners on Hasegawa decals). I sanded the ruined hinomarus away and replaced them with some from AeroMaster. The fuselage bands were less effected by the softener but still show some minor wrinkles on the starboard side (what a coincidence, no photo of that side).
The figure is from Jaguar.
Model, Text and Images Copyright © 2000 by Ian