by Andrei Koribanics II
Mitsubishi A6M2 Type
Hasegawa's 1/72 scale Zero Type 21 is available online
This is Hasegawa's 1/72 A6M2 Model 21 (Zero).
This recently re-tooled kit was a pleasure to build, with virtually
no fit problems. I cut and re-positioned the ailerons and rudder, added
Eduard photoetched flaps and landing gear detail. The canopy was vac-formed,
cut and posed in the open position, in order to better the display the
superb resin interior set from Hawkeye. Framing is done with painted
As this version of the Zero featured folding wingtips for carrier
elevator clearance, the wingtips were cut off, detailed, and posed in
the folded position to illustrate that feature. The wingtip lights were
created from chips of red and green toothbrush handles, glued in place
and sanded to shape.
The molded cooling gills were cut off the cowling and replaced with
styrene pieces posed open as well, the engine being detailed for those
inqusitive enough to peek inside. All hand holds and foot steps were
also modelled in the extended position from bits of styrene and brass
Markings and Weathering
The scheme is that of the Tainan AG, the aircraft flown by Airman 1/c
Masaaki Shimakawa, Formosa, October 1941, from the Osprey book,
"Imperial Japanese Navy Aces 1937-45". I finished it in a home-brew 'Ameiro'
using Modelmaster paints, kit hinomarus, and tail code from rearranged
In my opinion, the blue stripes provided in the kit were too bright,
so the proper color was airbrushed on clear decal film through frisket
masks, using the kit transfers as templates. The personal recognition
code was hand-painted on the fuselage hinomarus.
The cowling is painted in a blue-black mix and the prop finished in
Aluminum Buffing Metalizer, the rear portions of the blades in
anti-glare flat black. The formation lights are first painted silver,
then overpainted with Tamiya clear red and green. Rub-N-Buff silver,
thinned with turpentine, was applied with a fine brush to achieve the
chipped effect. The insides of the exposed flaps, wheel covers and wheel
wells were painted to represent Aotake, the translucent blue-green
protective coating applied to natural metal. This color is achieved by
mixing Run-N-Buff silver with Thalo blue and green artist's oil paints.
The carrier deck base was made from pre-scribed Evergreen styrene
sheet, the individual boards indicated by further scribing. Tie-downs
were made from short lengths of Contrail styrene tube.
After drilling holes in the plastic sheet, the tubes were inserted,
sanded flush, and cross-members added from stretched sprue.
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Model, Text and Images Copyright ©
2001 by Andrei Koribanics
Page Created 11 August, 2001
Last Updated 04 June, 2007
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