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Mitsubishi A6M2 Zero

by Andrei Koribanics II

 

Mitsubishi A6M2 Type 21 Zero

 


Hasegawa's 1/72 scale Zero Type 21 is available online from Squadron.com

 

Introduction

 

This is Hasegawa's 1/72 A6M2 Model 21 (Zero).

 

 

Construction

 

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 decal film.

 

 

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 rod.

 

 

Painting, 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 Aeromaster decals.

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.

 

 

Carrier Base

 

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.

 

 

Additional Images

 

Click the thumbnails below to view the images full-sized.
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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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