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Project Completed: The 1/32 Tamiya A6M2 Zero

Well I finally completed her. Many of you provided wonderful comments and questions when I posted the past several WIP articles on this complex build. I truly appreciated all the compliments and comments. Overall this was a complex but fun build with minimal issues accounted. Despite being a Tamiya kit with outstanding engineering it did have a few issues mostly related to building the movable landing gear and control surfaces. If you read the WIP articles I highlighted what some of these were. The end result of these issues is a non-workable landing gear, and the elevator surfaces not working. The flaps move but due to their weight they just hang down. The ailerons move well and so does the rudder. The Canopy slides and the two piece cowling can be removed. The drop tank is attached but is also removable. I did not complete the folded-wingtip replacements due to other build problems with the assembly. Most people will not build this kit for these features so overall they are minimal issues. Tamiya eliminated many of these features in their future 1/32 aircraft releases. The Zero was the 1st in this series for Tamiya and each one has gotten better regarding fit and engineering. Despite these minor issues the overall engineering and fit of all the aspects that really matter were typical Tamiya; Just fantastic fit and detail. No filler needed to be used and no special modification were done to complete the model. Tolerances on all parts are very tight so the kit would be difficult unless each assembled is completed perfectly. You must follow the directions very closely and if you veer off in a typical manner (I am guilt of this when building) you may end up with frustration and parts then dont fit.
This is a commissioned build and the customer wanted her really beat up. So I had fun weathering her to mimic a heavily used, Japanese fighter, exposed to the harsh tropical island environment. I used a combination of after-market decals, and the included Tamiya decals. It was an all out of the box build.
As always all comments are welcomed and I hope you enjoy the photos.

57 additional images. Click to enlarge.


18 responses to Project Completed: The 1/32 Tamiya A6M2 Zero

  1. A remarkable work of art. And not to worry about any glitches due to engineering. After Dick Bong noses his P-38 down a bit, none of that stuff will matter anyway 😉

  2. Paul, followed your build log and found that the often weathering you applied looked to extreme in some pics, but now looking at the whole plane assembled I can see that i was judging the tree for the forest. It looks very weathered, yes, but indeed balanced and realistic. What a superb job! Not easy to get the whole machine looking even when it comes to wear and tear. Also, you are a very fast builder, just how long it took you to complete this large plane?

  3. Masterpiece Paul. That s one lucky new owner of one of your models!

  4. Excellent result(s) from an excellent kit…beautiful job, Paul..!! OUTSTANDING.

  5. A great build, looks great.,

  6. Wow, great job on displaying a really weathered old war bird.

  7. The completed build looks great! Nice job Paul!

  8. As I recall from doing this kit 14 years ago, this is the worst-fitting Tamiya 1/32 kit ever. So the fact you achieved this is a triumph of skill and talent over kit.

  9. WOW……well-done, mate. Weathering is top-notch, matching the entire build.
    I am not a weather man (lack the patience and desire to learn); you surely are & I admire your skill.

  10. IJN landbased takes a beating. Well displayed, here.

  11. Superb Zeke, Paul! I’ve followed this airplane build closely and the end result is a masterpiece! What’s more, I’ve enjoyed reading about this and the comments from others.

    This beauty was “rode hard an’ put away wet!”

    Bravo!!!

  12. Absolutely fantastic work Paul. Despite all the challenges mentioned during your build it looks superb. The heavy used look is fantastic, I just keep browsing your pictures. Very inspiring! Super!

  13. Hey Paul, better folk than me say your eye gets drawn around a great work of art – I have just been sat looking at photo after photo unable to stop my eyes moving from one piece of detail to the next – it looks absolutely brilliant. Congratulations!

  14. Thank u everyone for taking the time to look at the photos and all your kind words. Motivates me to build more and work hard to get better and better results!

  15. fantastic work my friend.outstanding work
    congrats

  16. Love it! I’m saving this as a reference for a build of my own! Love the heavily weathered detailing – all the multi-layers of different techniques and materials to end up with the look you achieved. Well done!

  17. A really impressive build with a very distinctive signature touch. I think I could tell this was your work even if there was no name. Something in the weathering, finish, and style. I think it’s great to see individual methodology that singles out a build and this fits the bill. A lovely piece of work that has your (non literal) fingerprints all over it!
    Congratulations on a fantastic project.

  18. I’ve been looking forward to seeing this build completed and it’s great, fantastic weathering and finish really set it off.

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