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Tamiya 1/48 Scale Mitsubishi A6M2 Zero, Petty Officer 1st Class Koga Battle for the Aleutian Islands (31 posts)

  • I’m going out on a limb here and thought I would add one more……………….

    This one will be a simple out of box build. I will have to cobble together the unit tail markings. Luckily I have most of them from these other decal sheets from other Hasegawa kits. Every since I heard about the story behind this plane, I have wanted to build it. I have about 4 of these kits, and want to make another one as flown by Saburo Sakai, which just so happens to be the box art too ……………….

    There are not too many parts in this kit, and it’s easy to find, and not very expensive. I think mine cost me around $12 or so. Hopefully this one will be an easy build. Nothing fancy.

    9 attached images. Click to enlarge

    Tags: 1/48, A6M2, Aleutian, Battle of Midway, Koga, Tamiya, Zero

  • Some great sources you’ve got there Louis. An important aircraft this particular one.
    Tamiya Zero – one to enjoy I think – looking forward to it. Cheers Dave

  • Thanks Dave !!!!!

    There are not too many parts in this one. Here are some pictures of the plastic.

    I also included a photo of one of the reference books I will use. It’s the A6M Zero in action by Squadron.

    It looks like Koga’s Zero was a Mitsubishi built A6M2, model 21. The serial number was 4593, and it was completed on February 19th, 1942. The tail code was “DI-108” in red letters. Mitsubishi ended production of the model 21 in June of 1942.

    My research is showing that the cowling (inside and out), along with the area under the canopy was painted in a dark “Blue Black” color. The closest thing found to FS numbers for this is FS 25042, (which is very close to WW2 US Navy Dark Sea Blue, only not as flat in sheen).

    The interior of the wheel wells and landing gear covers were the same color as the exterior and this was not an exact match either to the current FS color standards. On line research has the color listed as FS 24201 and FS 16350 which are very close in shade to each other. The color was supposedly closer to the later, FS 16350. These colors are also pretty close the German RLM 02.

    The Nakajima built planes had the transparent blue “Aotake” color in the wheel wells and landing gear covers, and this is not correct for Mitsubishi built Zeros.

    After some more online research about the cockpit colors, like Tom Cleaver stated, there were two different shades of green used on the A6M2. It depended upon what manufacturer built the planes. Mitsubishi used one color while Nakajima used another. The Nakajima planes used a lighter shade of green.

    It looks like a very close approximation of Mitsubishi interior green is FS 34096. Just so happens that I have a bottle of Model Master enamel in that exact shade. Looks like we’re off and running.

    10 attached images. Click to enlarge

  • Tonight I was able to get a lot built on Koga’s Zero. I built the cockpit, engine, propeller assembly, drop tank and glued the fuselage halves together.

    It really helps that this older Tamiya kit doesn’t have too many parts to begin with. In fact it has a “1973” date cast into the plastic sprues.

    Once I let these parts set up a little while, I decided to go ahead and spray the cockpit and interior of the fuselage in green. According to another website that specializes in WW2 Japanese Aviation, the color I used is supposed to be a close match to the Mitsubishi interior green. I sprayed on a coat of FS 34096 and will let it dry overnight. I’m sure that this color will change a little after it dries. The lighting on my work bench is a combination of a fluorescent and an “Ott” light that is supposed to mimic natural light. These lights affect how the color appears. It will look different in natural sunlight.

    I placed the cockpit assembly into the fuselage temporarily to see how much was visible once it is installed. This can be seen in the last two photos. I removed the cockpit shortly after these photos were taken so that I can detail paint these parts later after the green dries.

    Maybe tomorrow I will get more done on this one.

    Here’s a few pictures showing tonight’s progress. There’s not too many parts left……. I like it. A nice simple build is exactly what I needed after the planes I recently finished.

    Enjoy!!!!!

    8 attached images. Click to enlarge

  • Build that kit several months ago, as you mentioned not a lot of parts, but the fit is great. Don’t recall using putty on any seams. Have fun!

  • This was the best 48th early Zero kit for years, ahead of the Fujimi by a short head, IMHO. I liked the figures they gave you, their latest with the A6M5A are really nice.
    The only missing item is the instrument panel, a decal in this one. Leave it or go aftermarket.
    Bob Steinbrunn suggested using engines out of the old 48th 60s Revell B-25 30 Seconds over Tokyo kit if you want to upgrade the relief engine in the kit, or not.
    The Rufe is same-same.

  • So far it’s been just what the doctor ordered Tom.

    It’s a very simple build and it doesn’t have too many parts. It makes for a welcome change from other builds I have going on at the moment.

    Bernard I’m not going to go crazy with this one. I’m staying strictly out of box and no aftermarket parts. So far the fit has been pretty good. You’re absolutely correct about this engine. It’s pretty basic and I hope it isn’t too noticeable once installed.

  • Tonight’s progress has gone pretty well.

    I was able to get the cockpit details painted. Then I made a feeble attempt at painting the pilot figure. I guess it looks ok. It’s not going to be too noticeable unless I decide to install the open canopy. I may go back and try to work on painting the facial features better. Painting figures has to be the hardest for me…………………

    While the paint on the cockpit and pilot was drying, I decided to paint the engine using Model Master “Metallizer” paints in various shades. Next I painted the propeller spinner.

    This was followed by gluing on the stabilizers.

    Then I installed the upper halves of the wings first. I wanted to make sure that the gap at the wing fillet was nice. This way I ensured that there were no gaps to contend with.

    Once I had the upper wing halves glued in position I installed the lower section of the wing to the fuselage. I first glued the rear wing gap at the lower section of the fuselage. Once I was satisfied with the fit, then I glued down the front section just behind the engine cowling area.

    I allowed this to set up for a little while and then started working out towards the wing tips, applying glue sparingly as I went.

    Now I have the majority of the construction completed.
    I’m going to allow the plastic to sit overnight and let the glue dry completely.

    Tomorrow I hope to give everything a closer inspection and possibly spray some “Ame-Iro” and “Blue Black” paint.

    Meanwhile here’s a few pictures of tonight’s progress.

    As usual comments are encouraged.

    11 attached images. Click to enlarge

  • A great kit from Tamiya. Built this one back in 1994/95. Still have it. The color Blue/Black was actually available from Aeromaster Warbird Acrylics and Enamels back in the 90’s. Mitsubishi Cowl Blue Black #1087. The formula was actually Polly S, not the current brand, that is Testor, the original Polly S formula before Testor bought them. Loved them, flowed very well from the airbrush. Their Clear Flat finish was the best in my opinion, I used up the last of it a couple of years ago. The kit itself simple and fits very well. Typical Tamiya, back then known more for their armor. A combo of fine raised panel lines mixed with engraved. These let say 1st generation of 48th kits that Tamiya produced in the early 70’s was right before the Hasegawa launched their now well known new molds of 48th kits which started late 70’s. As well as their 72nd series about the same time. Bernard is correct, Fujimi was the next best Zero, Otaki was not bad either. Monogram’s came later, but I have never really seen that one close for some reason. You are off to a quick start have fun.

  • Very nice. Moving right along with this one. Good job!

    Andy

  • Earlier today I managed to get the “Ame-Iro” base color painted. It sat for most of the afternoon allowing it to dry. I’m happy with how the paint flowed out evenly. While I was spraying the color, I sprayed the main landing gear doors. These parts were still on the tree and are visible in the third and fourth photos.

    About an hour ago I sprayed the cowling, cowling interior, and cockpit opening area that is under the canopy in the dark “Blue Black”. I masked off the cockpit and surrounding areas so as not to get overspray on these areas.

    Once the cowling paint had dried, I glued the engine assembly in place, then secured it to the front of the fuselage.

    It’s starting to look more like a Zero……………………..

    16 attached images. Click to enlarge

  • Thanks Andy. Your 1/32 scale Hasegawa Ki-84 build is the original article that I found on Imodeler. I was searching for information on the web about the Ki-84, and stumbled across this web site. After looking around here for a while I decided that I would join the group. I’m very happy that I did. There is a great bunch of people here. Your plane came out very nice.

    Chuck, do you still have any painted samples from the cowling blue black in your collection ???? If so, could you try to match it up with WW2 U.S. Navy Dark Sea Blue , FS 35042 and see just how close it is ??? I would appreciate that…………

    Years ago I built the old Monogram A6M5 Zero. It was on par with the earlier Hawk releases if memory serves me. It had a pilot and an instrument panel decal, open wheel wells. The outline may have been correct though. Overall I’m very happy with this quick build Tamiya A6M2 Zero.

  • Monograms Zero is a A6m5A, and came out at the same time as their Spit IX and ME-109E.
    All 3 were a great improvement on their Lindberg and Aurora predecessors.
    And the landing gear retracted! Raised riveting, low part counts, and they looked good! Each had the basic Monogram pilot figure, as well, with the seat attached, and which you glued to the armor plate or whatever. No more shelf or solid cockpit with a head molded as part of the fuselage, or “tadpole” figure. “Paint pilot brown”. Yeah! Start of the detailed instructions!
    Auroras Zero was YELLOW! Some folks believed that. It was a gentler time.

  • Here’s some more pictures for your enjoyment. These are of the Zero after today’s painting.

    To begin with, I have a circle template. I used the original kit decals as a guide to pick out the correct sized circles to replicate the “Hinomaru” emblems. It looks like the wing discs are 13/16 inch in diameter, while the fuselage emblems are 5/8 inch.

    So I used my template to cut out spray masks from blue painters “Low Tack” masking tape. Once I had these cut out, I needed to have a way of ensuring that the masks were centered on the wings. (I used the old “Mark 1” eyeball for the fuselage placement). I found that the 1/4 inch wide Tamiya blue tape I have was exactly what I needed to get the placement of the wings sun disc emblems. I placed the 1/4 inch tape along the outer panel line where the wing tip fold is located. Then I simply placed one edge of the spray mask against the tape, and the other edge was located very close to the aileron outline. This placed the wing masks very close to where they should be…………….

    Then to protect the finish from the inevitable overspray, I masked off the majority of the plane, again using the low tack blue tape.

    Next step was choosing the color. I found the Model Master “Insignia Red, FS 31136” to be very close to the kit decals. So I used this color to spray on the IJN insignia. The red was too thick to spray out of my air brush, so I decided to thin it down some. This worked out pretty good…………… or so I thought.

    Once the masking was removed, I found that since the red was too thin, it bled under the home made spray masks in a few locations…………

    So it looks like I will have to do some touch up work…………… Some of you sharp eyed readers may have noticed that the engine oil cooler scoop has now been installed and painted too. (and in one photo you can see my freshly bandaged finger………. I cut it earlier out in the shop. Not bad enough for stitches, just cut enough to be annoying).

    Please stay tuned……………… Comments are encouraged.

    Thanks for looking.

    15 attached images. Click to enlarge

  • The ame-iro looks flawless. Nice clean build.