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Chris Wallace
3 articles

Koga’s Zero

December 1, 2012 · in Aviation · · 7 · 2.4K


As part of the greater battle of Midway, this flew from the Ryujo and took part in a raid on Dutch Harbor in the Aleutians. The Zero was damaged in that raid and made a forced landing in a bog on the island of Akutan.

A month later a US Navy PBY Catalina flying boat on patrol spotted the Zero and an expedition was sent to recover it. The Zero was quickly repaired and flight testing began in late September 1942. Test Pilot information together with the improved capabilities of the Hellcat, were credited with helping American pilots tip the balance in the Pacific.

I chose to keep this to an out-of-box build although I was tempted to add some wiring to the cockpit and engine. The scale and the quality of the parts in this kit are as good as it can get and you will have a fine build without the need for aftermarket additions.

The decals are Yellowhammer's A6M2 Zero Type 21s decal sheet (YHD32014) which included the markings for Koga's Zero as well as vinyl painting masks. I painted on most of the markings.

I want to thank Vladimir Adamec who took the excellent pictures of the completed Zero at a show. Vlad was kind enough to let me use these images. I hope you enjoy them.

Reader reactions:
2  Awesome

6 additional images. Click to enlarge.

7 responses

  1. Something went wrong with the upload of 3 of your pictures, I'll look into it. Removed the first image in the article as a temporary measure.

  2. This is gonna be an outstanding build...I can tell already. Nice 'prep' job.

  3. Amazing preshading... looks like you used a straight edge or something!

  4. Chris,
    I was able to restore 2 out of 3 broken uploads in this article. The problem was presumably caused by %-sign in the picture file name, which could have caused some problem the upload script. I have renamed the files and could re-upload the offending pics without any further trouble.
    We'll be looking closer into the source of the issue as this is obviously a program error.

  5. Simply beautiful - I second the wondering if you used a straight edge on the preshading

  6. Fantastic looking build, sir...very nice indeed.

  7. I was just talking with Ed Maloney today about what happened to the Akutan Zero. Back in 1944, it was parked at NAS New Orleans, and a Helldiver pilot failed to S-turn while taxying and taxied right into it,. chopping it to little pieces with his prop. 🙁

    Excellent model.

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