Nakajima A6M2N "Rufe", Tamiya 1/48 scale
This model starts with a website I had a long time ago that was started as a place to store all the photos I had taken during my barnstorming airplane mechanic days. An email arrived one day from a gentleman in Japan named Kenichi Kimoto, who went by the call sign of Astroboy. It turned out we shared a common love of aviation and history, and we became good very long distance friends. His father had flown the Zero in WWII, which resulted in Astroboy's website being dedicated to that airplane. It gathered a very eclectic group of people on both sides of the Pacific and for many years was the site of many lively discussions of all facets of aviation.
Astroboy sent me this kit in the summer of 2001. I had intended to build it right away, but life got in the way and it sat unnoticed for quite a while until I cleaned out the garage and found it in a box with the Ki-61 that I built a few months ago. Sadly, Astroboy passed away a few years ago, and I thought it was finally time to build this one to honor my friend. It's straight OOB with kit decals. For an older kit, it went together very well, the only issues being the self induced ones. Weathering was my usual sludge washes and silver chipping over Model Master IJN dark green and IJN sky gray.