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The Mother of all Zeroes…prototype #1 (ichi-ban)

Hasegawa’s limited-release Zero prototype in 1/48th scale. Built this one a while ago when first released, an easy build. AFAIK there are no images in existence of this machine so we can only hope Hasegawa got it right. The engine/cowling was different with a two-blade prop and the fuselage is shorter but it looks like a Zero alright. Longitudinal stability was not good, so a strake was added under the rear fuselage, legnthening the fuselage was later used as the cure. According to designer Jiro Horikoshi, the new machine was painted in “ash green” so I used Model Master Japanese Army light green for this. It was fun to do a nice, shiny-clean airplane. To me this is some good looking bird, excellence in form and function.

8 additional images. Click to enlarge.

20 responses to The Mother of all Zeroes…prototype #1 (ichi-ban)

  1. Nice build Bill – I didn’t know Hasegawa released that kit. Strange seeing that two-bladed prop, but it looks every inch a Zero for sure. Nice build and a sleek looking bird.

  2. Bill,
    Great build. I also did not know they did this one and it does look strange with the two bladed prop.

  3. Make it 3 on the no knowledge list. No mistaking it for anything but a Zero though. Really nice build, Bill.

  4. Kinda reminds me of a Ki-27.
    Very well done Bill.

  5. Thanks for the great modeling of this prototype. Really nice photos also. Thanks Bill.
    California Steve

  6. Nice work on that 48th scale Zero, Bill….I probably wouldn’t have known it was the prototype had it not been for the prop giving it away. Detail looks good.

  7. You did an outstanding job on this one Bill. Well done!!!!!

  8. A good opportunity to show off your clean building skills, Bill, and, I think the two figures really bring it to life.

  9. beautiful build…great lines…thought you were sworn to 1/32…smile

  10. Another very clean, flawless build Bill. I really like it.

  11. Simply perfect, Bill. I guess you nailed the color of these planes.
    Well done 🙂

  12. nicely done my still waiting in the stash


  13. We can’t seem to get enuf Zeros and yours is tops. Like others, I missed this one…..when did it come out and where did you buy it?

    • It came out early ’07 IIRC it appeared on the shelf of my LHS un- expectedly and I grabbed it. The LHS used to get things like that, lately things have really slowed to a trickle. It was also available in the giant 15-Zero set Hasegawa released, I’ve never seen that in person, wouldn’t buy it for one model anyway.

  14. Awesome build! Really love the figures as well. Inspiring me to perhaps drag out one of the Hasegawa Zeros in my stash.

    Brian Riedel

  15. Very interesting plane and quite nicely built too! Maybe it is just a function of your camera geometry, but does this prototype have different wing shape than other Zeroes?

  16. Nicely done Bill.
    I like the couple of figures to add to the interest.

  17. Thanks for the comments guys, glad they are all positive! (One can’t assume). I found Kevin Thompson did one in 2013 also, looks real good. His background looks suspiciously like mine!

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