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George Tufnail
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Tamiya 1/32 Scale A6M-2b Type 21 Zeke “Zero”

January 31, 2016 · in Aviation · · 13 · 2.6K

This is my totally out of the box build of the kit I won at the 2013 Oregon Historical Modellers Show at McMinnville. The markings I chose of the 7 included are for NAP1/c Tsuguo Matsuyama, of Air Superiority Command, 2nd Strike Unit, from the carrier Hiryu, on December 7th, 1941.

I started about a year ago, and other than mounting it on a base and painting the pilot, it’s done. The finish is Tamiya Acrylic XF-76 IJN Green/Grey over a custom mixed red/brown primer coat over a commercial aluminum base coat. The XF-76 was first applied full tint over the entire surface, followed by a 50/50 mix of XF-2 Flat White and XF-76 which was sprayed into panel centers on the top-side only, as well as all over all of the control surfaces. The cowling and cowl flaps are painted in a custom mix of Tamiya Flat Blue and Semi-Gloss Black. After a Future (or whatever it’s being called these days) coat, decals, and more Future, I smeared Mig Weathering washes for Japanese planes all over the kit. This was wiped off with a paper towel, leaving the subtle panel highlights you see here. The whole thing was flat coated with airbrushed Dulcote lacquer, masks removed, antennae added, landing gear lowered, and pictures taken. Chipping was accomplished by poking at it with a toothpick, and lightly bouncing a steel spatula over the surface where ground crew would be most often. Nothing looks more like chipped paint than chipped paint. I kept the weathering to a minimum, as these were mostly new aircraft, and the coatings at this time were very tough. Enjoy the pictures.

Reader reactions:
8  Awesome

4 additional images. Click to enlarge.

13 responses

  1. Lots of neat work there, George, and I enjoyed the information about the painting and finishing.

  2. I'm with Mr. Williams...nice build, George - nicely done.

  3. Nice work George, I like tint to the paint, giving it just enough tint of another color not to be just grey (does that make sense ?). I look forward to seeing at the OHMS show !

  4. An excellent kit, well executed.

  5. Very nicely done! Do you live in Oregon? I am a native Oregonian living up here in the heart of Husky land. I really need to get to McMinnville someday an Oregon Modeler really has no excuse not to! Anyway beautiful finish and great build!

  6. Great looking Zero!

  7. Great build George, lovely finish.
    Well done mate.

  8. Lots of nice work and a great result. One minor thing (this is relatively new information from the color sensei and sort of counterintuitive) but at the time of the Pearl Harbor operation, these airplanes were new, and they were actually gloss, a finish that it turns out didn't get killed till they had been in the south Pacific for six months or more.

  9. That's very nice, George. That's my favorite Zero scheme and you executed it very well.

  10. Love this Zero - I have the other version in the stash but I like this version better - with the folding wing tips.

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