1/48 Hasegawa Nakajima built A6M2-N “Rufe” Type 2 float plane
It’s been a little while since I have posted any of my builds here. I’ve been really busy with moderating the Midway Group build, while trying to get a few more planes built before the 75th Anniversary of Midway in June.
Here’s a little article about this float plane that I built right around the year 2000. It was definitely not a new build so it didn’t quite qualify for the recent “Water Wings” group builds. (which I watched an awful lot… some great work went on over there by the way).
I wanted to wait a few days before I posted this “Rufe” to allow time for other Imodeler members to post their work from the recent Water Wings group build.
This is the Hasegawa rendering of the “Zero with floats”. If I’m not mistaken, all of the “Rufe” float planes were built by Nakajima, hence the “dash N” suffix.
This kit was built right out of the box, and I even used the kit decals. I did however add some serious modelling clay as weight to the front end of the float to keep this one from being a tail dragger. This kit came with a really neat little trolley car that holds the plane nicely. I think it was modelled after the real version. I’m not 100 percent sure about that though… but it looks the part after seeing several photos of the original ones with a “Rufe” perched on top of it…
One neat little bit of information I learned when building this kit: The two smaller red vertical lines that you see on the main center float, were used as locating points for the beaching trolley. The ground crew simply lined up the red lines with the vertical posts of the trolley. Then the plane was balanced properly to remove it from water. These thin red lines also just happen to be directly under the larger main float support that is faired in from the fuselage, and the smaller twin rear float support struts. Clever indeed.
This one was from the time in my modelling adventures where I was experimenting with various ways to chip paint. I honestly think now that I over did it in some places… But possibly not. Check out the last photo that I found online. It looks pretty beat up and is also carrying underwing bombs…
This plane was built then sprayed with Model Master “Metalizer” paint. It was buffed to a nice shine, and then I used tape to peel the top layer of “Nakajima Green” off the top. In areas along the panel lines, I simply used a tooth pick to pick away the top coat.
Bare metal foil was used on the front of the propeller blades.
If you’re wondering where the canopy is, I had a small mishap removing this one from my display case. I broke off the antenna lead wire which was made from clear stretched plastic. As I was attempting a quick repair, a drop of glue fell onto the center canopy… which in turn instantly fogged up !
So I simply removed the canopy. Luckily I have a spare vacu-formed one from Squadron on hand. I’ll probably replace the center section prior to putting this one away in the display case. Meanwhile the original has been dipped in “Future” floor wax to see if it will fix it.
The plane that mine was modelled after was flown by the 934th Flying Group at Ambon Island per the instructions. I try to keep the instructions and box lids from all of my builds, especially if they have cool box art… That way I can go back and reference them if needed, (which I have done on occasion).
As usual, comments are encouraged.
33 additional images. Click to enlarge.