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Tamiya 1/48th Mitsubishi A6M3 Zero (Hamp) PTO IJN WWII

After coming home from Desert Storm, I had the urge to get back into modeling in the early 90’s. And I set off to just stick to building aircraft and equipment that participated in Desert Storm. Then Accurate Miniatures came out with the Allison Mustangs. So I picked them up. And then I got the Tamiya A-10, and in the bottom of the box there would be images of kits they had available, like the Frank, Zeros and Lancaster etc. I was buying kits at the time through Discount Hobbies in Utica, NY. (remember them?) Prices were excellent including with shipping. So I would by 2-5 kits at a time and have them UPS’d to me. So that began my journey in building the stash. So I would buy a couple of Tam kits starting with the Frank, next up was the A6M2 Zero kit #61016 and so on. And following that in order. I slowly built up that part of the stash in order the Tamiya line of 48th scale kits. At first one at a time. And I got stuck on the Lancaster. Which I started in 1997. I was building one Tam kit at a time mixing a Hasegawa here, an Italeri there, than a Revell/Monogram, an Academy and then the next Tamiya. In either 72nd or 48th scale. (i do have a fair collection of 32nd scale which I have not built one yet as due to lack of space).

Anyway this kit #61025 was built around 1994. Fine raised panel lines good detail for the time. At the time I went with the colors that was called out by Tamiya. The internet was in it’s infancy when it came to any info in regard to any research on Japanese paint schemes, as at the time I was not really into that part of building and accuracy when it came to interior and detail colors. It was Aotake blue for Japanese, Interior Grey/Green for RAF, RLM02 or 66 for Luftwaffe, Interior Zinc Chromate yellow or Green for US aircraft in WWII and thats what I went with. No Bronze Greens, or Dk Dull Green or whatever became known down the road as more info came to light. So using Aeromaster War Bird Acylics, IJN Light Grey overall, Blue Black on the cowling, Aotake blue for the interior. Black struts, the kit decals and a mix of the Jaguar interior detail set with the kit parts. True Details fast frames for the canopy. It was about a month after I had finished this when an article came out about the Light Grey not being correct for this scheme, but more of a Green tint to the scheme was more accurate not so Grey or slight blue hue as my build was painted with. Similar to Sky or RLM02 but lighter. So as the internet grew, more info became available as the years went by. Research much more accurate yet still in contention among the experts. Not really into nitpicking but today if I were to build a similar scheme I would go with that Grey/Green scheme. Thanks for viewing.

Fly Navy

18 additional images. Click to enlarge.

15 responses to Tamiya 1/48th Mitsubishi A6M3 Zero (Hamp) PTO IJN WWII

  1. Chuck, and after all that you managed to come up with a nice looking Hamp. A very attractive paint scheme and an excellent looking build. These old Tamiya kits were great back then and still produce a good looking model when some modeling skills are applied. Well done !

  2. Looks good to ME, Chuck…whatever the color. As far as those 32nd scale kits go, you can always hang ’em up with some fishin’ line. πŸ™‚

  3. I have fond memories of Discout Hobbies myself! And the Tamiya kits were part of my growth in modeling as well. Looking good!

    • That was a great shop. Jim was a good guy and his staff that I would call to speak to place an order were top notched. Never messed up on an order, in fact they sent an extra kit by mistake on my order. And I called Jim to tell him I would pay for it though I didn’t order it. (It was a Hasegawa 1/72nd scale EF-111A Sparkvark so not a cheap kit at the time) since I could use it anyway. He said just keep it as a token of being a good customer. He was cool. Had a big ad in all the modeling magazines at the time, before online shops took over. There were other shops that I bought from as well, I have fond memories of Precision in Vermont if I remember correctly, good people who ran that store as well. There were many back in the day.

  4. This looks good to me too Chuck. The square wing “Hamp” always looks great, and you really don’t see too many built up.

    I have a few of my earlier builds that are painted incorrectly, but at the time they were built, I thought they were good to go. The internet hadn’t been around too long back then.

    I think all of us have experienced this in some form or fashion at one time or another. But that’s what makes your next build even better, is by learning.

    Some people obsess with trying for perfection. Anymore I build my models just to have fun. I’m not perfect by any means and neither are my builds. I simply do my best that I can at the time. It helps to keep the hobby a “hobby” and have fun while you doing it.

    Like Terry said, these older Tamiya kits still look and fit very well.

    Thanks for sharing the story behind it.

    • Thanks Louis, those days it was build and unless it was really wrong kept to what came out of the box, just maybe aftermarket decal sets, follow their painting guide at times a little more accurate than what was suggested in the kit instructions. But of course as the online modeling community grew, information was shared some not always correct but most were pretty accurate especially followed with evidence showing why it was so. But in the end it is fun to build relax and enjoy the hobby even when it does try your patience.

  5. Nice article, Chuck, we all try to enjoy our hobby in our own way, and it’s good if you can buy your stuff from friendly helpful people. I find buying on the internet rather impersonal, but that’s the way it is nowadays. Liked your “Hamp” by the way.

  6. Looks mighty fine to me. You did a stunning job on this one!!! Well done!!!

  7. When I first got back into the hobby – just a bit before you – my first big mail-order order was from Discount Hobbies! I didn’t know anything about the various manufacturers, so ordered about a dozen kits from 6 or 7 different ones, so I could figure out what I wanted to focus on. Your article brought back found memories of opening a box full of anticipation. AND – nice Hamp!

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