Project Completed: The 1/32 Tamiya A6M2 Zero
Well I finally completed her. Many of you provided wonderful comments and questions when I posted the past several WIP articles on this complex build. I truly appreciated all the compliments and comments. Overall this was a complex but fun build with minimal issues accounted. Despite being a Tamiya kit with outstanding engineering it did have a few issues mostly related to building the movable landing gear and control surfaces. If you read the WIP articles I highlighted what some of these were. The end result of these issues is a non-workable landing gear, and the elevator surfaces not working. The flaps move but due to their weight they just hang down. The ailerons move well and so does the rudder. The Canopy slides and the two piece cowling can be removed. The drop tank is attached but is also removable. I did not complete the folded-wingtip replacements due to other build problems with the assembly. Most people will not build this kit for these features so overall they are minimal issues. Tamiya eliminated many of these features in their future 1/32 aircraft releases. The Zero was the 1st in this series for Tamiya and each one has gotten better regarding fit and engineering. Despite these minor issues the overall engineering and fit of all the aspects that really matter were typical Tamiya; Just fantastic fit and detail. No filler needed to be used and no special modification were done to complete the model. Tolerances on all parts are very tight so the kit would be difficult unless each assembled is completed perfectly. You must follow the directions very closely and if you veer off in a typical manner (I am guilt of this when building) you may end up with frustration and parts then dont fit.
This is a commissioned build and the customer wanted her really beat up. So I had fun weathering her to mimic a heavily used, Japanese fighter, exposed to the harsh tropical island environment. I used a combination of after-market decals, and the included Tamiya decals. It was an all out of the box build.
As always all comments are welcomed and I hope you enjoy the photos.