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Jeremy Millan
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Tamiya 1/48 A6M2 Zeke

August 15, 2020 · in Aviation · · 13 · 2.4K

This is my second completion for the . This kit isn't too bad for how old it is. Minimal part count makes it a quick build. It does lack detail but makes a good kit for practice. I built it OOB just adding some seat belts and some EZ line for the rigging.

I tried a few new things this time; marbling layer and scribing panel lines on the fuselage. The marbling was very time consuming but I think helps the overall finish. The scribing of the panel lines wasn't too bad but I went a little too heavy on the passes making them too deep.

I was planning on doing the markings for Saburo Sakai's plane but had trouble with the decals. Long story short I had to make do with what I had. So this is considered a fictitious plane as the the markings are not correct for any pilot or squadron.

Overall I like how it came out, except for a couple things. First the canopy came out terrible. I used the Montex vinyl canopy mask thinking they would work just like the masking (washi) tape variants. Wrong, the masks have really strong adhesive and are hard too remove leaving residue. There was also ridges and some seepage. I never had those problems with the masking tape type. Second I wish I would of used a lighter color for the panel lines. To me there is too much contrast compared to the light color of the plane.

I painted the plane using Tamiya and Mr. Color paints. The "Amber Grey" color I was trying to achieve is pretty tough to get right. After a lot of reading on Aviation of Japan website I learned it was more of a hemp/olive/khaki type color. First I used Tamiya Xf-76 IJN Grey/Green but it looked way too green, so I ended up spraying some highly diluted khaki and grey in many light layers over the top. I'm happy with the overall color.

Thanks to everyone on the Empire of Japan forum for offering comments of encouragement and guidance. Especially Louis @lgardner, Spiros @fiveten, Erik @airbum and George @blackadder57.

Here's a link to the WIP if interested.

Reader reactions:
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13 responses

  1. Looks great even if it is fictitious. When I did this aircraft I used Pollyscale Old Cement.

  2. Nice job on this classic kit of which Tamiya must've sold a zillion.

  3. That paint job lifts that old kit to another level. Well done.

  4. Jeremy, @jmillan
    Your A6M really looks fantastic. I like how you have it painted, even if it is a fictitious scheme. Thanks for participating in our Empire of Japan group build, with another fighter build. It has been fun to watch this one come together. Taking into consideration how old these molds are, (dating form the early 1970's I believe), this kit still holds up and builds very well. It is an easy one to build and looks proper once completed.
    Maybe someday you can do your Saburo Sakai Zero. I have plans to build one too... one of these days... Who knows ? There's still time left...

    Thanks again.


  5. That's a fantastic build, Jeremy @jmillan, I had the privilege to watch from the start.
    The paint job is absolutely stunning!
    Waiting for your rendition of that amazing pilot's Saburo Sakai plane.
    I plan to build one too!

  6. Looks fantastic. The next Zeke I do is going to have to be that scheme - it's my favorite scheme for the Zeke.

  7. Haha Thanks Greg. It came out ok I think

  8. beautiful gray-green color

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