Tamiya A6M5, 1/48. The Eternal Zero.
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The most iconic Japanese aircraft is easily the Mitsubishi A6M, and Tamiya's most recent tooling from 2008 absolutely does justice to such a plane. Before going any further this kit can be summed up as 'absolutely recommended', or 'one of the best kits on the market'.
The Tamiya A6M5 builds as expected of a Tamiya kit, amazing fit and engineering to produce a great end result. This plane was build largely out of box, though a resin pilot was substituted for the already well moulded included pilot, who got a new assignment flying the N1K2 of my previous post. The model did receive montex masks for the roundels.
The fit of the kit is perfect, and no putty was required. The kit comes with the option to make an A6M5a or b, and decals for several different Zeroes. I originally wanted to go the route of aftermarket markings but the ones I ordered took 2 months to arrive so I stayed with the box art scheme. You often see models of extremely weathered Japanese planes but for this one I decided to go for a less weathered route, and honestly it's quite hard to find photos of super chipped Zeroes beyond those left for scrap or taken post-war.
Overall there isn't too much to say about this kit. It was fun, quick, and super simple. There was no problems with the build at any step. The kit is the second best kit I've had the pleasure to build, only slightly behind the more complicated but just as well fitting Tamiya P-38. My only issue is that Tamiya for some strange reason have used this moulding for the A6M5 and A6M3 Mod. 22, but still haven't in 13 years made a A6M3 Mod. 32 or A6M2 with this beautiful engineered moulding, meaning that Tamiya's only 1/48 offering for a classic Pearl Harbour Zero is from the 70s!
Regardless, make sure to add this kit to the wishlist if you want a relaxing build!
8 additional images. Click to enlarge.