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George Schembri
49 articles

A Captured Zero, Airfix A6M2b 1/72

March 28, 2024 · in Aviation · · 23 · 195

‘Sticking' to the Rising Decals MM72-0101 Dying Suns Pt.2 decal sheet, I wanted to have a in my display. The decal sheet called for a Nakajima built m.21 and specified the aircraft had type 99 Mark II cannons - I had kit A01005 which was an A6m2b (mk21) but I had to add the cannons.

This is my first ‘new' Airfix kit and it was very nice although I found the plastic a bit too soft which meant you have to be a bit carefully when trimming and sanding.

I got to use my new Tamiya Superfine airbrush and she's a beauty!

Amazing thin lines were achieved with the properly thinned Tamiya acrylics. I did some pre-shading and some paint modulation on the dark XF-12 J.N. Green and I was happy with the result.

I'm not a golfer, but decided to try out some chipping. I did find photos of the actual BI-12 aircraft that showed major paint chipping, so I used an older brush and some Testors enamel Aluminum and tried to simulate the patterns in the observed photo. I am glad I tried it out.

This was one kit that survived my ‘Purge of 2024'. I was able to get a vendors table at the recent HeritageCon in Hamilton and decided to part with about 200 kits that I knew I was not going to build or else I had doubles. Basically, I sold the kits at the price I bought them at so most of the sales that day did bring a smile to the faces of many buyers . Most kits sold within the first hour or two with some amazing help from my son, Adam.

Reader reactions:
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10 additional images. Click to enlarge.

23 responses

  1. Very nice. I built the 1:48 version

  2. Fantastic nob on your Zero, George! Love your chipping, it certainly adds character to your model! Great that you were able to sell a number of your kits you are not going to build.

  3. I love the Airfix Zero and this version is very interesting! Beautiful build, it’s not easy making all black planes look interesting, George @georgeswork.

  4. Well done, George

  5. A Zero very well captured, George.

  6. I completely forgot about Heritagecon. However, I was working all weekend so no chance.

    Very nice looking Zero.

  7. Great replication of the dapple weathering. Having seen the ATAIU@SEA acronym many times, I never knew what it meant so I looked it up. It is amazing that you can find almost anything on the internet. (Allied Technical Air Intelligence Unit - South East Asia) I thought I should share in the event I was not the only one wondering. Your table at HeritageCon had some very nice things. My shelf of doom has a Hasegawa P-51D that I recently decided to finish, and only yesterday I found many of the unattached parts including the cowl top, prop and gun bay cover, so I am good to go. Regarding the nature of the plastic Airfix used on the Zero, it is one of those challenges we have to adapt to. I recently dropped the upper wing of a Monogram B-24J onto a concrete floor. The plastic is so brittle that the wing/fuselage connection thingy broke right off.

  8. A great-looking model of a well-known Zero - and looks to me like you nailed it!

  9. This is a fantastic Zero, George @georgeswork
    Especially considering this is just 1/72 scale.
    What tip size is the Tamiya airbrush?

  10. George, I guess you'd have to call this "beautifully ugly". I mean that in a good way. Your paint work looks great, and your daring attempt at paint chipping turned out excellent. I think everybody would have to agree that your model resembles the pictures very well. Plus the fact its 1/72 scale is very cool. It looks like at least 1/48 scale.

  11. Excellent Zero, George! I spent about three years thinning the stash and would like to get rid of a few more. I learned early on you need to price to sell if you want to go home without the kits. Guys who had unrealistic pricing were loading their vehicles back up at the end of the day. Modeling demographic is aging and shrinking in US and Canada. I spoke to a hobby shop owner about this who was shutting down last year. He correctly assumed that 80% of his stock will never be built by anyone and is destined for the land fill at some point. It’s kind of like hot potato. You don’t want to be the last guy holding a kit hoard.

    • Thanks John (@j-healy).
      I was going to sell about 100 kits or so, but then it got easier as I went along and ended up selecting about 200.
      As my marketing son told me, "You can hope to sell your goal and hope to break even, or else you'll be bringing kits back home'. A lot of different hobbyist walked away with some nice kits and I hope they get built and that the kits are enjoyed as they were meant to be.

  12. Well done - looks like the real deal. It's always nice to have a photo or two of what you're trying to replicate.

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