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Hello everyone! Long time no see! I have been spending the last 1.3 years on this yuuuuge project from Agora Model's, Museum Scale A6M5 Zero. A fully operational 1/18 Zero! The kit is composed of metal, HDP, rubber, and other things I can't identify😀. This kit was comprised of 12 Packs that came each month. This was without a doubt one of the most fun--and incredibly challenging builds--I have ever tackled. You have to build everything! And I mean ev-re-thing! Gluing and using screws. The only parts that came preassembled were the circuit boards. The build begins with the jewel of the kit, the beautiful Sakae Engine, which took two months to assemble. Next was the gorgeous cockpit that I dry brushed to make things pop a bit. This plane weighs a ton! But your not finished with just the plane, you must build the base, lifters, everything! As I said, this is the most comprehensive kit I have ever built. Their were some issues too be sure, but the Agora forum was very helpful as was Agora. So if you can afford the time and the $, get this kit. It will challenge you. But the result is absolutely worth it. Now, its interesting that Agora chose the subject Zero for this kit, as it was found on Saipan, blown to pieces. I researched a little history of this plane. This particular Zero, 8-13 was found on Saipan with other intact Japanese A6M5 aircraft. The picture below, was taken August 8, 1944, on the island of Saipan. The aircraft belonged to the 261st Kokutai (Air Group), 8th Hikotai, Aircraft 13. The kanji on top of the tail translates to "Bi." This is believed to be an abbreviation of the pilot's name. The cap (chevron above the kanji) meant he was a more senior pilot. Other planes of the unit had similar kanji that would say "victory," etc. If someone has another interpretation, please chime in, but this is according to the Smithsonian Museum. The 261st was flown from mainland Japan, to Iwo Jima, then on to Saipan, to be used for air defense of the island. It's interesting to note, that despite the plane being a total wreck, the intelligence guys seemed interested in this particular bird, it has even been tagged by the antenna mast. Many Zeros were removed from Saipan, and shipped aboard the USS Copahee, to be taken back to the States for study. Charles Lindberg even test flew one. ON TO THE PICTURES: VIDEOS BELOW
American Indian Artwork & Emblems / P-47's over the Pacific: 19th FS on Saipan (Reference book) Landscape Publications No.1 If you're a fan of reference and profile books, then you may well be interested in this. The first of what I hope will be many more to follow, this book focuses on two themes. The first being aircraft that wore artwork and emblems featuring American Indians and the second looking at the P-47's of the 19th Fighter Squadron based on Saipan. Presented in an A4 soft back landscape format you get 64 pages containing a mixture of beautiful aircraft profiles, artwork images, photographs and text giving useful information about the paintwork and markings on the individual aircraft. The pages are printed on high quality semi-gloss paper. The book was written and illustrated by Thierry Dekker (Crazyflytox here on Britmodeller) with Neil Page who did the translation to English from Thierry's native language French. Let's look at little bit closer. American Indian Artwork and Emblems The first chapter features an eclectic collection of aircraft between WWI and WWII that feature artwork of American Indians. Stunning and accurately detailed profiles include those of the P-51D, FW190, Spad XIII, Curtiss H-75's, P-40's, Hurricanes, Typhoon, Hellcats, Spitfires and P-47's with expanded images of the Indian artwork. Particular text reference is made to the pilots that flew them and distinguishing features not only of the artwork and markings displayed on the machines, but also the weathering and in field repaint effects which are very useful for us modellers. The large profiles are supported by period photographs. P-47's Over the Pacific: The 19th FS on Saipan Great research into the specific detail of the paintwork and markings on the P-47's that flew from Saipan with the 19th Fighter Squadron has been carried out. From this, 21 individual aircraft side profiles (as well as a top down and bottom up profile) have been stunningly illustrated backed up by 34 photographs and enlarged illustrations of the artwork worn amongst other details. Taking the same format as the previous subject, reference to the paintwork, pilots and unique characteristics of the individual machines is written making this a very interesting read as well as a great modelling reference. In summary, what you get in this book is: 64 colour pages in A4 landscape format printed on semi-gloss high quality paper 64 photographs - 2 colour 55 high quality colour profiles of 10 aircraft types, many with additional artwork images Supporting text referring to paint variations, markings, emblem origins and specific details to the individual aircraft illustrated To add greater value to the series, Thierry is looking to partner with a decal manufacturer so that they can release decal sheets focussing on the subjects contained in his books. If anyone is interested in this venture, please contact him through his website linked in the logo at the bottom or PM him (crazyflytox) through Britmodeller. He's also looking for distributors for the USA, Australia and Japan. I can assure you that after reading the book, you will be inspired to build some of these aircraft, so I like the idea of a potential partnership ! Conclusion The specific detail in the book is not only useful, but an inspiration to build the aircraft illustrated. The stunning quality and accuracy of the artwork really adds value as a reference tool and the written information is an interesting read. I really like the unique subject theme for the American Indian artwork and the Jug fans will be left drooling ! Having now got this review sample in my collection, I'm certainly looking forwards to the series developing ! Review sample courtesy of