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Finished. A6M2b, another Airfix


Wolwe82

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Evening guys, today i got home earlier from job and thought what will i do? I needed to take some rest from my current projects but it should not be anything too big, as at saturday are starting two new awesome GBs. So i was going through my stash and after a while the winner was here - A6M2b 1/72 from Airfix. Now i know there are many of these kits in WIP, but i hope you guys wont mind to have one more here.

I got some sweeties to use for this build, so the first idea was, i ll just use the PE parts and that ll be it. No scratchbuilding, just pure fun build to have some rest. But.. seems i simply cannt build a kit without cutting, sawing, sanding, and whatever -ing and doesnt matter what it is or what aftermarket i bought.. :)

Anyway, here is what i had at start :)

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The sprues are well known i guess, the PE parts are made by Marabu design and these are totaly a w e s o m e! Same as their other PE parts, very nice details, fiting is great (to the kit for which it is made), the metal is hard enough to survive bending yet thin enough to bend nicely if need. I found also some Eduards mask for Academy Zero, ll see if this one ll fit or not.

As i started with the cockpit, i had the usual few seconds breaks when u wait for everything to dry and settle down. During these breaks i was looking on the wings/fuselage and thought if i could make some rivets. Did some quick research on web and found some rivets blueprint for A6M2. I could not follow it on 100%, because some of the panel lines on the kit were not on the same spot as it was on the blueprint. But i m not sure which one is correct and also didnt want to fill the lines and rescribe, so the rivet lines are as close to the blueprint as possible, but on few spots its a bit changed. Also, as it is just my second time doing rivets on whole plane, some of the rivet lines are not as narrow as it should be. But still i think it gives to the kit some more life.

Here are few images, there is always one half of wing/fuselage with rivets and other without, for comparing.

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on the wing in middle of leading edge it looks weird i know, thats one of the spots where i had to turn a bit to meet the panel lines. might fill it there and make it somehow better looking, ll see yet.

Few images of the interrior so far.

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the only thing i did not used from the PE parts was lever next to the pilot seat with its holding construction. I simply could not bend it to nice round(but i blame myself only, not fault of the PE), so i did a bit of trick to deal with it : drilled hole to thick plastic card, then carefuly cut and sand it around the hole to make the half-circle profile. After that i took my little saw and carefuly cut out thin strip to make opening for the lever. At the end i did cut the front side of the holder from the PE part and glued it on the plastic construction. This way its somehow rounded and :)

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And two shots of the cockpit base. I used evergreen platic cards and strips to boost the PE parts where it was too flat. Drilled holes to the bulkhead behind seat as it was indicated on the PE part and added few wires to the right side of cockpit. I found just three images of this side of cockpit and on all of these there was this chaos of wires, so i tried to copy it as closely as possible :) Also i did thin and reshaped the head-rest (sorry no idea how to say it correctly), drilled the holes from behing and on the front side i did add some plastic strip, which i then sanded to make it look like the leather padding there.

As much as i would love to continue tonight, i have to wake up early to job so this is it for tonight :) Thanks for watching guys and if you ll have any hints or tips, feel free to go ahead :)

Edited by Wolwe82
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thanks stix, you are just too kind realy :) its the Marabu PE parts, what is making it look nice :) So far my favourite between PE was Eduard, but Marabu is great too. I dont dare to judge which is better quality, but i have to say i dont like the coloured PE parts so much. It is nice on instrumental panels or all the buttons around and so, but the problem is, i cant find colour to match the base of interior with the coloured PE.. and also the colour is printed on it and sometimes you can see the structure (looks like when u print on old printer - a lot of "strips" on the image). So thats why i prefere just pure PE parts :)

Anyway back to topic :) I ll do my best to not screw this one:) i have to say i love the new airfix kits, it fits great usualy, have nice lines (sometimes too deep but on the newer kits its better and better), quite good details, sometimes nice surprise (engine, machine guns, great interrior) and the cost is so LOW.. :thumbsup2:

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thanks stix, you are just too kind realy :) its the Marabu PE parts, what is making it look nice :)

You're too modest! - it's not just the PE parts - it's things like your research and patience producing the rivit detail and the additional wiring. I know how small the parts are in reality compared to how they look in the photos.

Looking forward to more of the same - if I watch this carefully I'm going to pick up ideas for enhancing the next one I build.

Kind regards,

Stix

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Realy thanks for support guys, appreciate it a lot :) The worst part of a day.. siting at job, nothing to do, knowing i could as well just sit at home (literaly 2mins of walk from here.. :) ) and have some fun by work table.. i guess its well known feeling :)

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OK, still siting at work but at least i did some research around, downloaded tons of photos for next work. But also there is one big question - cockpit and interior colour.. I m not sure exactly what finish i ll do (i m even considering US captured plane or so), but is there some online database where i could find what serial numbers were nakajima and what mitsubishi? Or some blog where i could read about the colours, just some good source. I did read through a lot today but it was usualy about just the one plane the guy was making or so.. So if anyone have any sources or links, please let me know :) thanks

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Very nice work so far :goodjob:

Nick Millman has been an invaluable source of information on all aspects of the interior colours and their external clues for the two main manufacturers of A6M2s across several threads here and his AviationofJapan blog is well worth a search as well.

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So after spending almost all yesterday´s evening and night reading through various forums and blogs about zero interrior colours, i m TOTALY confused .. :confused: I guess i ll just paint the interrior that light green, wheel bay aotake and thats it, because the more forums, threads and blogs i m reading, the more i fall into depression and total chaos about the colours and it is slowly driving me crazy.. :weep:

Edited by Wolwe82
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A bit of progress, i decided to paint the interrior as it was presented here on forum few times by other people. I was tempted to build night fighter zero(it was actualy the same as normal daily planes according to the source) or US captured plane, but i did not find source where it would be told which factory made these, so thats it, either plane i m going to make (box, NF, US), it ll be that light greenish cockpit with blue metalic wheel bays and rest of interrior.

So few images of progress. I was stupid enough and when i was removing some of the original fuselage details (bcs there were better made from the PE parts), i accidentaly damaged the fuselage construction too.. So i had to make new one, it doesnt look as good as original probably, but i had no other choice. The other side of fuselage ll be also made all new, because it looked awkward with one side new and one original. I also replaced some of the PE parts by new ones from evergreen strips - mostly because i destroyed or lost the originals :banghead: . gosh there has to be like tons of metal under my work table already...

011.jpg

making rods for the throttle control(if it was throttle on the left side of cockpit :) )

and here it is quite completed, ll add few details from painted PE Eduard set (for A6M5, found that yesterday at my stash), like some signs and so, after the painting.

012.jpg

now back to work, other half of fuselage is waiting :)

Edited by Wolwe82
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I thought i ll add oxygen bottle behind the bulkhead, as you ll be able to see there a bit. So i found few photos and this is the result - the cross bar should be mounted to the fuselage in fact i think, but this way its easier to get together and you wont be able to see the holding pieces anyway :)

013.jpg

All the time i was thinking about the interior colour (cannt get it off my mind), so i was not thinking about WHAT i am doing - i had image infront of me and i was going from one side to other, not thinking about the "why?"... then at one moment i noticed i m making something what you probably wont be able to see EVER :mental::winkgrin: ...

But well, when i made it, i ll show it here and i ll put it into the fuselage anyway :) Its CO2 bottles, together with its stand.. :) So first image is the stand itself (i had enough sanity i made just the two sides, visible when you are looking from cockpit to back :) ), second image is the whole thing.

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Well i m going back to work and going to think why i cannt make something realy OOB... :winkgrin:

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I did some progress during afternoon but couldnt post it, so doing so now. Completed the right fuselage (rivets outside, interrior obviously inside.. ll try it other way around but some other day :) ), added few details to already existing stuff.

Fotografie_0050.jpg

two more oxygen flasks added behind the bulkhead, air flow hose/pipe added to front right side of cockpit floor. this ll be connected to the right fuselage once its joined together.

then i did try dry fit, so far without instruction panel and seat and the result is on the next images

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and lets continue :)

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By the way, could anyone help me, where was oxygen mask in this plane? Or better said, where it was connected to the system. Because on the photos i have, you can see hose going from the oxygen flasks to the cockpit but dont know where, to what side? Thanks:) If i wont find it, i ll just lead the hose to some chaos i guess and leave it there :shutup:

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Yesterday was totaly bad day, i wanted to work on this one so much at evening, but there was something disturbing me all the time.. so all i could do was completing the instrument panel from PE parts, adding some details under it from not used PE, construction behind the panel (which is in real plane too) which ll hold the panel between fuselages (it ll be joint to left fuselage where is drilled hole for it, to the right side it ll be fit "rough" way, as i didnt want to risk drilling the other side hole in bad position, resulting in wrong angled IP). Then i made new machine guns (had to cut off their bodies toward front side, to make it better fit under the top nose kit part) and mounted these using leaden flat wire. I like to use leaden wires/flat wires as they are easy to work with if you need to make any shape, bcs these are realy soft compared to copper. Just glue one point of the leaden wire using super glue, let it dry few second, once it is holding well, you can create the shape you need for next few mm, glue that part and repeat till you are done with all length. Anyway, mounting the guns using leaden flat wire allows me later change slightly their shape, so these ll aim in right direction, not to the sky or to the ground.

022.jpg

Now i hope i ll be able to mix some good colour for the green/grayish interior.

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Oki, so the work from last 5 hours.. i m not exactly what you would call "fast" :) And painting is something where i dont feel much confident.. it affects the first impression the most and i have a lot to learn yet. And my brush paint skill is bad, bad and once more bad :) So i was using airbrush for the base coats.

I did start with black vallejo primer on everything - first, it helps to harmonize the surfaces of diferent materials used, second it helps a bit with shades too (something i did learn from more experienced peoples :) ). After that i did paint the future aotake zones with alclad aluminium and then mixed light blue-green vallejo colours with a lot of thinner, to make just filter over the aluminium.. have to say the effect was nothing what i wanted to achieve (i wanted somehow lighter aotake so it ll make the dark parts a bit lighter, to be able to see at least a bit of the inner details there) and if it was in gear bay, i would totaly repaint it. But on these spots, where you wont be able to reckognise the colour anyway, i thought it ll be fine as it is (The best thing happend when i was almost done with EVERYTHING, even the details painting.. i found out i have bottle of "japanese interrior blue" from agama here, which should be some kind of aotake mix +/-... you can see i used tested it in the left fuselage, on image 2 and 3 it is the darker spot there).

Anyway as last i did paint the interior green, which i did mix from italeri RAF interior green (which seems to be quite light even for RAF interiors for me) by adding some dark grey and dark green - i wanted to make slightly darker mix than what i saw on photos, bcs i ll use lighter shades of this mix to drybrush it later and i didnt want to end up with drybrushing it almost white... And here the trick with black base coat : you spray the interior colour from angles, from which you ll look into the cockpit once the kit is finished. The zero cockpit is quite wide so it doesnt show as good here, but if you have some more tight cockpit, you have very limited angles from which you ll be able to look inside later, which means the interior colour wont paint everything, but ll leave darker spots behind objects, where the airflow couldnt go. But thats alright, because your eyes wont see there too and the black colour there ll make darker shade, which ll bring up the painted objects infront of it.. phew, i hope you could understand this haha, i got a bit lost in the translating phase.. :)

After the base colour dried, i painted the details in colours what i saw on photos. I used photos of 5-6 A6M2 machines, some were from museums, some were in renovation process, by some i didnt know their status. The details colours varied between all these photos, so i m not saying all the levers and boxes had to have exactly this colour, but it looks busy now and that was the goal :) Here is image how it looks now, all parts together. Next step ll be proly gloss coat, then wash, flat coat, drybrush to bring up edges and buttons..

Fotografie_0050.jpg

And two more photos of details :) First is the deck behind seat, from the oposite side. You wont be able to see much of the bottles, so i painted these mainly from the future visible sides. But some details i did paint overall.. :) The black oxygen bottles used to have some red japanese letters, so i did something like that too. Its not exactly how i saw it on the pictures i had, but i dont think anyone ll try to translate it .. :) Just hope it doesnt say "chicken soup" now... :) The silver bottle had some black sign on it, ll add that later if i dont forget.

Fotografie_0052.jpg

And second is detail of seat, i did some chipping here already. I wanted to try the hairspray technique on the seat, but probably didnt let it dry enough, so the paint couldnt be chipped off :) So i did the chipping normal way. But, as the hairspray essence was probably stilla bit wet when i was airbrushing the green on the seat, it did some nice effect. Its not so easy to see on the image (even if i zoom it in), bcs the photo "quality", but if you look on it on reality, you see lots of thiiiiiin cracks going around the seat on the big surfaces and it looks quite nice. I ll do some testing already, if i can repeat that result or it was just lucky call :)

Fotografie_0055.jpg

I have to say, i m now a bit scared to do the gloss future varnish and then wash.. i m tempted to leave it as it is, just drybrush and chip. You wont look inside from big range anway and on close range the details are nice visible. But the wash would improve it even more.. I m just a bit scared i ll ruin it.. :(

edit:

thanks Houston :) but as i siad earlier, part of it is the marabu PE sheet which makes it look better :)

Edited by Wolwe82
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Thanks, i m having great fun with this i have to say. No haste and a lot of photos downloaded .. :) I m actualy thinking what next could i improve on the kit (but once again, this airfix zero is awesome kit in my view) - i m almost surei ll cut off the wheel bay and make it deeper, bcs its quite shallow now and if i wanted to do some more details in it, it would feel too full. Next i m thinking about engine, but there i dont have many images of it, mainly missing the part behind the engine itself - how it is mounted to the fuselage.. So if anyone has any images or links for that, i ll be happy if you let me know :)

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While I agree the u/c bays are a touch too shallow there's little point in doing anything behind the engine. With such a close cowling not much can be seen of the engine far less what happens behind it. The carb intake on the other hand does look too simple and open.

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Hé Wolwe,

Finnally discouvered your Zero build, your pulling of a grand job with it. I know how small that cockpit is, the thing fits easily on your thumb.

I will let you know as well if hear something about the materials used for the Zero's skin.

On my kit I had a step on the righthand wing root and on the lower fuselage and wing meeting point, watch out for that. That where really the only fit issues I had with this kit, the rest went like a charm :)

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you might be right Col., i thought about opening the engine but i would realy need goot documentation for that, else it ll look empty and it ll make more harm than good to the final kit. The intake has some grid and deck between the PE parts :)

to Sam: thanks and yea it is small and as i m geting older, i understand why people keep switching to 48 or 32 scale :) (but as long as i can see it on the deskm, 72 is queen for me :) ) thanks for the tip about root wing, i hope i ll manage it somehow as i made the rivets already and that would hurt a bit :)

But so far this is very enjoyable build. Before my break in modeling, i had academy minicraft as my favourite, because these were cheap, good fiting and quite good details(compared to other kits 15-20years ago). These new airfix kits are even better and cheap as well, so there goes my new favourite mark :) Only thing i realy dont like on the new airfix kits, or at least on some of them, are the wheels... from the kits i had in hands, hurricane, spitfire(s), zero have realy poor designed wheels. Or badly moulded, i dont know, just looks like these were melted down.. fw190 had a bit better and bf109E-4 has nice wheels, so no idea why the others cannt have as good :) But thats realy the only thing and usualy easy to deal with, else buy quickboost or get some from home scrapyard. But now for the zero, no aftermarker 1/72 wheels so i m even thinking about buying some cheap zero which would have two pairs of wheels (sometimes there are more variants) or so.. Well, thats far ahead yet :)

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