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Tamiya 1/48 Mitsubishi A6M2 Zero (Zeke) (x2) "Build Update #1"

Hello Guys,

This is my latest build that I started a couple of weeks ago, but haven't had the time to jump on here and post my build progress, until now. So, here goes....

I've decided to build two A6M2's at the same time, so that I can model one in the Aircraft carrier based all over Japanese Navy Grey/Green color and one in the ground based Japanese Navy Green upper and the Japanese Navy Grey lower. The Grey/Green version will have little chipping, but the Green version will have heavy chipping. The chipping will be done by using the "hairspray" technique.

These will be my 18th and 19th model builds since starting modeling in January 2014, and, they will be my first ever attempts at Japanese WWII aircraft, so, I've been looking forward to doing these. They are also my entries into a group build that I am hosting on YouTube called the "For the Love of Freddy" GB. He's a fellow modeler on YouTube that has surprised many modelers, including myself, with his altruistic nature, by sending them large parcels full of models. He sent me 4 parcels in the last two months containing a total of 43 model kits, mostly 1:48 scale and some 1:32 scale. And, therefore, because of his kindness and generosity to myself and other modelers, I thought that I would start this GB, which I did on May 1st and it will run until August 31st. These two "Zeros" were kits that Freddy sent to me, so, I thought it was a fitting tribute to Freddy by building them.

Anyway, that's enough of the introduction, let's get on with the build.....

As always, I start my builds by washing the sprues in warm soapy water...

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Next, I assembled both drop tanks, one for each plane...

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I then put all the small parts onto cocktail sticks in preparation for painting...

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All parts were then taken to the spray booth for airbrushing a black base coat onto....

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When the black base coat was dry, I then airbrushed Cockpit Interior Green onto the fuselage interiors and onto the cockpit tub parts....

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I then made a start on detailing the cockpit tub and added the instrument panel decals, then assembled the separate parts to form the tub....

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I then started on the radial engine parts and cowlings, and assembled them when the paint was dry...

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It was now time to assemble the cockpit tubs into the starboard side fuselage halves and then assemble the portside fuselage halves onto the starboard side...

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It was now time to assemble the wings and horizontal stabilizers onto both planes...

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First, I assembled the bottom wing sections to the underside of the fuselage assemblies...

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Followed by assembling the starboard side upper wing sections, then the portside upper wing sections, taping the wings to set the dihedral and to hold them in place whilst the glue set. I then glued the horizontal stabilizers into position...

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When the glue had set, I removed the tape and checked both planes to see how they looked so far...

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Well, that's it for the first update. Next, I will prepare the planes for priming and applying paint.

Thanks in advance for taking a look and commenting, much appreciated and in the meantime, if you'd like to watch my "Build Update #1" video on YouTube, here is the link for that:

https://youtu.be/PBuSMyQB9bY

Cheers,

Martin :)

Edited by UKguyInUSA
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I really appreciate your detailed post - I know it takes a lot of time and planning to upload such wonderful details! Very nice photography.

Gene

(P.S. The models are also EXCELLENT)

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Great start! It seems like a nice kit, looking forward to seeing how they turn out.

Thanks Ronan, much appreciated! :)

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I really like the planes so far. I also appreciate the informative post ( pics and descriptions ). I also noticed some residual paint on your thumb nail .... a very frequent occurrence for me as well. Please keep us updated. Bob

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Looks great so far. Are these the older Tamiya kits or the newer ones do you know, did they come in their original boxes?

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Great work done. I usually add the horizontal stabilisers after the main wings are set and glued in place. This so that I can use them as a reference point to correctly align the stabilisers.

I also glue the upper wings first, to avoid any gaps at the wing root. Fixing this would result in panel lines getting lost and rescribing is hard there.

Of course this is just me :-)

Looking forward to your next post. Thanks for sharing.

Edited by DIO
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I really like the planes so far. I also appreciate the informative post ( pics and descriptions ). I also noticed some residual paint on your thumb nail .... a very frequent occurrence for me as well. Please keep us updated. Bob

Thanks Bob, much appreciated! I like to post lots of pics and descriptions, hoping that they might help some modelers, especially newcomers to the hobby.

Cheers!

Martin :)

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Looks great so far. Are these the older Tamiya kits or the newer ones do you know, did they come in their original boxes?

Thanks Doug, much appreciated! :)

These kits are both dated 2007 on their boxes. They have fine recessed panel lines and go together great without the need for any filler, so, I assume they are original later kits in their 2007 boxes.

Cheers!

Martin :)

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Great work done. I usually add the horizontal stabilisers after the main wings are set and glued in place. This so that I can use them as a reference point to correctly align the stabilisers.

I also glue the upper wings first, to avoid any gaps at the wing root. Fixing this would result in panel lines getting lost and rescribing is hard there.

Of course this is just me :-)

Looking forward to your next post. Thanks for sharing.

Thanks Dio, much appreciated! :)

Regarding method of assembly: If you assemble the top wings to the sides of the plane, there are no features for accurate alignment. What would prevent the leading edges being a little too far forward or backwards? And then when you assemble the bottom wings onto those, you might find a miss-match (overlap) on the leading edges that will require filing down, thus causing you to lose detail on those.

The bottom wings on this kit have dihedral molded into them and location points to fix to the underside of the fuselage, and then, the upper wings have locations to fit accurately to the lower wings. Everything was glued within a couple of minutes so that accurate alignment can be achieved before the glue sets, and, the blue 3M tape holds the wing root to fuselage joints closed so that no gaps occur. Knowing that is all in place and viewing the plane from the front, one can check the wing dihedral is correct, if not, the tape is tightened to set the dihedral angles. Once set to the positions you are happy with, it is then safe to stick in the Horizontal stabilizers and view them from both the front and rear of the plane to set their angles against the front wing dihedral, visually seeing the space between the tip of each of the stabilizers and the front wings is equal both sides.

You'll also notice from the photos that I have used two different glues for the wings and stabilizers; slow setting liquid cement for the front wings to allow manipulations and alignment without the joints setting, and, Tamiya Thin Cement for the horizontal stabilizers which sets within minutes, specifically for the assembly method outlined above.

These are newer Tamiya kits, they are designed well, go together great and without the need for fillers, and usually, just a gentle massage of the fuselage seams with a file to smooth the glue joint.

Thanks,

Martin :)

Edited by UKguyInUSA
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Tamiya 1/48 Mitsubishi A6M2 Zero (Zeke) (x2) "Build Update #2"

Okay, so I got more done on the two Mitsubishi A6M2 Zeros and I'm just getting around to posting the progress. Following on from where I left off in update #1, I began to prepare the two planes for priming. First, I masked the wheel well by temporarily sticking the wheel bay doors in place with putty:

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I then used damp tissue to mask inside the cockpit areas and then cleaned both planes and their drop tanks with Isopropyl Alcohol:

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When the alcohol had evaporated from the plane surfaces, I then primed them and their drop tanks with Model Masters Grey Primer and when that had dried, I checked everything to see how they looked, and, all looked okay:

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Next, I airbrushed silver all over one plane that I intend to have heavy chipping and silver onto the leading edges of the wings, horizontal stabilizer, rudder and around the cockpit fuselages surfaces and wing root areas of the second plane:

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When the silver paint was dry, this was all sealed in with a clear coat of "Pledge" (Future) which was my first time using this product and this build is an experiment to see what I feel about using this product compared to the Model Masters clear coats that I have always used without issues since I started modeling in January 2014:

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When the clear coat had dried, it was then time to airbrush a couple of thin coats of hairspray onto the silver surfaces in preparation for applying the "Hairspray Chipping" technique later in this build. I decanted Hairspray into my airbrush cup, then sprayed it onto the planes and drop tanks:

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When the hairspray had dried, I then pre-shaded both planes and their drop tanks with thinned down Tamiya XF-1 Flat Black:

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Okay, with the pre-shading applied and dry, it was time to airbrush the camo colors onto the planes and drop tanks. I started by airbrushing the Japanese Navy Grey, Tamiya XF-12 toned down with around 20% XF-2 Flat White onto the underside of one of the planes and a drop tank:

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I then added more white to what was left in the airbrush cup and then airbrushed some highlights on top of what I had just airbrushed, to produce some tonal variations:

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While that was drying, I took the second plane and drop tank and airbrushed them all over with the one color cam scheme using Tamiya XF-76 Japanese navy Grey/Green, again, toned down with around 20% Tamiya XF-2 Flat White:

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Again, I added more white to what was left in the airbrush cup to create some highlights on top of what was previously airbrushed:

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Now that the second plane was completed with its camo color, I went back to the first plane and masked it to airbrush the upper side with Tamiya XF-11 Japanese Navy Green toned down around 20% with Tamiya XF-2 Flat White:

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Again, I added more white to what was left in the airbrush cup and airbrushed highlights in places to provide tonal variations:

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When this was dry, I then checked how both planes and drop tanks looked, and so far, I thought they were looking good:

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I then decided to glue the radial engine and cowling assemblies onto the fronts of both planes:

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After doing that, I painted the areas around the cockpit on top of the fuselage that are seen through the canopies- Interior Cockpit green behind the seat and black for the anti-glare in front of the cockpit. I then painted the leather color onto the seat headrests, chipped one of the propellers and temporarily located it onto the front of its corresponding plane. After that, I thought that I'd gone far enough for this update #2 and therefore, I took some photos at different angles to look at everything in closer detail (and for you guys to take a look at, too!):

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Then finally, I took a couple of images of both planes side by side for comparison:

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So, that's it for this update guys. I haven't done much since this was done last Friday because of the Memorial Day weekend Holidays and having family here from Florida until they leave tomorrow afternoon (May 29th). I should be able to get back onto these planes this coming weekend...I'm starting to get withdrawals! :P

Thanks for following this build along and for your comments so far, both on here and on my YouTube videos for this build. And, if you'd like to watch my "Build Update #2" YouTube video for this update, here is the link to that:

https://youtu.be/t96YKuENSL8

Happy modeling and have fun,

Cheers!

Martin :)

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Lookin' good so far .... thanks for keeping us updated. Bob

Thanks, Bob, much appreciated!

Cheers :)

Martin

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Tamiya 1/48 Mitsubishi A6M2 Zero (Zeke) (x2) "Build Update #3"

Well, it's been a week since I posted my last update for these two Zeros, but I managed to get a bit more done. Since my last "Build Update #2" report the following progress has been completed:

First, I masked the leading edges on the wings of the Zero that is painted in the IJN Green upper, in preparation for painting the yellow bands on them. I then brush painted thin coats of Tamiya XF-3 Yellow on, allowed it to dry a little then removed the masking tape to check how it looked;

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Next, using wet Q-Tips/Cotton Buds, I wetted the areas on the IJN grey/green painted model to activate the hairspray beneath the paint, which in turn helps the paint to be chipped/peeled away to expose the silver paint beneath. I decided to do light chipping on this plane....

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...and heavier chipping on the plane painted in the IJN dark green upper:

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Next, I sealed the chipping in on both planes and drop tanks with a clear coat prior to beginning the decaling:

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Once the clear coat had dried, overnight, I began the decaling, starting with the IJN Grey/Green plane....

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....and followed by the IJN Dark Green Upper plane:

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When the decal had set, I then applied some more chipping to the Upper Dark Green plane to make the decals look worn and battered, too:

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I then sealed everything in with another clear coat prior to commencing to applying the pin washes, dirty washes, filters, oil, fuel and dirt streaks:

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While those clear coats were drying, I moved onto painting the 4 crew figures, two for each plane, that come with the kits; two standing pilots and two seated pilots;

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And, that was the end of my work for this update, but I took a few more photos of what had been completed on both planes so far;

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I then put the planes side by side for a couple of comparison shots;

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So, where do I go from here? Well, first I will apply a oil pin-wash to highlight the recessed panel lines, followed by a dirty wash. I will then seal those in with a clear coat and when that is dry, I will add a color filter and maybe some highlights and lowlights, blend in the decals and create exhaust, oil, fuel and dirt stains. When all of that is done, I will mask and paint the canopies, remove the temporarily located undercarriage doors and paint the insides of them, along with the wheel wells, a metallic blue color. When that is dry, I will do a final assembly and then airbrush a dull clear coat over both planes to finish them off, and the final small items will be assembled, such as the antenna cable, pitot tubes and aileron counter balance weights to complete this build.

My next update will be the "Final Reveal", so until then, thanks for following this build thread and for your kind encouraging comments, much appreciated!

In the meantime, if you'd like to watch my YouTube "Build Update #3" video for this report, then here is the link to that:

https://youtu.be/3Ecg5wrLr0o

Until the "Final Reveal", have fun and happy modeling! :):thumbsup2:

Cheers!
Martin

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I really appreciate your detailed post - I know it takes a lot of time and planning to upload such wonderful details! Very nice photography.

Gene

(P.S. The models are also EXCELLENT)

Thanks Gene, greatly appreciated!

Cheers,

Martin :)

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Great work, fantastic build thread and really enjoy the two schemes being shown together. Crisp , clean and precision work. Well done

Thanks Mark, greatly appreciated! :)

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I like these a lot. You're on the home stretch now !! Bob

Thanks again, Bob, greatly appreciated! :)

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Really nice work Martin, such a clean design the Zero.

Thanks, Doug, greatly appreciated! :)

Cheers,

Martin

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Jut come across this thread, great builds. Really must have a go at that hair spray technique some time.

Thanks Woody, greatly appreciated!

Cheers :)

Martin

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