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Airfix 1:72 Mitsubishi A6M2b Zero


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Hi, This one is a favourite of mine - the Mitsubishi Zero. I love the shape, the colour, the canopy and it was an excellent aeroplane. This is the starter set (to build up my paint stash cheaply) and will be built OOB. Any hints and tips would be greatly appreciated :)

IMG-20150730-01149_zpsgh0nvjyb.jpg

The engine cover panel lines didn't match those on the instructions, so I rescribed:

IMG-20150731-01153_zpstcstgxuk.jpg

Best wishes

Danyel

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You seem to have made a decent start with the engine cowling. Just take things slowly and methodically and you should be fine. I would be wary about there being sufficient paint in these starter sets to get a good overall paint coverage of the airframe though. In my opinion investing in a decent stock of paint is one of the best things you can do at this stage. Also, make sure you get yourself a few really good quality brushes, the best you can afford. Working with good quality paints and brushes will enable you enjoy your builds much more which in turn means you wil be getting more value for money from each kit you build.

Martin

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I would be wary about there being sufficient paint in these starter sets to get a good overall paint coverage of the airframe though. In my opinion investing in a decent stock of paint is one of the best things you can do at this stage. Also, make sure you get yourself a few really good quality brushes, the best you can afford. Working with good quality paints and brushes will enable you enjoy your builds much more which in turn means you wil be getting more value for money from each kit you build.

Thanks for this advice Martin. I wish I'd read this before I went to my LHS today. I was looking at a really nice brush but it was £3 so I put it back - I'd only went in for airbrush cleaner. Silly really because the one I have has a definite hook on the end where I've rested it in a glass of water. Memo to self: don't do that again. I'm all modelling equipmented out for the next couple of weeks as I bought a rolson head magnifier. If I had read this I would have bought the brush. It is on my 'to get' list now :)

I must also admit I've gone off starter sets because they don't supply a full decal set. I bought the Harrier start set and found I had to buy additional decals to obtain the stencils. And, because of the paint pots included with the starter sets, I've got four little pots of humbrol black and three of silver, when I really like the vallejo black and silver.

Best of all, I like the tamiya paints - they spray so nicely because of their alcohol content, I guess. I can't use enamels - it gives me terrible headaches, even with good ventilation.

I shall be very careful to make my paint last the distance when spraying the airframe of the zero.

Best wishes, Danyel

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Bit more progress :)

Cockpit decalled and basecoat...

IMG-20150803-01161_zpsvhi2gigy.jpg

Some details...

IMG-20150804-01164_zpsigqzlbhq.jpg

More details. The dials on the console on the left side were printed with the end of a cocktail stick to produce decent circles. Paint chips with Vallejo silver drybrushing. A light grey Vellejo wash all over. Picked out some detail on the levers...

IMG-20150804-01166_zps3vshr72y.jpg

Gave the wee chap a seat cushion...

IMG-20150804-01167_zpsli35mftb.jpg

And some seatbelts made from tamiya tape...

IMG-20150804-01170_zpsyzvnh8l0.jpg

Used my Rolson ten quid-ish optivisor...

IMG-20150804-01168_zpsl5kx54ci.jpgIt's a lovely bit of kit. Great value. Really useful for picking out the detail on the dials in white. When I was drybrushing I could see the silver fragments scattering around

Closed her up (got carried away with 'laccy bands before remembering that tape works better)...

IMG-20150804-01171_zps8zwsfd0f.jpg

Decided I'm going to do a little bit of detailing on the undercarriage by adding brake lines, so drilled 0.5mm holes ready for them to be fitted later...

IMG-20150804-01163_zps7d4lh8ps.jpg

More later, chaps :)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Bit more progress :)

My attempt at masking the canopy went this well. Awful. I couldn't create realistic curves:

IMG-20150806-01174_zpsbmsrpcn5.jpg

So I bought the Eduard mask for it:

IMG-20150816-01186_zpsebo9g6mu.jpgIMG-20150816-01187_zpszkahc2yo.jpgMuch much better. Will buy masks again for multi-window or awkward shape canopies.

Decided to detail the engine. The engine had been painted matt black. I dry brushed it with vallejo stainless steel to bring out the detail. Then created rudimentary wiring from fuse wire and 14 strands of copper wire to represent (what I guess is) ignition wiring.

IMG-20150807-01180_zpsujt4kazz.jpg The soldering is sloppy, no excuses. The blob will be located at the bottom to represent the gubbins there, also, it will be partially concealed by the spinner. Cannot proceed further with this section until it is being fitted or I will damage the wiring.

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Thanks guys

That's looking good so far. A lot more effort going into that one than I did on mine.

Very nice work and brilliant additions going into this. Keep it going

Rob

Here's another one for you then :)

Loop antenna:

IMG-20150816-01188_zpsqhpncctz.jpg

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  • 2 weeks later...

Bit more progress to report

Used glue 'n' glaze to secure the canopy:

IMG-20150823-01200_zpsjmziptke.jpgApplied some interior green colour and really don't like the fit of the canopy. The fit everywhere else is superb. Very little filler used in the rest of the build, as can be seen on previous photos.

IMG-20150823-01202_zps80rfm0hm.jpg

Used some liquid green stuff:

IMG-20150823-01205_zpsudw9hm0k.jpg

I like this fit for the canopy better. Snapped the aerial :weep: but am making sure I don't contaminate the snapped surface with paint to ease the repair at the end of the build. I didn't want to fit the aerial before fitting the canopy, for fear of damaging it but didn't want to fit it at the end of the build for fear of marking the painted canopy or the interior with glue.

I will be interested to see if the water from the wet and dry or the liquid green stuff have seeped under the canopy masks, and, if I have, whether I will be able to remove the contamination from the klear coated canopy. Shall have to see. Fingers crossed.

Removed muck and paint from the panel lines, resprayed the interior green and primed with vallejo:

IMG-20150824-01206_zpsc09bgxw5.jpg

Sorry about the rubbish picture quality on this one.

Did a bit of detail painting (tyres, undercarriage), so this one is moving along :)

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Painted the topcoat. This is what I've got:

IMG-20150830-01213_zpsyzk2i5em.jpg

And after doing a search for the colour (In my mind I thought it should be whiter) I found this:

http://www.pacificaviationmuseum.org/aircraft/A6M2/

And it is near the same colour. Their website says "The Navy paint scheme and markings on the aircraft in the exhibit are identical to those found on the Zero Nishikaichi crashed landed on the island of Niihau following Pearl Harbor attack."

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Great work so far with some nice attention to detail.

Bit more progress :)

My attempt at masking the canopy went this well. Awful. I couldn't create realistic curves:

IMG-20150806-01174_zpsbmsrpcn5.jpg

That's how my attempts normally go, I hate rounded windows! That's why I try and do old FAA aircraft as their windows were nice and straight with right angled corners!

Keep up the good work

Bob

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  • 2 months later...

Some more progress:

About 4 coats of Klear

IMG-20151027-01258_zpskuqkgooz.jpg

Followed by the decals:

IMG-20151027-01260_zpsya0ruvws.jpg

IMG-20151027-01261_zpsjntnbknm.jpg

Really snug decals with the Set and Sol:

IMG-20151027-01259_zps31xkvxuu.jpg

Followed by a wash of Payne's Grey.

IMG-20151101-01266_zpsbyolwefe.jpg

IMG-20151101-01267_zpspgka96ri.jpg

IMG-20151101-01268_zps4ki7peqa.jpg

Not entirely happy with the panel lines. They look way too dark against the light colour of the body. Hopefully they will dry a bit lighter and will lighten further when I spray the matt top coat of varnish. Memo to self: get some white oil paint to lighten Payne's Grey next time I do a light coloured aeroplane.

The last picture also shows the aotake which was a mix of 2 parts Tamiya clear green, 1 part clear blue, and thinned with x20a applied with the airbrush.

Red bands sprayed onto the propeller and the rear of it has been sprayed black.

IMG-20151027-01263_zps7kem9qif.jpg

Getting closer to completion :)

Edited by Danyel
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A couple more:

The landing gear with hydraulic cables (that's what I think they are):

IMG-20151101-01272_zps8jo8m3ac.jpg

And the engine with the wiring fitted:

IMG-20151101-01270_zpsyzpkpvm3.jpg

Edited by Danyel
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Looks good, I'm looking forward to doing mine.

Just as an FYI, if they're hydraulic lines they're hoses, not cables.

Thanks :)

Were the brakes on a Zero actuated by hydraulics or pneumatics?

Chris

No idea, sorry :(

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Good question Chris, and I have no idea either. Either way, they're still hoses, regardless of what was in 'em. Unless they used Bowden cables (not without the realms of possibility), in which case, they are indeed cables.

Someone who knows could probably chime in right about now, so that I can stop waffling. Please.

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Looks good Danyel, I've stolen the aotake recipe, thanks :D

Cheers,

Stew

No probs :)

Just don't do what I did on my first attempt, which was to brush it on. It had the same effect as a wash and was blotchy and thin. I had to do it all over again! It goes through the airbrush a treat though :)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Nice work on the details. Mine will be just out of the box as its only my second model for forty years! Your build will be very helpful. I'm already panicking about the canopy. Might have to buy the mask set. I can't see your later pictures on my iPad. Not sure why, but the RFI pictures look great. I like the cocktail stick idea for dials. Might try that bit. Also like the magnifier. Might be worth a try for my old eyes. Thanks for sharing.

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Nice work on the details. Mine will be just out of the box as its only my second model for forty years! Your build will be very helpful. I'm already panicking about the canopy. Might have to buy the mask set. I can't see your later pictures on my iPad. Not sure why, but the RFI pictures look great. I like the cocktail stick idea for dials. Might try that bit. Also like the magnifier. Might be worth a try for my old eyes. Thanks for sharing.

Thanks GeordieMc, Don't panic about the canopy. The Eduard masks are in stock at Hannants:

https://www.hannants.co.uk/product/EDCX306

Pmasks produce a slightly cheaper mask set, which I couldn't buy, so I used the Eduard one.

The problem with the pictures was my fault for tidying up my photos (moving them around so that the links broke) on photobucket. I've fixed it now so that you can see them properly.

The magnifier is really handy :)

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