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Takeo Tanimizu's A6M5c Propeller and spinner


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I'm planning to start building the Hobby Boss version of Takeo Tanimizu's A6M5c and have some confusion about it's propeller and spinner colors.  Does anybody know?  it would be great to have a photo...

 

I looked at b/w photos for probably a couple hours total on the internet and only found the pictures of him standing next to his victory markings.  None that showed the front.  The confusion is because Hobby Boss shows the spinner and propeller to both be that mahogany "Propeller color", while the Hasagawa version I built in college had the propeller as bare metal and the spinner as dark green.  All the profiles I found in my searching have variations of those two, plus a green spinner/mahogany propeller, and another one I can't quite recall right now.  No real pictures though...

 

Any help would be appreciated!  Thanks!

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According to the J-Aircraft website, in late 1943 or early 1944, Mitsubishi-built A6M5's had both the spinner and prop painted with red-brown primer, with Nakajimi-built examples following suit, but it was mentioned that one Nakajima subcontractor continued to supply spinners that were painted aluminum. You might try going to the Aviation of Japan website and asking Nick Millman, as he is an acknowledged expert on IJA/IJN aircraft colors.

Mike

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Hi Opus999,

 

See the following from my correspondence with Nick Millman:

 

"Regarding IJN spinners I think most were painted dark green to match the upper surface paint but that is just my personal belief - unsubstantiated for every aircraft. The brown spinners are a convention seen in many references - including mine! - but the photographic evidence for that is sparse. I think Zero and Raiden spinners were most often painted dark green if not left aluminium. I found it very difficult to "control" the profiles in my A6M book and some of my corrections were not implemented before publication [ed - because some profiles show brown spinners].

The A6M5 light spinners often depicted as white are not natural metal but aluminium painted at the factory. Then they were variously either re-painted by receiving units - in dark green I believe - or left as aluminium. There is red-brown primer under the aluminium paint which is not so shiny and rather greyish. The best evidence is 281st Ku A6M5 which we can see pristine with factory painted aluminium spinners before the Marshall Islands campaign and afterwards with re-painted dark green spinners - see attached. I think this was the 'typical' practice but cannot prove that. Also some G4M spinners are indeed painted a similar dark brown to the prop blade colour - and close inspection shows the lighter red-brown primer beneath the dark brown.

Often modellers paint the props [ed - prop blades] with a brown colour more typical of the lighter red-brown primer than the real dark brown colour which can look almost black. It is in fact a very dark maroon-brown colour."

 

From all the photographic evidence of late war Mitsubishis as well as other manufacturers, I came to the conclusion that factory-delivered IJN planes had a green spinner to match the camouflage. When a replacement spinner (from some sub-contractor?) was needed it may have been delivered in aluminium paint and left so in order to safe time; in very rare instances it may have come in red-brown primer. The idea about brown spinners of many referencers (and modellers) comes from the JAAF practice of painting the spinner in the same dark (maroon) brown like the prop blades - this was not IJN practice!

 

We will never know how the spinner of Tanimizu's aircraft was painted, but the highest probability would be dark green as a matter of statistical evidence (maybe silver, but brown is very unlikely).

 

Cheers, Michael

 

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A6M5c type 52 ZERO in ( propeler brown )  with yellow warning labels.

According to some new data, 03-09 had a green spinner.

This is how I painted in 1/72.

zero-kowling-32-spred-tea-spred.jpg

 

P.k

Edited by politicni komisar
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7 hours ago, politicni komisar said:

This is how I painted in 1/72.

Wow!  This looks great, even by itself.  🙂

 

11 hours ago, 72modeler said:

You might try going to the Aviation of Japan website

My other Zero question on this forum had a lot of responses that pointed me to that website.  I've been there before, but never found a way to search, which made it difficult to use.  I just found out this morning it was a technical issue on my part that prevented the search box from appearing!  So, yes, I will be heading that way to poke around...  😄

 

7 hours ago, Toryu said:

We will never know how the spinner of Tanimizu's aircraft was painted, but the highest probability would be dark green as a matter of statistical evidence (maybe silver, but brown is very unlikely).

I had a feeling that could the answer has been lost to history, but it doesn't hurt to ask.  Thanks for the insightful answer -- I really appreciate it!  Between yours and the other responses, I've decided a green spinner with brown blades is what I will do. 

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13 hours ago, 72modeler said:

According to the J-Aircraft website, in late 1943 or early 1944, Mitsubishi-built A6M5's had both the spinner and prop painted with red-brown primer, with Nakajimi-built examples following suit, but it was mentioned that one Nakajima subcontractor continued to supply spinners that were painted aluminum. You might try going to the Aviation of Japan website and asking Nick Millman, as he is an acknowledged expert on IJA/IJN aircraft colors.

Mike

Not sure that A6M5 props were painted with red brown primer.  A brown, yes, red-brown primer no.  Here are some words I lifted from a post on BM by Nick Millman on 10 Aug 2012, in the context of discussion of the then-new Airfix A6M2.  Note the last sentence.

 

"Just a bit of further clarification on props that might be useful to kit builders - and Tamiya have a new 1/72 A6M2 out in September. Early A6M2 props had polished natural metal blades with matt red-brown paint on the rear of the blades (some sources also say matt black) to eliminate glare and either two or one red warning stripes at the tips. The spinner was painted aluminium over red-brown primer. This distinction is important as there are plenty of models that depict both the blades and the spinner as polished natural metal. From late 1943 props and spinners began to be entirely painted in a dark brown paint with a single yellow warning stripe although some Nakajima-built examples had an aluminium painted spinner and brown blades.

It is difficult to be certain about these colours from the photo of Tsu-134 but as it was an operational trainer flying in 1944 it is open to possibilities. Line ups are not much help because they show a variety of spinner colours in the same unit. The main possibilities therefore are:-

Aluminium spinner with nmf blades
Aluminium spinner with dark brown blades
All dark brown

One of the common modelling myths is that the props were painted in the red-brown primer (which was a red-oxide paint close to Humbrol 100 - approx between FS 10076 and 30109). Some might have been but the contractor applied dark brown prop paint was a different colour entirely - closer to FS 20059."

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