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Tamiya 1/72 Mitsubishi A6M2b Zero - 19/10/21 just the fiddly bits to go…


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So having spent much of the year making life hard for myself by grappling with some pretty challenging kits against GB deadlines (and abandoning more than one project along the way), I’ve decided that for a modeller of my modest abilities and aspirations maybe some modern tool OOBs are the way to go for a while. After I’ve got my Heller Potez over the line I’m going to have a crack at a little Tamiya fighter, acquired on these very pages from Mr @matto21. Don’t expect a modelling masterclass(!) but I thought I’d stick it on here.

 

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Oblig sprue shot. I’m not used this. It is beautifully moulded. I’m not sure I’ve ever done a Tamiya (maybe a Corsair many years ago) but I think this shouldn’t give me too many headaches.

 

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Cheers

Tony

Edited by TonyOD
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29 minutes ago, billn53 said:

I haven’t built this Tamiya kit, but if it’s anywhere as nice as their KI-61, then you’re in for a treat.


I have that one in the stash too (it’s a build that literally has my name on it 😉), but I’m hanging onto it for the Turning Japanese GB (if it makes it through the bunfight!)

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8 hours ago, VT Red Sox Fan said:

i know this will be a work of art

 

Haha, well I'm aiming for "vaguely competent", but we'll see!

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  • 2 weeks later...

There's nothing exciting to look at yet but I've made a start at cementing some cockpit bits together.

 

Already my thoughts are turning towards what colours to paint this bird. the instructions quote Tamiya paint references, and I'm not inclined to go out and buy a whole load of new paints for one model (though I have an Arifix Dinah in the stash that will be in similar colours). Instead, being a Humbrolista, I've swiped Airfix's instructions for their Zero off of Scalemates and will follow their cues.

 

However... it doesn't take much Googling to find that the colours of these IJN planes (which I had always thought to be, well, white, with a black nose) is a topic over which people get their knickers in a twist on internet forums. (Hoo boy, do they.) Historically Airfix have recommended either H90 "sky", a familiar greenish/duckeggy sort of colour much used on the underside of RAF/FAA fighters, which I think would look decidedly odd, or H168 "hemp", which appears to be a very light beige, and might do the job.

 

But then there's the question of the wheel wells, which involved a kind of metallic blue and apparently differed depending on whether the airframe was built by Mitsubishi or Nakajima.

 

And that "black" nose was apparently a bluish black.

 

I'm not one for losing sleep over colour chip matches and all the rest of it, but it would be nice to get it reasonably close to the original. I'll have to give it a bit of thought.

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  • TonyOD changed the title to Tamiya 1/72 Zero - 15/9/21 colour conundrums
56 minutes ago, TonyOD said:

... it doesn't take much Googling to find that the colours of these IJN planes ... is a topic over which people get their knickers in a twist on internet forums. (Hoo boy, do they.)

.

.

.

I'm not one for losing sleep over colour chip matches and all the rest of it, but it would be nice to get it reasonably close to the original.

I feel your pain. (Hoo boy, do I).

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1 hour ago, TonyOD said:

Already my thoughts are turning towards what colours to paint this bird. the instructions quote Tamiya paint references, and I'm not inclined to go out and buy a whole load of new paints for one model (though I have an Arifix Dinah in the stash that will be in similar colours).

 

I'm afraid not... The A6M was a Navy Air Force Aircraft, the Ki-46 an Army Air force one. Different colour standards at that time.

 

1 hour ago, TonyOD said:

However... it doesn't take much Googling to find that the colours of these IJN planes (which I had always thought to be, well, white, with a black nose) is a topic over which people get their knickers in a twist on internet forums. (Hoo boy, do they.) 

 

You wouldn't believe how much we enjoy that. As much as late Luftwaffe colours, or Olive Drab, or whatever other modelling colour discussion. That's what makes life interesting, isn't it?

 

1 hour ago, TonyOD said:

But then there's the question of the wheel wells, which involved a kind of metallic blue and apparently differed depending on whether the airframe was built by Mitsubishi or Nakajima.

 

Only Nakajima-built aircraft had the wheel wells in Aotake (a translucent blue-green protective lacquer, the metallic tint being the underlaying aluminium); Mitsubishi ones were painted the same colour as the underside of the aircraft.

 

1 hour ago, TonyOD said:

And that "black" nose was apparently a bluish black

 

Once again, depending on the aircraft's manufacturer. Nakajima used plain black, Mitsubishi a blue-black, that you can easily replicate adding 1 part blue to 4 parts black.

 

You need to decide first the timeframe of your model. As an example, all A6M in Pearl Harbour were Mitsubishi-built, so your options are limited. 

 

Since you declare yourself a Humbrol man, go to Aviation of Japan and buy the "PAINTING THE EARLY ZERO-SEN" publication by Nick Millman. There are Humbrol mixes there to get the right colours. If you decide to go to the Airfix-recommended Humbrol colours, what I can say... I wish you the best since in my opinion they are way off. As you can imagine, as a WWII Japanese aviation aficionado, I take my colours very seriously so I can't recommend anything I won't use myself, mainly because I only trust the modern, dedicated paints backed by serious researchers.

 

Anyway, modelling is a subjective activity, so anything you decide will be the right thing if you enjoy it and I support that above anything.

 

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4 hours ago, Tigerausfb said:

Have you had a look around this site?  http://www.aviationofjapan.com/    

+1 for this.  This website is incredible.

 

3 hours ago, Fukuryu said:

Mitsubishi a blue-black, that you can easily replicate adding 1 part blue to 4 parts black.

An alternative is using the navy blue that the US Navy used in WWII if you have some.  Then give it a mist of black before you take the masking off. Works for me, anyway.

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7 hours ago, TonyOD said:

or H168 "hemp", which appears to be a very light beige, and might do the job.

 

I'd go with that one if you have it Tony, Nick Millman has noted it as being a very close match :) As for the cowling colour, it is very similar to the RAF's Night, which always appears to be black but is made with 4 parts Carbon Black to 1 part Ultramarine as Fukuryu alludes to above. On the decking under the canopy, over time it tends to matt and go to a bit more of a very dark blue-grey but on the cowling itself which is more frequently wiped of oil leakage etc, it stays very close to black, so close - again like RAF Night - that unless you put it next to something pure black, it appears black anyway.

 

Cheers,

 

Stew

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9 hours ago, Fukuryu said:

I'm afraid not... The A6M was a Navy Air Force Aircraft, the Ki-46 an Army Air force one. Different colour standards at that time.

 

Well there ya go... both "hemp", according to Airfix!

 

9 hours ago, Fukuryu said:

You wouldn't believe how much we enjoy that. As much as late Luftwaffe colours, or Olive Drab, or whatever other modelling colour discussion. That's what makes life interesting, isn't it?

 

I absolutely respect people's right to care about these things a lot more than I do, I just get a bit bemused by how, er, strident the discussions sometimes become. I saw one a while back on these very pages (underside colour of lend-lease FAA planes, I think it was) that just went completely crackers. I appreciate that some modellers are also aviation historians with a great deal of hard-won expertise in certain fields. Me, scale modelling is an interesting diversion in life reacquired during lockdown, rather than the main event, and while I like things to be authentic-ish I don't live in fear of the accuracy police knocking on my front door with a warrant. (My three rules of what makes a good build: 1) did I enjoy it? 2) can it be mistaken for a Spitfire?* 3) does it look alright on the shelf?) 😉 Still, I 'm grateful to you for the heads up in these areas.

 

11 hours ago, Tigerausfb said:

Have you had a look around this site?  http://www.aviationofjapan.com/    

 

I'd love to, it appears to be a dead link though, unfortunately! 

 

 

* doesn't apply to Spitfires.

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53 minutes ago, TonyOD said:

 

+++ (My three rules of what makes a good build: 1) did I enjoy it? 2) can it be mistaken for a Spitfire?* 3) does it look alright on the shelf?) 😉 Still, I 'm grateful to you for the heads up in these areas.
+++

* doesn't apply to Spitfires.

 

Ve vill teach you to do zis medelling ssing ze proper vay.

 

( http://www.aviationofjapan.com/    works (technically) fine with me)

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1 minute ago, Jochen Barett said:

Ve vill teach you to do zis medelling ssing ze proper vay.

 

Ha ha that reminded me of something - many years ago (when I was into modelling last time round) I wrote the following and stuck it on another forum that I frequented at the time (I mention it, actually). It was around the time James May off of Top Gear did a TV programme about building a 1:1 scale model Spitfire. I think I had just realised that some modellers take the hobby much more seriously than me! 😉

 

 

________

 

Are you a proper modeller?

 

Answer a, b, c or d:

Question 1

How many kits do you have in your stash?

a) none – I just buy them when I need them.
b) 1-10
c) 10-50
d) all the kits in the world

Question 2

Where did you buy your last kit?

a) eBay
b) Modelzone
c) Hannants
d) A rather earnest bloke at a leisure centre in Hinckley

Question 3

How important is accuracy to you?

a) not that fussed. I’ve even done models with made-up paint and decal schemes.
b) well, it’s nice if my models are accurate, but I won’t lose sleep over it.
c) I prefer my models to be authentic representations of the actual airframe.
d) I have destroyed models after learning of inaccuracies. And taken it out on the dog.

Question 4

What does your wife think of your hobby?

a) she says all men should have a hobby and couldn’t be more supportive.
b) she moans occasionally about the time I give to it, but generally doesn’t mind. Better that than chasing skirt, she says.
c) she clearly resents the time I devote to the hobby.
d) don’t know, you’d have to ask her. She nipped out to the shops three years ago and I haven’t seen her since.

Question 5

Where do you do your modelling?

a) kitchen table
b) the study
c) a dedicated workbench
d) a soundproof bunker that can be locked from the inside

Question 6

What do you think of James May?

a) Great bloke. He’s really funny on Top Gear. Did you see that one where they tried to turn a Robin Reliant into a space shuttle? Wicked.
b) It’s good that he’s raising awareness of modelling, especially among young people.
c) He’s alright I suppose. He should be careful with kids around models though – all those sharp implements and solvents.
d) The long haired, foppish b******. Modelling is a serious business and not for children. And anyway, the wing span on that 1:1 Spitfire was 4mm out. I checked.

Question 7

How much time do you devote to modelling each week?

a) oh, I dunno. Couple of hours? Depends when I can fit it in.
b) an hour or two a day maybe.
c) all my spare time.
d) six 12 hour days. And 16 hours on Sunday.

Question 8

What is your idea of a perfect weekend?

a) a weekend at the beach with the wife and kids
b) just kicking back, going for a few walks maybe, but fitting in an hour or two with the kits
c) making some headway with the four models I have on the go
d) Telford!

Question 9

Which is your favourite kit manufacturer?

a) Airfix
b) Hasegawa
c) Special Hobby
d) Przemizckini Plastikovny Modelny Sp.z.o.o.

Question 10

How many times a day do you visit ww2aircraft.net?

a) ww2aircraft.what?
b) Once
c) Maybe half a dozen times
d) I come out in hives if I’m away for an hour.

Answers

Mostly a’s

Clearly modelling doesn’t feature largely in your life, it’s something you enjoy but can take or leave. Perhaps there is more to the hobby than you realise and you would enjoy delving further.

Mostly b’s

You enjoy your modelling but it is part of a varied, balanced lifestyle. Well done.

Mostly c’s

Perhaps there is more to life than the little plastic aeroplanes, however you should be applauded for your commitment.

Mostly d’s

Seriously mate, you need to get out more.

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1 hour ago, TonyOD said:

Well there ya go... both "hemp", according to Airfix!

Airfix quote available Humbrol products for the nearest 'match ' 

They still  quote Humbrol 30 for RAF Dark Green, which apparenyly was OK in the 1960's, but has been a blue-green since at least 1975 (I have kit remains from then with it on )

 

when Tamiya did their 1/32nd Zero, they brought out a paint for it, XF-76 gray-green (IJN) which is rated on Aviation of Japan as being good for a slightly weathered/faded airframe,  which maybe your best bet unless you like mixing. 

quote from link below

 

"Tamiya XF-76, which in colour charts and their own model adverts often appears to support the minty grey-green brotherhood, is, as measured (and sorry to disappoint), a Munsell Y - Yellow.  It is slightly more greyish than the Zero factory paint - at a difference of only 3.67 - being something of a compromise between the original amber-grey appearance and a slightly oxidised and chalked appearance, or, alternatively, between  J3 leaning slightly towards ameiro and plain ol' J3. Note especially that it has an identical Munsell lightness value of 5.8. The pigments and their ratios in XF-76 paint are as follows:- Titanium Dioxide (white) 16.5%, Pigment Green 7 (Phthalo Green) 0.2%, Red organic 0.2%, Yellow organic 0.5% and Diatomaceous earth 0.7%. Pigment Green 7, although a strong tinting colour (despite being transparent), is known to darken and dull with long term exposure. The red and yellow organic pigments are not specified and there are several different types. Diatomaceous earth is a naturally occurring silecious sedimentary rock ground into a fine, off-white powder used as a filler and matting agent.  XF-76 is perhaps more representative of a moderately weathered aircraft in service for several months. Depending on lighting it can appear browner or greener, brighter or duller in online model images. "

 

When fresh the colour is described as an olive grey. 

 

Tony, you may find this all a bit much, but here's the relevant pages

http://www.aviationofjapan.com/search?q=zero+grey

Nick Millman used to post here but tired of having to explain the same points again to the same old arguments.  

 

Liked the quiz, I'm mostly C's...  

 

But, hopefully you now have an out the pot reasonable answer to your question?    

 

HTH

T

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Hi Tony,

 

not sure how I missed this - spending too much time in the GB thread area, I think - but I'll be following from now on :) You'll love this kit, its an absolute joy to put together and the detailing is sublime OOB.

 

You've already delved into the world of Zero colours - it is an absolute can of worms (as you mentioned!). Nick Millman's Aviation of Japan site has already been mentioned in dispatches, I'm +1 for the plaudits. Nick is incredibly helpful with info as well. I can heartily recommend you get his paper entitled Painting The Early Zero-Sen - it's linked to on the AoJ front page. You pay for it the form of a subscription - it wasn't much - Nick sends you a downloadable PDF and automatic free updates as they're released.

 

As far as the external colour of the airframe is concerned, I settled on Mission Models MMP-110 "J3 Special Light Grey Japanese Zero (Amber)" and MMP-108 "Q1 Anti-Glare Blue Black". The aotake I mixed myself, sprayed thinly over an aluminium undercoat.

 

Anyway, looking forward to seeing your progress with this!

 

Cheers,

Mark

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16 minutes ago, 2996 Victor said:

+++ The aotake I mixed myself, sprayed thinly over an aluminium undercoat. +++

 

I just hope you didn't use the same aotake flavor all over the plane ... in case you did you will probably not go to heaven.

 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/colesaircraft/11935596086/in/photostream/

Japanese WWII Aotake Paint on A6M3 Mod. 32 Zero (ser. 3148)

 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/colesaircraft/11934760765/in/photostream/

Japanese WWII Aotake Paint on A6M3 Mod. 32 Zero (ser. 3148)

 

(the Japanese should have used RLM 02 in the first place and maybe later 66)

 

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1 minute ago, Jochen Barett said:

in case you did you will probably not go to heaven.

Hi Jochen,

 

I really don't think I'll be going to heaven, anyway :D I wouldn't know anyone there, anyway ;) 

 

Seriously, though, I just used a blue tinge similar to the bottom-most chip on the pic you posted. I understand it varied a lot even when freshly applied, and was heavily affected by its environment, sunlight, heat, fuel, oil etc. Pretty much any blue to pale green is okay, I believe!

 

Cheers,

Mark

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12 minutes ago, Jochen Barett said:

 

I just hope you didn't use the same aotake flavor all over the plane ... in case you did you will probably not go to heaven.

 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/colesaircraft/11935596086/in/photostream/

Japanese WWII Aotake Paint on A6M3 Mod. 32 Zero (ser. 3148)

 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/colesaircraft/11934760765/in/photostream/

Japanese WWII Aotake Paint on A6M3 Mod. 32 Zero (ser. 3148)

 

(the Japanese should have used RLM 02 in the first place and maybe later 66)

 

Good thing then than in an A6M Aotake is only visible on main wheel wells (and then only for Nakajima-built aircrafts), tail wheel well and sometimes the arresting hook shaft! Unless, of course, you want to build a see-though model....

Edited by Fukuryu
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3 hours ago, Fukuryu said:

Good thing then that in an A6M Aotake is only visible on main wheel wells (and then only for Nakajima-built aircrafts), tail wheel well and sometimes the arresting hook shaft! Unless, of course, you want to build a see-though model....

Excuse me, but surely you're joking Fukuryu-san. That is like not caring for the color(s) of the back side of the Ferrari F40's brake pedal.

Edited by Jochen Barett
"k"
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6 hours ago, Troy Smith said:

Tony, you may find this all a bit much

 

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...and that's before seeing the relevant pages! For some reason I can't seem to access that website...

 

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  • TonyOD changed the title to Tamiya 1/72 Mitsubishi A6M2b Zero - 15/9/21 colour conundrums
2 hours ago, Jochen Barett said:

Excuse me, but surely you're joing Fukuryu-san. That is like not caring for the color(s) of the back side of the Ferrari F40's brake pedal.

 

Shhh... wer're trying not to scare him too much with this Japanese aircrafts colours thing...

 

21 minutes ago, TonyOD said:

 

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... but seems like is too late now. 

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8 hours ago, Troy Smith said:

here's the relevant pages

 

I can see them now (work computer didn't seem to want to show me it.) Mind now doubly blown. I'm astonished by the amount of research and discussion the subject has generated.

 

With due respect to Mr Millman's considerable expertise, I don't think I'll be purchasing the monograph thing because while I do care about the issue, I don't care to the tune of 15 quid I'm afraid. At some point I'll probably make a call between Airfix's hemp and Tamiya's XF-76, which sounds like a good shout.

 

It's been fairly easy to establish that the OOB scheme I plan to build took part in the Pearl Harbor attack, indeed it met its end there, which I understand would have made it a Mitsubishi-manufactured machine, which helps me a bit.

 

Anyway... on with the interior!

Edited by TonyOD
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  • TonyOD changed the title to Tamiya 1/72 Mitsubishi A6M2b Zero - 19/10/21 just the fiddly bits to go…

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