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Mitsubishi A5M. Finished.


Andwil

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I’ll be joining in first off with this Hobby Boss Mitsubishi A5M Navy Type 96 Shipboard Fighter “Claude” (quite a mouthful for a little plane).

 

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I will be doing the boxtop aircraft from the Soryu  Fighter Squadron in 1939.

 

The sprues, somewhat over packaged in individual bags:

 

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Not many parts, should make for a nice quick and easy start to the modelling year.

 

AW

 

Edited by Andwil
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Lovely aircraft. I was a little on the disappointed side with my only go at an HB easy assembly kit, it's probably just misjudged expectations, but I felt it was a little less sharp and a little more flashy than I was expecting. The fit wasn't quite bang on. I guess with how they achieve the simple slice down the middle assembly, you're always going to get a seam line down the widest point of the fuselage which generally won't correspond to a panel. 

Anyway looking forward to seeing it!

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On 05/01/2023 at 08:39, Andwil said:

should make for a nice quick and easy start

 

... until you get to the aluminium colour finish which had a hue of gold over it! Good luck with one of my favourite IJN fighters.

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On 1/5/2023 at 8:20 PM, Ngantek said:

but I felt it was a little less sharp and a little more flashy than I was expecting. The fit wasn't quite bang on.

No flash on this one, just some mould lines to rub down.  Dry fit is very good.

 

17 hours ago, Toryu said:

 

... until you get to the aluminium colour finish which had a hue of gold over it! Good luck with one of my favourite IJN fighters.

I’m aware of the colour controversy over the A5M, I haven’t seen anything yet to convince me this one should have a gold tint.  If you can show me something that proves beyond doubt it should be gold I’d be grateful.  As it is I’m happy to go with silver/aluminium.

 

Wasn’t planning on starting today due to the heat here but watching my A-League team self destruct drove me up to the bench with the A/C cranked up.

 

Fitted a fire wall and knocked some representative sidewall detail for some added interest, not 100% accurate.

 

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Not a lot will be seen through the tiny opening.

 

Drilled out the exhausts and gun ports:

 

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Thanks for looking in.

 

AW

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On 07/01/2023 at 10:09, Andwil said:

If you can show me something that proves beyond doubt

 

It's your model. If you're happy with silver, that's OK 😉

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Waiting for the weather to cool down so I can get some primer and paint on the cockpit internals.

 

Maybe tomorrow morning if all goes well.

 

In the meantime, a little background that I inadvertently left out of my first post:  The Mitsubishi A5M was the world’s first operational monoplane shipboard fighter, my subject is the aircraft flown by Lt Tamotsu Yokuyama, flight leader of the Soryu fighter squadron in November 1939 and an ace with five victories in the Sino-Japanese war.

 

AW

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Yes - the "gold tint" is subject to debate. Some sources say it was due to the varnish and also had the same effect on grey finished planes, and I have seen suggestions that this explains reports of a so called "orange" Val at Pearl Harbor. However, other sources dismiss this as rubbish so take your pick! Oddly enough my 30 year old Claude has acquired a sort of  "gold tint" all on its own, though not as bad as the pic below as the colours are a bit out.

DSC07486-crop

This seems to be due to a combination of the varnish weathering over time plus exposure to smoke from my pipe.😄

 

Pete

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My best guess from all I have read on the subject is that the protective finish may have yellowed over time.

 

Managed to get some paint on this morning and also knocked up some gun butts which were in the cockpit like a WWI fighter, an instrument panel and foot boards.

 

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Hobby Boss’ way of splitting the fuselage does not make for easy cockpit sidewall detailing!

 

And closed up:

 

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Now the fuselage join that was tight but near perfect when dry fitting was anything but perfect once paint and glue are involved.  The empenage/rear fuselage is a good fit, as is the nose, but the wing roots are horrible.  First I suspected my firewall was fouling the fuselage, but a peek inside showed no contact.  Next I suspected the rear bulkhead and seat and sanded them back.  Still no joy.  Then I thinned the locating tabs on the two halves, this improved the fit but still leave a significant gap that will need to be filled, if not shimmed.  I’m at a loss as to what is the cause of the problem, but it must be something to do with the cockpit floor insert.  Oh, and I managed to break the radio mast off so will have to replace it.

 

Thanks for looking.

 

AW

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5 hours ago, Andwil said:

 

 

  Oh, and I managed to break the radio mast off so will have to replace it.

 

Thanks for looking.

 

AW

I agree about the difficulty detailing the HB cockpits, and I have lost count of the number of moulded on aerials/pitots that I have broken - not just HobbyBoss ones. I would far rather have separate ones to glue on at a later stage!

 

Pete

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Nasty gaps filled, port side:

 

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and shimmed, starboard side:

 

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Legs on, radio mast reattached (good thing about the horizontal split is the ability to drill a hole for the mast without opening up a seam) and ready for the paint shop:

 

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The elliptical wing, fixed spatted undercarriage and wing outboard dihedral makes it look a bit like a cross between a Spitfire and a Stuka.  (I bet that sentence has never been written before).

 

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With the next couple of days forecast to be 38 degrees painting will have to wait.

 

Thanks for looking in.

 

AW

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The hot weather continues to hamper my modelling.  The problem I have is that I live in a three storey townhouse and my den is on the top floor.  When the temp gets over about 30C it gets very hot up there and paint dries too fast on the brush or in the airbrush, or skins over any open pots.   I have air conditioning which will make the room comfortably cool but at the cost of dry air which causes paint to dry too fast etc.  Anyway, if possible I try to get some modelling in early in the day before it heats up.  This morning I sprayed Vallejo white aluminium:

 

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and AK IJN cowling blue-black:

 

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A couple of spots I missed with some sloppy masking of the engine serendipitously look like chipping, so I might leave them.

 

Thanks for looking.

 

AW 

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Masked up for the red tail and fuselage bands, also masked to paint the fabric covered ailerons a different shade of aluminium:

 

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The fuselage bands were very fiddly to mask.

 

Paint, Tamiya gloss red and Vallejo dull aluminium for the ailerons:

 

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While this was drying I tinkered with my Sea Harrier.

 

Masks off and a little touching up of some bleeds:

 

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Only the gun butts, headrest, canopy frames and tyres still to paint.

 

Thanks for looking.

 

AW

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All the remaining parts (except the prop) cowling, hook, gunsight, windscreen, tank attached which brings me to the decalling stage.

 

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Thanks for looking.

 

AW

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21 hours ago, Bertie McBoatface said:

That's very smart.

 

15 hours ago, Toryu said:

Very nice progress. Starts looking gorgeous!

Thanks chaps.  Got me thinking, as a manoeuvrable, easy to fly aircraft it would make a nice little sports plane.

 

Decals done, prop attached and finished:

 

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I’ll take some pics for the gallery tomorrow.

 

AW

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