Jump to content

Best 1/72 Japanese Zero kit


Recommended Posts

13 hours ago, Jackson Duvalier said:

I actually wanted to build a Tamiya Zero just because I heard it was such a beautifully engineered kit (it is).  I limit my builds to airplanes in US markings.  Because the particular Zero I'm modelling got captured by the Yanks and received a US Navy paint job, I could sneak it into the queue. Sometimes I just want a fun kit to build out of the box and not worry too much over, and an easy-to-build Tamiya kit in simple but rare markings hit the spot.  I'm sure someone more knowledgeable can help you with the finer points of the Zero in Japanese service.

 

Tamiya doesn't mould in lots of rivets, but I don't think they're really necessary in 1/72.  I just added them because I tend to overcomplicate simple things.  😏

Hi,

so sorry for not having replied sooner! Your captured subject sounds really interesting, and I think you're perfectly entitled to include it in your builds. Are you actually building at the moment?

[As an aside, I seem to recall that there were a couple of Macchi MC.202 Folgores taken Stateside for testing purposes after the end of the War.]

As far as the rivets are concerned, I think I need to study some photos and see how prominent they are.....And as for over-complicating things, I'm well-versed in that :D

Kind regards,

Mark

Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, sroubos said:

Four great kits as far I'm concerned, all of them are easy builds.

 

Airfix: Most bang for the buck. You can get them for a fiver regularly and they go together very well and look the part. Bit light on detail and panel lines quite soft though.

Hasegawa: Oldest of the bunch. Can be gotten cheaply as well. Also light on detail but much better panel lines than Airfix.

Tamiya: Great detail, fantastic panel lines, shake 'n bake to the max. Relatively expensive unless you get them for Japan directly.

FineMolds: Best detail. Slightly worse panel detail than Hasegawa. Quite expensive and hard to get a hold off.

Hi @sroubos,

many thanks for your post :)

you've pretty much confirmed what I've been thinking, that the best all-round kits are from Tamiya (and I'm ashamed to say I have NEVER built a Tamiya kit!!!).

I've searched for the FM kits, and honestly can't seem to find anyone who stocks them.

The Hasegawa kits.....hmmmm.....well, again the consensus seems to favour Tamiya.

I've also got one of the Airfix kits as it was dirt cheap (in fact I've got one of the old Airfix kits as well that I've had since God was a boy, which I'm tempted to put together, just cos!)

It's amazing how expensive the Tamiya kits are here in the UK, but to order them from Japan they cost peanuts, and even the shipping cost isn't expensive!

So, no surprises (!), I've ordered "some" Tamiya Zeros and a Kawanishi Shiden from Plaza Japan!

Please: nobody tell my better half!!! Please!!!

Kind regards,

Mark

Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, Vlad said:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mitsubishi_A6M_Zero#A6M2b_Type_0_Model_21

 

Folding wingtips, doubt that's visible on a 1/72 model, unless of course you actually fit them folded.

Hi @Vlad,

Many, many thanks for your post and link! :)

i can't believe I didn't think of Wiki (facepalm!). That's exactly what I would need to sort out a Model 11 for the 12th Kokutai in China!

I won't be folding any wings, though..... ;)

Kind regards,

Mark

Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, oz rb fan said:

a few years ago i built 3 A6M2b's from different manufactures all at once...Airfix (new kit) Tamiya and Finemolds and they all were brilliant in my mind....the Finemolds one is well above the others in detail and goes together really well...the Tamiya one is a little more simplifies but still heaps of detail and is a dream to assemble...the Airfix one is down on the detail but i 1/72 it's not that bad and to be honest if i only wanted one i'd probably go for it as it goes together well in my mind and looks the part on the shelf

50235855061_2953dca4c0_b.jpg1623742_631304300240287_1115828496_n by paul sabin, on Flickr

the front one is the finmolds one...right is Tamiya and left is Airfix..

 

 

i know in some starter sets they were using the older kit from the 60's that is terrible.

Hi @oz rb fan,

Many thanks for your post and pic - they look like three cracking builds! Are there any WiP or RFI threads?

Thanks also for your thoughts on the relative merits of the kits. As I've mentioned elsewhere this evening, I've ordered "some" Tamiya kits direct from Japan as the cost including shipping is ludicrously less than buying from here in the UK!

I've also got two Airfix kits, one old that I've had for donkey's years and a new one. As @Navy Bird and @Si2 have both had good results with the new Airfix kit, I'll probably do that one as well! At some point!!!

Kind regards,

Mark

Link to post
Share on other sites

I only have experience of the new Airfix kit but as far as I could tell it's accurate and goes together very well. It had zero flash needing only sprue cutters and a fine file to clean up the gates, fit was excellent with only one joint needing a wipe of filler. The only thing I would say for a 13 year old if he is anything like me at that age he will break one of the undercarriage legs off while handling. The fit might be prototypical but it's a very flimsy small glue joint.

 

 

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, 2996 Victor said:

Hi @oz rb fan,

Many thanks for your post and pic - they look like three cracking builds! Are there any WiP or RFI threads?

Thanks also for your thoughts on the relative merits of the kits. As I've mentioned elsewhere this evening, I've ordered "some" Tamiya kits direct from Japan as the cost including shipping is ludicrously less than buying from here in the UK!

I've also got two Airfix kits, one old that I've had for donkey's years and a new one. As @Navy Bird and @Si2 have both had good results with the new Airfix kit, I'll probably do that one as well! At some point!!!

Kind regards,

Mark

Have you factored in import duties. I have ordered bicycle parts and tools from Japan and paid duties 4 out of 6 times. 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

My preference is the  Fine molds that were originlly published with magazines in Japan. 

Tamiya  next.

Not built the Hasegawa, but have one in my stash.

airfix i’ve built, but the panel lines yikes
Ray

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, RayB24 said:

 

airfix i’ve built, but the panel lines yikes
Ray

 

I thought the panel lines on the Airfix were very good, visible but not deep or wide. Do you mean the old Airfix kit because that was pretty bad typical 1960s details.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

The import duties may make it more expensive if you order from Japan but you'll still pay less than getting the kits from any European or UK (is that still the same? ;) ) stockist. And if you are lucky you don't pay any at all.

 

The Finemolds kits originally came with magazines which is how I got my A6M3. They are still occasionally available through for instance HobbyLinkJapan but will set you back around 30 quid plus postage. I don't have any of the other marks. I got it more out of curiosity than anything else as the Tamiya kits are superb anyway and cost less than half.

 

The difference between the A6M2 11 and 21 models is only in the exhaust and cowling area I believe. Hasegawa provides different versions of their kits that cater for this. I still wouldn't rule out those kits by the way. They build very well and in 1/72 the lack of detail isn't really an issue for me unless you are going for a show winner.

 

The Academy kit is not as good as the others I feel; for one they only do an A6M5 but to me it appears the wing is too thick, it is very noticeable compared to the other kits and more importantly, the real thing. I believe the A6M5 had thicker wing skin but that should not account for the substantial delta in thickness between the other kits and the Academy kit.

 

Airfix A6M2

50239381878_f686df38d0_b.jpg

 

Hasegawa A6M3

50240244722_ac23f83889_b.jpg

 

Academy A6M5c

50239381858_815665d85e_b.jpg

Edited by sroubos
  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, AltcarBoB said:

Have you factored in import duties. I have ordered bicycle parts and tools from Japan and paid duties 4 out of 6 times.

 

3 hours ago, sroubos said:

The import duties may make it more expensive if you order from Japan but you'll still pay less than getting the kits from any European or UK (is that still the same? ;) ) stockist. And if you are lucky you don't pay any at all.

Oops! That makes me feel a bit :sheep:-ish!!! I completely forgot about import duties, which is all the more stupid of me as I've bought from overseas many times before :banghead:

However, as @sroubos has mentioned, the overall cost difference should still make it a cheaper option as the kits themselves from Japan are cheap as chips. And I might get lucky.....nah! Probably not :D

 

3 hours ago, sroubos said:

The Finemolds kits originally came with magazines which is how I got my A6M3. They are still occasionally available through for instance HobbyLinkJapan but will set you back around 30 quid plus postage. I don't have any of the other marks. I got it more out of curiosity than anything else as the Tamiya kits are superb anyway and cost less than half.

 

The difference between the A6M2 11 and 21 models is only in the exhaust and cowling area I believe. Hasegawa provides different versions of their kits that cater for this. I still wouldn't rule out those kits by the way. They build very well and in 1/72 the lack of detail isn't really an issue for me unless you are going for a show winner.

 

The Academy kit is not as good as the others I feel; for one they only do an A6M5 but to me it appears the wing is too thick, it is very noticeable compared to the other kits and more importantly, the real thing. I believe the A6M5 had thicker wing skin but that should not account for the substantial delta in thickness between the other kits and the Academy kit.

 

Airfix A6M2

50239381878_f686df38d0_b.jpg

 

Hasegawa A6M3

50240244722_ac23f83889_b.jpg

 

Academy A6M5c

50239381858_815665d85e_b.jpg

An excellent array of A6Ms, if I may say so! To be fair, the Airfix offering stands up well alongside the Hasegawa and Academy versions, it's just the depth of the panel lines that are a little too pronounced to be totally convincing.

 

Kind regards,

 

Mark

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, 2996 Victor said:

Oops! That makes me feel a bit :sheep:-ish!!! I completely forgot about import duties, which is all the more stupid of me as I've bought from overseas many times before :banghead:

However, as @sroubos has mentioned, the overall cost difference should still make it a cheaper option as the kits themselves from Japan are cheap as chips. And I might get lucky.....nah! Probably not :D

It's the (uninvited) admin fee that goes on top that I always forget to factor in. I've noticed that it is much more likely you will get clobbered these days. I suppose the parcel companies have decided it is a good income stream. I used to buy from abroad but it doesn't seem worth it any more. Be interested to know if it works out well for yourself.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Pete F said:

interested to know if it works out well for yourself

I'll be sure to keep you posted.....

  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

There's a double-box FM A6M prototype and type 11 available here.

Still, 30 a piece with P&P..

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/18/2020 at 7:25 AM, 2996 Victor said:

Hi @oz rb fan,

Many thanks for your post and pic - they look like three cracking builds! Are there any WiP or RFI threads?

Thanks also for your thoughts on the relative merits of the kits. As I've mentioned elsewhere this evening, I've ordered "some" Tamiya kits direct from Japan as the cost including shipping is ludicrously less than buying from here in the UK!

I've also got two Airfix kits, one old that I've had for donkey's years and a new one. As @Navy Bird and @Si2 have both had good results with the new Airfix kit, I'll probably do that one as well! At some point!!!

Kind regards,

Mark

sorry it seems i didnt document the builds 

  • Sad 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, alt-92 said:

There's a double-box FM A6M prototype and type 11 available here.

Still, 30 a piece with P&P..

Gosh, I completely forgot that kit when I did my write up, I got it last year. Same applies as to the other Finemolds kits mentioned here, the Model 11 tooling was previously released with Model Graphix Magazine. The interesting part is of the course the prototype kit, for which you previously had to rely on a very rare kit from A+V Models.

 

The Finemolds combo kit generally goes for 28-30 quid in Japan, but yeah, if it's the only kit you buy (more kits means less shipping generally) and you get hammered with postal charges it can get you close to the 53 euros at the Aviation Megastore. Of course, unless you live near Amsterdam you need to add a tenner in postal charges to that as well :)

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, alt-92 said:

There's a double-box FM A6M prototype and type 11 available here.

Still, 30 a piece with P&P.

 

5 hours ago, sroubos said:

The interesting part is of the course the prototype kit, for which you previously had to rely on a very rare kit from A+V Models.

Its definitely a tempting option, especially with the prototype included - the two-bladed, non-spinnered prop and different cowling for the 780hp Zuisei engine make it an interesting proposition! :) 

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/18/2020 at 6:02 AM, AltcarBoB said:

I thought the panel lines on the Airfix were very good, visible but not deep or wide. Do you mean the old Airfix kit because that was pretty bad typical 1960s details.

No I’m talking the new version, as I said it’s good but those panel lines are just too pronounced.  In comparison to fm and Tamiya especially. 
ray 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

Dear All,

 

just to update you, my box of kits arrived from Japan yesterday - @AltcarBoB, @sroubos and @Pete F, I did manage to "get away with it" with neither import duties or the dreaded processing robbery, sorry, fees.

 

In the end, I ordered six kits in total, all Tamiya 1/72 scale, consisting of 3 x A6M2b Zeroes, 1 x A6M3 Hamp, 1 x A6M3/3a Zero, and 1 x Kawanishi N1K1-Ja Shiden. The Zeroes and Hamp were 1,100Yen each, and the Shiden was 710Yen, making the cost including shipping to the UK a grand total of 9,305Yen. Sounds a lot until you factor in the exchange rate, which ISTR was 0.088Yen to £1.00 at the time of placing the order. I think the exchange rate has dropped slightly since, as well.

 

Not being stung means that it was absolute bargain, and obviously including more kits in one package makes the shipping cost more economic, too.

 

Kind regards,

 

Mark

  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, sroubos said:

That’s a good price for these kits I think, which store did you use?

I ordered from Plaza Japan, basically because they had stock of what I wanted, and the consignment was tracked. I'm very impressed, overall.

 

Hobby Link Japan were similar prices but didn't have all I wanted at the time I ordered. Not sure what their shipping costs would be in comparison.

 

Kind regards,

 

Mark

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...