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1/32 Tamiya A6M2b Zero


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Hi Folks,

 

Here is the finished product on my Tamiya Zero which was documented in the Works in Progress folder.  I'm sure this will take 2 posts due to the number of photos.

 

Manufacturer:  Tamiya

Extras:  Engine detail PE from Eduard
            Cockpit detail PE from Eduard
            Exhaust Manifolds from Quickboost
            Seatbelts from HGW

Paints:  Almost all Tamiya per Instructions
             -Exceptions:  Alclad for Exhaust Manifolds
                                 Vallejo Model Air for some silver bits

Decals:  Tamiya (kit supplied)

Weathering:  Flory "Grime"

I've said more than a few words about this kit in the build log which you are welcome to peruse if you don't mind a couple of rants!!!  It really IS a superior kit, though not without a few problems here and there.

Here are the finish photos, I hope you enjoy them!

Starboard-Fore-C_zps281c691a.jpg  

STBD-Side-1_zps30420e6d.jpg  

Fore-1_zps1303d979.jpg  

Port-Side_zps81cc0f64.jpg  

Port-Aft_zpsc5d195a8.jpg  Port-Fore_zps412da201.jpg  

STBD-side-2_zpsdcd9eb45.jpg  

STBD-Overhead_zpsb4082436.jpg  

 

......Photos continued in Post #2....

 

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Top stuff John - looks amazing! I know you didn't enjoy the build as much as you hoped to, but I really like the way it has turned out. I find your use of the 'pistachio green' interpretation of the external colour quite interesting. May I publish your photos on the website?

 

Kev

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Thanks, Kev.

 

Of course you can use it on the web site.  I'm quite flattered.

 

By the way,  the "pistachio green" color in some of the photos is an artifact of the artificial light that the model was photographed in.  That's what happened when I used warm white led bulbs in my lamps and did the photography at night. I was rushing to get this finished before I left on vacation for a GB on another site and didn't even look at the photos until I was hundreds of miles away from home, posting from a vacation cottage!! 

Lesson learned!  I will never again photograph a model at night with only artificial light.   Actually, the color on the model is straight Tamiya XF-76, IJN Gray Green.  In natural light it photographs in a color we are all expecting and in some of the photos you can see that.  I would send in a whole set of new photos, but I am on holiday right now at the beach for another week and won't have the opportunity to send in new photos before the end of the GB.  Oh well, perhaps later.

 

Thanks again for your kind remarks.

 

John

Edited by John F Smith
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Thanks for the clarification John. I figured you were going for the 'pistachio green' colour that has been mentioned as a candidate for the actual colour used on these early Zeros. I think the way your photos came out makes it look quite effective as such!

 

Kev

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Simply superb ! Love it. I did a conversion of the A6M5 recently and it's the nicest kit I've ever built (havent tried Tamiya's other 32nd).

 

I really really really like that you didn't chip the hell out of it. My personal pet peeve !! IJN aircrafts generally did not chip. IJA did, but not IJN.

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Guest Peterpools

John

Terrific work on a difficult kit. Fit and finish are simply exceptional.

Just a note on photographing inside and using any of the normal sources of lighting.  With digital, the correct WB setting is the key (White Balance.) If the colors still don't look correct after setting the WB, they can be corrected in post production processing. I guess, when it comes to photography, it's one of my passions and great interests.

:clap2: :clap2: :clap2:

Peter

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Thank you all very much!  Your comments and support mean a lot to me.

 

Peter, thank you especially for the advice on setting the White Balance on the camera.  I'm brand new with a digital SLR and I guess I found out on this go around just how wrong things can go if you're not careful.  But, as with everything, I'll keep plugging and learning.

 

Time now to move on to the Fine Structure Zero and finish the brother to this kit.  I'm on the home stretch there and hope to reach the finish line without too much more difficulty after this vacation.

 

Best Regards to you all,

 

John

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Hi John:

 

Very nice build of the quintessential A6M.  I read your build thread about some of the issues you had and I do agree to a certain extent that the kit is over-engineered.  Specifically, the metal rods in the moveable control surfaces are not needed and we really didn't need working oleo struts on the main gear.  On mine I simply left the metal rods out and attached the control surfaces after painting.  I did use the springs in the oleo's though as the gear would've been flat had I not.  Those bottles you speak of behind bulkhead 6 (if memory serves) are the oxygen bottles and here's another place that Tamiya took a shortcut from the A6M5 to get to the A6M2.  The bottles that you get in the kit do not represent those installed in the A6M2; they're specific to the A6M5 series of rei-sen fighters.  So you could indeed have left them out with no issues whatsoever.  Also, there is a floatation bag from frame 7 aft to the tail within the fuselage so anything behind frame 7 should not be remotely visible.  Tamiya does not provide the floatation bag in the kit.  I agree that the retractable landing gear is gimmicky at best and should never be operated once installed, it'll just break.   I didn't have any issues with my build with the wheel wells and wing/fuselage fit.  It was perfect on my kit.  Maybe I did something that you didn't or vice versa.... 

 

I noticed you also installed the long barrelled cannon in the wings.  You should have saved those for the A6M5 build you spoke of as the A6M2 did not have long barreled cannon, the muzzles did not protrude through the leading edge of the wing.  I also used Blacken-it for my machine guns (cowl) and mine dried with a very annoying white powdery substance in a number of spots.  Have you seen this or know what I'm speaking of?  I noticed yours came out perfect.  Again, maybe I did something you didn't or vice versa.  Another note is that the wheel covers (inboard gear doors) should be open when the landing gear are extended.  When you do build the A6M5, you can correct that feature.  Here's another point where Tamiya dropped the ball (or chose to ignore it).  The decals that you put underneath the horizontal stabilizers and elevators are actually serial numbers and would not read "9999" unless the aircraft serial number was 9999 (which none were, the serial number on the zero was actually a combination of  both date and manufacturer number).  They would match the serial number on the data plate on the left side of the aft fuselage which is conspicuously blank on the kit decal; another "Nobody will ever know that one" by Tamiya....  Wrong-O Mr. Tamiya, there's a whole article on j-aircraft.com about serial numbers on the A6M series fighter plane.  Last issue I have where Tamiya royally goofed are the blue bands on the fuselage and tail.  Aircraft assigned to Hiryu (dual blue fuselage bands) during the Pearl Harbor Operation wore dark blue bands, not the medium blue bands given on the decal sheet.  I don't believe that medium blue was ever a color worn by Hiryu's A6M's. 

 

The Tamiya issues I pointed out are not to be misconstrued as a slam against your efforts.  On the contrary, I think you've done a spectacular job with what you were given and as you've already detailed, the Tamiya kit is more complicated than it really needed to be.  I'm sure Tamiya has learned from that fact and subsequent aircraft kits won't be as quirky.  The Corsair I believe is much, much better with respect to engineering than is the A6M.  Both are great kits and I have one more A6M5 in my stash that will be built as a derelict aircraft someday....   Good luck on your next zero and if you need any specific information, I have a great many references on the A6M that I can comb for needed information.

 

EDIT: Sorry for the long winded reply...  I didn't want to zombie up your build thread again as it was three or four pages back.  :)

Edited by Juggernut
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Thank you all, gentlemen for your comments.  Especially you, Juggernut (wish I knew your real name to say "thank you") for pointing out the errors of my ways as well as the errors of Mr. Tamiya.  I think many of us out here who are not research inclined tend to accept Tamiya's markings and engineering as gospel because of their often excellent research on dimensions, shapes, sizes, and so forth.  Your letter has been a real "heads up" to me to spend some more time in my research phase.  I didn't take it as negative at all...in fact, I thought your comments were quite complimentary and any criticism of my lack of research is indeed constructive and I appreciate it very much.  Be assured that I may very well be asking for your help when I build the A6M5.

 

On the subject of Blacken-It, if it's turning out well for me, I think it's beginner's luck, or experience from another type of modeling.  I've spent a fair amount of time in wooden ship modeling where Blacken-It is often used and this is the way I use it on brass.  I simply decant some pure Blacken-it into a 1 oz. jar, and have a 1 oz jar of distilled water on hand while I work the process.  I measure the time I leave the parts in the solution in 30 second intervals (just because that seems reasonable) in case I have others to do.  When the part looks right to me, I immediately snag it out of the solution and put it into the distilled water and agitate it by shaking the jar.  I've been fortunate that this amount of dilution seems to stop the reaction.  If I find that it hasn't achieved the desired patina, I repeat the process using shorter durations in the chemical solution until I have a part I'm happy with.  I dry it with a paper towel and store it in a plastic bag until I use it.  I haven't noticed any changes occurring after that with the treated brass.  One item, I think, is critical.  Once you have used that ounce of Blacken-It, dispose of it.  I consider it contaminated after a single use and I never use it again.  Same for the distilled water.  Don't know if that is any different from what you are doing, but I hope it helps.

 

And, again, thank you for taking the time to enlighten me about the A6M series of fighter planes.  

 

Best Regards,

John

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Guest Peterpools

John

Looking forward to your next update on the Fine Structure Zero. If I can help with the photography, just give me a shout.

Keep 'em coming

peter

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