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MustangManiac

Converting a Tamiya A6M5 to an A6M7

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I was tinkering with the idea of trying to make the Tamiya A6M5 an A6M7. What all would I need for this conversion? I know I'd need wing tanks from some other model perhaps a Ki-61 Tony? A centerline bomb, which I have a spare from the Doyusha A6M2 Bakusen kit. What all will I need to do to the guns in the wings and possibly the cowling too? I may find this project too overwhelming and just say the heck with it, but I wanted to ask anyway. I'm thinking I want an A6M7 like Hasegawa makes in 1/48 scale with wing tanks and a centerline bomb. After that the challengebwill be markings.

 

Cheers,

Brady

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Would I need the entire wing or just the guns and the shell ejection ports? There wasn't any difference in length of the two models' wings were there? 

 

What would be a good donor kit for drop tanks?

 

Thanks,

Brady

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From what I read in the Aero Detail book on the A6M, the A6M7 had the same wing as the A6M5c which means it had four bomb/rocket rails/racks outboard of the 13mm machine gun in each wing.  The bomb rack was recessed into the fuselage not mounted below it as in earlier A6M's.  the cowl was bulged more noticeably than the A6M5 series and created a gap between the cowl and the fuselage in front of the windscreen.  Incidentally,  the A6M5b and c had a 13mm machine gun in the cowl with a much, much different opening in the cowl (much bigger and elongated compared to the regular 7.7mm machine gun opening).  The A6M7 would also have this larger opening for the 13mm machine gun.  The 7.7mm machine gun was deleted from the left side in the A6M5c series aircraft.  Hasegawa's rendition of the Zero is actually an A6M5c so if you can meld the wing from that kit into the Tamiya kit, you're part-way there.

 

It won't be an easy conversion to do it correctly but apart from a few of us who know the zero, who would even know what to look for?

Edited by Juggernut

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Thanks for the information guys. I may attempt this eventually, but I've got to finish my P-51D first and do a few other projects, before I try and tackle this.

 

Cheers,

Brady

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Hi Guys,

 

I'm back with another question that I'm not sure if anyone will have the answer for yet because of release date on the kit itself. I was wondering if the newly released Hasegawa A6M5c would be the kit I'd want to use as a base kit for an A6M7? Will I need to really do any converting to it other than adding a centerline bomb and wing tanks? What do you guys think would be the best place to get a set of wing tanks?

 

Cheers,

Brady

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The new Hasegawa kit would be much better, but you would still need to deal with the larger cowl needed for the larger engine. I'd just wait for Hasegawa to release it in the future since the kit lower wing has flashed over holes, plus the centerline mount is an insert.

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I agree with Dave, but will add a few thoughts to amplify:

 

  • I just received my copy of the new Hasegawa A6M5c.   It's a beauty!   
  • It's pretty clear from sprue lay outs that they are setting up for future releases of other variants of the Zero.   I hope that A6M3 is next.   (either Model 22 or Model 32)
  • While it is well neigh impossible to predict future releases by model manufacturers, predicting a new 1/32 A6M7 from Hasegawa is kinda like predicting gravity.   For the reasons Dave mentions:
    • same wing and fuselage as the A6M5c
    • A6M7 engine cowl is larger, but the A6M5c cowl is on a separate, single item, sprue.
    • wings already have flashed over holes for wing tanks and they already include a part for the lower wing panel with mount for a bomb.
    • All Hasegawa need to add for an A6M7 is a sprue with new cowl, wing tanks, and maybe a bomb.   And new decals.
  • I hope Hasegawa choose to "run the table" on 1/32 Zeros just like they did in 1/48.   While Tamiya kits remain the gold standard for A6M quality (in my opinion), I am disappointed they stopped after releasing only the A6M2 and A6M5.   The new Hasegawa kit is nearly as good, less expensive, and Hasegawa has a history of sequential releases of other variants.    Here's hoping they continue....

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Hi Guys,

 

Thanks for the input, I'm still waiting on my new release A6M5c kits to get here so if nothing else you've got me excited to see what I get. I hope that Hasegawa runs the table on Zeros in 1/32 scale too. I've gotta say I'd really like to see an A6M3 preferably a Model 32, maybe even before an A6M7. I've got to say I really don't know in what way(s) I need to enlarge the cowling exactly anyway. I guess I'll just wait if they're this close to already releasing it themselves. A captured A6M8 would be cool to have in 1/32 too, since they're the only ones that I know of to make it in 1/48, I'm probably just wishful thinking though.

 

Cheers,

Brady

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Hasegawa did release a short run of the A6M8 awhile back in 1/48.  It came with resin parts with their A6M5 kit to represent the changes between the two.  I almost bought one but thought I'd never build it...  I was right.

Edited by Juggernut

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