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MustangManiac

Captured A6M2 Black and White photo question

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Hello everyone,

I'm interested in doing a model of the Chinese captured Zero, V-172 serial 3372, in the paint scheme it carried after the Chinese forces handed it over to the U.S. for testing. You can see a lot of pictures and background information here on the Pacific Wrecks website:

 

http://www.pacificwrecks.com/aircraft/a6m2/3372.html

 

It's probably a more interesting and accurate article than listening to me ramble anyway. Not to mention you can go to the main part of that website and see information and whatever photos they have on LOTS of captured Japanese warbirds from WWII.

Anyway, what I'm trying to figure out is what colors to use on the insignia in the pictures where the Zero is being guarded by an American MP towards the bottom of that article. I'm thinking this is just a blue circle and the insignia isn't finished yet. The bars however I'm puzzled with because they seem way too dark to be white and they're not the same color as the circle. I don't think this is the original Japanese insignia as the circle either because it originally seemed to be closer to the rear of the canopy frame than the insignia is in the last photos where they seem to be closer to the tail once the Zero was in American possession. I haven't found photos of this bird where the Chinese painted their insignia on the fuselage at all, they just painted the fuselage OD Green and Neutral Grey. 

 

CH.%202_zpsqgcslfaz.jpg

 

I'm guessing that we didn't change the OD Green over Neutral Grey paint scheme once we got it in American possession. Why give it a whole new paint job when you can just paint new insignias over the Chinese markings and be done? I have one photo of this bird where it still has its Chinese tail number but U.S. insignia under the right wing from before it received the EB-2 or EB-200 tail codes.

 

Captured_A6M2_Zero_P5016_zps7xjd0l8x.jpg

 

This bird is also easy to identify by the custom made panels behind the cowling flaps on each side that have vents in them unlike the ones produced by either Japanese manufacturer, so that makes it easy to identify no matter what the paint scheme is.

 

Tell me your thoughts on the colors please so I can build it.

 

 

Cheers,
Brady 

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I'd say the stars and bars were painted out (with green, brown or OD) and a pseudo Japanese markings painted on for an enemy aircraft exhibition or war bonds drive. It wasn't uncommon for captured aircraft to be repainted or have markings put on them for such events.

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Tony,

 

No I hadn't tried that but looking at it I think I'll be donating all the pictures and information I've found so far because they have nothing on the Chinese Zero or EB-2/EB-200.

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I take what I said back Tony. I forgot the link that's located on the Pacific Wrecks is tied to www.J-aircraft.com. Here's their reference to it on the j-aircraft site: http://www.j-aircraft.com/research/additional_photos_for_zero_war_p.htm 

 

This is a good article too with more pictures.

 

Cheers,

Brady

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Bummer.... It only seems to work through the Pacific Wrecks website so if you're interested at all click on the link that says "War Prize: The Capture Of The First Japanese Zero Fighter In 1941" under the references of the Pacific Wrecks website I originally posted.

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Brad,

I hadn't thought of that at all and looking at this bird's timeline of it's life in captivity your idea may just make sense because this bird had a drop tank when in Chinese possession and in the beginning of the USAAF's possession.

 

9084069721_060a59e0f3_o_zpsrwr9dan8.jpg

 

Captured_A6M2_Zero_V-172_zpsllqivcra.jpg

Then the tank is gone in all photos after Curtiss Aviation rebuilt it again. It then appears to have a gloss paint scheme that somewhat appears, to me anyway, to be a three tone color scheme and the code EB-2.

 

Zero-China-149_zpsfpvgzblj.jpg

 

Zero-China-163_zpsfgejcytd.jpg

 

Zero-China-164_zpskd6nve1r.jpg

 

This is where I think maybe your idea plays in the timeline, Brad. Maybe they gave her a whole new paint job, because she doesn't seem to have the gloss appearance in the photos where it's on display. Nor does it have the U.S. insignias any more but maybe our own U.S. made Japanese insignias where Curtiss placed the U.S. insignias. By this time it also got the new tail code EB-200, which is a different size and location than the EB-2 code was. I originally thought this may have just been the beginning of the process of painting the U.S. insignia on the Zero and it being guarded didn't seem too unusual either, but now I think I was wrong. I knew it wasn't the original Japanese insignia because it was located too far aft of the cockpit.

 

zero-sign-display_zpsysne4bzy.jpg

 

EB-200-barrier-mp_zpsyugvxx3t.jpg

 

zero-front-wide_zpsezxb0hbt.jpg

 

Lastly,  I think this photo comes last in the timeline because when you look at the U.S. insignia on the fuselage, it's in the same place as Curtiss's paint job but with overspray  around the whole thing and it has the EB-200 tail code.

 

zero-rear-parked_zpso1lrso49.jpg

 

This is the order I think this bird's paint scheme got changed after it was captured and no longer V-172.

 

Now if I only knew for sure what colors they used while it was on display. Enjoy the pictures!

 

Cheers,

Brady
 

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Seems pretty reasonable mate. As for what colour, well your guess will be as good as anyone's. I say keep it within the realms of possibility and you can't go too far wrong, unless someone comes up with a colour picture!

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I'd say it's possible the Chinese Zero was painted gloss sea blue after Curtiss repaired it, because the Koga Zero was painted Intermediate blue/gray after it was repaired itself, which I do believe was the very first captured Zero.

 

Brady

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