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Madmax

A6M2b Zero - shades of grey

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Thanks Ryan,

 

I would have messed that up if it weren't for your keen eye. I misunderstood the Tamiya instruction about not using the stand, and simply forgot to replace the oxygen regulator! :blink:

 

Back to the workbench...

 

 

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Sean, glad to help out. I'll keep watching and suggesting as long as you allow me to.

 

Those paint chips look to be a little on the pricey side. Only two of them are original pieces and only one is an example of the exterior colour - I'm not so sure I want to pay US $499.99 for such a sample. The others are applications of modern paint onto aluminum squares and basically appear to provide the same colours that anyone can find referenced in a number of print and online sources.

 

Just to further confuse the issue, the provided history of A6M3 32 c/n 3148 is not entirely accurate. The Sterlings recovered several Zero wrecks and the A6M3 32 with the c/n 3148 consisted only of the forward fuselage and wings. From a 6 November 1943 roster of the 252 Kokutai it is known that 3148 had the earlier tail code of Y2-121 which was then replaced by 52-130. The rear portion of this recovered Zero was from another A6M3 - c/n 3145. It has the very early tail code of S-112 (Chitose kokutai), then Y2-128, and last of all 52-133. It also had a fuselage HKK number of 9(?)0 (the middle number is unknown). I know I'm being rather pedantic here - but for $500...

 

Ryan    

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I see what you mean as a reference. Some of the chips are pretty good in this regard. But the price! I sure wonder who has the money for such a purchase?

 

Ryan 

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On 12/4/2019 at 5:55 PM, Antonio Argudo said:

great build,  amazing attention to detail, just saw this on ebay, quite interesting to this subject, cheers

 

Thanks Antonio!

 

Those colour chips are very cleverly presented, and I would certainly be one for taking a second look if it were at an antique dealer's store.

 

I actually find it really interesting how people from all over are making money from airplane wreckage and artefacts. Your reaction to the price is interesting Ryan, as I'm sure you have seen many opportunists in your time.

 

I have some progress to report on in the meanwhile. In preparing to fire up the compressor, I discovered a couple of neglected tasks, like the assembly of the machine guns. I replaced the barrels with the lovely MASTER brass ones.

 

IMG_1296-X2.jpg

 

Then I got down to modifying the oxygen supply regulator. One has to cut out the old regulator, and repair the tubular cross member that it is mounted on. I used a section of hypodermic needle for this, and then fixed up the side where I removed the new regulator from its original part on the A6M5 instrument panel frame. The arrow points to some styrene I added to the top section in order to be able to drill more lightening holes...

 

IMG_1304-X2.jpg

 

Since Ryan pointed them out on this part of the instrument panel, I couldn't resist the temptation. :rolleyes:  The kit part really is just too thin on its own. 

 

IMG_1313-X2.jpg

 

The IP looks more like it now. I have also removed the offending dynamo's from the lower fuselage.

 

IMG_1316-X2.jpg

 

Then I got stuck into some paint. I really enjoy the notion of the Aotake protective layer that is applied directly onto the aluminium, as it has a very pleasing visual effect (as mentioned previously, I paint the surface with Alclad's White Aluminium, and then apply a coat of Tamiya clear blue and green, mixed roughly half/half).

 

IMG_1323-X2.jpg

 

The reference photo in the background is one of Ryan's that he took of the Blayd Zero back in 1999 (from the j-aircraft website). Hope you don't mind Ryan, just getting a feel for how much green to add to the mix.

 

 IMG_1327-X2.jpg

 

As soon as that is dry, I will try and mix some FS 34097...

 

Sean

Edited by Madmax
missing word

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Great work as usual, and you are really bringing this kit to a new level. I also like seeing the how your Aotake mix turned out.

 

Cheers,  Tom

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Sean, that background photo sure brings back memories.

 

I had just been online a few months when I came across Blayd's website. Blayd was/is located in Carman MB, just an hour drive from where I live, so I phoned to see if I could have a tour. Earl, the owner of Blayd, was very generous with his time and I got a good look at both the Zero being constructed as well as his collection of salvaged parts. I asked how Earl how he was going to paint the plane and he said he had no plans in place yet; so I offered to put together a painting manual in exchange for being able to catalog all his artifacts. It sounded like a good winter project. How wrong I was, it took 3 years to get everything detailed. Fortunately I was helped extensively by Jim Long who sent me about 3 linear feet of photocopies culled from the USAF archives in Alabama.

 

In 2016 the plane was damaged in a prop strike incident. You can see the damage below along with the offending Corsair in the background.

 

27 Prop Strike

After the rebuilding of the rear fuselage the plane was repainted. The up-side of the repair work was I that got to correct the errors I had  made in the first painting. (All but the cockpit - if I had to do it all again the cockpit would be a darker green). Below is a pic of applying markings on a 1:1 scale build. 

 

28 Paint Application

Ryan

 

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On 12/2/2019 at 5:24 PM, Madmax said:

Thanks for looking in Tom.

 

 

Ryan, this is an interesting insight and reflection on your part. It is quite amazing to me how much energy is devoted to finding the correct colours for historic aircraft the world over. I have been involved in the RLM debate for some time, primarily over the Me-262 in our Military History Museum in Johannesburg, and thus understand some of the complexities involved. I will go with your new take on the cockpit colour - being the more commonly occurring one. Thank you.

 

I am almost at the paint stage, so this is very timely information.

 

I have now gone back to step one in the instructions, and based on One-Oh-Four's experience https://forum.largescaleplanes.com/index.php?/topic/79890-mitsubishi-a6m2b-zero-132-tamiya/&tab=comments#comment-1120875 came up with some slightly different solutions.

 

As luck would have it, the two Eduard etch sets I bought for this kit are the Type 21 Landing Flaps (which it appears was a waste since they are hardly ever open), and the Type 21 Exterior that may prove useful, but the interior set would have been super useful. Bad luck.

 

I eventually resorted to making this equipment shelf from thin styrene, using the kit part as a template.

 

 

Here it is in place, along with one of the braces behind the large fuselage frame to which the seat is mounted. I am only putting in detail that I can see when looking into the rear fuselage over the seat. What is interesting is how much can actually be seen, as it is quite a spacious cockpit.

 

 

 

On the other side, I separated the dual CO2 bottles and sanded one into shape - removing its base holder. This was then mounted onto fittings that I shaped and drilled from thick styrene strip. Two other obvious furnishings in this area are the bracket to hold control cable pulleys (on the left), and a spring loaded guide for a hand hold. It has a domed disk over it to protect the inflating flotation bladder mounted in this part of the fuselage.

 

 

 

Many of the kit mouldings are beautifully done, but are easily improved by adding detail. This former has no lightening holes in the interior face of the structure, so I drilled them out. On the second photo you can see them pointed out.

 

 

 

 

 

The recess for the stand mounting was slightly modified to hide it, along with punched discs to fill the ejector pin holes. With the battery and compressed air bottle in place, the lower fuselage part of the wing looks better now.

 

 

 

 

 

The instrument panel is very finely moulded, and I only drilled out the mountings to add some detail that look like the rubber mountings and bolts. The clock is removed in order to be part of the cool crowd! :coolio:

 

 

 

Looking into the aft fuselage now makes me feel like a warbird restorer! :lol:

 

 

 

Cheers,

 

Sean

 

 

 

 

Hi Sean, great WIP! I have downloaded your photos to help me along when I return to my Zero! At this moment I'm fully immersed in Z-M's Henschel Hs 129B-2. Your progress surely does inspire me!

 

Cheers,

Erik.

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This is Dy-no-mite!  Late to this party.  My apologies.  I read the Sakai book eons ago.

 

s-l1600.jpg

 

What I remember from way back in the day, sometime in the 60's, was that an aspect of a pilots' training was to look for stars during daylight.  I've got to catch up on this.

 

Thank you.

Sincerely,

Mark

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