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A6M2 propellers & other questions

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Were the propellers on the A6M's that attacked pear harbor, bare metal, with the back outer surfaces painted flat black? I can find nothing definitive in my references. I'm quite sure the spinners were natural metal though.

 

Thanks a bunch for any help.

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08058-728x426.jpg

4078198.JPG

800px-Akagi_Pearl_Harbor_Second_Wave_Lau

This photo purports to be the 2nd wave leaving Akagi.  Blades look quite reflective.

 

A6M2-Akagi-IndianOcean-1942-236less.jpg

Sandbags look the same as above.

 

2462.jpg

The backside certainly looks quite dark, and the shadow seems to be from behind the aircraft.

 

 

 

Gaz

Edited by Gazzas

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Yes, natural metal on the back of the pro, black on the face of the prop. 
 

in case you’re confused, the face of a prop is the part that faces the pilot, which will be painted black.  The back of the prop is the camber side of the prop, which will be natural metal.

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I have seen that there is a Japanese propeller brown.  The face of the proper may have been more of a brown tone than black.  That is the color I would be inclined to use.

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IIRC correctly the early zero props were silver with black back side to cut down the spinning glare for the pilot. The later ones A6m5 (?) were a red brown, probably a primer if I were to guess.

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11 hours ago, Juggernut said:

Yes, natural metal on the back of the pro, black on the face of the prop. 
 

in case you’re confused, the face of a prop is the part that faces the pilot, which will be painted black.  The back of the prop is the camber side of the prop, which will be natural metal.

 

I need to correct my statement.  According to Ryan Toews' Tamiya A6M2 Tweak List, the prop had dark brown faces, not black.  Tamiya A6M2 Tweak List

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This might be of interest:  https://www.ima-usa.com/products/original-japanese-wwii-mitsubishi-a6m-zero-propeller-named-usn-bring-back?variant=19400221032517

 

"This propeller is solid aluminum construction and is approximately 54 inches long and 10.5 inches at its widest point. One point of note is that the reverse side of the prop is painted brown. James Lansdale, a noted authority on Japanese WW2 aircraft color and markings, has started that "mid 1943 Mitsubishi started painting factory propellers brown. Prior to that, Mitsubishi painted the reverse side of the props only, and that color was brown, not black."

 

 

Edited by coogrfan

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Looking in my Japanese Naval Air Force Camouflage and markings WW2 book under propellers and spinners it states that between 1937 and 1943 the forward faces were polished metal with two red stripes at the tip. From 1943 through 1944 the only change was to go to one large red strip near the tip.

Mid 1944 to 1945 the forward face was painted in a dark colour such as red brown, dark green or black, during the entire period discussed the rear faces were finished in  red brown, dark green or black.

This is from the book by Donald W Thorpe so may have been superseded by newer information.

I'm just building a Raiden and have used Humbrol 160 German Camo Red Brown for the prop blades though I now have some Sovereign Colourcoats ACJ23 Propeller Brown.

 

Cheers

 

Dennis

Edited by dennismcc
clarity

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10 minutes ago, LSP_Mike said:

How does that look next to the original Testors brown? Not to be pedantic, just curious.

I have never seen the Testors brown but in Nick Millman's guide to Raiden colours he says that he would be looking for something like FS30108 which the Ultimate Model Paint Conversion Chart says is equivalent to Testors 1540 Brown, Humbrol 160, Xtracolor 807, with the proviso that it should be a definate brown colour. The snag was that the Humbrol 160 was matt so I had to polish it with a nail buffer the Colourcoats should be better as it is satin.

 

Cheers

 

Dennis

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8 hours ago, dennismcc said:

Looking in my Japanese Naval Air Force Camouflage and markings WW2 book under propellers and spinners it states that between 1937 and 1943 the forward faces were polished metal with two red stripes at the tip. From 1943 through 1944 the only change was to go to one large red strip near the tip.

Mid 1944 to 1945 the forward face was painted in a dark colour such as red brown, dark green or black, during the entire period discussed the rear faces were finished in  red brown, dark green or black.

This is from the book by Donald W Thorpe so may have been superseded by newer information.

I'm just building a Raiden and have used Humbrol 160 German Camo Red Brown for the prop blades though I now have some Sovereign Colourcoats ACJ23 Propeller Brown.

 

Cheers

 

Dennis

 

I was aware of the twin stripes, but not sure about the color, so thanks for that. In building a Doyusha A6M2 Pearl Harbor attacker, it won't be too long before I'll be painting the propellers and spinner, so this information is very handy indeed. In looking more closely at the kit instructions (something I probably should have done first), Doyusha calls for silver (natural metal/aluminum) blades with flat black rears, so I'll probably go that route. Thanks to all who helped out here.

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Interestingly enough, the instructions call for decals (number 6) to be installed on fronts and backs of propeller blades, but only provides three such decals, so I guess I'll just mask and paint those.

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