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1/32 Hasegawa Mitsubishi A6M5 Zero Type 52 "Night Fighter"


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Next build is this Hasegawa A6M5 Type 52 Zero Night Fighter (Kit no 08252). This kit will be built mostly OOB, with a few AM enhancements, and I will be using the kit decals to cut masks from for painting. (Scheme as per the box art)
The aircraft will be built with a closed canopy - to show off the 20mm cannon that was installed in the rear part of the cockpit fuselage decking. Having an open canopy would hide the defining part of this aircraft - so I will not be going to town on the cockpit - it will be built OOB with nothing extra than some HGW belts.

I have a HGW rivet set to throw at it, as well as Master brass barrels and Eduard wheels and CMK Bay doors.
I also have an Eduard exterior detail that I bought for my Tamiya Zero (built) but never used it. Thought I might use it on this kit, but some measuring, looking at fit, etc later. I've decided against it as the design of this Tamiya-specific AM wouldn't work well. So the wheels wells remain as they are, and the flaps will remain up!;)



The gear wells will do, perhaps a line or two will be added.

So far I've snipped the major parts off the sprues, and completed the assembly work on some sub-assemblies. Most of it is only dry fitted at the moment, but parts like the cockpit assemblies are ready for paint

Fuselage halves are only dry-fitted together, as well as the engine. It seems to go together pretty well!! I've drilled out the holes in the cylinders for the ignition wires, etc


I made rivets on the rear cockpit decking, this was missing on the kit, but quite prominent on the real a/c. Will have to redo some of them methinks once I glue it all together:lol:


The kit gear legs with the Eduard wheels and CMK doors. CMK only provides two support struts between the doors and the legs, should be three, so I'll have to SB another one, but that shouldn't take too long at all!



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1 hour ago, Thunnus said:

Very nice subject, Ian!  I was interested in seeing the new tool Hasegawa Zero built.

Nothing bad to say about it at the moment! Yes, not as detailed as the Tamiya kit, but really easy and enjoyable to build so far...dry-fitting all the major parts show almost no major issues. I'm really impressed so far!

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2 hours ago, mc65 said:

Wow, I hadn't seen the new zero hasegawa so far, it looks like a nice kit!

Ian, if I may, about the rivets on the cockpit's rear deck, from memory it seems to me they were raised, not flush.

Yep, they were raised...I've used a beading tool to represent them, so they are domed. They'll look better under a coat of paint and weathered..

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  • 1 month later...

Right, back to it after the Christmas and New Year, and having a wonderful visit by my folks out of the UK.

Spent some time doing the engine, most of the work on the front cylinder banks, the test won't be seen. Hasegawa didn't intend for the engine to be displayed with cowls off or anything like that - the rear of the cylinder banks are cast open - so only the front faces have detail on them. So I've added a bit here and there like ignition leads, etc, but quite restrained

I haven't given the engine a detail wash or anything like that yet, except I popped a bit of True-Earth warm and black effects on the cylinders themselves just to alter the tones.
The exhausts were sprayed with AK burnt metal followed by various Lifecolor rust effects

Dry-fitted to the fuselage


Gear covers have been modified - the main covers are the CMK offerings that had some of the kit support braces added to it as there were only two, not three resin parts supplied per side. Easy job though doing the transplant.


I kept the kit inner doors though - the CMK items didn't have enough going for them as far as detail and eases of fit to surpass the kit ones - the CMK ones have no attachment point cast between them and the fuselage, so except for a few ejector pin marks, the kit doors were the winners.


The main event of this kit is the oblique cannon - unfortunately Hasegawa cast this as a clear part that has some accuracy and attachment to fuselage issues. They want you to attach it to the fuselage before the rear canopy is attached....and with me that's really asking me to break it!:lol:

So what I've done is pop a piece of brass tubing into a hole I drilled out in the rear deck. The angle of the tube matches the angle required between the deck and canopy opening for the cannon. This was then sanded flush and filled where neccessary. Couple of rivets around the opening makes it look better!



Above you can see the tubing just below the deck. The hole was continued through the kit spacer bulkhead, and the end of the barrel sits against a piece of styrene I added to ensure that the barrel does not fall through, and extends the muzzle the correct height through the canopy opening.
Then it's just a simple case of inserting it into the tube through the canopy opening at the end of the build.


Some work on the cockpit - as mentioned before, the hood is going to be closed on this one, so I'm not going to do too much detailing on the inside ( I did go to town on my Tamiya Zero I built a few years ago though) - just detail painting and kit decals will be used for the instruments - below are pics before washes, decals, etc- just painted and chipped in places.

Hasegawa supplies the "rubber band" used for the seat raising/lowering mechanism - nice touch! Didn't have that on the Tamiya Zero.

Will most likely add just a bit of the hydraulic piping on the cockpit floor - that which will be visible just on the right side of the seat.

Pilot seat chipped and ready for belts. Still in two minds whether to attempt to build the pilot figure - never painted a figure in my like before!

Below is one of the only fit issues I've come across so far - the forward deck's (part M11) fit to the fuselage is not great. There is a spacer below that in the fuselage (D48) that I've had to trim the length of the locating lugs already to get the fuselage halves to sit closer, but it's still not 100% yet. Problem is the whilst the upper fuselage needs to be a close fit at the top (and I cant modify part M11, as it is the key piece for the windscreen), the fuselage will needs to be spread a tad at the the bottom of the firewall in order to accept the lower wing moulding. Fun and games, but nothing that more dry-fitting and light sanding won't cure. Will probably need a bit of filler as well...which is a pity, because in the rest of my dry-fitting regime with the rest of the kit parts, it's really really good! It wouldn't surprise me if this area is the only area that needs filler, the kit's moulding is that good.



And lastly (apologies for the soft focus), kit guns assembled (final paint to come), but with the barrels cut off, and the Master brass barrels for the MG's and cannons all ready to go.


Cheers Iain

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Very nice work Iain, and great explanation of the effort involved with getting part M11 to fit.  Also, I think the seat chipping looks spot on.  A figure would add to the interest in the cockpit (IMHO), the downsides being that they can be difficult to get positioned correctly, they hide some of the details and AM seatbelts aren't made to work well when strapping a figure in.  I think you are skilled enough to overcome those challenges though.



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  • 2 weeks later...

Greetings all

So I went against putting a figure into the cockpit - I've never painted a figure before, so that was the main reason (but I've assembled it and will attempt painting it anyway- why let a good opportunity go to waste?), plus I didn't have the correct color paints as well!

So in the meantime, I looked up on Youtube how to do paint a leather finish, and experimented on the lovely seat cushion that comes with the kit seat!



Then added the HGW belts...and all the detail went away! ;)


Finished up the cockpit, just using the kit decals, etc except for a few hydraulic lines on the cockpit floor, which won't be too visible anyway. Nothing fancy.




As I cut the kit barrels off the machine guns to replace with Master brass ones, I had to make sure that they would not drop into the fuselage once I fitted them at the very end of the build - so I added plasticard to the forward support brace as an aid to stop that happening. They're pretty easy to fit now, just a bit of fiddling to get the brass locating pin into the actual MG


As you can see below, I've glued the forward brace in place, as well as the top half of the fuselage at the firewall area (the bottom half hasn't been glued yet, as it needs a bit of plastic card inserted at the bottom to make it splay slightly to meet up properly with the lower wing half. I've had to sand the mating joint on the upper inset (kit part M11) and the forward support brace (kit part D 48) down a bit, as it was making M11 stand way too proud.


Since then, I've attached everything, and I've found that following the kit instructions have created some fit issues between the M11 part, the windshield, and the fuselage sides- had to use way more filler than I predicted, more sanding than predicted, and the windshield fit to the fuselage sills is not the best, but not insurmountable though.
If I had to do it all again, this is the way I'd do it -

1. Kit part M11 and the windshield are the key - everything else should fit around them.
2. Don't glue in the brace D48- make sure it's in, but a loose fit (sand away on the locating lugs, shorten them as well). You want a bit of play to be able to adjust the fuselage around it, etc. You can always glue it in place when everything else is fitted.
3. I would glue the fuselage together up to the rear deck/wing root area, leaving the forward portion unglued.
4. Temporarily attach the windshield to part M11 (white glue, tape, whatever) - (there is a moulded portion that the windshield sits in, so getting a positive location is not an issue).
5. Then offer up the M11/windshield per the the fuselage - making sure the side portions of the windshield match perfectly with the sill portions of the fuselage - once you've got that sorted then, glue M11 in place, then the the upper portion of the firewall area. Then de-attach the windshield.
6. Then insert the cockpit from below (word of warning, my kit had quite rough fuselage interiors, quite a bit of sanding required to get rid of extra plastic, plus I had to thin down the exterior portions of the cockpit framing to get it to fit. Dry-fit a lot!!!
7. Once that's all in, only then would I commit some glue to the locating lugs on D48 and the forward upper fuselage halves.

Saying this all - my retroactive plan would probably work because I cut the barrels off the MG - if you build the kit with the kit MG's, the instructions would have you slide M11 over the barrels first which means the cockpit has to be fitted already, and that could cause fit issues as well like I had, as I'd popped the cockpit in place as per the kit instructions before fitting M11. Anyway, something to look out for. The rest of the assembly looks great, don't see any other major issues down the line.



Edited by IainM
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