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Tamiya A6M5


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Well, I got the cockpit shoe-horned into the fuselage and it looks decent.  The photos appear a little dark but I think that's because I used a flash in addition to the lights.  Cockpits in  situ are so hard to photograph well....I need more practice and lighting experience.   Comments always welcome and thanks for lookin in.







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More progress....a little mundane but I'm working on it.  I reached a minor milestone today in that I adapted the A6M5 cowl to an A6M3 cowl.  The last remaining hurdle for the early A6M5 will be the cowl flap changes.  I have an idea for those and luckily Tamiya gives you both open and closed cowl flap options so my first "experiment" will be on the closed cowl flap parts and if successful, I'll tackle the open cowl flaps which are a little more difficult due to the underlying cowl flap interconnecting material (for lack of a better description/term).  Anyway, here's a few "meh" photos of my early A6M5  construction. 


I've been told (and have examined one of the extant photographs [I'm not aware of any more than one] and concur) that the decal option Tamiya provides in their A6M5 kit 9-151 (the Rabaul Air Force option) is indeed an early A6M5 with collector exhausts.  So it seems they may be a little "off" on their take on this particular zero but be that as it may, it's  still a nice option.


EDIT:  Upon review by others, it's been determined that Tamiya got it correct with the markings for 9-151.  The image is subject to interpretation but those more qualified than I have said it's got the individual exhaust pipe cowl so who am I to argue?




The cowl adaptation was accomplished with a little bit of carving at the left and right sides of the intake (to square up the openings) and milliput superfine white for the shape changes across the upper opening.  I think it'll do.  Also present are the various pieces-parts that are in process.  I'm using my custom made tirees (3D printed) that I designed to replace the treaded tires that didn't appear on the A6M5 until later on.  I'm happy to report they work like a charm.  MOre on those when I get closer to the completion.




On to the engine itself.  I'm not entirely sure I like the color I painted the crankcase, prop reduction gear case or the accessory gear case.  My information says it should be a grey-green color so I used Tamiya XF-76 as it says IJN Grey-Green on it...  LOL, this is supposed to be the overall J3 color of the A6M2 but I don't particularly care for their shade, it's got a little too much green for my tastes.  I prefer a much warmer olive-grey color for Mitsubishi built aircraft.  Incidentally, the underside of the A6M5 will also be J3 (I'm using MRP J3SP) per my source.  For the upper surface colors, I'm relying on Nick Millman's work on INJAF greens.  I'm going to be using Tamiya XF-11 for the D1 dark green.




Thanks for lookin in.  ;)

Edited by Juggernut
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Thanks for all the words of encouragement; they mean a lot as I work through this zero.  It’s a relatively easy(so far) alteration.  I wouldn’t call it a full-blown conversion as there’s some cockpit mods and the cowl mods and bingo, you’ve got an early A6M5….  There is also the collector exhausts but those are readily available from quick boost, they’re for the A6M2 kit but since the engine cylinder parts are identical between the two Tamiya kits, it was a no brainer.  I’ve akready tested, primed and painted them.  

No photos tonight but I “updated” the engine ignition manifold by cutting off the single wire knubs and replacing them with 0.025-inch styrene rod.  Once they’ve set up overnight, I’ll drill out the replacements and install the wires.  

I’ve also got some Anyz spark plugs with 90 degree ends so I’ll be using those as well…all28 of them.  Also picked up the Eduard PE set for the engine.  I got it primarily for the baffles on top of each cylinder as I’m not talented enough to make 14 of the same thing.  

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Really cool work! The cockpit looks excellent.

But I need to warn you about your cowling conversion. The carburettor intake of the A6M3 was placed 50 mm higher than that of the A6M5. As a result it also cut into the top skin of the cowling and in the topview this looks like a little slot. Please see illustrations below.


Drawing: Kenji Miyazaki

(NB. Of no relevance here, but the often quoted 360 mm width for the A6M5 carburettor intake should be 380 mm!)



3D render: yours truly




Additionally it's worth noting that the A6M5 cowling upper lip has a panel line down the middle, which isn't present on the A6M3. Lastly the A6M5 has additional rivets that curve with the carburettor intake duct. The A6M3 intake duct is straight and it doesn't have these rivets. I've made a sketch below to show what needs to be modified:





Edited by Skyraider3D
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Thanks for that information.  I wasn't aware that the intake cut into the top skin a little bit but that's an easy fix and not too many people are going to notice that the lower intake wall is out of whack by 1.5mm.  My source (Ryan Toews) has already alerted me to the panel line/rivet  differences between the two cowls.

Edited by Juggernut
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  • 2 weeks later...

DAMMIT!  Now that I know about the intake being too low, I'm working harder than a woodpecker in a petrified forest trying to engineer a way to get this done....  I keep putting it back down saying "it's not that important."  but knowing damn well it's key to the look of the cowl.  Grrrrrrr.....ignorance was bliss.

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