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Tamiya Japanese Zero A6M5 1/32 Complete

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  • Member since
    January, 2015
  • From: Katy (Houston), TX
Tamiya Japanese Zero A6M5 1/32 Complete
Posted by Aggieman on Sunday, March 11, 2018 2:36 PM

This is my first build in what I'm calling the Year of the Axis Warbird (plan is to build only German, Japanese or Italian subjects this year).  The kit is a superb release from Tamiya dating back to 2001.  I had my eyes on that kit when it first came out for a number of years, and finally bit the bullet on it back in 2005, so it's been in my stash for a good number of years.

The kit's awesome box art has been staring at me from front-and-center of my stash for a long time, so when I decided on this sequel to my 2017 Year of the Allied Warbird, this one was a natural first choice.

I started this build very early in January.  I lost a bunch of time at the workbench for very good reason - the passing of my dad on February 17.  He was my hero and he was the best man I ever had the privilege of knowing.  He also is the primary reason that I even know of this hobby, having bought me a Monogram P-40B at the tender age of 3. He spent time with me growing up, helping me to learn how to build models or taking to see real warbirds at museums such as the Naval museum in Pensacola, or at airshows that the Confederate Air Force put on from time to time.

Here is a photo of me with my dad circa 1978, me holding a Monogram SBD Dauntless kit that I had built, and both of us sporting some really horrible 1970s attire and hair cuts.

I'm dedicating this build to my dad.

So on to the kit.  This thing has a bunch of working features.  The flaps are moveable. The landing gear struts have tiny springs in them that give them a "bounce". The smaller gear doors are actuated on tiny pieces of metal.  The tail wheel and arrestor hook can be moved by way of use of a tiny little tool that Tamiya provides.  The ailerons are moveable as well.

Online build reviews I found included a lot of comments about frustration with the gear door actuators.  I actually had no problem in this area.  But apparently I put glue on the rear wheel prong (a part that the rear wheel structure slips onto) when I should not have, so that rear wheel does not move one iota.  Today, during final construction, I went to attach the main struts, which requires you to place a screw in through the upper wing (beneath the part of the wing that covers the wing guns).  The tolerance was incredibly tight, and I managed to dislodge the gear doors, one of which is a small PE part that predictably vanished.  After a search that included the eyes of my wife and my daughter, I gave up and decided my Zeke could have simply had that part shot off by a Hellcat.  Looking closely at the starboard gear, you can see there is a missing panel from the gear doors.

One further issue, once I managed to get the screw into place and everything was done, I noted that one of the struts was not tight and had moved 90 degrees.  By this time the part allowing for access to the screw was glued in place (I had decided that I was never going to retract these gear), so I was left with only one option - to put some glue onto the strut itself to keep it in proper alignment.

Other than that, this kit falls together in typical Tamiya fashion.  It is a work of engineering marvel.  Wing parts, stabilizer and rudder parts, and the drop tank pretty much snap into place.  The kit comes with a fret of overly thick PE, vinyl (?) tires and brake lines, and even includes a length of antenna wiring.

Paints are a mix of Tamiya acrylics and Model Master acrylics.  I did some very limited salt chipping along the wings, and supplemented that with a silver pencil during the weathering phase of the build.  Clear parts are attached via Bondic rather than clear glue - really impressed with that stuff.

My next build has actually been in my stash for longer than this Zero.  It will be Monogram Pro-Modeler's Ar 234C-3 in 1/48.

 

  • Member since
    April, 2013
  • From: Eleva, Wisconsin
Posted by Greatmaker on Sunday, March 11, 2018 3:25 PM

Beautiful build of one of my all time favorite planes! Thank you for sharing.

 

  • Member since
    November, 2003
  • From: State of Mississippi. State motto: Virtute et armis (By valor and arms)
Posted by mississippivol on Sunday, March 11, 2018 3:57 PM
A wonderful build and tribute. My prayers to you and your family.
  • Member since
    December, 2002
  • From: Northern California
Posted by jeaton01 on Sunday, March 11, 2018 9:02 PM

Nice work, Stephen.  I have one of those in the stash, and a bunch of PE for the engine and other areas.  Still scared to start on it.

Sorry about your dad, but it's great that you had good times with him.  A real blessing.

John

To see build logs of my models, go here: http://goldeneramodel.com/mymodels/mymodels.htm

  

  • Member since
    February, 2005
  • From: Cleveland, OH
Posted by RadMax8 on Sunday, March 11, 2018 10:07 PM

Aggie,

First off, my condolences on losing your father. I hope you’re able to find peace and strength through the tough times. 

Your build looks like a fine honor to your pops. Sounds like you had a couple challenges that you were able to address. What did you use for the aotake? I just applied some on my 1/48 scale Zero and I’m not really happy with it. 

Great job, Aggieman. 

  • Member since
    January, 2015
  • From: Katy (Houston), TX
Posted by Aggieman on Sunday, March 11, 2018 11:03 PM

Greatmaker

Beautiful build of one of my all time favorite planes! Thank you for sharing.

 

  Thank you for your kind words.

  • Member since
    January, 2015
  • From: Katy (Houston), TX
Posted by Aggieman on Sunday, March 11, 2018 11:04 PM

mississippivol
A wonderful build and tribute. My prayers to you and your family.
 

Thank you for your kind words.  And thank you for your prayers.

  • Member since
    January, 2015
  • From: Katy (Houston), TX
Posted by Aggieman on Sunday, March 11, 2018 11:05 PM

jeaton01

Nice work, Stephen.  I have one of those in the stash, and a bunch of PE for the engine and other areas.  Still scared to start on it.

Sorry about your dad, but it's great that you had good times with him.  A real blessing.

 

John, I had the same scared thoughts about this kit, but that turned out to be mostly unfounded.  When you are ready, tackle this one.  Thank you for your kind words regarding my dad.  I really had a great dad.

  • Member since
    January, 2015
  • From: Katy (Houston), TX
Posted by Aggieman on Sunday, March 11, 2018 11:09 PM

RadMax8

Aggie,

First off, my condolences on losing your father. I hope you’re able to find peace and strength through the tough times. 

Your build looks like a fine honor to your pops. Sounds like you had a couple challenges that you were able to address. What did you use for the aotake? I just applied some on my 1/48 scale Zero and I’m not really happy with it. 

Great job, Aggieman. 

 

Thank you for your kind words.  Funny that you use the word "pops" as that is what his grandkids called him.  For the aotake, I used Model Master enamel 2119, Interior Metallic Blue.  I don't claim to know if that is correct for this particular aircraft, but it is what was called for on another Japanese build I did not too long ago.  I thought it looked pretty good for the few color photos I could find to compare it against.

  • Member since
    December, 2010
  • From: Salem, Oregon
Posted by 1943Mike on Sunday, March 11, 2018 11:49 PM

Good job! Fine looking model. Wonderful tribute to your dad.

As John said it's such a wonderful, valuable experience to have bonded with and had so much respect for your dad. The sadness in his having passed on is trumped by the enduring memories of the good times you had with him I'm sure.

 

Mike

"Le temps est un grand maître, mais malheureusement, il tue tous ses élèves."

Hector Berlioz

  • Member since
    January, 2003
Posted by Darren Roberts on Monday, March 12, 2018 12:25 AM

NOICE!!!!!!!!!!!!! You did good...for an Aggie! (I'm a Baylor grad, BTW) Big Smile

  • Member since
    April, 2003
  • From: USA
Posted by keavdog on Monday, March 12, 2018 1:47 AM

Nice looking plane.  Really well done. 

Thanks,

John

  • Member since
    July, 2010
Posted by roony on Monday, March 12, 2018 12:26 PM

Great looking build.  Your dad would have been proud.

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Tuesday, March 13, 2018 12:13 PM

Sorry to hear about the passing of your dad.

Beautiful work on the Zero! I've got the same kit and hope mine turns out anywhere near as good as yours! 

 

I hate to nitpick but is that some silvering on the tail number code though? Maybe just the light or the camera? 

"I dream in fire but work in clay." -Arthur Machen

 

  • Member since
    February, 2012
  • From: Parma, Ohio
Posted by lawdog114 on Saturday, March 17, 2018 3:09 AM
Your father would be proud of that, it's gorgeous. I'm sorry for your loss.

 "Can you fly this plane and land it?...Surely you can't be serious....I am serious, and don't call me Shirley"

 

 

 

 

  • Member since
    January, 2015
  • From: Katy (Houston), TX
Posted by Aggieman on Saturday, March 17, 2018 10:25 AM

1943Mike

Good job! Fine looking model. Wonderful tribute to your dad.

As John said it's such a wonderful, valuable experience to have bonded with and had so much respect for your dad. The sadness in his having passed on is trumped by the enduring memories of the good times you had with him I'm sure.

 

 

Thank you for your kind words!  I'm reminded of a line of dialogue from the movie "Interstellar", where the Matthew McC ... however his name is spelled ... says that parents are here just to be memories for their children.  Thankfully my memories are all overwhelmingly positive.  I really was blessed to have such a great Dad.

  • Member since
    January, 2015
  • From: Katy (Houston), TX
Posted by Aggieman on Saturday, March 17, 2018 10:27 AM

Darren Roberts

NOICE!!!!!!!!!!!!! You did good...for an Aggie! (I'm a Baylor grad, BTW) Big Smile

 

  Thank you for the nice words ... Baylor, ugggh.  Smile  I probably ought to get over that high school algebra teacher, who was herself a Baylor grad, who come into class one Monday in the Fall of 1983 running her mouth about a Bear victory over the Aggies ...

  • Member since
    January, 2015
  • From: Katy (Houston), TX
Posted by Aggieman on Saturday, March 17, 2018 10:27 AM

keavdog

Nice looking plane.  Really well done. 

 

Thank you for your kind words!

  • Member since
    January, 2015
  • From: Katy (Houston), TX
Posted by Aggieman on Saturday, March 17, 2018 10:28 AM

roony

Great looking build.  Your dad would have been proud.

 

Thank you for your kind words!  I do think Dad would have appreciated this one.

  • Member since
    January, 2015
  • From: Katy (Houston), TX
Posted by Aggieman on Saturday, March 17, 2018 10:33 AM

Gamera

Sorry to hear about the passing of your dad.

Beautiful work on the Zero! I've got the same kit and hope mine turns out anywhere near as good as yours! 

 

I hate to nitpick but is that some silvering on the tail number code though? Maybe just the light or the camera? 

 

Thank you for your kind words! Regarding the silvering of the tail number, it appears that this is a case of the lighting, but the fact of the matter is that I deviated from my normal procedures (which makes me think that I really was not ready to get back to this project - I should have waited until I was more emotionally ready to model). Typically I will cut these decals off the carrier film and trim 99% of the clear parts.  That didn't even occur to me until after I had put the decal into water. So I think this mars an otherwise good build.

  • Member since
    January, 2015
  • From: Katy (Houston), TX
Posted by Aggieman on Saturday, March 17, 2018 10:34 AM

lawdog114
Your father would be proud of that, it's gorgeous. I'm sorry for your loss.
 

Thank you for your kind words!

  • Member since
    May, 2013
  • From: Indiana, USA
Posted by Greg on Saturday, March 17, 2018 10:57 AM

Sorry for the loss of your father. Sometimes one can look at a picture of someone and simply know, now that is a good person. Yours is one of those pics to me.

Very nice job on the Zero. Always wanted to build one, and a 1/32 Tamiya sounds fun. Thanks for the mini-review.

Oh, and BTW, I had those pants of yours. Exact same pattern, had to be the same pant. Oh, the memories.

-Greg

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