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Hasegawa's 1/48 scale
Mitsubishi A6M3 Zero

by Ian Robertson


Mitsubishi A6M3 Zero Type 22


 Hasegawa's 1/48 scale Rufe is available online from Squadron




Hiroyoshi Nishizawa’s A6M3 Type 22 Zeke is well known to modelers from a series of in-flight photographs taken in 1943 while the 251st AG was based in Rabaul.

Nishizawa’s aircraft featured a basic gray-green scheme with dense green mottles/squiggles on the upper surfaces. The tail code UI-105 was painted out such that only the white 105 is visible in photographs. No antenna mast was present on the aircraft.




Hasegawa’s 1/48 Zekes are a pleasure to build, and this one was done out of the box. The only noteworthy modification to the kit was thinning the seat to a more reasonable thickness, and drilling out the holes in the back of the seat.


I painted the cockpit with Tamiya’s IJN Cockpit Green acrylic (XF-71) and then added various washes and detailing. The deck behind the pilot was painted scale black, as was the interior canopy framing.



Painting and Markings


The outer surfaces of the model were first painted in Polly Scale’s USSR Topside Green because it is a near perfect match for White Ensign Models’ Mitsubishi Zero grey-green.

I then sprayed Polly Scale IJN green freehand to make the mottles.

While painting the mottles I placed round masks in the areas of the hinomarus so that I could create a proper border around each.


The cowl was painted scale black with a hint of dark blue. The wheel wells were painted aotake (metallic blue-green), whereas the interior surfaces of the gear covers were painted grey-green. The main struts were painted scale black. The spinner and propeller blades were first painted natural metal using Alclad II over primed surfaces. The rear sides of the propeller blades were then painted flat black, whereas the spinner was painted red brown and then weathered to show chipped paint.




Images were taken outdoors with a Nikon Coolpix 5400 digital camera. The “unsharp mask” tool of Adobe Photoshop was used to restore some of the clarity and crispness lost during image compression, and a blur tool was used to diffuse the rear edge of the base with the background.



Additional Images


Click on the thumbnails below to view larger images:

Model, Images and Text Copyright © 2006 by Ian Robertson
Page Created 04 September, 2006
Last Updated 21 February, 2007

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