Hasegawa's 1/48 scale
Mitsubishi A6M3 Zero
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.
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.
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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