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Tamiya's 1/32 scale
A6M5 Zero Type 52

by Trond Sørensen


Mitsubishi A6M5 Zero Type 52


 Tamiya's 1/32 scale Zero is available online from Squadron



Here is my 1/32 scale Tamiya A6M5 Type 52 Zero. The kit is built straight from the box except for a few small details in the cockpit and on the engine.

This is the best kit I have ever built. Except for the decals, witch was a little thick, it went together like a dream. I have never had so much fun building a model kit before. The instruction manual is precise and easy to follow. The kit is very well detailed, except for the engine.

Which I think is a shame since the kit is made for easy removal of the cowling.

I just had to add some detail. The rods between the cylinder heads where made from plastic rods and glued in place using two component glue. I painted the engine using Alcad II and gave it a wash made from oil paint and turpentine. Using lead wire, the type fly fishers make their hooks from, I added all the fuel lines. It was quite a few but it was fun and well worth the effort. I left them unpainted. I drilled out the exhaust pipes and made the weld seam from stretched sprue. They were painted with my own rust paint made from, umm.., rust.

I left steel wool in a container with water and a bit of 15% vinegar until it was completely dissolved. This took about a week. A few more days and it had transformed in to a thick paste. Then I mixed it with red spirit. This again was mixed with Model Master clear. I found Model Master clear to be the only clear paint not making the mixture clogging my air brush.



The cockpit was built according to the instructions. I added a lot of wires and rods from brass wire, but they are not visible unless you look hard. But it was fun adding them.

I used Tamiya Interior Green (produced especially for this kit) as my basic cockpit color.

A lot of scratches and paint chipping was made using a brown Humbrol paint. This again recived a oilpaint/turpentine wash. The kit belts and buckles were used, but I don’t like them. I think lead foil could made better belts.





Painting and Markings

The kit was painted using Tamiya paint according to instructions. The paint chipping was made after the airframe was painted using ink from a silver pencil.

The aotake blue-green primer was simulated mixing Tamiya clear green and clear blue on top of Alcad II.

I used the decals included in the kit except for the yellow leading edge markings, which I painted.




This was an enjoyable build. I hope Tamiya makes more kits in this scale and quality. Personally I hope they then leave the operating features of the landing gear out. It’s not a toy after all.

A Simple Base



I decided to make a simple base for the Zero. It is made of a wooden plate, found in craft shops.
The planking is made from ship planking, found in ship builder’s hobby shops.

The tiedown holes are drilled out and the tiedowns are made from hollow plastic rod where I made the rod from stretched sprue.


The white stripes and the red sun is painted using Tamiya paint.



Additional Images


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Model, Images and Text Copyright © 2004 by Trond Sørensen
Page Created 22 July, 2004
Last Updated 21 July, 2004

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