Mitsubishi A6M2b

Flown by Lt. Fusata Lida , Air superiority Command, 2nd Strike unit.

By Jonas Ericsson

Hello guys!

This is my build for the Tamiya OOB Group build. I will build my A6M2b to represent the aircraft that Lt. Fusata Lida flown during the attack att Pearl Harbor 1941.

Lt. Fusata Lida belonged to the Air Superiority Command, 2nd Strike unit. The A6M2b that took part in the attack didn´t carry any bombs during the attack, they act as defense against the possibility that US eventually managed to get any fighters in the air, they also strafed the airfields to suppress the US fighters and destroy them on the ground.

The A6M2b Zero was clearly superior to most allied aircraft at the time, such as the Wildcat, P-39, P-40 and Hawker Hurricane, it was not until later during the war that the allied even out the odds with better aircraft, such as the Hellcat and P-51.

Mitsubishi continued to build the A6M2b (864 units)until May 1942, but the A6M2b was not discontinued as the rival Nakajima took over the licence and built it until November 1943 (2882 units).

The A6M2b was modified to carry a single 250kg bomb and acted as a fighter bomber. Many A6M2b was ended it´s career as suicide attack “Kamikaze” aircraft in the closing desperate year of the WWII.

Box Top

Tamiya 1/32 Mitsubishi A6M2b Zero fighter.

Sprue shots.

Various parts such as a small PE fret, workable landing gear, rubber wheels and other stuff.

Decals, paint mask and seat belts.

Build instructions and paint/markings instructions.



Progress in the first update!

Fuselage halves and the spine as a separate part. There are some pin marks in the cockpit area, they are probably hidden in a clever way by Tamiya behind the cockpit insert. Just to be on the safe side, I will fill them with some putty.
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Some small parts for the left hand fuselage half. Oxygen bottle and parts for the tail planes later on.
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Some small parts for the right hand fuselage half as well. Hydraulic pressure tank, radio gear and the arresting hook assembly.
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I filled the pin marks in cockpit area with Tamiya white putty, better safe than sorry if they are visible later.
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The arresting hook bay and the looking mechanism, ready to go into the fuselage.
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Various small parts are in place in both fuselage halves and pin marks are filled.
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 I decided to glue the spine part to one of the fuselage halves at this stage. Main reason for this is to get fewer parts to handle when it´s time for painting.

First I clamped the fuselage halves together with Tamiya tape and a clamp.
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Then I put the spine part in place… aah..perfect fit as usual from Tamiya! I moved on and used Tamiya extra thin and glued the spine to left hand fuselage half. We need to take extra care of not letting the extra thin glue move over to the other fuselage half, it would be a big problem otherwise.
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The spine in place and all set for the next stage!
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Ok, we move along according to plan. The fuselage and the assembly of all small parts are all done and ready for the paint stage, just need to resupply of some paints that I was out of.

In the mean time I sorted out the cockpit and all small bits and pieces for that one. There are many parts and it builds up to a beautiful and well detailed cockpit.

Progress made on the A6M2b!

Cockpit floor and the small bits for it. Rudder pedal, control stick, fuel hand pump and emergency manual hydraulic pump.
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Right hand cockpit side wall. Radio control board, various levers for arresting hook roll up land arresting hook lock and other radio equipment.
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Left hand cockpit sidewall. Elevator trim tab control lever,propeller pitch adjustment/AC adjustment lever, throttle lever and machine gun trigger and alternator for type 96 radio.
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Rear bulkhead. Pilots seat, adjustment mechanism for seat and oxygen bottles.
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Cockpit floor all together and ready for paint.
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Left and right cockpit sidewalls, also ready for some paint.
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The rear bulkhead with pilots seat and oxygen bottles in place.
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I did a dry run of all sub assemblies to make sure everything goes together without any problems before I start to paint the cockpit.

Cockpit floor, right hand sidewall and rear bulkhead.
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Cockpit floor, rear bulk head and this time with the left hand sidewall in place.
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Finally some pics of all parts together. 

I must say that the detail in the cockpit Tamiya have done is amazing. As a side note, if this wasn´t a OOB build I would have added cables, wires and hoses, just to spruce it up a little bit more, I would probably stopped with that….
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Thanks for looking in! Time to hit the paint and weathering shop!


3rd build update of the A6M2b Reisen.

I have started the paint job session in cockpit and fuselage. The cockpit parts are painted with Tamiya XF-71 cockpit green and that strange/odd bluish/greenish metallic interior color that the Japanese used on a lot of interior parts such as the inside of the fuselage, engine compartment, wheel wells etc.

Progress done this time!

Started out by spraying all cockpit parts and the fuselage halves with Tamiya XF-71 cockpit green. It also serve as a base coat for the bluish/greenish interior color.

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Since there are a lot of parts that´s going to be painted in the bluish/greenish metallic interior color, I decided to mix a big load of it know, so that I don´t need to do a new blend of color every time I need to use this color during the build. 

I followed the color call out suggested by Tamiya in the instructions. The colors used are:
X-13 Metallic Blue
X-25 Clear Green

Both of these colors are glossy and they are mixed in a 3-1 ratio, 3 parts X-13 and 1 part X-25. I believe that Tamiya, being a Japanese company should have this color pretty accurate.

I mixed and blended the paints in an empty and clean Tamiya bottle.

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I painted the forward engine bulkhead and the oil tank as the first test with my “new” Tamiya paint.

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Then I moved on with the fuselage halves and sprayed some paint on those.

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The Bluish/greenish paint is glossy, while the XF-71 cockpit interior color is dead flat. I will blend those together later on with a new semi flat varnish.

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Thanks for looking in! Time to move on with a lot of detail painting and weathering of cockpit and fuselage.

4th build update!

Many thanks for your nice comments guys!

The Zero build move along quite nice now, I´ve got the paint job and weathering in fuselage done and I also sorted out the tail planes as well as the fin and rudder. 

Bare with me, it´s a quite long update this time…

Fuselage are together with the tail planes with movable elevators and the fin with the movable rudder also in place.

I did the tail planes and rudder as a little break from the detail painting in cockpit.

The A6M2b build progress.

I completed the detail paint job on the oil pressure tank, oxygen bottles and radio equipment in the fuselage. I also did a subtle weathering with Flory models dark wash and a little dry brushing. I just weathered the front half of the fuselage, behind the cockpit.

I didn´t go to town with the weathering, to be honest most of this will not be visible once the fuselage are together along with the main wing, but I know it´s there anyway!

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Must not forget to install the little polycap, metal rod and the part for the tail wheel locking mechanism, before the fuselage are glued together.

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The work in fuselage are done. I decided to jump a bit in build sequence and get the tailplanes and rudder sorted and installed to the fuselage before I continue to work on the cockpit and get that one finished.

Tail plane parts and PE parts for it.

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Part layout with the PE hinges.

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Instructions tells you to glue the PE hinges to the tail plane and with the plastic brace between (without glue) and then attach the elevator to the tailplane.

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I decided against that and found it much easier and controllable to do it the other way around and attach the PE hinges and the little brace to the elevator first and then glue it to the tail plane.

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CA glue is the choice here, taking care to just glue the PE parts only, otherwise we will not be enjoying the nice touch of movable elevators and rudder.

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Both elevators are glued into the lower tail plane halves and ready for the top halves to be glued.

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The fin with the movable rudder works just the same as the tail plane and elevators.

PE hinges and a little metal rod does the trick to make it move sideways.

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Just press the rudder in and the little peg at the bottom of the rudder will look it in place when the fin is glued to the fuselage.

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Fuselage glued together and the tail plane/elevator and Fin/rudder assembly finished ready to be glued to the fuselage.

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Once the fin and tail planes are in place we can appreciate the nice touch of movable rudder and tail planes.

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Here is where we stand right now, fuselage together and the tail planes and fin also in place.

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Thanks for looking in! Time to get back to the cockpit and finish it, so it can be inserted to the fuselage! Back soon!