Side view of Mitsubishi A6M2 Zero

Side view of Mitsubishi A6M2 Zero

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Side view of Mitsubishi A6M2 Zero

Here we see a Mitsubishi A6M2 Zero that was captured by the Americans and flown across the United States. The large star was added to avoid any unpleasant incidents.

Mitsubishi Outlander

The Mitsubishi Outlander ( Japanese: 三菱・アウトランダー , Mitsubishi Autorandā) is a compact crossover SUV manufactured by Japanese automaker Mitsubishi Motors. It was originally known as the Mitsubishi Airtrek ( Japanese: 三菱・エアトレック , Mitsubishi Eatorekku) when it was introduced in Japan in 2001, and was based on the Mitsubishi ASX concept vehicle exhibited at the 2001 North American International Auto Show. It was sold at Mitsubishi Japan dealership chain called Car Plaza. The ASX (Active Sports Crossover) represented Mitsubishi's approach to the industry wide crossover SUV trend for retaining the all-season and off-road abilities offered by a high ground clearance and four-wheel drive, while still offering car-like levels of emissions, economy, and size. [1]

The original Airtrek name was chosen to "describe the vehicle's ability to transport its passengers on adventure-packed journeys in a 'free-as-a-bird' manner", [2] and was "coined from Air and Trek to express the idea of footloose, adventure-filled motoring pleasure." [3] The Outlander nameplate which replaced it evoked a "feeling of journeying to distant, unexplored lands in search of adventure." [2]

The second generation of the vehicle was introduced in 2006 and all markets including Japan adopted the Outlander name, although production of the older version continued in parallel. It was built on the company's GS platform, and used various engines developed by Mitsubishi, Volkswagen, and PSA Peugeot Citroën. PSA's Citroën C-Crosser and Peugeot 4007, which were manufactured by Mitsubishi in Japan, are badge engineered versions of the second generation Outlander. [4] Global sales achieved the 1.5 million unit milestone in October 2016, 15 years after its market launch. [5]

As part of the third generation line-up, Mitsubishi launched in January 2013 a plug-in hybrid model called Outlander PHEV. As of December 2020 [update] , global sales totaled 270,000 units, [6] and according to JATO Dynamics, the Outlander PHEV is the world's all-time best selling plug-in hybrid since December 2018. [7] As of 2019 [update] , Europe is the leading market with over 126,000 units sold through January 2019, [7] [8] and the Outlander plug-in hybrid listed as Europe's best-selling plug-in hybrid car for five years running, 2015 to 2019. [7]

General info

Flight performance

Characteristics Max Speed
(km/h at 4,400 m)
Max altitude
Turn time
Rate of climb
Take-off run
Stock 491 475 10300 17.7 18.2 10.2 10.2 175
Upgraded 532 510 16.8 17.0 17.4 13.3


Combat flaps Take-off flaps Landing flaps Air brakes Arrestor gear
Wings (km/h) Gear (km/h) Flaps (km/h) Max Static G
Combat Take-off Landing + -
660 310 484 451 280

Survivability and armour

Modifications and economy

The low top speed is a severe issue when stock. Compressor and New Engine greatly help. Having access to new 20 mm belts is helpful as well.

Side view of Mitsubishi A6M2 Zero - History

Mitsubishi A6M Zero-Sen

(Variants/Other Names: See History below)

This extremely rare Mitsubishi A6M3 Zero, registered NX712Z, flies behind an American-built Pratt and Whitney R-1830 engine. Image by Max Haynes -

History: Fast, maneuverable and flown by highly-skilled pilots, the Mitsubishi Zero-Sen was the most famous Japanese plane of World War Two and a big surprise to American forces. Ignored by British and American intelligence services (who had access to design plans for the aircraft years before the war) the "Zero" (it was the Navy’ Type O carrier-based fighter) was armed with two 20-mm cannon, two 7.7mm machine guns, and possessed the incredible range of 1930 miles using a centerline drop tank. Though outclassed by more powerful US fighters after late 1943, the Zero remained a tough opponent throughout the war.

First flown on 1 April 1939, the A6M1 prototype was powered by a 780-hp Mitsubishi Zuisei radial engine which gave it excellent performance except for its maximum speed, which was below navy specifications. A second prototype, the A6M2, was powered by a 925-hp Nakajima Sakae engine, which was so successful that in July 1940, the type was ordered into production as the Navy Type "0" Carrier Fighter Model 11. Other variants were rapidly introduced, including a two-seat trainer, the A6M2-K a Nakajima-built floatplane version called the A6M2-N a performance-increased version called the A6M5 and several re-engined versions late in the war which culminated in the 1130-hp A6M8.

Pre-production Zeros were used in China from August 1940. This outstanding aircraft could travel at speeds up to 350 mph in level flight (the A6M5 version) and reach 15,000 feet in five minutes. Contrast this with America’s front line fighter, the Grumman F4F Wildcat, which had a top speed was 325 mph, was not as maneuverable, and which had four .50-inch machine guns. No wonder the few Wildcat pilots rising up to defend Pearl Harbor in December, 1941 were surprised!

By late 1944, with most of its aircraft carriers sunk (and its most highly-trained aircrews gone), Japan resorted to desperate measures. These included ‘Kamikaze’ (divine wind) suicide raids, wherein green pilots would turn their early-model Zeros into aerial bombs for attacks on Allied ships during the battles of Okinawa, Iwo Jima and the Philippines. Truly an ignominious end for one of history’s great warbirds.

Only five Zeros are considered to be airworthy today (only one with its original Sakae engine), making them among the rarest and most-prized warbirds on the display circuit today.

Nicknames: Reisen ("Rei Shiko Sentoki" -- Japanese for "Type 0 Fighter") Zeke (Allied reporting name) Zero.

Specifications (A6M5):
Engine: One 1130-hp Nakajima NK1C Sakae 21 radial piston engine.
Weight: Empty 4175 lbs., Max Takeoff 6504 lbs.
Wing Span: 36ft. 1in.
Length: 29ft. 9in.
Height: 11ft. 5.75in.
Maximum Speed: 346mph
Ceiling: 35,100 ft.
Range: 1118 miles with internal fuel.
Armament: Two 20-mm cannon and two 7.7-mm machine guns.

Number Built: 10,500

Number Still Airworthy: Five

[ Zero Pilot Report by John Deakin ]

[ Click for more great books about the Zero! ]

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Notice : This may be either a product of Mitsubishi or Nakajima, there are minor difference between models produced by each, most notably the engine cowling.

The Zero is the most famous Japanese fighter of the Second World War that gave the Americans a scare at it’s debut. The west did not believe it at first until Pearl harbour. The Zero had been the Navy’s primary fighter for the entire course of the war, seeing thousands of models produced over many variants.

The A6M2 mod.21 is an improvement over the mod.11, with a slightly different cowling and an added folding wing function

AG1 to detach fuel tank (85 gal)
AG5 to conduct carrier operation (landing hook)
AG7 to bail out
AG8 to activate cannons.

Folding Wing :
Activate AG5
Deactivate AG8
vice versa.

A lot of people helped me with this, Destroyerz is the holy saviour and CSP provided the engine and wing hinge.

Author’s Note
I want to make a zero and I would eventually so why not now? Use this to fight the Buffalo.

Several Zero fighters survived the war and are on display in Japan (in Aichi, Tokyo's Yasukuni War Museum, Kure's Yamato Museum, Hamamatsu, MCAS Iwakuni, and Shizuoka), China (in Beijing), the United States (at the National Air and Space Museum, National Museum of the United States Air Force, the National Museum of Naval Aviation , the Pacific Aviation Museum , the San Diego Air and Space Museum), and the UK (RAF Duxford) as well as the Auckland War Memorial Museum in New Zealand. A restored A6M2-21 (V-173 retrieved as a wreck after the war, and later found to have been flown by Saburō Sakai at Lae) is on display at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra. The Museum Dirgantara Mandala in Yogyakarta, Indonesia also has an A6M in its collection.

Another aircraft recovered by the Australian War Memorial Museum in the early 1970s now belongs to Fantasy of Flight in Polk City, Florida. Along with several other Zeros it was found near Rabaul in the South Pacific. The markings suggest that it was in service after June 1943 and further investigation suggests that it has cockpit features conducive to the Nakashima built model 52b. If this is correct, it is most likely one of the 123 aircraft lost by the Japanese during the assault of Rabaul. The aircraft was shipped in pieces to the attraction and it was eventually made up for display as a crashed aircraft. Much of the aircraft is usable for patterns and some of its parts can be restored to one day make this a basis for a flyable aircraft. [ 28 ]

Only three flyable Zero airframes exist two have had their engines replaced with similar American units only one, the Planes of Fame Museum's A6M5 example, bearing tail number "61-120" has the original Sakae engine. [ 29 ]

Although not a survivor, the "Blayd" Zero is a reconstruction based on templating original Zero components recovered from the South Pacific. In order to be considered a "restoration" and not a reproduction, the builders used a small fraction of parts from original Zero landing gear in the reconstruction. [ 30 ] [ 31 ] The aircraft is now on display at the Fargo Air Museum in Fargo, North Dakota.

The Commemorative Air Force's A6M3 was recovered from Babo Airfield, New Guinea, in 1991. It was partially restored from several A6M3s in Russia, then brought to the United States for restoration. The aircraft was re-registered in 1998 and displayed at the Museum of Flying in Santa Monica, California. It currently uses a Pratt & Whitney R1830 engine. [ 32 ]

The rarity of flyable Zeros accounts for the use of single-seat North American T-6 Texans, with heavily modified fuselages and painted in Japanese markings, to stand in for the fighter in the films Tora! Tora! Tora!, The Final Countdown, and many other television and film depictions of the aircraft, such as Baa Baa Black Sheep (renamed Black Sheep Squadron). One Model 52 was used during the production of Pearl Harbor.

Side view of Mitsubishi A6M2 Zero - History

The Mitsubishi A6M2 "Rufe" is a long-range fighter aircraft formerly manufactured by Mitsubishi Aircraft Company.

The Mitsubishi A5M fighter was just entering service in early 1937, when the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) started looking for its eventual replacement. On October 5, 1937, they issued "Planning Requirements for the Prototype 12-shi Carrier-based Fighter", sending it to Nakajima and Mitsubishi. Both firms started preliminary design work while they awaited more definitive requirements to be handed over in a few months.[8]

Based on the experiences of the A5M in China, the IJN sent out updated requirements in October calling for a speed of 270 kn (310 mph 500 km/h) at 4,000 m (13,000 ft) and a climb to 3,000 m (9,800 ft) in 9.5 minutes. With drop tanks, they wanted an endurance of two hours at normal power, or six to eight hours at economical cruising speed. Armament was to consist of two 20 mm cannons, two 7.7 mm (.303 in) machine guns and two 60 kg (130 lb) bombs. A complete radio set was to be mounted in all aircraft, along with a radio direction finder for long-range navigation.[9] The maneuverability was to be at least equal to that of the A5M, while the wingspan had to be less than 12 m (39 ft) to allow for use on aircraft carriers.

"Your exciting Journey into digital world of aviation starts "

The A6M is usually known as the "Zero" from its Japanese Navy type designation, Type 0 carrier fighter (Rei shiki Kanjō sentōki, 零式艦上戦闘機), taken from the last digit of the Imperial year 2600 (1940) when it entered service. In Japan, it was unofficially referred to as both Rei-sen and Zero-sen Japanese pilots most commonly called it Zero-sen, where sen is the first syllable of sentōki, Japanese for "fighter plane".

Manufacturer Mitsubishi Heavy Industries

First flight 1 April 1939

Primary user Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service

You are definitely intrigued to discover Nakajima Rufe .

The Mitsubishi A6M "Zero" is a long-range fighter aircraft formerly manufactured by Mitsubishi Aircraft Company, a part of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, and operated by the Imperial Japanese Navy from 1940 to 1945. The A6M was designated as the Mitsubishi Navy Type 0 carrier fighter (零式艦上戦闘機 rei-shiki-kanjō-sentōki), or the Mitsubishi A6M Rei-sen. The A6M was usually referred to by its pilots as the Reisen (零戦, zero fighter), "0" being the last digit of the imperial year 2600 (1940) when it entered service with the Imperial Navy. The official Allied reporting name was "Zeke", although the use of the name "Zero" (from Type 0) was used colloquially by the Allies as well.

The Mitsubishi A6M "Zero" is a long-range fighter aircraft formerly manufactured by Mitsubishi Aircraft Company

Bandai 1/24 A6M5 Zero: "BLACK BEAUTY - Dressed for a Night Out Over the Homeland"

Before you guys go crazy with thoughts whirling along the lines of " A night fighter ZERO, Absolutely NO WAY!" Just wait and let your mind wonder a bit. I built this nice Zero from the 1/24 scale Ban Dai Kit. According to the profile that exists w/in the kit, there was a zero painted in a black camouflage pattern. Apparently this aircraft flew with the Yokosuka Air Corps and is pictured in " Night Battle Camouflage" I liked it due to it being different from anything I had ever seen. I poked around a bit on J-A and asked a few questions concerning this paint scheme and decided what the heck! My night-fighter version of the zero. Here are a few shots of the construction processes, enjoy.

From the workbench

The photo (above) shows the details of the engine. A person with the skill and patience would have great time enhancing this engine with some scratch building. One may also chose to really add to the armament compartments with some ammo belts and a few extras. I chose to enclose this area on the upper wings. I did however drill out the gun barrels on both the machine guns and the cannons.

Since this kit is 1/24 scale I wanted to limit the usage of decals. This process was not extremely difficult to accomplish. For the Hinomarus I used my OLFA Compass/Cutter to make a stencil. I was very pleased with the outcome. I also masked off the "No Step" area on the wings and sprayed these with Model Masters Red. The only decal I did use was the tail number. I am going to redo that to match the aircraft of the YAC.


Ban Dai did a great job on the interior detail, and I was very pleased with the outcome of the construction process. The parts fit together extremely well, and I was even able to practice my dry brushing skills (THANKS STEVE). I am disappointed that I did not have my DC available when I completed the interior. I would have liked to get a photo of the cockpit before I installed it.


Ban Dai included several neat details that one can choose to do with this kit. The landing gear can be retracted and the cover doors with a bit of fine- tuning look decent. The canopy, like the landing gear is movable to the open or closed position. Yes, the canopy was nice and clear as well as thin. I was impressed. The tail wheel and the arresting hook both retract and have good details as well. The kit also has four bombs, which you may choose to use, but I opted not to. The kit does have a few faults. In the areas that I would think this kit would have the extra details like the seat and the cowling as well as the machine gun and cannon magazines, this model kind of leaves you hanging. The cowling for instance is one piece. A model of this scale should take full advantage of the fact that to be as realistic as possible the two- piece set could have easily been made. But in spite of a the few draw backs the kit has I had a great time building it as well a letting my imagination go a tad bit. I would recommend this kit. I got a great deal on it and I had fun building it. My 8th grade students love it as well!


  • Mitsubishi A6M ZERO, Artur Juszczak. Mushroom Model Magazine Special: Yellow Series #6103.
  • Aero Detail 7 Mitsubishi A6M ZERO FIGHTER.
  • ZERO: Combat & Development History of Japan's Legendary Mitsubishi A6M Zero Fighter. Robert C. Mikesh, Forward by Japanese Zero Ace Saburo Sakai. Motorbooks International. 1994.
  • Japanese Aircraft Interiors 1940-1945. Robert C. Mikesh. Monogram Aviation Publications, Massachusetts, USA.

Related Content

This article was published on Wednesday, July 20 2011 Last modified on Saturday, May 14 2016

© Large Scale Planes 1999&mdash2021. All trademarks and copyrights are held by their respective owners. Member items are owned by the member. All rights reserved.

Tamiya | 1/32 Mitsubishi A6M5 Part 2

The engine is one of the last major sub-assemblies to be added to the model, after the instructions. It goes along steps 37 to 45. It is really complete, including the carburetor area behind the second row of cylinders.

The cylinder rows are beautifully molded in halves. Both pushrods rings are separately molded. The cowling supporting frames are also included, and they are not fake parts like we generally find in many large scale models. They depict accurately the prototype, so you can even leave the cowlings off the model.

You have the choice of open (parts C26 and C11) or closed (parts C3 and C12) cooling flaps. In both cases, they are molded altogether - no boring cementing plate by plate. Once finished, the engine is mounted on the tubular strut ahead the firewall. Take a look on the final result in one of the photos below, showing the magnificent work of modeler Bernard Schrock with this kit.

Engine details: firewall and oil tank, ignition ring, reduction case and carburetor, pushrods.

A splendind work accomplished by modeler Bernard Schrock (photos by him, I guess). Compare with.

. Sakae engine in the Kanoya Naval Aviation History Museum (photo credit unknown).

The propeller comes in a single piece, and you have to add the counter balance weights. The cowling is very well molded in two halves. They just click in place. Tamiya has paid extra attention to the rivet detail here.

Propeller and spinner. Note the control panel on the left.

Both cowling halves test fitted. Note the petite surface details.

Auckland War Memorial Museums A6M3 model 22, showing the cowling fasteners (photo by David Stewart).

The Zero had an array of actuator arms to push/pull the cowling flaps. The photo below shows clearly these arms between the exhaust stacks. Note that, in spite of the separated flaps, and its very convincing thickness, Tamiya´s kit doesn´t bring any part representing the arms. On the other hand, the final appearance of the fuselage vents behind the engine´s accessory part is very convincing.

Note the correct arrangement of the cowling flaps and exhaust stacks in this preserved A6M5 (photo credit unknown).


The landing gear of this kit is a little working marvel, as explained in steps 32-36 of the assembly instructions. Besides the rubber tires and hoses, the main struts are retractable and the suspension is spring loaded. The whole assembly is strongly fixed by metal screws, and cleverly engineered. Tamiya managed to inject the plastic around metal oleos. If carefully removed from the sprues and cleaned, these parts won´t need any paint, I guess. The retraction operation of the main landing gear parts is done by hand, simply pushing the gear leg to the wells. The inner doors are automatically closed by the tires, just like the real thing, as Tamiya beautifully replicated the corresponding armed mechanism (see steps 20-22). The lowering operation, on the other hand, requires the removal of the wing cannon leading edge panel. A provided key is inserted in a slot and turned in order to lower the leg. This avoids your nails scratching the painting to lower the undercarriage.

The retraction of the tail wheel is also done by hand. To lower it, you pull down the arresting hook, insert another key in a slot in there and turn it.

These movable parts are the best I´ve ever seen in a plastic model, but I´m not sure the paint coats will stand the friction on the contact areas. Anyway, I guess a serious modeler won´t be retracting/lowering the landing gear every time.

The wheel bay doors are a bit on the thick side, as well as the ribs in the wheel wells. I found a few ejection pin marks spotted in areas that will be visible after the assembly. Another nice touch are the torque links, which come as separated parts and work like the prototype. The assembly is just a matter of clicking them in place.

The instructions point out where to apply the grease provided in a tube. I don´t think this is a good idea, because it can slowly migrate with time and smear the surrounding painted areas. In addition, the area will be permanently attracting dust.

Landing gear parts. Lots of ejection pin marks

The main wheel parts and the tail wheel strut.

Tail wheel yoke. On the right, the real part from an A6M3-22 in the Auckland War Memorial Museum (photo by David Stewart).

Main landing gear of the A6M5 in the Kanoya Naval Aviation History Museum (photo credit unknown).

Wheel bay of the A6M5 in the Kanoya Naval Aviation History Museum (photo credit unknown).


There are 18 clear parts in sprue F. Canopy components, wings and fuselage lights, gunsight and the "glasses" for the control panel dials. They are crisply molded, and won´t even need the traditional Future bath. The only part that will give some work is the Type 98 optical gun-bombsight. It is a very prominent item in the cockpit and I included a pic below that may be of some help when painting this part.

Clear parts: rear and sliding canopy parts.

Clear parts in detail: Windscreen, control panel glasses and lights.


There are many other details not mentioned in the text, and of course I won´t mention them all. It is worth to cite the wing and the fuselage armament. They are fairly detailed, but will be mostly hidden anyway. No doubt some detailers will open a panel here and there to add more bits.


The decal sheet is typical of Tamiya. A bit thick but based on previous experiences they will respond well to setting solutions. There are three versions to choose from. All of them pretty much identical in IJN dark green over IJN light gray. Perhaps the only disappointment of the kit.

However, the sheet is very well printed and in perfect register. Note that the control panel instruments are printed reversed (the adhesive side will be visible) to be placed on the back of the clear dials. Pay attention on the printed arrows as they indicate the upper side of each instrument.

Some variations can be found in aftermarket items. Right now I recall Eagle Strike sheet #32018, which brings some more colorful options. The fact is that unless you are planning to model those captured Zeros evaluated by T.A.I.C., or an aircraft in surrender markings, the A6M5 does not share the same wide range of schemes of its previous versions.

A zoom on the decal sheet. Note the "reversed" instrument faces.


I said the kit is almost perfect. Some time ago Ryan Toews has compiled a list of notes on this kit for j-aircraft. I failed to locate the link after j-aircraft was overhauled, but he kindly allowed me quote his observations here (thank you Ryan). The man is really an expert on the subject, and the points below will help you to built an even more authentic replica.

"From what Jim Lansdale has related elsewhere, the Mitsubishi built A6M5s retained an overall paint job of Mitsubishi's variant of semi-gloss Hairyokushoku gray-green FS 6350, albeit possibly no longer applied over are-brown primer. The upper surfaces with subsequently camouflaged with a semi-gloss or matte dark green close to FS 4052. Nakajima also retained a variation of semi-gloss Hairyokushoku similar to FS 4201 on the undersides of the A6M5s it manufactured. The upper surface camouflage this company applied was a semi-gloss or matte dark green with a value of FS 4077. It is presumed that the fabric-covered surfaces were still painted in a mid-gray shade of FS 6314, except of course where the upper surface green paint was to be found. The cowling was painted with a semi-gloss blue-black color on Mitsubishi built planes and a semi-gloss black on Nakajima built ones. The white gun alignment lines on the upper cowling were probably not present on the earlier Mitsubishi built A6M5s such as 9-151.

In the following the numbers refer to the sub-sections in the Tamiya kit instructions:

Step #1

  • The cockpit interior should be FS 4095 for a Mitsubishi A6M5 and FS 4255 for a Nakajima built Model 52.
  • The rivets on the rear cockpit deck should in fact be raised, they were not flush.
  • The cockpit decking should be black on the Nakajima A6M5 but is the same FS 4052 green as the rest of the upper - surface camouflage green on the Mitsubishi Type 52.
  • The cutout for the loop antenna just behind the rollover pylon should be opened up to measure 5.5mm x 2mm (180mm x 60mm). The loop antenna should be mounted to a base that is inside the fuselage and allows the antenna to extend through the opening.
  • Part E3 can only be found on the early A6M2 and therefore should be left off. However, the hemispheric lamp should be attached just below E26. It is overall natural aluminum.

Step #4

  • Mitsubishi did not paint the steel parts in the cockpit black as was found in the Nakajima planes. Thus the black paint applied to the points where parts E35 and E36 attach should be black only in the latter·s Zeros.
  • The lamp at the front end of E29 should be overall aluminum.
  • Parts E35 and E36 should be black on Nakajima planes and cockpit interior green on those built by Mitsubishi. In both cases the knob at the end should be black.
  • Part E81 has no black on its handle in either manufacturer·s case.

Step #5

  • The buff painted ·pencil holder· was not found on all aircraft and should be considered optional
  • The fire extinguisher control box sitting on the small shelf at the rear of part E22 should be removed along with the shelf on all Mitsubishi A6M5s built before early December 1943 (starting with s/n 4274) which almost certainly includes A6M5 9-151. The box may have been in this position once Mitsubishi began installing such equipment but Nakajima installed this control box against the left side of the rear bulkhead (part E34) from the start. In all cases, though, the shelf should be removed.
  • A ·bicycle chain· needs to be attached leading backwards from part E31.
  • Part E82 should have a dark blue handle, not black.
  • Part E38 should have instruments in all four cutout holes.

Step #6

  • On the right floor of the cockpit is a rectangular box with three handles on top of it. This box should have round lightening holes in the sides of it.
  • In front of this box is a fitting that was deleted in the production of the A6M3. It should be completely removed flush with the cockpit floor.

Step #8

  • As mentioned above Mitsubishi did not paint the steel fittings in the cockpit black. Thus the painting instructions for parts E5, E6, E12, E13, EE72 and the crosspiece to which these attach apply only to Nakajima planes.
  • Part E23 should be black or the cockpit interior color for Nakajima or Mitsubishi respectively.
  • A white colored bungee cord should be fitted over the two part E23s from about one third of the way back from the seat on parts E12 and E13.

Step #9

  • The switch in the middle of the lower left tier of instruments should be black.
  • The crank on part E25 should be yellow.

Step #12

  • The machine guns were more likely to be a metallic gray color rather than black at this stage in the war.

Step #20

  • The interior side of the small wheel well doors should be aotake for a Nakajima Zero and underside Hairyokushoku for a Mitsubishi built plane. In either case the U shaped arm should be black.
  • The small folding rear corner of each door should be bent over unless one is going with the folding landing gear function.

Step #22

  • The functioning landing gear really compromises parts E15 but they should be aotake for a Nakajima Zero and underside Hairyokushoku for a Mitsubishi model. If the folding landing gear option is not used these parts should be rebuilt.
  • Round lightening holes should be drilled between the ribs in both the front and rear of the outer section of the wheel wells.
  • Each well should have the brake lines added and the left well should also include the two lines running out to the pitot tube.
  • Detailing the wheel wells should also include the addition of raised rivets throughout.

Step #24

  • The interior side of parts B12, B13 and B14 should be underside Hairyokushoku for both a Mitsubishi and a Nakajima Zero.

Step #28

Step #30-31

  • The use of moveable ailerons means that the aileron actuating rods cannot be included. If this function is forgone add the rods from parts B10 into the wing.

Step #32

  • Parts H2 and H3 should be painted with aluminum paint.
  • The roughly rectangular piece molded as part of the lower landing gear and to which the lower wheel well cover is attached should not be painted black but is actually finished in underside Hairyokushoku.

Step #33

  • The vinyl tires should not have any tread molded into them.
  • Parts E51 and E52 should not have a ·step· in the lower outer surface. These were actually each a single sheet of aluminum with small ·angle iron· strips fitted along the edges.
  • The interior side of the wheel wide covers should be underside Hairyokushoku for both Mitsubishi and a Nakajima Zeros. This includes both parts E52 and E64 and parts E51 and E65.

Step #34

  • While the wheel well cover weight indication decals (28) supplied in the kit are correct for the Mitsubishi built A6M5. Nakajima used a simpler scheme that used only red over blue stripes or a single red stripe.

Step #36

  • The small hub of the tail tire should be natural aluminum.
  • The tail gear should have a canvas covering fitted to it. The canvas was probably tan, green or black.
  • Only the attachment fitting and the actual hook of the tail hook should be black. The shaft of the hook should be the same shade of Hairyokushoku as the underside of the plane.
  • The interior of the tail hook well should also be the same color of Hairyokushoku as the rest of the underside.

Step #37-42

  • Several errors exist in the engine. The first of these are the missing baffles that fit between at the end of each cylinder. Eduard includes these baffles in their photo-etch set.
  • Secondly, parts D12 and D13 should be affixed to the engine by small arms attached to each cylinder just below each rocker box cover.
  • Starting with A6M5 s/n 4550 built in mid-February 1944 the lower exhaust pipes were shortened in length 80mm. As this is about the time that Nakajima began production of the A6M5 it can be assumed that any Nakajima Model 52 had the shorter exhaust. Thus for an early model Mitsubishi A6M5 parts C5, C6, C23 and C24 should be lengthened by 2.5mm.
  • The engine painting instructions are almost all incorrect. Thus the engine colors described in a TAIC wartime metallurgical report on a captured Sakae 21 are given as follows
    • Cylinder head - black paint
    • Cylinder barrel - black paint
    • Rocker box cover - black paint
    • Push rod housings - black paint with NMF fittings at each end
    • Baffles (between cylinders) - black paint
    • Intake manifold - black paint
    • Crankcase - greenish-gray pain (the nose section is held in place by 14 NMF bolts)
    • Blower case - gray paint
    • Gear case - gray-green paint
    • Gear oil pump housing- gray paint
    • Fuel pump case - black paint
    • Fuel pump support - gray-green paint
    • Gun synchronizer housing - gray paint
    • Ignition system conduit tubes - gray paint
    • Ignition system cables - black leatherette covering

    Step #43

    Step #46

    • A U shaped handle should be added to the inside lower right front and the vertical latching rod mechanism to the left front of the sliding canopy.

    Step #47

    • Part C19 should be the same green as the upper camouflage of the plane.
    • Part A11 should be black and the rivets should be raised, they were not flush.

    Step #48

    • The propeller colors are correct for a Nakajima aircraft but early Mitsubishi A6M5s retained the earlier natural aluminum blades with flat dark brown (FS 0059) painted propeller backs, a single red warning stripe, and aluminum painted spinner. 9-151 probably was still in this earlier scheme.

    Step #50

    • The radio antenna wire should run back to a bungee cord that is looped through a small hole in the rudder. This cord was twisted to prevent it vibrating in the slipstream and was connected to the antenna wire with a white glass insulator.

    Step #52

    Later during our conversation Rayn also added:

    • The canvas cover over the tail wheel well should be a dirty olive drab color. This can be seen on at least one wartime color photo.
    • The outer edge of the tail wheel wheel is specific to a Nakajima built Zero.
    • The part of each wheel strut that curves around the wheel should have a weld seam on the outer radius of the strut.
    • Weld seams should be added to each of the exhaust pip


    Well, this is not a weekend project. I recommend you to study carefully the instructions before starting. To follow the instructions is another good advice.

    In my mind, Tamiya would sell more Zeros had the folks there released an A6M2, since the type fought all the important battles during the early years of the war in Pacific (Pearl Harbor, Philippines, Midway, Guadalcanal, Coral Sea and the Solomons campaign). Moreover, the A6M2 had many more camouflage variations in comparison to the A6M5. This is reflected in all three decal versions offered, as they are very similar. On the other side, the A6M5 was the last version of the Zero to be used by the IJN in good numbers, and many Japanese aces closed their kill lists - or died - in this mount.And a late Zero is a late Zero: lots of paint chipping. Weathering is an important step in the present case, and if you plan to go for it, you probably will spend way more time doing it than airbrushing the basic airframe colors. And by the way, along with this kit Tamiya released the spray cans AS-2 (IJN Light Gray) and AS-21 (Nakajima IJN Dark Green). I´m not aware of the release of these colors in their classic acrylic or enamel little bottles.The Zero is very well documented in the literature, and if you are planning to add something to the model the Aero Detail and the Maru Mechanic books on the subject are excellent choices. A visit to the folks at j-aircraft is always worth too. Here some links to recent LSP articles on this model:-

    Tamiya 1/32 Zero built by LSP contributor Matsumoto Naoto. Interesting finish, huh.

    An impressively weathered Tamiya 1/32 Zero built by Brian Criner.


    This kit is really excellent. A proof of it is in the fact that just a few aftermarket items appeared to improve it. The Tamiya Zero made this sort of thing is simply unnecessary. Eduard and CMK gave their contributions but, except for decals and pre-cut masks, I don´t recall other manufacturers investing in detail sets for this bird. In some sense, this model is launching a new standard for 1/32 models, and we can only hope that more WWII subjects come up with the same quality. If it is not a perfect model, it is probably the closest you can get of it. Highly recommended.

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    This review was published on Saturday, July 02 2011 Last modified on Wednesday, May 18 2016

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    Mitsubishi A6M Zero / Zeke

    The Allies' main opponent in the Pacific air war, the Zero is the most famous symbol of Japanese air power during World War II. The fighter first flew in April 1939, and Mitsubishi, Nakajima, Hitachi and the Japanese navy produced 10,815 Zeros from 1940-1945. Zeros were produced in greater number than any other aircraft. Its distinctive design and historical impact make the Zero an important machine in air power history. The Mitsubishi A6M Zero was the linchpin of early Japanese strategic success. Without the Zero's range and effectiveness in air-to-air combat, the Pearl Harbor attack and the conquest of the Philippines and Netherlands East Indies would have been problematic at best.

    The Zero got its name from its official designation, Navy Type Zero Carrier-Based Fighter (or Reisen), though the Allies code-named it "Zeke." The Zero was the successor to the A5M Type 96 "Claude." Mitsubishi designed the A6M from Navy requirements set out in 1937 for a fighter that was fast, maneuverable and had great range.

    When the Type "0" first flew in 1939, most Japanese pilots were enthusiastic about the new fighter. It was fast, had retractable landing gear and an enclosed cockpit, and carried two 20rnrn cannon besides the two machine guns, Initial operational evaluation in China in 1940 confirmed the aircraft's potential.

    By the time of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the A6M2 was the Imperial Navy's standard carrier fighter, and rapidly replaced the older ASMs still in service. As the A6M2 proved successful in combat, it acquired its wartime nickname, "Zero," although the Japanese rarely referred to it as such. The evocative name came from the custom of designating aircraft in reference to the Japanese calendar. Thus, since 1940 corresponded to the year 2600 in Japan, the fighter was the Type "00" fighter, which was shortened to "0." The western press picked up the designation and the name "Zero" was born.

    The Zero's incredible maneuverability came at some expense from its top speed. In an effort to increase the speed, the designers clipped the folding wingtips from the carrier-based A6M2 and evolved the land-based A6M3, Model 32. The pilots were not impressed with the speed increase and the production run was short, the A6M3 reverting back to its span as the Model 22. The type was originally called "Hap," after Gen Henry "Hap" Arnold, Chief of the Army Air Force. Arnold was so angry at the dubious honor that the name was quickly changed to Hamp.

    The fighter received another name in 1943 which was almost as popular, especially among the American flight crews. A system of first names referred to various enemy aircraft, in much the same way that the postwar NATO system referred to Soviet and Chinese aircraft. The Zero was tagged "Zeke," and the names were used interchangeably by everyone, from flight crews to intelligence officers. (Other examples of the system included "Claude" [ASM], "Betty" [Mitsubishi G4M bomber], and "Oscar" [Ki.43].)

    During the early 1940s, the skies of the Pacific were dominated by the propelled engines of the single-seat Mitsubishi Type 0 Carrier Fighters. Also known as the Zero, the Zero fighter carried Japan through several battles during World War II. The Zero's capabilities and proven power during air-to-air combat inspired awe in its enemy combatants as it was able to outmanever all other land-based aircraft of the 1940s.

    In May of 1937, the Imperial Japanese Naval Air Service issued out specifications for a new updated fighter aircraft to Nakajima and Mitsubishi. IJNAS called for a fighter that could reach speeds up to 310 miles per hour at 13,120 feet and climb to 9,840 feet in 3 minutes and 30 seconds while being armed with two 20 mm cannons, two 7.7 mm machine guns and two 60-pound bombs. They also wanted it equipped with a full radio and a direction finder. With the technology available at the time, many people wondered how the specifications could be met.

    Both companies began developing plans and prototypes, but when Nakajima felt the specifications were impossible to meet, they pulled their plans from the competition. Jiro Horikoshi, Mitsubishi's chief designer, believed he could create what IJNAS asked for. Horikoshi believed he could meet all IJNAS' requirements if he could find a way to make the aircraft lighter. Horikoshi found his solution. Protective armor and self-sealing fuel tanks were sacrificed to make the plane lighter and a lightweight aluminum alloy named "Extra- Super Duraluminum" was used to construct the body. Horikoshi was able to meet, and in some areas surpass, what IJNAS asked for.

    Once prototypes were constructed, tested and improved on, the IJNAS began full production and delivery in December 1940. General Claire Chennault, who was working with the Chinese Nationalists to fight the Japanese in 1940, sent reports to the United States warning about the Zero's air power two years before it took to the skies. His reports were misfiled and forgotten. As a result, the U.S. Grumman F-4F Wildcats were completely shocked and overwhelmed by the Zero's superior speed and power as they tried to defend against the attacks on Pearl Harbor.

    The Zero was the first carrier-based fighter capable of besting its land-based equivalents. This is remarkable in light of the fact that the design of carrier-based aircraft is inherently more difficult than that of the land-based equivalents. Not only do arrested carrier landings call for a considerably stronger, and hence heavier, structure final approach speeds must be low by land-based standards and handling characteristics must be exceptionally good if high operational losses are to be avoided.

    The Zero was an improbably good design, and one for which there was no available substitute. This combat aircraft was designed to a tight and seemingly impossible specification calling for unprecedented range and maneuverability in a carrier fighter. The Zero had a maximum speed of 334 mph and a range of 1,130 miles. Designed as a carrier-borne fighter, it was exceptionally light compared to its opponents. This requirement was not only necessary to provide maneuverability but also was caused by the Zero's low-powered engine.

    The Mitsubishi A6M Zero is the rare example of a first-rate combat aircraft powered by a mediocre engine. Indeed, Japanese engineers consciously compensated for the fact that Japanese aero engines were, quoting the Zero's designer Horikoshi Hiro, "20 to 30 percent less powerful than those of the more advanced countries." Lack of interservice cooperation in engine development limited the horsepower available to Japanese designers.

    The Zero's range, an essential precondition to early Japanese victories in the Pacific, was the compromise of an extremely light, yet strong, structure and the provision of a jettisonable centerline external fuel tank. The Zero's remarkable maneuverability in air-to-air combat combined a low wing loading and excellent power-to-weight ratio with a potent armament of two wing-mounted 20 mm cannon plus two 7.7 mm machine guns in the engine cowling, mainly to help the pilot aim the cannon. In order to obtain the remarkable wing loading and power-to-weight ratio that made the Zero formidable, designer Horikoshi dispensed with protective armor and self-sealing fuel tanks and Zero pilots wore no parachutes. This was not, as is commonly imputed, because the Japanese Navy placed a low value on the lives of its pilots or because of a "kamikaze mentality," but due to a rational assessment of pilot survival factors. Unlike its main allied opponents, the Zero, with flotation bags in the wings, had excellent ditching characteristics.

    On the negative side of the strategic ledger, the Zero's remarkable performance was gained at the expense of vulnerability to battle damage. Other consequences included omitting armor protection for the pilot, not using self-sealing fuel tanks, and building lightweight wings as an integral part of the fuselage. Its tactical effectiveness was thus heavily dependent upon pilot skill, magnifying the strategic impact of the loss of the Japanese Navy's cadre of experienced aviators in the Solomons campaign.

    The Zero's critical dependence upon pilot skill was its Achilles heel. Once the Japanese Navy had expended its cadre of skilled aviators in the Solomons campaign, the Zero's prime liability, extreme vulnerability to battle damage, made it a death trap.

    The A6M first saw combat in China in the late summer of 1940, and it quickly helped Japan dominate the air in Asia. When Japan attacked Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, 125 Zeros from six aircraft carriers participated. In the early part of the war, Allied aircraft such as the Curtiss P-40 and Seversky P-35 were at a disadvantage in a dogfight with a Zero flown by a skilled pilot, and the A6M became a well-known and dangerous opponent.

    The Japanese advantage, however, began to disappear as American tactics evolved. American pilots gained experience fighting the Zero in China with the American Volunteer Group, known as the Flying Tigers, and at the Battle of Midway. The key to fighting the Zero was to stay out of dogfights, and instead use superior armament and hit-and-run diving attacks against the relatively fragile A6M. American fighters introduced in 1943 were more powerful (2,000-hp engines), faster, and had much more firepower than the Zero. As Allied pilots used their heavily-armed aircraft to advantage, the Zero's dominance ended. At the same time, the number of American aircraft and pilots increased, and the number of experienced Japanese aircrew shrank.

    Initially, the principal fighter models flown by the USAAF were various series of the Curtiss P-40 and Bell P-39, while the USN and USMC generally flew various series of the Grumman F4F. In general, each of these early American fighters were somewhat deficient in tactical performance compared to the Zero. The deficiencies were not decisive but did put the Americans at some overall tactical disadvantage, all else equal (which it seldom was in actual combat). In addition, the Zero had a significant advantage in operating radius. The overall effect of this was to limit the American fighters largely to defensive counterair (DCA) operations, while allowing the Japanese more scope for offensive counterair (OCA).

    In Jun 1942 USAAF forces in the Pacific began to receive small numbers of Lockheed P-38 fighters.56 By Sep 1942 there were 105, representing ten percent of USAAF fighter forces in theater. By mid 1943 USAAF forces in the Pacific had begun to receive Republic P-47 and North American P-51 fighters as well. By Jun 1943 these three more modern models accounted for twenty percent of USAAF fighters arrayed against Japan, while by Dec the proportion had risen almost to fi fty percent.58 Similarly, by the early months of 1943 Vought F4U fighters were beginning to replace Grumman F4Fs in land-based action, while the new aircraft carriers reaching the Pacific from mid 1943 onward were all equipped with Grumman F6Fs.

    These newer fighters held margins of tactical performance over the Zero that were broadly comparable to those that the Zero held over the earlier US fighters. That is to say that all else equal, the pilot in one of these aircraft would have a small margin of tactical advantage. It is easy to overstate the significance of these margins, however. For the most part the speed margins were no greater than ten percent, for instance. Differences in tactical circumstances, and in particular in pilot skill, could easily be far more significant. Perceptions of the significance of the newer aircraft are probably considerably exaggerated by the concurrent changes in the balance of pilot skills, owing largely to the established disparities in operational as well as combat loss rates together with differences in pilot production and in the efforts made to preserve pilots.

    By the middle of the war, both the Mitsubishi and Nakajima design teams had abandoned the overly simple design approach in favor of a more Western-style design the Nakajima Frank and Mitsubishi Jack of the late war period are altogether much more powerful and capable aircraft. While development of the Zero continued by adding self-sealing tanks, armor plate and increasing horsepower to 1,150 hp, the later Zero was much heavier and thus less nimble. Weight increased 28 percent, but horsepower increased only 16 percent, degrading overall combat performance.

    Beginning around October 1944 during the battle for the Philippines, Zeros were used in kamikaze attacks. Kamikazes used A6Ms more than any other aircraft for these suicide missions. Japanese Air Forces, no longer able to match the American planes and fliers, started using suicide (kamikaze) attacks. Japanese pilots on a kamikaze mission would deliberately crash their explosive-packed planes into enemy targets, most frequently ships. Kamikaze attacks accounted for 50 percent of the damage to American vessels during the entire war. The Mitsubishi Zero was the primary kamikaze plane, but almost every type of aircraft was used. Obsolete planes and any aircraft that could be fixed long enough to make a one- way flight were adapted for suicide missions. Also, new aircraft were produced specifically as kamikaze instruments.

    The Zero remained the superior fighter in the air during the early years of World War II. It wasn't until the development of the Grumman F-6F Hellcat and the Battle of Midway that the Zero's monopoly over the Pacific Ocean skies started to decline.

    Today, the shrapnel-scarred Zero Hangar across the street from the Provost Marshal's Office at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni remains a reminder of the presence the Zero had during the last world war. Iwakuni was home to 150 Zero fighter planes toward the end of the war. A day before the war ended, the hangar sustained damaged after a bombing. The hangar, which is the only World War II-era hangar remaining today, sits as a concrete relic, housing a replica Type Zero Carrier Fighter. The full-scale model aircraft remains housed there as a symbol of a time when the Zero once ruled the Pacific skies.

    Watch the video: Sound of original Sakae engine Mitsubishi A6M Zero 零戦52型 栄エンジン (May 2022).


    1. Rangley

      What necessary words ... Great, a great idea

    2. Urien

      Brothers, what are you writing about? ? What does this post have to do with it? ?

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