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  • Writer's picture@PlaneThought41

Tora, Tora, Tora: 1/48th Hasegawa A6M2 Model 21 (Zero)

Updated: Jun 29

The Hasegawa A6M2 is originally from 1996 and has been regularly released with various markings over the years. The build is straightforward and presents no real problems. My version was the "Pearl Harbor" release from 2003.

Notable Kit Features:

  • Simple construction

  • Finely engraved panel details

  • Multi-piece engine assembly

  • Canopy can be positioned open or closed (featuring nice clear "glass")

  • Wingtip lights

  • Separate propeller blades

  • Center fuel tank

Build Inspiration:

After reading much debate over the colour of the early Japanese Zeros, I came across an article by James Lansdale which covered some ground on the subject and gave me the inspiration to finally commit to a build (or two or three) of this type given some hope of it being close to correct. Ref: Zero Camouflage Schemes by James F. Lansdale (

Heads-Up Report:

  • I built the fuselage and inserted the cockpit later prior to fitting the wings

  • Careful fitting the nose machine guns as they can be lost in the fuselage (never to be seen again)

  • A bit of trimming / fitting of the wingtip navigation lights is necessary

Kit Additions / Modifications:

  • Seatbelts made from painted masking tape

  • Fuselage and tail stripes were painted

  • Slightly weighted tires

End Result:

I finished my kit in the marking of Lt. Saburo Sindo 1st Sqn. 1st Section No.1 A.C. Pearl Raiders which as the first aircraft of the second wave that takes off at 07:15 from the Akagi. The paint was toned lighter in the center of the panels and darker at the seams to give a worn appearance. Panel washes were used to finish the effect.

The After-Build Report:

This kit is still definitely recommended. A simple build with few parts that are well engineered with finely engraved details. Notably better than Tamiya's older A6M2 and still reasonably priced this kit can fit the needs of a beginner or experienced model maker alike.

Completed build #193 - May 2016 using the 1/48th scale Hasegawa #09481 kit.

Feel free to comment or ask any questions - Keep on building, gain experience, challenge yourself if you like, but try not to stress yourself out over the build - it is suppose to be an enjoyable hobby after all - Cheers

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