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Destroyed Japanese Zero

As the Allies’ nemesis in the Pacific air war, the Zero epitomized Japanese air power. Combining excellent maneuverability and range, the Mitsubishi A6M Zero gained a legendary reputation early in the war. As the war progressed, however, improving Allied tactics and an improved generation of aircraft such as the P-51 Mustang signaled the decline of the Zero’s dominance.

In keeping with wartime photographs of wrecked aircraft, Masterpiece Models has introduced the first of what is to be its line of destroyed aircraft. Produced in resin, the kit contains seven cast parts, which make up the fuselage, wing, tail section, and cockpit interior. Also included is a photo-etched sheet, which is used to produce the ailerons, elevators, rudder, and cockpit canopy frame.

The detail of the parts is good, as is the overall fit, and assembly takes only an hour. A few brief construction notes: Because the interior parts are installed from the underside, remember to install the cockpit interior parts (instrument panel, the pilot seat, and control stick) into the fuselage before attaching the wing. My kit had small gaps along the wing roots, which were easily fixed by using CA glue and then squeezing the wings against the fuselage.

The limited number of parts makes this a perfect weekend project and a great “starter” model. Offered in 1/35th scale (the typical scale for armor and figure modeling), this kit would be the perfect centerpiece in a diorama.


Originally published in the February 2011 issue of World War II. To subscribe, click here