Japanese A6M3 Mod. 32 Zero: Colors, Parts Art

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by ColesAircraft, Dec 1, 2013.

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  1. ColesAircraft

    ColesAircraft Member

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    Haven't posted here in a while - but this is a great story:

    I've been working with Legend Flyers (builders of the airworthy Me 262s) lately. They commissioned me to paint the two-seat Me 262 'Vera', which I did, and they sent me her original starboard outboard engine nacelle cover - which was a great trade from my point of view! But now we just completed our second cooperative deal: my painting of their A6M3 Mod. 32 Zero (Hamp) - which I just completed - and my reward in original Zero parts!

    Some great colors and neat details are revealed here from this rare aircraft (only about 320 were ever built):

    Zer0-6.jpg Zero-3.jpg Zero-4.jpg Zero-7.jpg Zero-9.jpg

    This Zero - serial number 3148 - was built by Mitsubishi in September 1942, and painted in that elusive early-war overall gray that people have argued over for years. Everyone has pretty much come to terms with the color as a very pale brownish-gray, and there is evidence of the color here:

    zero-8.jpg

    3148 was assigned to the 252nd Kokutai and deployed to Taroa Atoll in the Marshall Islands. There, in April 1943 it probably participated in the interception of Lt. Louis Zamperini's B-24D (as described in the book 'Unbroken'), and was very likely flown in combat by Japanese 'Ace' Isamu Miyazaki.

    The aircraft was recovered from Taroa in the mid-'80s and is under restoration to flying status, with the original engine, by Legend Flyers for Evergreen's air museum. It's mostly a new-build with original parts, and probably won't be actually flown, but they are doing a wonderful job of producing an incredibly accurate aircraft!

    Here's my painting of 3148 in the markings worn during her life at Taroa:

    J-A6M3Zero-1.jpg J-A6M3Zero-22.jpg
     
  2. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    Very cool, and beautiful work!
     
  3. BiffF15

    BiffF15 Well-Known Member

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    Very well done! I like all the detail in the close up shot (reflections on the wing / fuselage, and the dimpling effect of the metal to name two)! At the base of the antenna there appears to be a small pane of glass missing, is that for ventalation?

    Cheers,
    Biff
     
  4. ColesAircraft

    ColesAircraft Member

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    Thank you! I really enjoyed painting this piece, and since it's my favorite aircraft I went overboard with detail - but it was fun. It helped that the Japanese polished their aircraft at this stage of the war. I have some preserved samples of this polished paintwork and it really was as shiny as a new car - and smoother. Later in the war it was more common to see their aircraft succumb to dullness due to the environment. There is an open pane aft of the radio mast.
     
  5. Maxrobot1

    Maxrobot1 Member

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    Sir, you are one talented individual! Artists like you help the rest of us visualize the air war!
     
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