Markings for A6M2 Zero from IJN Zuikaku at Rabual raid 1942

Ad: This forum contains affiliate links to products on Amazon and eBay. More information in Terms and rules


Senior Airman
Aug 21, 2019
I wanted to build a Zero that was at the attack on Rabual on January 20 1942. I have decals for a Zuikaku plane from Pearl Harbor a month earlier. Same plane different battles a month apart. Would the markings have been the same? Thanks.
IIRC the grey overall with the black engine cowling and two white bands on the fuselage. So no changings ...



zuikaku-air-raid-8Zero fighter.jpg

the pic source: the net.
Thank you, thought so. They would still have been the "grey" color that all the Pearl Harbor Zeros were painted with the white stripes.


  • Japanese A6M2b Zero AI-154 shot down 12-7-1941 Pearl Harbor.png
    Japanese A6M2b Zero AI-154 shot down 12-7-1941 Pearl Harbor.png
    102.9 KB · Views: 22
One other question, I know only 326 Zeros had the mass balance under the wings. Did all of the Zeros at Pearl harbor have them. The instructions I have say one PH Zero had them and they don't say that the other PH Zero had them.
According to my notes due to the problems with the aircraft wing structure and the plane control at the high speed, especially during diving. beginning the February 1941 (A6M2 serial no. 3127) a servo tab (Flettner) was introduced. However, after the next crash, in May 1941, the thickness of the external plating of the wing surfaces was increased. In addition, longitudinal reinforcements were installed to increase torsional strength, and the ailerons returned to external mass ballance in place of the servo tab. The modernized planes were designated A6M2b Model 2 Ib. The external mass balance was added to the ailerons, also on previously produced aircraft, now designated A6M2a Model 2la. The planes had a maximum speed limit of 630 km/h and still at high speeds there were large forces acting on the rudders. The measures taken, as Mitsubishi representatives said, allowed the system of servo tabs to be left in place, which would solve the latter problem, but the Navy, after the disaster of Capt. Shimokawa ( A6M2 s/n. 3135 on 17th April 1941 ) ordered them removed, not being sure of the cause of the accident. As a result, they were only installed on approximately 80 A6M2 Model 21s built in February–May 1941.
In mid-September 1941, a new aileron began to be installed, which had all the counterweights inside the front section, eliminating the external mass ballance that caused unnecessary aerodynamic drag. The above change was introduced starting with A6M2 No. 327.
So there was the mix of Zeros with the external mass balance or without because their presence or absence depened on the period of time a particular plane was assmebled.
Thanks, I saw a picture of an A6M2b at the Battle of Midway and it was also at PH. It had no mass balance so I guess it was "fixed". I try to go by actual period photos when modeling these but not every plane has a picture and some don't show the area I need to see. I try not to count rivets but some things stick out like a sore thumb.

Users who are viewing this thread