My next [and, to date, the last] model in 1:32 scale is the slim Japanese
Zero, also known as the "Big Mosquito", a true counterweight to the fat
American Hellcat. Frankly, I was mainly inspired by the drawing on the box
cover depicting the clash result between these two aircrafts [provided
that both were operated by equally skilled pilots]. Some years have passed
since then, so now I am going to present only a superficial description
of my construction.
I used a Hasegawa kit, which was on sale at the time [I am not a big fan
of Japanese aircrafts]; in addition, I enhanced my model with PE detail
sets from Eduard. I didn't use any other accessories in my build.
This plastic model kit also belongs to an older generation of Hasegawa
casts, which is evident from the surface texture and the detailing
[small parts simply didn't exist].
Taking into account the lack of details of the original kit, I ordered
two Eduard PE sets for detailing my model. As it happened some time ago,
I am unable to look up the specific codes for those sets now. In any case,
the metal parts were very easy to work with; no major adjustment of
plastic components was necessary.
I didn't focus on evaluating the shape precision of this kit.
Equipment and weaponry:
The kit includes a simplified model of a radial engine.
The component assembly went smoothly; the only problem was fitting the
fuselage halves together, namely the subsequent filling of their joint.
As you can see on the photographs, I certainly underestimated the problem.
I didn't use any special techniques for this model's construction; my only
preparation was searching for suitable documentation on the internet.
The construction process was very pleasant; it took me about as much time
as a high quality kit in 1/48 scale would otherwise take. I don't see any
point in describing the detailed building procedure in this article.
I painted the model with the help of a spraybrush from Revell, using
exclusively the synthetic Agama colors [see the relevant color tones for
the Japanese air-force]. As I was dealing with large surface areas, the
painting was relatively straightforward.
I used the original Hasegawa decals without the application of softening
solutions. The finished composition received a coat of semi-matt Agama
enamel mixed with gloss enamel in 1:1 ratio.
I applied the same weathering technique as the one described in my
Hellcat "wreck" review. I merely reduced the degree of "wear and tear"
[according to the historic photographs].
The final appearance of my slant-eyed mosquito filled me with satisfaction
for a long time. I even achieved some results with it at a modeling
competition [3rd place in the regional round]. Nevertheless, I must
conclude by saying that the imperfections of large scale kits have
discouraged me from further attempts at 1:32 models.