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A6M3 Zero Type 32

by Alex Bernardo


Mitsubishi A6M3 Zero Type 32


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Here is the 1/144 Scale A6M3 Type 32 Zero (Hamp) by AMH/Arii/Crown

This Zero was assigned to the 204th Kokutai at Rabaul during the summer of 1943. The subject aircraft did not have a antenna mast.

To help reduce the increase in weight brought by the installation of the more powerful engine and to increase manoeuvrability at high speeds the 20 inch folding wing tips were removed and faired over, creating squared wing tips.

Reducing the wing span by over three feet and increasing the engine power did not bring about the anticipated increase in performance.

The engine installed in this aircraft was a Nakajima Sakae (Prosperity) Radial engine.






The scratch built engine was assembled from 116 parts. The engine includes 14 Piston heads, 28 Push rods, Ignition ring, 14 Plug wires, 14 Interconnecting oil drain lines, 2 Cowling frame mounts, 32 piece exhaust system, 6 piece crank case, 6 piece engine mount.


The piston heads were made from reshaped brass screws using a Dremel tool. The push rods, ignition ring, plug wires, exhaust extensions, and engine mounts were made from various sizes of wire. Exhaust ring was made from styrene rod. The engine crank case was primarily made from a spare piece of styrene frame from a Heller kit.


The original kit did not come with a cockpit so the cockpit was built from the floor board and up. The cockpit includes: control stick, main instrument panel, gun sight, machine gun butts, rudder pedals, wall stringers and ribs, side consoles, seat with seatbelts, headrest, and circular radio antenna.



I used "Heat n Smash" method to create canopy.


Flaps were made from paper thin styrene sheet using very fine copper wire for the ribbs. All wheels had to be rebuilt, since the kit only provide one side of each wheel.

I used piano wire to replace oversized main landing gear.



Painting and Markings


I used Tamiya Acrylics: IJN Gray and Clear Gloss; plus Polly Scale Acrylics: Clear Flat

The disruptive dark green mottle was custom mixed oil based paints. The dark green was applied by using a dry brushing technique.


Spare decals were used for the rudder codes. The Hinomarus were made by placing a circular stencil over red decal sheet and lightly scoring the outlines.



Additional Images


Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

Model, Images and Article Copyright 2002 by Alex Bernardo
Page Created 26 May 2002
Last updated 04 June 2007

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