Academy A6M2b Model 21 in 1/48 - Red Primer Question

I have started building my next model, an Academy A6M2b Model 21.
I started wanting to convince myself that this model is a very good alternative to Eduard’s masterpiece, and that it can build to an equal masterpiece.

I quickly changed my mind. The Academy A6M2 is a beautiful model with nice surface detail and great fit, but bad engineering is fighting me at every step.
I spent considerable amount of time to change the way the landing gear get attached early to the wind and then all that to the fuselage. Silly, as the fuselage is the best way to align the landing gear and the winds to the tail.
The tail and the tail wheel, another problematic area with a lot of vagueness to exactly where the parts are meant to be. Then the small wheel broke off and had to spent a lot of extra time to strengthen using brass tube.
The guns and the small antenna behind the pilot’s seat… How on earth did they design it in such a poor way…

Anyway, I managed to resolve all that and I am just about to start painting. So here is the question to those with some experience in A6M2s…

Were the A6M2b eventually painted with the red primer or directly with the camouflage?
Did that only apply to specific aircraft or even types, or it was used across all of them?

Finally just a couple of photos of where I am now…


Some more progress…
Playing with layers of colours, chipping and pastels.
Once I am happy with the results will continue on the rest of the airplane.

Then will follow:

  • Gloss coat
  • Stencils
  • Wash
  • Final layer of semi mat varnish


Hello Dio,

That is a beautiful rendering of worn camouflage. The cockpit looks very good, too.

Very sorry I just found this post. My research finds that all A6Ms were painted with the red primer. There are several color photos of Zeke 21/22/32 wrecks in New Guinea and the Solomons showing the finish worn away and the red primer remains. Near the end of the war there were a batch of Zeke 52s without primer as seen here:

Hope this helps.


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Hi Fred,

This definitely helps!
I will work some more on the wings now :slight_smile:

The A6M5 is so much more beautiful! Let’s see if Eduard will consider the whole family (also the two seats trainer version).

Thanks and Regards,

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Concur, the Zeke 52 is the best looking of this hero family, although I think that every Zero is aesthetically a beautiful airframe. Joe Foss wrote that over guadal canal, he hesitated for a moment to pull the trigger on a Zero because he was too busy admiring the beautiful lines of the airplane.

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