What are the must-have AM products for Tamiya's 1:32 Zero?

Well, pretty much that is it. I got this model as a present (childhood dream, really), and would like to make it as nice as possible -but not spend an enormous amount of money and time, either. Are there weaknesses or areas that can/should be improved?

According to the companies that make such items, all of them.

Personally, it’s what you think looks better than the kit part and can afford.

Honestly, it’s a great kit all on it’s own. If you’re partial to ignition wiring for radial engines, you’ll want to work out how to do that yourself or get some sort of aftermarket, but personally I think that’s all you need for a very nice model.

Michael :stuck_out_tongue:

Thank you for the response. It is great to hear the model is good OOB. I may get a colored PE for the cockpit, though.

I’ve built or had about six or seven 32nd scale Zeros. Four were Tamiya kits, and they are great kits. My one let down was with the main landing gear. The wheel wells don’t quite look the part (compared to the real thing), and the struts are fiction. I can live with the wheel wells, but the landing gear just doesn’t look the part. On the otherhand the new Hasegawa kits look the part, and over all are better kits at half the price (keep wanting them to do an A6m2 and an A6m3).


Depending on what Zero you want to depict I would get at least paint masks for the hinomaru. In that scale they look much better painted on than the Tamiya decals and easier to manage if you want to weather it.


Ooooowww, I would jump at a 1/32 Hamp.

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I bought my first Hasegawa on a whim. Price was near $50. Got home and was simply stunned with what was in the box! I still have two A6m5’s from Tamiya, and like them a lot, but really not for double+ the price. Only real problem is that they did a couple oddballs. Love to see Hasegawa do a Rufe!! Or a big scale Pete (holy grail)

A 1/32 Pete?? I’d fly to Japan and camp out at Hasegawa’s front door to get the first one hot out of the molds!

I really hope to live long enough and be healthy enough for a 1/32 Val or Kate. I finally got my Zouke Mari Nick.

That ZM Nick looks really nice, but also looks like a nightmare to assemble! I may get one of them anyway. Hobby 2000 is going to issue a re-boxed Dragon BF109e, and that’s probably the best 109 kit in any scale. They (Dragon) did an early one, as well as the e3/4 and e7. Not a lot of difference in them. You can build the Galland kit out of the e3 or e7 kit. Always hoped they’d move up to a BF109f2. The Hasegawa kit is not right, but you can fix it. A few weeks back I was looking for B17 parts for a friend, and discovered I had Hs129 kits all over the place!. Every kit has the Japanese disease of junk decals. Wanting to see Revell take their FW kits into the A9 catagory, and maybe do an FW190g. Would be fairly easy.

Speaking of doing a Pete, they’ll need proper photoetch wing rigging. I have it with my two other kits. A 32nd scale Dave would be just over the top!! I like seaplanes. Keep looking for Revell to reissue the AR196 series again.

Someone is releasing a 1/32 Val - sorry I can’t recall
who …
Infinity perhaps ?

you are correct, it’s Infinity. They did the 1/32 Helldiver last year.

One more question, gents -thank you for your help so far.

I would like to have a green Zero but the Tamiya kit is the M2b, and all the green ones I have seen are M5’s. I admit I know more about Japanese tanks than Japanese airplanes, so I have no idea if it is absolutely unhistorical to use a green camo on this model.

Eduard’s ProfiPAK Zero as well as their upcoming April release dual combo - Zero ! Zero ! Zero ! has markings shown for several green and non IJN grey Type 21’s .

Markings for several Kamikaze aircraft as well.


Dear all, I have another question. The interior of the airplane (apart from the cockpit) seems to have been painted in a quite trippy, metallic blue-green color. (Engine bay, wheel bays, etc.) Was this really like that? Looks quite psychedelic.

Yes it was that color. Cheers.

The name of the color is Aotake and even the experts aren’t certain of it’s purpose. Largely thought to be a protective anti corrosion coating , some speculate that it may have been applied to raw materials to mark them out for cutting/ fabrication in the way that blue dye is used by machinists today . This color varied widely even on individual airframes as there were many cottage industries producing components.
I model in 1/48 scale and I personally think the commercially available paints are way overdone in the metallic effect. I prefer to paint an aluminum base color then lightly dust over with highly thinned blue or blue green . This gives much better scale appearance IMO
however in 1/32 you may be ok .
If you want to learn more about the colors of Japanese aircraft visit Nick Milkman’s excellent site - Aviation of Japan. Even better , purchase his guide “ Painting the Early Zero “ - 40 pages of very scholarly work from a world authority on this subject.

Thank you for the detailed response. I read a lot (and listened to Dan Carlin’s Supernova in the Easts podcast where he did touch on the cottage industry aspect), and it is quite astonishing how the Japanese managed to support their war machine. (They needed oxen to pull the finished Zeros to the airfield from the factories because they did not have enough trucks…)

Anyhow, the idea of how to apply the color is great. I do have -for some reason, I still am not sure why I bought it- Gunze’s appropriate color, but it does seem very strong. Inks over aluminum might work, too. (Miniature painting experience.)

I will check out the suggested reading, thank you.