Eduard 1/48 A6M3 Zero Type 32 ProfiPACK
By Jacob Russell
The Mitsubishi A6M3 Zero (Zeke) Type 32 entered service in 1942 and it was deployed in New Guinea, Indonesia and Solomon Islands in addition to its aircraft carrier service. It was powered by the 1,130 HP Sakae 21 engine and had a shortened fuselage and reduced wingspan with non-folding wingtips. 343 A6M3 Type 32s were produced between June and December of 1942.
You get 208 parts in the box. 156 of them are plastic on 5 sprues. There are 51 parts on a single photo-etch fret, plus a small sheet of rice paper masks for the windscreen, canopy and the mainwheels. The surface detail of the wings and fuselage consists of delicate recessed panel lines and rivets along with raised elements where appropriate. This detail is well executed and it will look stunning under thinly applied paint and panel line washes.
The cockpit is appropriately busy and it has superb detail; like the airframe it will look absolutely stunning with careful drybrushing and an oil wash. You can use the kit instrument panel decal or opt for the PE "sandwich". The photo-etch fret includes the instrument panel, seat harness, throttle quadrant and major elements of the fuselage side consoles. The rice paper masks are for the windscreen, canopy and the wheel hubs.
The fabric ailerons and horizontal stabilizers are molded separately and the fabric effect is convincing. The landing gear and landing gear doors look great.
The Sakae 21 radial engine is assembled from 5 well detailed parts which will look great with an oil wash and careful dry brushing. The engine attaches to the fuselage front and in turn is enclosed in a 3 piece cowling. The kit includes marking options for 5 different A6M3 Type 32 aircraft:
"T2 169", Ldg. Sea. Kenji Yanagiya, Kōkūtai 204, Rabaul base, New Britain, April 1943. This plane was overall IJN Gray ("Ame-iro") with a black cowl, natural metal spinner and a thin red fuselage band. The plane was overpainted in Theatre with a dense green mottle.
"Black V-177", c.n 3018, Tainan Kōkūtai, Buna airfield, New Guinea, August 1942. This plane was overall IJN Gray ("Ame-iro") with a black cowl, natural metal spinner and a thin blue angled fuselage band. The top of the fin and rudder were black.
"Black X-152", PO1c Kyoshi Ito, 3 Kōkūtai, Koepang airfield, Timor Island, September 1942. This plane was overall IJN Gray ("Ame-iro") with a black cowl, natural metal spinner and a thin red fuselage band.
"Red EII-147", Zuikaku Fighter Squadron, aircraft carrier Zuikaku, October 1942. Overall IJN Gray ("Ame-iro") with a black cowl, natural metal spinner and 2 thin white fuselage bands outlined in red.
CPO Takeo Tanimizu, Tainan Kokutai (II), Tainan airbase, Taiwan, September 1944. This A6M3 was painted in non standard-and heavily weathered-Dark Green over IJN Gray ("Ame-iro") with a black cowl and natural metal spinner.
The large decal sheet include the 5 decal options plus the airframe stencils. The instructions are well illustrated with a logical assembly sequence and a stencil application map. Color callouts are for GSI Creos (Gunze) Aqeous and Mr. Color and Mission Models paints.
I'm so happy that Eduard's covering the main A6M variants. Their new A6M3 Type 32 is a great kit. This is the ProfiPACK boxing, so everything you need is right in the box. If you're not satisfied with the kit's contents Eduard has many Brassin, Löök and Space aftermarket sets to choose from. I recommend this kit and I would like to thank Eduard for the review sample.