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Reviews : Japanese Last Updated: Aug 21st, 2020 - 13:06:35

A6M5b Zero. Hasegawa + Eduard Photo-etch parts. 1/72
By Clarence Wentzel. IPMS USA
Apr 15, 2006, 17:05

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I am a fan of the Eduard Zoom series of photo-etched parts. These sets are generally less complex than the other Eduard sets while providing all of the parts that the normal modeler will usually want and use. With some of the latest sets, Eduard are providing even more value for the modelers the photo-etched parts are already colored. The modeler no longer has to worry about painting the intricate parts.

Set SS-200 is a colored Zoom set designed for the Hasegawa A6M5 Zero. Photo 1 shows the fret. Several colors are used and the detail is very intricate. The floor, rudder pedals and fuselage interior structures are colored in interior green. The seat belts are beige and brown and the silver buckles are very visible. The instrument panel parts and the side console parts are black with silver knobs. I am not sure what process Eduard used but the color is very strong and flexible. I did not encounter any flaking or separation of the color when the parts were bent to shape. A couple of the components, the throttle quadrant and the bomb release mechanism appeared complex. The throttle included four segments and the bomb release had five segments. These needed to be bent closed in a pleated fashion. Both worked well without problems.

This set is designed for the Hasegawa A6M5c kit. I had a Hasegawa A6M5b kit on the shelf so I volunteered to build it to test the new Eduard set. The inside of the fuselage of the kit is virtually bare. Hasegawa apparently have decided to simplify their kits and only provide instrument panel, floor and console details. To install the Eduard interior, I first painted the inside of the fuselages, the seat and the floor panel (after removing the simplified rudder pedals). I used a color slightly different than the one that Eduard used so that the side panel construction would show. When the paint was dry, I started to apply the Eduard parts. Using CA and white glue as necessary, I completed the interior in a single session of about two hours. In my case, most of the time was spent holding my breath as I fitted the parts in place using tweezers and a magna-visor.

The side panels are installed first and fit perfectly after bending a slight curve into the parts to fit the fuselage. The various panels and controls are then added to the sidewalls. Next the floor panel is prepared. New rudder pedals and floor mounted controls are added. The set also includes a top to the side console. The fuselage can be assembled at this time. Next, the Eduard instrument panel is installed. It attaches to the same locating tabs intended for the kit panel. The seat can be prepared and installed at any time and the final item is the intricate gun sight that is installed just before attaching the canopy. I have to admit that a couple of the very small red T handles disappeared somewhere on my bench but overall, I am very pleased with the result and I feel that much less effort was needed to produce a good looking model. Photo 2 shows the fuselages while photo 3 shows the completed floor, instrument panel and seats with seat belts.

The Hasegawa kit went together easily. I finished the fuselage as described above, added the wings and stabilizers and proceeded to paint the model. I chose to install the cowl and exhaust parts later so that they could be painted individually without the need for masking.

The remainder of the model went together as per the directions. I chose to finish my model in the markings of the 721st Kokutai (Jinrai Fighter Unit) using decals from the Aeromaster sheet on Special Attack Squadrons.

The canopy of the Hasegawa kit is molded in the closed position. Of course, I had to open it to show off the neat photo-etched parts. I cut the kit canopy apart and used the front and rear parts along with a new sliding portion from Squadron Shop. Photo 4, Photo 5 and Photo 6 show the completed model.

Note-although the Zoom kit was designed for the A6M5c; the differences between this and the A6M5b are minimal. The seats are different but the belts are the same. Also, the instrument panels are the same while the butt of the 7.7 mm machine gun must be added on the left side.

I am really enthused about this product and hope that Eduard will add many more of these colored sets to their product line. Thanks to Eduard for providing the set for review. Well recommended.

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