Thursday 1 March 2018

Japanese Aircraft Online Model Contest 007 - DEREK COOPER #2

Below are some photos of my next entry for the current on-line modelling contest, which is the so-called “Chinese Zero” modelled using Airfix’ new-tool 1/72 A6M2b kit with decals from Techmod. 
As touched upon in my previous post, Koga’s Zero was the first A6M to be evaluated by the Allies, but it was not in fact the first in flyable condition to fall into the Allies’ hands. When in November 1941 a group of Zeros from the Tainan Kokutai was repositioning from Taiwan to the Saigon area, two of the pilots became disoriented due to low cloud and fog, and had to make forced landings on a beach on mainland China. One Zero landed safely but the other was badly damaged.
Both aircraft were discovered by local Chinese militia, who hauled the intact aircraft off  the beach, dismantled it into sections and transported it to the inland city of Liuchow, which took several months. By the end of the summer in 1942, Chinese mechanics had re-assembled the aircraft, but the panels immediately aft of the engine cowlings had become lost en route and were replaced by specially fabricated louvred units, giving the Zero a unique and very distinctive appearance.
It was at this point that the US Air Force came to know about the captured Zero, and they sent representatives to Liuchow to fly the aircraft to their airfield at Kweilin. After further repairs, the aircraft was test-flown by no less than five aces of the former Flying Tigers unit. Interestingly, contemporary photographs show the aircraft as having Chinese national insignia on its underwings but not on the wing upper surfaces or the fuselage. I wonder if this was to try and fool the pilots of any Japanese aircraft that might have been encountered on the way, whilst discouraging Chinese militia from taking pot-shots from the ground?
In early 1943 the aircraft was flown from Kunming to Karachi in India, where it was crated up and shipped to the USA for further testing. After repair and an overhaul by Curtiss, it was given the tail code EB-2 ( “Engineering Branch-2”) and evaluated at Wright Field, Ohio and subsequently at the Army Proving Grounds at Elgin Field, Florida where the tail code was changed again to EB-200.
- Derek Cooper -


Mark Jahsan said...

Nice looking model, one that's on my list. How did you do the louvers?

Anonymous said...

I cheated a bit!! They are simply lengths of plastic rod sanded to shape, but they are solid because they were too small for my banana fingers to hollow out.
Derek cooper

Toryu said...

Clean and simple - reminds me of the happy days when I did 1/72 out of the box without year-long detailing efforts. Extra points for the unusual front section - 4.6

D. Chouinard said...

Looks nice! The louvers look convincing enough, so no worries. 4.6
How were the Techmod decals, I have heard good and bad about them?

Arawasi said...

A very nice model. 4.7