1/72 Hobbyboss A6M5 Zero & Academy P40N Warhawk

Gallery Article by Greg Kerry on Feb 8 2019



This is my first attempt at a dogfight double all-air action model.

Basically, the attacked plane forms the support with cottonwool 'smoke' hiding the wire holding the attacking plane. It should go without saying that the first plane needs to be very strongly pinned in position on a substantial base before any of this can hope to succeed.

Both kits lacked pilots and wheels-up options and the P40N an especial pain to modify in this regard: those exposed main wheels needed sanding, sanding, and yet more sanding before they'd fit the wheel bays at all convincingly.

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The Hobbyboss Zero is another Easy Assembly kit and went together well enough. It does have one glaring problem though: the fuselage sides have exposed exhausts moulded in place - but only three per side where there should be four. Even worse, the cut-outs for these in the cowling don't line up very well. On my model, all this would be hidden by smoke, but for a more normal model the exhausts would need to be cut off and re-positioned with a new one added in each upper position - not exactly Easy Assembly.

While I'm criticizing this kit I should say the decals are typical Hobbyboss, ie of dubious colour shade notably the Japanese roundals but I used them anyway hoping my usual grey wash finishing would darken them.

As the main support model, I cut off the port wingtip, stuffed two pieces of thick wire in, and fixed the plane to a stout wooden base.

Prior to this I had drilled a hole in the starboard fuselage and filed a groove in the tailplane to ensure good support for the wire holding the P40N.  Main problem I had with the P40N was the cockpit canopy - the framing was so fine it was all but impossible to see: very difficult to mask so I ended up using a combination of decal strip and handbrushing.

Paint was Tamiya Acrylics, washing and drybrushing tubed acrylics.

Black cottonwool was dyed, flamed cottonwool was dyed orange first but then painted directly to look brighter.

Decals for both models came from the kits with no changes.

"Clouds" in the pictures are cottonwool strip held close to the camera lense.

I fully realise there's a certain artistic license at work here (with the two planes so close to each other) but, go on, suspend your disbelief just for a moment . . . 

Greg Kerry

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Photos and text by Greg Kerry