Ahmet Eren İspir Looking pretty good! Excuse my lack of knowledge, I'm planning to build a Zero as it was on Akagi's fighter group. As far as I know, they had red lines on Akagi, what about other ones? I learned Hiryu has two blue lines from you, can you tell me Kaga, Shoukaku, Ryujo, Taiho and other?
31. December 2019, 13:36
Jay Nakasone The color bands where by division, with one band for the lead ship and two bands for second ship, etc. At the beginning of the war red (Akagi and Kaga), blue (Soryu and Hiryu), White (shokaku and Zuikaku) and Yellow (Ryujo, Shoho and Taiyo). This changed after midway. The Blue color also changed from the time of Pearl Harbor to Midway from a darker "french" blue to the lighter blue seen on most decal sheets. I've been told this was to stretch the blue paint as there wasn't enough. The bands on the rudder indicated ranking (flight leader, squadron leader etc). For more info check "j-aircraft.com". It's a great reference on Japanese aircraft.
There are also subtle differences between Mitsubishi made (Pearl Harbor) and Nakajima made zeros. Like cockpit colors, landing gear interior color, cockpit decking color under the canopy. The Pearl Harbor zeros also had external flap counter balances (only earlier zeros). This is missed by many modelers.
31. December 2019, 20:56
Ahmet Eren İspir Wow! Thank you for your detailed answer. I have purchased IJN Carrier Air Groups book and it tells a lot. I haven't heard about the balancers in Zeros before, can you tell me more about it? Thanks in advance.
2. January, 15:06
Jay Nakasone Early zero type 11 tried to use flettner trim flaps (named after german engineer). These did not work well and were removed from about type 21. The light weight of the zero construction revealed itself as the flaps were not effective (maneuverability suffered, poor roll rate). To counter this problem external aileron mass balance were added. From the 327 production aircraft, the aileron mass balance were made internal. So Pearl Harbor early type 21 zero were all made by mitsubishi probably still had external flap balance. Mushroom Productions book Mitsubishi A6M Zero by Artur Juszczak has a short discussion about this.
If you look at period photos you might be able to see them, they are small.
PS. I did not know about these flaps until i started doing some research for my build. Even some of the Arizona Memorial historians (we have three in our IPMS club) did not know about this feature.
I do enjoy the research aspect of our hobby.
3. January, 01:49
Ahmet Eren İspir Yes, this information about flap balancer is quite unique. I congratulate you for finding a such small detail. Even though I failed to see this on real pictures for now. When I will start my researchs for upcoming Zero build, I shall be able to find it.
I also like the research stage, but sometimes it takes too much time. During last summer, I can recall dozens of days just spent for research, and no modelling, lol. Anyway, I love learning new things and it is an enough motivation for me. Also I believe the models which has been built by a modeller, who knows the background, technical data and history, is always more exciting for me. So keep up the good work!