Like many 1/32 scale kits produced from older molds, Revell's A6M5 looks very much like a 1/48 scale kit blown up in size. What this means is the detail found in this kit would be average in 1/48 scale but becomes poor in the larger 1/32. Experienced modelers are very familiar with scratch building and after market products. These efforts would be a necessity if this kit was ever to produce a museum or contest quality replica of the late model Zero.
The kit is molded in a forest green color. This is good news for a youngster but bad news for the airbrush. It will take a few coats of primer or gray to neutralize that dark green.
Revell's Zero consists of mostly raised panel lines and a two part pilot is included. The directions are comprised of seven exploded view steps. Decals are provided to construct either one of two late war Zeros based in Japan. Both examples require a simple, green over gray paint scheme.
This was a very easy kit to build. Considering this was a big, 1/32 scale kit, the seams were relatively tight. It does not require much sanding.The canopy was one of the few I have seen that actually can be slid back and forth like the real thing. I suggest not fixing it shut or open. It snaps into place nicely and can be slid back and forth at will without falling off. The engine cowling can also be removed to display the engine. That works well too.
The biggest problem, as mentioned above, is the detail. In this large scale, better cockpit detail and the choice to open the engine cowling flaps are a must. Kits can get by with this in 1/72 and 1/48 but not in 1/32. The kit's biggest strength is the nice decal sheet. It is finely printed and thin yet cover the dark green paint quite well. More stencils would be nice on this big scale but the decals that are provided work well.
This kit was probably intended for the beginner and I would recommend it highly for young beginners. There are few parts and they fit well. Plus the large size often appeals to younger builders.Revell's Zero might also provide a decent base for the experienced modeler. It would undoubtedly result in a great product if it was adorned with tons of scratch building and extra parts.
That leaves the intermediate modelers (like me) in trouble. The kit is a bit too toy-like to be built straight from the box. Its large size and daunting scratch building requirements make it too difficult to tackle with a limited amount of experience in modifying kits.
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