Full Review with Rick Goodenough
Having built eduard’s superlative A6M2 Type 21 Zero just over a year ago, I was delighted when Geoff proposed a similar build of the brand-new Academy Type 21, boxed as from the “Battle of Midway”. Right from the get-go, with the evocative box art of a Zero tangling with an SBD over a burning Japanese carrier, I was hooked.
My only concern, not at all a fault of this model, was the angst I would suffer over exactly what shade of grey I would eventually commit to. The box art depicts a pristine Zero (albeit with the radio mast seemingly back to front!) in what I always considered the classic zero colour, almost off white. Contrast that with the massive black (well blue-black) cowling and the shiny red Hinomarus, and that was this schoolboy’s dream back in the 80s. Current opinion is varied and a veritable rabbit hole but seems to be that a light caramel colour is more appropriate. Hence the scheme applied to my eduard kit build . Frankly, I could live with either, but having already done the caramel scheme, I decided to go with the box art for this one. As far as the review goes, the kit will build the same whatever final shade you decide to go with.
Enough of that, here is how she turned out.
On with a brief examination of the kit.
The box art, as stated, is very appealing. That said, any rendition of a light grey Zero, grabs my attention! The parts are beautifully moulded in a light grey colour and feature crisp, precise panel lines and rivet detail.
The canopy is crystal clear and has a single piece closed canopy, albeit minus the windscreen, or 3 separate parts for the open canopy.
There is also a small light blue sheet of precut masks for the transparencies, rear faces of the propellers and the main wheels.
The decal options are colourful and feature 2 machines from the Akagi, and then 3 others from the Kaga, Soryu and Hiryu.
I chose the Kaga bird flown by W.O Akira Yamamoto, not least because his first name reminded me of the classic Manga and his surname, well obvious really.
Having previous experience of Academy decals “back in the day”, I was concerned about how they would perform. It’s one thing looking great on the backing sheet, but I remember when they were as stiff as a board and seemingly lacking in adhesive. I planned to mask and spray the larger items anyway, as with the eduard kit, but I was intrigued as to how Academy’s modern decals would perform. More of that later.
Just time for a couple of quick close-up shots of the fuselage, upper wings and the flattened tyres and main gear doors. Absolutely stunning rivet detail. Also noteworthy is the raised relief towards the lower side of the fuselage.