A6M2b Zero Type 21 "Junyo Fighter Group"

Published on
July 29, 2013
Review Author(s)
Product / Stock #
Company: Hasegawa - Website: Visit Site
Provided by: Hobbico
Box Art

History Brief

The IJN aircraft carrier Junyo was a mighty warship at the outset of WWII. Her fighter groups were made up of Zeros, and they outclassed all other opposing fighter types at that time. The Junyo, however, would suffer heavy damage in the Battle of Guadalcanal and would never again regain her prior reputation. The carrier would repeatedly suffer damage at the hands of the US Navy, thus keeping her out of service for long periods of repairs. Her air crews carried on the fight despite being depleted on more than one occasion. By war’s end, the Junyo was nothing more than a floating derelict with irreparable damage and her aircrews wiped out.

The Product

My sample arrived in the standard Hasegawa box. On the boxtop is a beautiful painting of a Junyo Zero dog fighting a P-39/P-400. This is another re-box of an older kit with new decals. The kit is starting to show its age; overall, it’s retained the nice details, but my sample had signs of a misaligned mold. Some of the Hasegawa Zeros have been around for a couple of decades. They have basic cockpit and engine detail. They have simple construction and proper fit. The landing gear has adequate detail and it’s sturdy.

The new decals are very nice and offer three options from the Junyo. The instructions are clear and printed on a fold-out sheet.

The Build

This is truly a straight up build that only needs a few refinements. The cockpit is simple in construction, builds up quickly, and has modest details. It comes with a decal option for the instrument panel and side console panel. I added aftermarket photo etch seat belts as a personal enhancement. The fuselage halves have a nasty mold step around the empennage. I suspect it’s a sign for a type of mold with interchangeable plugs that have seen their better days. I really worked on smoothing it out, and it had to be rescribed to replace the lost detail. Next, when I mated the wing to the fuselage, the aft belly seam had a very pronounced dip. To remedy that, I made a special trip to the Hobby Lobby and picked up a fresh tube of Tamiya white putty. Once those little annoyances were out of the way, I soon had the model ready to paint with only a few minor add-on-later items left. Decals went down great and I love the new Hasegawa decals. They are a big improvement over the old ones.

The Bottom Line

It’s a great kit. I love the paint scheme options and subject matter. Perhaps the molds are showing signs of aging and wear, but anyone with a little old school modeling skills should have no problems. I highly recommend it.

Thanks to Hobbico and Hasegawa, and much appreciation to IPMS for the opportunity to review and present this model.


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