Warts and all - it had no interior and no wheel wells, the undercarriage legs being plugged into slots - this kit has been a nostalgic favourite and rated as superior to its Airfix and Revell contemporaries, as well as to those early non-standard scale kits from Japan. It is a hybrid in terms of mark but still manages to look the part after 63 years of wonderful advances in mould making, kit engineering and accuracy. And it conveys oodles of nostalgia for those once satisfied by simpler things. This was the Zero that lurked in predatory pairs over jungle settings in many a Fleetway Library and Commando comic book.
Frog considered a new mould for the Zero in 1971 which morphed into a kit of the floatplane fighter 'Rufe'. That mould was completed in 1975 and planned as kit F234 but was never released although decals and H1-type boxes were printed. The A6M2-N kit was subsequently released by Revell, of which more anon, featuring the originally intended Frog box art. Frog's only other Zero venture was to release 15,000 Hasegawa 1/32 scale kits of the A6M5 as F287 under the Frog logo between 1972 and 1974.
With special thanks to Mike for kindly sharing these images of a survivor and a testimony to a gone but not forgotten classic.
Image credit: All photos © 2022 Mike Kirk