Continuing the Zero theme it is a delight to share these images of a pair of excellent Tainan Ku Mitsubishi A6M2 Zero models built from the 1/48 Hasegawa kit by Stéphane Sagols and featuring aircraft reputedly flown by the IJN ace Saburo Sakai. Much good effort has been expended in attempting to unravel the identification system and colour sequence of the slanted fuselage bands and horizontal tail stripes used by Tainan Ku but they remain unconfirmed beyond speculation and theory.
V-128 has long been depicted with a white tail stripe according to the profile in 'Reishiki Kanjo Sentouki no subete' (1961) by Yoshiyuki Takani, a personal friend of Sakai, who obtained the information about it from Sakai himself during an overnight stay. More recently it has been depicted with a red tail stripe, as on Stéphane's model, as a result of assertions about the shotai colour sequence which will be examined further in a later article here.
Stéphane achieved remarkable detail in construction of the cockpits, using the kit parts for V-130 and a CMK resin set for V-128 as shown above, and especially in the construction of miniature gunsights for each model which are remarkably detailed. He also improved the appearance of the cowlings and cowling flaps as shown below.
Stéphane also refined the exhaust outlets for both models, carefully routing and thinning the kit parts.
Both models are depicted in standard factory finish described contemporaneously as 'J3 grey leaning slightly towards ameiro' with fabric control surfaces doped J3 grey.