Friday 13 October 2023

Stéphane Sagols Tainan Ku Pair

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. 

With special thanks to Stéphane for sharing these images of his two models and for his patience in waiting for them to appear.

Image credits: All photos © 2023 Stéphane Sagols


ahinepics said...

I'm discovering this blog and its handfull informations, great interest ! I'm currently changing my hobby and decide to go for modeling, Japan WWII aircraft as main theme, will come back often I think !

Michael Thurow said...

Two wonderful Rei-sen! I love those gunsights - a special obsession on my part, too, but I've not yet achieved Stéphane's high standard.

Dan Salamone said...

These are beautiful models, what great attention to detail, Stephane!

I still have plenty of Hasegawa kits in my stash, and although they have less "molded in detail" than the Eduard kit, after wrestling with said Eduard kit and losing the battle with poor engineering and fit, will return to the tried and true older kit in the future.

Beautiful work Stephane, thanks for posting this Nick.


WD said...

Absolutely gorgeous! I love the hard work put in here and how it paid off.


WK said...

Very nice work, especially that gunsight and the paint finish.


Mark Smith said...

I love this pair, Stephane. Beautifully executed and fine weathering. Thanks for sharing them, and thanks for the post Nick.

Baronvonrob said...

An Amazing duo... great attention to detail and masterfully done !

Thanks to Stephane and Nick

Alex said...

Excellent duo! Very fine detalisation and weathering.

WilliamR said...

Looking forward to seeing more of your beautiful work Stephane.

And Nick learning more about the seemingly indecipherable Tainan number and color system would be most desirable and interesting.