Nakajima A6M2-N ‘Rufe’

Nakajima A6M2-N ‘Rufe’ – Hasegawa 1/72

Model by Clayton Ockerby

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A brief history

Based on the hugely successful and deadly Mitsubishi A6M Zero Model 11, the Nakajima A6M2-N, (or Rufe as the allies would refer to her), was a single crew floatplane used by the Japanese during the Second World War.

The aircraft saw its first flight in December of 1941 and would later go on to be deployed in 1942. The production run would see a total of 327 aircraft produced.

The plane was developed to support amphibious operations as well as defend remote locations and reconnaissance missions. As history would have it, the Rufe was quite effective in their attacks on the American Patrol Boats during the war in the Pacific, not only through its own armament, but be dropping flares to light the night sky and leave the boats vulnerable to the gunfire of nearby destroyers.

I really do love the Japanese fighters, and the fact they decided to bolt on a couple of huge floats made this subject all the more appealing.

When I first considered building this kit the initial idea was to go to town with the chipping. We have all seen those models of the Japanese planes all chipped within an inch of their life, but after actually doing a little bit of research on this, I found the whole chipping debate is somewhat of an urban myth. Yes, there were instances of heavy chipping on Japanese aircraft, but this notion that the paintwork was rubbish is just that…rubbish.  Fact is there are a lot of misinterpreted photographs and a lot of myths that just seem to perpetuate through the hobby. That said, I still wanted my build to be an exercise in chipping, so it was just going to be a matter of toning it down a little.

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