Hobby Master 1/48 scale HA8806: Mitsubishi A6M2 Zero-Sen/Zeke serial 3-112 of 12th Kokutai, IJNAS, as flown by Minoru Suzuki, China, 1941
Length 7.5 inches Wingspan 9 inches
The 12th Kokutai was formed on July 11, 1937 equipped with 12 Type 95 fighter aircraft. In the summer of 1940 the new A6M Zero arrived and between August 1940 and September 1941 Zeros claimed 103 aerial victories and 163 aircraft damaged or destroyed on the ground with 2 Zeros lost and 39 damaged. There are 28 victories painted on the tail that represent the unit score and Lt. Minoru Suzuki is credited with 8 victories. The 12th Kokutai was disbanded on September 1941.
First flown in April, 1939, the A6M Zero-Sen was the Allies’ main opponent in the Pacific and the most famous symbol of Japanese air power during World War II. This carrier-based fighter, designed with a low-monoplane wing and armed with a formidable array of two 20mm cannons and two 7.7mm machine guns, proved capable of handling any of the Allies’ aircraft. It wasn’t until the Allies studied a captured Zero that they were able to identify and exploit weaknesses such as minimal pilot and fuel tank protection. Zeros became infamous for Kamikaze attacks, in which pilots would intentionally crash explosion-laden aircraft into Allied ships.