Roberts Models 1/32 A6M2-N Rufe Floatplane Conversion First Look
By Ray Mehlberger
|Date of Review||June 2009||Manufacturer||Roberts Models|
|Subject||A6M2-N Rufe Floatplane Conversion||Scale||1/32|
|Kit Number||-||Primary Media||Resin/Vac|
|Pros||Nice basic conversion set to make a Rufe floatplane||Cons||Not for the novice. Some other parts need to be scratchbuilt|
|Skill Level||Intermediate||MSRP (USD)||Out of Production|
Roberts Models/Combat Models is based in W. Hazleton, Pa. They do vacuform kits and resin detail parts for aircraft in various scales.
When I last visited my friend Jeff Roberts, he presented me with this pre-production set of parts to turn the old Revell 1/32nd scale Zero kit into the A6M2-N “Rufe” floatplane.
The set consists of 2 white vacuformed sheets of the central floats and the wing floats. A resin cowling and 2 wing-tip parts completed the parts in the kit. The instructions are 2 pages. One is of letter stationary size – 8 ½” x 11” and the other is 8 ½” x 13 ¾” formats. Jeff gave this set a real PREMIUM packaging….he tossed it in a large unsealed cello bag and held it all shut with a wood clothes-pin…ha ha. However, when he went into full production of the set later it was better packaged.
The smaller sheet has step by step typed instructions at the beginning of one side, followed by 2 views of the cowlings of the A6M2-21 Zero type and the A6M3-22 and -32. A head-on illustration of the A6m2-21 is also shown. The reverse side of this sheet has wing illustrations, showing the 20 mm wing gun position on a A6M3-32 type or the A6M2-22 or A6M3-22. The A6M3-32 illustration also shows to rescribe the ailerons and lengthen them, and to also reshape the wing tips. The illustration for the type A6M2-21 or A6M3-22 also shows how to reshape the ailerons and to remove the wing tips to make room for the resin replacement ones in the set.
The longer sheet has a 2-view line drawing on one side of the Rufe, showing it in profile and head on. In one corner is an exploded drawing of the float parts. However, this drawing shows some parts not included, which are the rear main float support arms, the wing float support arms and a reinforcing RIB that goes on the bottom of the main float. These, I assume, are up to the modeler to fabricate. The reverse side of the sheet has a 5 view of the beaching trolley for a Rufe. It looks like it could be scratch-built using Plasti-struct beams for the frame. However the spoked main wheels would be difficult to find anywhere…or to scratchbuild for that matter.
As far as I know, the old Revell 1/32nd scale Zero..that this set was originally designed to go on…is currently out of production. However, Revell re-releases stuff all the time. There are several other Zero kits in the scale marketed by other model companies that are around.