Model Art is known for high quality magazines, with excellent photographs that guide the modeler through some impressive builds. This publication continues that tradition.
This publication focuses on one of Japan’s best known aircraft from World War II, the Mitsubishi A6M Zero. It is important to note that the publication is presented in Japanese. English-speakers will have no trouble relying upon the excellent maps and images in order to enjoy the book.
And, enjoy you will! The book begins with an outstanding illustration of a Zero, banking into a turn, by artist Y. Sakaida. He successfully captures the beauty and power of the Zero in this effort, and this illustration sets the tone for the publication.
In the following 30 pages, the images show various Zero ‘artifacts”, bits of aircraft after crashes, and where those fragments were found. There are few relics that evoke the majesty of flight and at the same time the tragedy of the air war than do images of artifacts such as are shown in these pages.
In the following 10 pages, the Zero is compared to the U.S. aircraft which it met in combat. This is, for the Japan Language impaired, accomplished through the presentation of a set of side views. This provides the modeler with some very nicely done documentation on color schemes for these U.S. aircraft.
For the modeler, one of the features of this publication that is most helpful appears on pages through 77. A series of gray-scale illustrations, accompanied by some B&W photos show the differences between the variants of the Zero. These differences amount to such things as the location of various hatches, trim tabs, and armament. A series of images in a section of the book entitled, “Kamikaze Attack” feature many of the same images that Americans would find very familiar, showing attacks on U.S. ships and the resulting damage done by these attacks.
Beginning on page 96, a wonderful set of color images features a model of Zero # 721-61. The actual aircraft is shown in a set of images, and the model is painted in a stunning “match” to this aircraft. The model will benefit greatly from the large number of detailed images of the model and the actual aircraft.
Starting on page 114, a model of an A6M5 of the 721st Naval Air Group, JINFAI Fighter Squadron is presented. As is always the case in Model Art, the story in the images is more than sufficient to offer a detailed “how to” for a modeler to sink their teeth into a Zero project using this article as a guide.
Rounding out the book is another “how to” article, using the Tamiya A6M2 kit in 1/48th scale. Again, the images are more than sufficient to offer a blueprint to completion of a project featuring a Zero which served on board the IJN Akagi.
The only Japanese I know is the word for “Yes” and the numbers from 1 to 10, but it is not necessary to speak or read the language to thoroughly enjoy this excellent Model Art publication. The price is well worth the excellent articles on building a Zero. This publication is highly recommended. Thanks to Model Art for providing a sample to IPMS/USA for review.