by: Rowan Baylis [ ]
Ever since I bought the Airfix kit back in the 1960s, I’ve considered the Mitsubishi Dinah one of the most attractive Japanese aircraft of WWII. With its elegant proportions and superb streamlining - particularly in the Ki-46III - the Dinah is a classic example of the old aviation adage "If it looks good, it'll fly well". And, indeed, the production Dinah was one of the few Japanese types with a high enough top speed to show a clean pair of heels to the majority of Allied fighters it encountered.
First published in 2007, Wings & Wheels Publications’ book by Petr Dousek, Jan Hajíček, František Kořán and Andrew Simpson is part of their Special Museum Line series and is essentially a very comprehensive photo walkaround of the only surviving Dinah which is presently on display at the RAF Museum in Cosford.
The book actually begins with a brief 6-page history of the airframe #5439, from its estimated entry into service in the summer of 1943 service with the 81st Sentai, 3rd Chutai, Imperial Japanese Army Air Force, through to its surrender to the Allies in 1945 and subsequent shipment to the UK for preservation.
The book is described by WWP as a Photo Manual for Modelers, and the coverage which follows is simply excellent, examining the following areas in almost forensic detail:
Engine Cowlings / Engines
Front Fuel Tank
Rear Fuselage Structure
Most sections occupy several pages, with 3 or 4 large shots per page, and areas like the cockpits run to no less than 30 pages. The colour photos are of very high quality and printed in an ideal size for modelling references. I think the book's format is also particularly well suited for modelling, as it opens out landscape-style to sit neatly on your lap, rather than cluttering the workbench.
Rounding everything off is an excellent set of 1:72 and 1:48 scale drawings by Martin Lébl. A real plus point is that they are printed separately, rather than being a fold-out. This makes them far easier to use and also saves the hassle of cutting them loose and damaging the book.
On a personal level, seeing this book is a reminder of how much I enjoyed building Tamiya's 1:48 Dinah when it first came out. It's always fun when a reference book inspires a build, and it's definitely tempted me to dig the kit out of my infamous Stash to tackle again. In fact, I'd go as far as to declare WWP's Dinah walkaround an almost essential accompaniment for anyone wanting to take any kit of the Ki-46III to the next level.
The normal price for Dinah In Detail on the WWP website is 23.00 Euros, and I think it represents very good value at that price for such a comprehensive reference work. At the time of writing, though, WWP are offering a whopping 47% discount, bringing the price down to just 12.00 Euros. At this reduced price, it’s an absolute steal!
ConclusionThis is far and away the best reference I've read for the Dinah from a modeller's point of view. The combination of top-quality photos and scale plans makes it pretty much a "must-have" have if you intend building the aircraft in any scale and want to add detail. If WWP’s discount is still running when you read this, I’d recommend you grab a copy while the going’s good.
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