Book Review
Modelling the Mitsubishi A6M Zero

by: Scott Lodder [ SLODDER ]

Everything zero
This book is a great addition to Osprey’s Modelling Series. "Modelling the Mitsubishi A6M Zero" is a classic Osprey book. From a content perspective, nothing is left out. You are introduced to the famous plane with a nice history lesson. The author takes you through four full build write-ups followed by a gallery of A6M models. The usual comprehensive kit and accessory lists are included. In this book you’ll find a nice addition to the content list, a color chart that cross-references model paints with various paint manufacturers and the specific color. A nice close up walk around of a 1:1 scale Zero is included too. Based on the historical information a walk around photo gallery is a difficult thing to produce.

You will find everything you need to reproduce this infamous aircraft in small scale. Search the kit list; find build tips, cross-reference your paint supply with the correct brand and shade. You can match the paint to the color palettes in the back of the book. Everything is there.

A book for modelers
Brian Criner is a modeler first, then an author. He fully admits this and explains that he wrote this book from a modeler’s, not an historian’s perspective. He does not superdetail every build with every AM add on. Mr. Criner has done his research and it shows. He fully explains the rationale in his writing focus and all his build processes. He found that weathering is a crucial aspect of modeling Japanese aircraft, especially the Mitsubishi A6M Zero. The fact that Japan is an island and the majority of the flight time for these aircraft is over the ocean in harsh weather really accentuates the attention to the paint and weathering of these aircraft. The unique paints and finishes the Japanese used make this a focal point and therefore finishing and weathering garner the most attention in the builds.

Mr. Criner does not neglect AM kits and ‘fully detailed builds’. He does include plenty of information and tips on detailing the cockpit, engine, and control surfaces. These are a must in any aircraft build book and you won’t be disappointed. The previously mentioned accessory list includes these AM add-on kits.

The photography overall is well done. The subject matter included and the layout used in the photos is a bit inconsistent from build to build. You won’t be left without required photographs, all necessary detail shots are there, but the ‘look and feel’ differs. Special techniques and details are photographed. Looking back over the book's photography it came across as inconsistent.

This was a fun fast read for me. It has all the content you would expect written in a light conversational style. If you build the A6M or plan to, this book should be on your research list. If you build WWII Japanese aircraft there is ample information on weathering and painting that this book will definitely help you out.

Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here on AeroScale.
This book is written by a regular modeler for regular modelers. It is easy to read and full of information. If you build aircraft from the WWII Pacific theater this book should be high on your reading list.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: Other
  Mfg. ID: 1841768669
  Suggested Retail: $18.95 / £12.99
  PUBLISHED: Sep 08, 2006
  NATIONALITY: Japan / 日本

Our Thanks to Osprey Publishing!
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About Scott Lodder (slodder)

I modeled when I was a teenager. College, family and work stopped me for a while. Then I picked it back up after about 12 years off. My main focus is dioramas. I like the complete artistic method of story telling. Dioramas involve so many aspects of modeling and I enjoy getting involved in the ...

Copyright ©2021 text by Scott Lodder [ SLODDER ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of AeroScale. All rights reserved.


Thanks for posting the review Rowan. I must say a year ago today I would not have thought about purchasing one of these 'subject' books. They have turned me around and this one is a good one for the collection.
SEP 12, 2006 - 05:30 AM

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