Friday 28 November 2014

Mitsubishi (Nakajima) Zero-sen - Bibliography #2

The first Model Art special dedicated to the Zero was released in December 1984 and was number #242. It had 156 pages, 114 black/white photos, plus five in colour of restored aircraft and many b/w and colour of models. The photos although many are rather small but show in great detail various areas of the type and are a combination of vintage and photos of restored aircraft. There are many drawings and colour illustrations by Nohara Shigeru similar to those found in the "In Action" series and a set of brilliant fold-out detailed drawings in 1/48 by Watanabe Rikyu. There are also 43 pages with photos and articles about the various Zero models that were available at the time and how to improve them. Finally there are 13 pages with b/w illustrations about the Zero units and their tail markings as well as colour chips for the very first time, plus an interview with "Rikko" pilot Inada Shoji and Zero-sen pilot Yanagiya Kenji.
An overall excellent first effort that was most helpful to modellers at the time. Unfortunately the printing quality and much of the information is now outdated. 
The next Model Art special was number #323 and was released four years later in December 1988. It had 166 pages, only 34 vintage photos, a small number of colour illustrations by Nohara and the Watanabe fold-outs of MA"242. This special focused though on the reprint of the whole Zero manual and was accompanied by many b/w photos of restored aircraft to show how the illustrations corresponded to the real thing. No modelling stuff or colour chips. 
Model Art #518, released in July 1998, was mostly dedicated to the modelling of the Zero but also included multi-view drawings in 1/48 by Nohara and 77 pages showing the various models in detail accompanied by about two dozen vintage photos. 
All the above titles are long out-of-print and not particularly necessary to modellers with only passing interesting in Japanese aircraft.
In June 2012 the best Model Art publication on the A6M2, A6M2b, A6M2-N and A6M2-K was released. It was number #847 and Profile #12. It was first reviewed on this blog HERE
 And finally the latest Model Art publication was released in November 2012 as number #857, Profile #13 and covered the A6M3, A6M5, A6M7 and A6M8. Again it was reviewed on our blog HERE.

Profiles #12 & #13 are IN-PRINT (available through our on-line store, HERE) and are highly recommended to modellers who want to get only one or two books on the Zero. They offer good, detailed coverage of all the models, plus some captions are translated in English.

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