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Modelling the Mitsubishi A6M ZeroOsprey Modelling 25

Modelling the Mitsubishi A6M Zero


Brian Criner


S u m m a r y

Publication Details: Osprey Modelling 25, Modelling the Mitsubishi A6M Zero, by Brian Criner, Osprey Publishing Ltd
ISBN: 1-84176-866-9
Media: Soft cover; 80 pages plus covers and colour chart
Price: GBP£12.99 or USD$18.95 available online from Osprey Publishing
Review Type: First Read
Advantages: Process of building well described; plenty of photographs; useful weathering techniques; includes helpful matches for Japanese Naval paints
Recommendation: Highly Recommended


Reviewed by John Prigent

Osprey's Modelling the Messerschmitt Bf 109 Part One
 will be available online from



Here’s a nice book for modellers of the Zero. The introduction is short, summarising Zero history and providing four colour profiles (unfortunately not captioned), and is followed by a single page with advice on the author’s favourite tools. Then it’s straight into the first build, Hasegawa’s 1/48 scale A6M2-N Rufe at Intermediate level. This one is built more or less straight from the box, the emphasis being on painting and weathering the seaplane. Next is another Intermediate build, Hasegawa’ 1/72 A6M5c Zero built as a Kamikaze plane in 1945. This one uses a number of aftermarket sets for detailing as well as scratch-built flaps.

The third model moves to Advanced level with Hasegawa’s 1/48 A6M2b-21 built as it was at Pearl Harbor and using a lot of aftermarket parts with extra scratchbuilt details. Like the earlier models, good advice is given on painting and weathering and in this case the colour scheme is a coloured clear coat over metal, not a camouflage paint, so needs care to look “right”. The final main build is at Master level, Tamiya’s 1/32 A6M5b built as one operated by the US after capture and again withmany aftermarket and scratchbuilt details. The author has really gone to town with this one, showing how to add much detail, reproducing the effect of its stressed skin, and culminating in showing how to produce its “bare metal” finish with buffable metallic paint instead of metal foil. This is a piece de resistance that repays close study!

The Gallery section features four other models, with their particular “tweaks” and paint effects briefly but clearly described. Then comes a page of recommended references, followed by no fewer than three pages listing exterior paints and interior colours for specific parts of both Mitsubishi and Nakajima-built Zeros with suggested mixes or in-the-pot matches from five different modeller’s paint ranges, as well as close FS equivalents for most of them. Six pages of colour photos of Zero details follow, excellent reference material, and then there are three pages listing the available kits and detailing sets with, to end, the usual page of colour chips that in this case get clear notes of how to achieve those colours.

This is a really good book, not just for Zero modellers but for anyone wanting to know how to match Japanese Navy aircraft paints.

Highly recommended!

Thanks to Osprey Publishing for the review sample

Modelling the Mitsubishi A6M Zero
Osprey Modelling 25

Author: Brett Green
US Price:
UK Price: £12.99
Publisher: Osprey Publishing
Publish Date:
 July 25, 2006
Details: 80 pages; ISBN: 1-84176-866-9
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Review Copyright © 2006 by John Prigent
This Page Created on 07 July, 2006
Last updated 07 July, 2006

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