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TANK63
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Aesthetically, price wise and from the content: Artur Juszczak,Mitsubishi A6M Zero,Sandomierz/PL,2015 by MMP - or go for the Japonese magazines like Model Art or others. 

Edited by ABeck
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I've always liked the old Squadron/Signal "In Action" series for good, basic references,  I don't know if the one on the A6M is currently in print, but it should be fairly easy to find second-hand. 

 

Steve

 

6nPvwh0.jpg

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I was also thinking the classic "In Action" would fulfill your needs. 

 

Another excellent English-language reference is the AeroDetail volume. More expensive, but with lots of details and comprehensive 1/48 scale drawings of each variant.

 

https://www.abebooks.com/Aero-Detail-Mitsubishi-A6M-Zero-Fighter/30710500514/bd

 

Not too surprisingly, many of the best Japanese aircraft references are written in Japanese! The classic Koku-Fan "FAOW" (famous aircraft of the world) series has covered the A6M several times, and can be found inexpensively. Even if you can't read 'em, the variant drawings are pretty much self-explanatory and the color work excellent.

Edited by MDriskill
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As Steve suggests the Squadron Signal book is pretty good as a start point for understanding the different versions and I found it very helpful when building my own 72 scale Airfix A6M2b a short while ago. Out of print but I managed to pick one up fairly cheaply second hand on Amazon.

 

Regards

Colin.

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13 hours ago, ABeck said:

Aesthetically, price wise and from the content: Artur Juszczak,Mitsubishi A6M Zero,Sandomierz/PL,2015 by MMP - or go for the Japonese magazines like Model Art or others. 

This book is very ok. Curently Polish Kagero Publishing has released two volumes of Mitsubishi Zero monography. According to the web there is English version). Japanese books are excellent, even if we can only "understand" pictures. Very often their quality is very good. You may alos try to find Robert Mikesh's book. And there is Zero Aces book from Osprey witten by Nick Millman.

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If ou are looking for a modelling book then I can recomend Combat Colours No.9 (SAM Colours) "The Mitsubishi Zero" by the Japanese expert Nick Millman, it does cover all the different versions.

 

Cheers

 

Dennis

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I‘d second @MDriskill: Top down 

- AeroDetail

- FaoW

- in action 

 

The in action is possibly a bit dated now,  but I have absolutely no idea if anything spectacular was discovered since it was first released. Anyway, it’s written in English and by a Japanese (co-)author if I am not mistaken. I’d always go for a reference by an author who prima facie is able to read any source material. Which also applies to the AeroDetail, which is mostly bilingual. The FaoW’s are mostly Japanese, but should be easy to obtain. From the same source, there was also a comprehensive “modelling manual” feature in KokuFan (probably 1984) which may be useful.

Most likely very dated by now is/are the works by Richard Bueschel, first published as Aircam and still available by Schiffer - I guess @Nick Millman would be the go-to person to tell whether it would be a waste of time and money; for the other ones too.

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Nick Millman's blog www.aviationofjapan.com is searchable, and would have information. He also produced and sells an excellent .pdf file, "Painting the Early Zero-Sen", a terrific source of info on the much-debated colors of the early A6M up to about 1943.

Edited by Rolls-Royce
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Anything by Nick Millman gets my first vote, particularly the SAM book mentioned above if you want a broader spectrum. The FAOW titles are great even if you don't understand anything, just for the pictures and diagrams; get the ones numbered #55 and 56 instead of #5 and #9 (older versions) but any of them will serve for your purpose. The Aero Detail and In Action I haven't checked in years; being from the same author (and illustrator for the FAOW titles) they should stand or fall together; I just can't say at the moment.

 

All of the above is for differences between versions, though; for colours, though, nothing beats Aviation of Japan blog and Nick's monographs.

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Fully agree with Daniel @Fukuryu - The best series in sequence:

 

(1)  Model Art Profile 12 & 13  (Photo captions in English, but unfortunately sold out)

(2)  FAOW 55 & 56  (Japanese only - available here: http://www.arawasi.jp/)

(3)  Aero Detail 7  (English text translation - sold out?)

(4)  The new Kagero publications (English text - I don't have them but they are usually well researched)

 

I wouldn't refer to Squadron/Signal anymore since it provides not enough detail and is somewhat outdated.  While the early Zero models 21, 22 and 32 are relatively easy to distinguish the issue gets more complex with the late versions 52a/b/c, 63 etc.

 

For Japanese aircraft modelling you don't get around publications in Japanese (more challenging to grasp but also more rewarding) except for the already mentioned blog and publications on colours by Nick Millman http://www.aviationofjapan.com/

 

Cheers, Michael

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Whilst agreeing with the above, I do recommend the two recent volumes of Pacific Profiles by Claringbould and Noman.  They cover operations in the SW Pacific, specifically New Guinea, with Japanese Army fighters in the first, and other types in the second.  Each type is dealt with by individual unit, based on study of the original documents and the remains found.  They will not give you the exact reference for each colour.  Zeroes, and other Navy types, ae covered in other volumes by the same writer and publisher, but not so compactly.

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  • 1 year later...
On 10/1/2021 at 2:48 AM, MDriskill said:

I was also thinking the classic "In Action" would fulfill your needs. 

 

Another excellent English-language reference is the AeroDetail volume. More expensive, but with lots of details and comprehensive 1/48 scale drawings of each variant.

 

https://www.abebooks.com/Aero-Detail-Mitsubishi-A6M-Zero-Fighter/30710500514/bd

 

Not too surprisingly, many of the best Japanese aircraft references are written in Japanese! The classic Koku-Fan "FAOW" (famous aircraft of the world) series has covered the A6M several times, and can be found inexpensively. Even if you can't read 'em, the variant drawings are pretty much self-explanatory and the color work excellent.

Use Google lens to read them with your phone.

Translation can be wonky though!

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15 hours ago, Fukuryu said:

 

I lost access a while ago and haven't been able to recover it, and I tried everything. I eventually gave up. 😕

I agree, same problem, no answers despite many mails, so I do not use this site anymore.

 

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Likewise... 

 

/philosophical mode on

Computers are really turning out to be doomsday devices. 
We haven't quite figured out the art of timely conversion without data loss to usable formats, and record keeping or archiving digital information is fraught with perils.

Digital Dark Age, here we come!

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Here's a relatively simple, quick-'n'-dirty overview:

 

2_4.jpg

 

The internet site from which the picture above is taken from goes into a little more detail and provides a potted overview of each variant - you'll need to use an online translator, 'though: http://soranokakera.lekumo.biz/tesr/2015/01/post-4af8.html

 

 

 

To add to everyone else's excellent list of references, there are also these books, if you can get 'em from Japan:

 

Zero Fighter Complete Guide (Complete Guide Series 306)

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Zero Fighter Perfect Guide (Gakken)

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Surviving Zero Fighter Perfect Guide (I've included a picture of one of the pages, as well as the cover, to give you a bit of a guide)

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91r90a62bQL.jpg

 

 

Zero Fighter Visual Book (Magazine House 'Mook')

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And, for an okay-ish colour guide for all the bits and bobs: Japan Naval Aircraft Painting - What Color?:

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Edited by Blimpyboy
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These Japanese websites are also excellent sources of detail information, especially regarding details and colours for all the little bits-'n'-bobs for A6Ms and other Japanese birds (as long as you take the time to translate and browse through slowly):

 

http://a6m232.server-shared.com/index.html

and

https://plaza.rakuten.co.jp/zerotagucci/

and

https://plaza.rakuten.co.jp/satsukiyamazakur/

and

http://angelof.web.fc2.com

- these sub-pages, in particular, give good run downs of a bunch of different variants:

http://angelof.web.fc2.com/sub108.htmhttp://angelof.web.fc2.com/sub43.htmhttp://angelof.web.fc2.com/sub23.htm and http://angelof.web.fc2.com/sub103.htm

 

 

Edited by Blimpyboy
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Also be bit careful with color sources - Nick Millman work mentioned above are considered good.

 

I've made a mistake and used Camoufrage (sic) & Markings of the Imperial Japanese Navy Fighters in W.W. II' (Model Art Special Issue series, No. 272), 1986 because it had paint chips which turned out they are not a good reference :(

 

... I've placed measurements of copy of those paint chips on GB Turning Japanese build reference materials you can find it there, but as I said - it is not the best source.

 

But my orange Zero looks cool nonetheless :D

Edited by Casey
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On 11/11/2022 at 12:39 PM, Fukuryu said:

 

I lost access a while ago and haven't been able to recover it, and I tried everything. I eventually gave up. 😕

Same here.  my login quit working a few years ago,  I've requested a new one several times, but the only response I get is "approval pending."  I can't even view the forums as a guest.  Sad, since j-aircraft was the first web forum I ever joined when I first go online in 1997. 

 

SN

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