From: St.Petersburg, Russia
A6M2 (Nakajima Ha-35) -> A6M5 (Ha-35) -> A6M5b (Ha-35) -> A6M8 (Mitshubishi Ha-33)
A6M3 (Ha-35) -> A6M3b (Ha-35) -> A6M4 (Ha-33) -> A6M4-J (Ha-33) -> A6M8-J (Ha-33)
As about the mod, we haven't got far enough for Japanese mid-war advantages to tell or new planes to appear. Having Mini-KB and forward battleline deployment at the start sure is handy. Japanese early air numerical superiority is overwhelming, particularly after 9th Air Fleet arrives (it remained restricted in our game, because ongoing PBEM do not accept changes in the database, but releasing air units to 11th Air Fleet isn't that expensive). Strong China serves as the main balancing factor. In particular, 70% of unrestricted IJAAF bomber force are busy there and IJNAF guys also paid some visits.
Economy requires more attention. You need to shut down some armament and expand vehicles to about 180, if not more, right at the start, because now all IJN airfield units also require vehicles, increasing demand.