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Found 86 results

  1. Hungarian Armoured Forces in WWII Photosniper 26 ISBN : 9788365437655 Kagero via Casemate UK Hungary was caught at the end of WWI on the wrong side and was treated harshly by the Allies. Under the 1920 treaty of Trianon they lost nearly half their population and more than 60% of their territory to hostile boarding nations. Which is the reason the joined the Axis forces in WWII, however it would seem they chose the wrong side again! The book looks at Hungarian armed forces between the wars, and then in WWII through the various campaigns they fought in. There is a wealth of black & white photos of the forces in action and details of equipment they used, most of it indigenous to the country. This indigenous Armour is also examined in the book. The book also examines foreign vehicles in Hungarian Service, and Hungarian Markings & Camouflage. There are 11 pages of line drawings/plans of the Hungarian equipment located towards the end of the book along 6 pages of colour photos, and 9 pages of colour profiles. This volume is A4 soft back in format and an 131 pages. Conclusion This book should provide readers with a better understanding of the Armoured forces of Hungary and they equipment they used. The wealth of photographs, together with drawings and colour plates will be of great use to the modeller, and of great interest to anyone studying one of the seemingly less well known Axis powers. Highly Recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  2. Famous Airplanes - Fokker D.VII. Kaiser's best fighter by Tomasz J. Kowalski, Szymon Grzywocz , Damian Majsak. ISBN : 9788365437679 Kagero via Casemate UK The Fokker D.VII is a very popular subject among modellers of Great War aviation. Not only was it one of the very best fighters of the war, it also wore a large variety of very colourful finishes. The available models cover all major scales, from 1:144, 1:72, 1:48, to the outstanding 1:32 kits from Wingnut Wings. This A4 sized softback book from Kagero has dual text in English/Polish text, and Chapter 1 starts with an interesting history covering the design, development, and introduction to service of the D.VII. It goes on to outline it's combat history, and subsequent post war use. All this is supported with contemporary black & white photographs, and some excellent 1:72 three view drawings showing the differences between the Mercedes and BMW powered versions, plus some frontal drawings of early, mid, and late production engine cowling & exhaust arrangements. At the back of the book are some superb full colour cutaway drawings showing the cockpit, guns, and engine, plus some Ronny Bar profiles. All of which makes for a very useful one-stop reference work. The outstanding parts of this publication though, are chapters 2 and 3, which cover step by step build of the Wingnut Wings kit. Chapter 2 is by Damian Majsak, who builds kit 32011 Fokker D.VII (Fok), in Gotthard Sachsenberg's black and yellow checkered scheme. Damian's build is 'straight from the box' showing how to get the best from the kit, with an emphasis on the complex 'front end' construction of the interior tubular structure. This forms the cockpit/engine area, and step by step photographs show how it all goes together, along with the colours. I wish I had had this available when I built my first one, as I got it slightly wrong and had to redo it. The painting & decalling stages are shown in some detail, it is always useful to see how it is done in sub assemblies. Finally, the finished model is set on a simple base with some Kagero resin figures. In Chapter 3 Szymon Grzywocz builds kit 32030 Fokker D.VII (OAW) in Wilhelm Leutsch's blue & yellow machine, with a large dragon painted on the side. The work on the engine is outstanding, and the section on applying aftermarket (Aviatic) lozenge decals to the wings is very informative. Szymon has incorporated many enhancements on his model, like engine spark plugs & wiring, open hatches, removed fuel cap, ammo belt being loaded, to name a few. All of which are very inspiring. To top it all off he has set it on a neat little diorama base featuring a couple of mechanics refueling the aircraft. Conclusion. It has been a while since I enjoyed a book as much as this one. It strikes a perfect balance between telling the story of the Fokker D.VII, and showing how to get the best out of the Wingnut Wings kit. The supporting illustrations, drawings, and photographs are well chosen, with 50+ contemporary black & white pictures, some of which were new to me. Best of all are the photographic sequences of the two builds, offering information and inspiration in equal measure. If you are interested in modelling the D.VII, particularly the Wingnut Wings kit, then this is just the book for you. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  3. German Destroyer Z37 Kagero Super Drawings in 3D The Z37 was a Type 1936A destroyer built for the Kriegsmarine, (German Navy), during World War II. Completed in 1942, the ship spent most of her brief career deployed in France. She participated in the Battle of the Bay of Biscay at the end of 1943 before she was accidentally rammed by the destroyer Z32 in early 1944. Towed back to port, the Kriegsmarine decided that she was too badly damaged to repair and disarmed her hulk. Decommissioned later that year, she was scuttled by her crew before being scrapped by the French in 1949. This latest book in the Super Drawings in 3D series from Kagero, is actually the 55th in the series, which is becoming THE single point of reference for maritime modellers. Following the now familiar format the first five pages contain text describing the design of the ship, its propulsion, armour, armament, its operational service and a conclusion. There follows seventy six pages of beautifully rendered drawings covering all external areas of the ship, a lot of which shows up details that you couldn’t get from period photographs of plans. Each rendering has brief annotations which give useful insights as to what the areas are and the subtle details included. A while ago Kagero stated that they weren’t going to include plans with these books and were going to sell them rolled up so that buyers could mount them in frames. It’s great to see that they have changed their minds on this, as the plans are just as useful as the renderings in the book. One side of the single A2 sheet contains three views of the ship in 1:200 scale, while on the opposite side plans of the ship from fore and aft, plus diagrams of the main armament, torpedo tubes and ships boats in 1:100, main rangefinder, searchlights and AA weaponry in 1:50, all very useful to the super detailer. Conclusion This is another superb addition to the series and will be very useful if you’re building any of the multitude of kits in 1:350 and 1:700 available today. With this book by your side you should be able to really go to town with the detailing, producing your museum quality models. Review sample courtesy of
  4. HMS Royal Oak Kagero TopDrawings This softback book, in their Topdrawing series is a mine of information for the maritime modeller. Although only consisting of eighteen pages this is very similar to the 3D Drawing series but without the range of colourful renderings, this book is filled with line drawings. This actually makes it easier to see what’s what as you’re not distracted by the colour schemes. Each line drawing is very nicely done, concentrating on different sections of the ship. Interspersed between the larger drawings there are numerous smaller diagrams of individual pieces of equipment, such as the turrets, winches, ships boats, rangefinders, aircraft and ships cranes. The drawings on the secondary and tertiary armament are particularly detailed, for those modellers who wish to take their detailing to the nth degree. It should be noted that the drawings are from two separate time periods, 1917 and 1939. Included with the book are two A1 sheets, one with line drawings of the ship from 1937 in 1:350 scale, (hopefully Trumpeter or Merit International will oblige us with a kit in this scale soon), on the other side there is are three side views showing the differences of the ship in 1917, 1919 and 1937. The second sheet has colour renderings of the starboard side and from above as of 1937. On the other side is a cross section drawing showing the major internals of the ship, as well as a couple of drawings of the secondary armament deck. Conclusion This is another very useful book for modellers and historians alike. Whilst there are a number of 1:700 scale kits about, from the likes of ROS Op, and WSW, there aren’t any kits in 1:350. Although, in this day and age you can never say never, when it comes to manufacturers release schedule. Very highly recommended Review sample courtesy of
  5. IJN Aircraft Carrier Battleship Ise Kagero Super Drawings in 3D Ise (whose name comes from an ancient Japanese province on Honshu, now part of Mie Prefecture) was the lead ship of the two-vessel Ise-class battleships of the Imperial Japanese Navy, which saw combat service during the Pacific War. Ise was laid down as battleship 5 at the Kawasaki Heavy Industries shipyard in Kobe on 10 May 1915, launched on 12 November 1916, completed on 15 December 1917, and assigned to the Kure Naval District. Completed too late for service in World War I, in the early 1920s, Ise patrolled off the Siberia coast and in northern waters in support of Japan's Siberian Intervention against the Bolshevik Red Army. From the mid-1920s through the late 1930s, Ise patrolled mostly off of the China coast. On 12 April 1922, she hosted a delegation which included Prince of Wales, the future King Edward VIII of the United Kingdom, and the future Lord Mountbatten. Ise-class battleships were fascinating ships and their story began in 1906 with the completion of HMS Dreadnought. The appearance of the all-big-gun turbine-powered Dreadnought rendered all existing battleships obsolete overnight, and in response the rest of the world's navies initiated massive construction programs. The world's major navies had gained an insurmountable lead in the number of dreadnoughts in service or under construction. Recognising the futility of trying to compete in sheer numbers, the Japanese Navy adopted a quality before quantity approach, building fewer ships each of much greater capability than foreign designs. In 1911 the Japanese government passed the Emergency Naval Expansion bill which authorised the building of four battlecruisers and one battleship. The battleship was to be designed and built in Japan; this ship became the Fuso. There were a number of foreign designs to take into consideration when it came time to decide the main armament for the new ships. Britain Royal Navy's Orion class was armed with the 13.5in gun; US Wyoming class with 12-12in guns and the succeeding New York class with 10-14in weapons. Japan decided to leap over the competition and fit the new ships with the 14in gun, so the Fuso-class would carry 12-14in. Armament was not the only area where the Japanese battleship was intended to be superior to foreign designs: it was also to be at least 2 knots faster. Fuso was laid down on 11 March 1912 and she was the first battleship built in Japan using Japanese manufactured materials and weapons. Three sister ships were authorised, one of them laid down in November 1913, but financial difficulties prevented the laying down of the next two ships until 1915, which allowed time for some design improvements. The forecastle deck was shortened, the amidships turrets were grouped together and placed aft of the second funnel and the hull length was increased by 10ft to give more machinery space. The changes resulted in the two ships becoming known as the "Improved Fuso” or Ise class. This is the latest book from Kagero in their Super Drawings in 3D, and like the previous books it has a brief history and the ships specifications in the first seven pages. This includes the following:- Overview Design, Propulsion, and Armour Armaments Service Conclusion The rest of the eighty one pages are filled with beautifully drawn 3D renderings of every part of the ship. It is obvious that a lot of time has been taken to get the drawings this good and accurate, and there is a wealthy of information for the modeller to use during their build. Every area of the upper hull and superstructure is dealt with. It’s good to see the lower hull being rendered too in this release, with good drawings of the propellers and rudder. I particularly like the renderings of the ships boats, which will be of particular interest to modellers, as these are rarely clearly represented in instructions etc. For even more detail, especially for the rigging, Kagero have included a double sided A2 fold out sheet with a three view on one side, in 1:350 and head on and stern drawings in 1:250, along with additional drawings of the ships boats, 5” AA mountings, Type 96 single and triple 23mm mountings, searchlights and main turrets on the reverse. Conclusion With the Fujimi 1:350 still available as is the 1:700 kit from Hasegawa this is an essential book to have in the library should you wish to build a super detailed model for this very interesting ship. The book is so well produced, that it would also be of great value for those interested in Japanese warships or naval warfare in general. Review sample courtesy of
  6. Topdrawings 47 - Renault FT & M1917 ISBN : 9788365437648 Kagero via Casemate UK The Renualt FT can be seen as the worlds first modern Tank with features such as the Turret, rear mounted engine, and forward crew compartment that we still see today. Over 3000 units were produced towards the end of WWI by the French and in the US under the designation M1917. Many tanks which were then in reserve were borught into serivce at the start of WWII with examples captured and used by the Germans. The Russian T-18 was a derrirative of the FT as the Russian re-built and copied a number of FT which served with the White Russian forces in their civil war. This book is not a reference book on the tank per-say, but a collection of plans and colour profiles designed to help the modeller. Unlike the aircraft books there are no scale rules on the pages. In the centre of the book is an A-3 double sided pull out plan as well. As an extra there is a set of mask for the marking seen on the profiles, no scale is mentioned but they look 1/35. All text is in English & Polish. Conclusion If you're interested in these aircraft and intend to model a few of this Tank then its worth investing in one of these publications. Recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  7. Topdrawings 48 - Grumman F4F Wildcat ISBN : 9788365437631 Kagero via Casemate UK The Grumman F4F Wildcat (or Martlet in British Service) was a carrier bourne fighter developed in the 1930 from the Grumman FF Biplane. The FF was the first US Naval aircraft to have retractable landing gear with the wheels still visible even when retratacted and this carried over to the F4F. The USN offically adopted the type in 1941 as the Wildcat though they had been in service since 1940 with the Royal Navy. This book is not a reference book on the Wildcat per-say, but a collection of plans and colour profiles designed to help the modeller all the plans are in 1.48 with a 1/24th scale rule on the pages as well. In the centre of the book is an A2 double sided pull out plan in 1/32nd scale as well. As an extra there is one set of 1:48 masks, and one of 1:72 in the book. All text is in English & Polish. Conclusion If you're interested in these aircraft and intend to model a few of an individual aircraft then its worth investing in one of these publications. Recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  8. USS Massachusetts Kagero Top Drawings This is the latest book from Kagero in their Top Drawing series, and like the previous books it has a brief history and the ships specifications at the beginning. There is also a page dedicated to the specifications and technical data for the ship and its armament. The rest of the twenty five pages are filled with beautifully drawn diagrams of every part of the ship. It is obvious that a lot of time has been taken to get the drawings this good and accurate. Amongst the larger diagrams are smaller sketches giving further details on some of the ships hardware and fittings. The scales for the diagrams within the book vary from 1:50 to 1:200. While the actual hull and most of the superstructure isn’t included in the book itself, other than bow and stern profiles and a side view identifying the main parts of the ship, they are included on the two A2 sheets included with the book. The three view of the ship is in 1:400 scale, as is the full colour guide on the reverse. The second sheet contains more detailed diagrams of the ships structure, weapons and decks in 1:200 scale. Conclusion This is yet another brilliant book in this series from Kagero. The wealth of detail shown is a real boon to the maritime modeller, as is the superb clarity of the drawings. There are several models of the ship on the market, if you have one in the stash, you will need this book to make the most of the build. Review sample courtesy of
  9. IJN Super Carrier Shinano Kagero Super Drawings in 3D Originally designed and laid down as the third of the Yamato class super-battleships in 1940 construction was put on hold in 1941 as Japan prepared for war. With the loss of the four fleet carriers of Carrier Divisions 1 and 2 it was decided to change plans and finish Shinano as a fleet carrier. In doing so she became the largest carrier in the world. Before completion it was decided to move her from Yokosuka to Kure to escape possible allied bombing for final fitting out. The overseer of the build, Admiral Fukuda argued against the move as the watertight doors, amongst other items below decks hadn’t all been fitted. The request for a delay in moving was overruled and she departed for Kure in November 1944. Only three hours out of port she was spotted by USS Archerfish and after a short cat and mouse chase, the Archerfish finally got into a firing position and launched six torpedoes. Four of the six hit causing much flooding and a list to the starboard side. Even with counter flooding and other damage control the list continued to increase, until, finally, the Captain gave the command to abandon ship. She capsized just over seven hours after being hit, with the loss of over half her crew of 2500 men. No matter how many of this series Kagero releases they have kept the standard very high. This particular publication on the Japanese super carrier not only provides a superb history of the ship, one which I knew only a little, if anything about before reviewing this book. If she had been completely fitted out and made operational, she would have surpassed anything afloat up until the super carriers of the Forrestal class. The drawings in this book show her as she would have been when operational and with a air wing. Even though she was quite advanced for her time, particularly for the Japanese navy, she still had some unusual quirks in her armament, such as the unguided rockets, similar to those that the Royal Navy fitted to major warships at the beginning of the war, and which were soon removed as being of not much use. As with the previous books, there is an introduction which, in this case doesn’t contain separate sections, but a narrative of the ships construction, intended use, not just as a carrier, but as a logistics supply ship for smaller carriers, and, naturally her loss. The rest of the eighty two pages are filled with the beautifully rendered 3D drawings we have got know so well in this series, covering every part of the ships structure, weapons, boats and sundry equipment. The drawings are really clear and perfect for the maritime modeller to see all the useful details that could help make that masterpiece that we all strive for. This release does include drawings for below the waterline, unlike a lot of other books in the series, so perfect for those of us who build full hull. An A2 folded sheet of line drawings is also included and this contains 3 views of the ship overall, in 1:400 scale, while on the reverse there are bow and stern drawings, also in 1:400, plus three detailed drawings of the island unscaled. It’s unusual to have the drawings in 1:400, as the scale that Hasegawa have recently released their latest incarnation of the Shinano is 1:450. Conclusion In keeping the format the same throughout this series, the reader knows exactly what they are going to get from Kagero. A book that provides the best 3D drawings and a sheet of excellent plans that are so informative for the modeller, that they can make the most of the models they are building and fit them with the greatest amount of detail that is shown within these pages. Review sample courtesy of
  10. Sd.Kfz.161 Panzer IV Ausf H/J Kagero Top Drawings The Panzer IV was the mainstay of the Wehrmacht tank forces for much of WWII and was in production throughout the war. Over 9000 were built, in ten major versions and numerous sub-marques and specialised variants. The Ausf.H was the most numerous version produced, with a total of 3775 built, due mainly to the slightly simplified construction. The Ausf.J was the last main production model and was further simplified to improve the mass production of the type. 2970 of this model were produced by the end of the war, out of a planned 5000. This latest title in their Topdrawing series, Kagero has given the modeller and historian a mine of visual information on the Panzer IV Ausf.H and Ausf.J. Consisting of thirty one pages, this is very similar to the 3D Drawing series but without the range of colourful renderings, this book is filled with line drawings. This actually makes it easier to see what’s what as you’re not distracted by the colour schemes, although to the end of the book there are eight pages of colour side views, with the variations of colour schemes used on the H and J models. Each line drawing is beautifully done. Each page has three of four views of the tanks, including the underside of the hull, various equipment states, such as Schürzen and its attachment points, aerial positions, wheel types, exhaust systems, and cupola types. Included with the book is an A1 sheet with line drawings of the Ausf.J version on both sides, covering all angles of the tank in 1:16 scale. Shame there isn’t a similar sheet with the Ausf.H on it though. There is also a sheet of masks for the crosses, catering for the different styles, and a selection of tank unit identity numbers Conclusion This is a great book, and one that aficionados’ of the Panzer IV must have in their collection. For the modellers that have one of Trumpeters big 1:16 kits then this book will also be a very useful reference for getting all those details just right. Review sample courtesy of
  11. RM Vittorio Veneto Kagero Super Drawings in 3D Battleship Vittorio Veneto was one of the three Italian Littorio class battleships operating in the Second World War. She was one of the most modern and powerful battleships of her times. She was designed by General Umberto Pugliese and engineer Francesco Mazzullo. She was the first battleship to exceed the limit of 35,000 tons of displacement imposed in the Washington Naval Treaty. The keel of the Vittorio Veneto battleship was laid down by the Italian shipbuilder "Cantieri Riuniti dell'Adriatico”, in Trieste, on 28th October 1934. She was launched on July 1937 and began her service in the Italian Fleet (Regia Marina) by August 1940. She was named in honour of the Italian victory at Vittorio Veneto in the First World War and she had three sister ships: Littorio, Roma and Impero (the last one was never completed). She was armed with a main battery of nine 381mm guns in three triple turrets. She was able to reach the speed of 30 knots (56 Km/h). With their ever increasing series of books in the 3D format, Kagero never fails to deliver. This particular publication on the Italian battleship not only provides a superb history of the ship, one which I knew only a little, if anything about before reviewing this book. She seems to have a slightly more active life than her sisters, but still it was a bit short on the actual battle being joined with the Royal Navy. It seemed the Italians were quite timid when it came to action against the British Battleships and most missions either failed to find the convoys they were looking for, or were aborted, the only really battle she was involved with became the famous Battle of Matapan, in which her three escorting cruisers and two destroyers were sunk, whilst Vittorio Veneto was damaged by a torpedo. The sections in the introduction are:- Overview Design Armour Propulsion Security systems Underwater protection Armament Conning tower Service Conclusion The rest of the eighty two pages are filled with the beautifully rendered 3D drawings we have got know so well in this series, covering every part of the ships structure, weapons, boats and sundry equipment. The drawings are really clear and perfect for the maritime modeller to see all the useful details that could help make that masterpiece that we all strive for. This release does include drawings for below the waterline, unlike a lot of other books in the series, so perfect for those of us who build full hull. An A2 folded sheet of line drawings is also included and this contains 3 views of the ship overall, in 1:350 scale, while on the reverse there are bow and stern drawings in 1:350, plus numerous detail drawings of equipment in various scales between 1:50 and 1:200, giving more detail to the information hungry modeller. Conclusion Following the now tried and tested formula that Kagero have made their own, this book is superbly produced and with the subject matter being one of the most good looking battleships, it will become a must have for any maritime modellers. With the imminent release of the Vittorio Veneto in 1:350, by Trumpeter, this book couldn’t have been released at a better time. Review sample courtesy of
  12. Topdrawings 45 - Henschel Hs 126 ISBN : 9788365437600 Kagero via Casemate UK The HS 126 was a two seat reconnaissance / observation aircraft / Army cooperation aircraft developed by Henschel from their Hs 122. The pilot had an enclosed cockpit where as the gunner/observer had an open one. The aircraft entered service in 1937/38 and was used initially by the Condor Legion in Spain. However by the time WWII arrived it was found to be outclassed even though a the time it was the backbone of the Luftwaffe's reconnaissance squadrons. Even though the aircraft served in Europe, Africa and the Eastern front it was realised by 1941 that its front line service was over and it was relegated to training and hack roles. Some surviving aircraft were later pressed into service like many others at the tail end of the war. This book is not a reference book on the 126 per-say, but a collection of plans and colour profiles designed to help the modeller all the plans are in 1.72 & 1.48. In the centre of the book are 3 double sided A2 Plans in 1.32. As an extra there is one set of 1:48 & 1/72 masks. All text is in English & Polish. Conclusion If you're interested in these aircraft and intend to model a few of an individual aircraft then its worth investing in one of these publications. Recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  13. IJN Super Battleship Musashi Kagero Super Drawings in 3D Musashi, the second of two Yamato-class battleships, shared the honor with lead ship Yamato as the largest battleship ever constructed in naval history. During construction of the codenamed Battleship Number 2, special floating cranes of 150 and 350 metric ton capacities were purposely built at Number 2 slipway for this project. Utmost secrecy was maintained during her construction; the entire length of the ship was camouflaged by rope against aerial photography, and urban legend had it that the roofing had consumed the entire supply of rope in Japan. The cover-up was so successful that the Americans were unaware of the construction even though the United States consulate office was essentially just across the bay. The Russians, however, almost discovered it by accident. On 20 May 1938, six Russian-manned TB-3 bombers with Chinese markings flew over Fukuoka, Nagasaki, and Sasebo to drop propaganda leaflets and to take pictures; Battleship Number 2 was actually photographed, but the photograph, even after the Americans reviewed it, did not arouse the alarm that the world's largest battleship should have had. Battleship Number 2 was launched on 1 Nov 1940 in a secret ceremony attended only by a few top naval officials. As soon as she was put into the water, Kasuga Maru (later to be converted to the escort carrier Taiyo) was towed to block Battleship Number 2 from view. She spent the following 18 months fitting out. On 15 Sep 1941, she was under the command of the chief equipping officer Captain Kaoru Arima. On 5 Aug 1942, she was commissioned as the Battleship Musashi, and Arima remained on board as her commanding officer, who would be promoted to the rank of rear admiral shortly after the commissioning. Her commissioning was three months behind schedule due to last-minute requirements for additional communications gear. After post-shakedown fitting out at Kure, Musashi sailed for Truk in the Caroline Islands on 18 Jan 1943 where she was named Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto's flagship; this assignment was the reason why the additional communications gear was required during fitting out. She officially became Yamamoto's flagship on 11 Feb 1943, relieving her sister ship, Yamato. On 23 Apr 1943, ashes of Yamamoto, who was struck down by US Army Air Corps fighters several days prior, were secretly brought aboard via a flying boat. Two days later, Admiral Mineichi Koga came aboard under the pretence of an inspection to take over command of the Combined Fleet. On 17 May 1943, Musashi arrived at Yokosuka in response to the Americans' operations in the Aleutian Islands; the voyage also brought home Yamamoto's ashes. Upon return to Japan, Captain, later Rear Admiral on 1 Nov 1943, Keizo Komura was given command of the ship after Arima was transferred to the Etajima Naval Academy. After a day of preparations in Yokosuka on 23 Jun 1943, Musashi hosted Emperor Showa and his staff on an inspection on 24 Jun 1943. Between 1 and 8 Jul 1943, at Kure, four Type 22 fire control radars were installed on the bridge. Between 5 Aug 1943 and 10 Feb 1944, Musashi remained mostly in port at Truk; the only sortie she embarked upon was the Oct 1943 movement to Brown Island, Eniwetok Atoll, and Marshall Islands in response to a possible American invasion of Wake Island and raids against the Gilbert Islands. On 7 Dec 1943, Captain Bunji Asakura assumed command after Komura was transferred to the Third Fleet. Between 15 and 24 Feb 1944, Musashi was used as a transport to carry one Army battalion, one Special Naval Landing Force battalion, munitions, fuel, and vehicles from Yokosuka to the Palau Islands; en route, the task force encountered a typhoon, and as a result most of the deck load of munitions was lost. The task force arrived at Palau Islands on 29 Feb. On 28 Mar 1944, Admiral Koga moved his flag to land, relieving Musashi of flagship status; this was done due to air raid threats. She departed Palau Islands under the cover of darkness on 29 Mar 1944, but was discovered by American submarine USS Tunny, which damaged her port bow with one of six torpedoes fired at 1744. The hit tore a 19-foot diameter hole, causing minor flooding and killing seven men. Fearful of a follow-up air raid, Musashi continued to sail for Japan at a reduced speed, reaching Kure on 3 Apr. While being repaired at Kure, she was also refitted with heavier anti-aircraft defences, replacing six of her large 155-mm secondary guns with a large quantity of 25-mm anti-aircraft guns. At this time, her anti-aircraft weaponry included 35x3x25-mm guns and 25x1x25mm guns. In May 1944, Asakura was promoted to the rank of rear admiral. On 10 Jun, Asakura took Musashi on Operation Kon aimed at relieving Biak off New Guinea, which was abandoned shortly after due to the American invasion of the Mariana Islands. On 18 Jul 1944, Musashi arrived at Lingga near Singapore and joined the Mobile Fleet. On 12 Aug 1944, Captain Toshihira Inoguchi was given command of Musashi. Like his predecessors, Inoguchi was promoted to the rank of rear admiral after the assignment. In Sep, Inoguchi ordered Musashi painted a dark colour; the paint might have been Royal Navy in origin. On 18 Oct, her deck was blackened with soot. The camouflaging attempts were all made because of the upcoming Operation Sho-Go which resulted in the naval battles in the area of Leyte Gulf. On 18 Oct, Vice Admiral Takeo Kurita engaged in Operation Sho-Go by taking a powerful surface fleet that included both of the Yamato-class battleships. The fleet sailed into the Sibuyan Sea west of Leyte of the Philippine Islands, aiming to hit the vulnerable American transports on the other side of the island. At 0810 on 24 Oct 1944, an aircraft from carrier USS Intrepid spotted the fleet. By 1018, Musashi's lookouts reported about 30 incoming hostile aircraft. At 1027, the battle began. By chance, most American aircraft focused on Musashi, whose guns fired in combat for the first time. Because the air cover was inadequate, the Japanese ships were left to fend for themselves. Musashi's anti-aircraft weapons helped setting up an intense umbrella of flak above the fleet, while her 18-in guns fired into the water to make huge geysers aimed at knocking down American torpedo bombers. Without adequate air cover, however, powerful Musashi was, she was helpless against multiple waves of attacking aircraft. After the final attack ended at 1530, she suffered hits by twenty torpedoes, seventeen bombs, and eighteen near misses. Efforts to correct the worsening list failed, and Inoguchi gave the order to "standby to abandon ship" at 1915; by this time, the list was at 15 degrees. Immediately after this order, Inoguchi retired to his cabin with the intention to go down with the ship; he was never seen again. At 1930, the list to port reached 30 degrees, and abandon ship order was given. At 1936, Musashi capsized and sank. 1,023 lives aboard Musashi were lost on that day. This is the latest book from Kagero in their Super Drawings in 3D, and like the previous books it has a brief history and the ships specifications at the beginning. This includes the following:- Design Armour Armament Fire Control and Sensor Aircraft Launching Service The rest of the seventy five pages are filled with the now well known style of beautifully drawn 3D renderings of every part of the ship. It is obvious that a lot of time has been taken to get the drawings this good and accurate, and there is a wealthy of information for the modeller to use during their build. Every area of the upper hull and superstructure is dealt with. I particularly like the renderings of the huge bridge structure and the myriad of AA turrets. Considering the size of the ship she was of a surprisingly clean design, I guess because any superfluous top hamper and fittings would have been damaged by the huge blast of the main guns. For even more detail, especially for the rigging, Kagero have included a double sided A2 fold out sheet with a three view on one side, unusually in 1:400, with additional drawings of the ships fittings, such as the light AA weapons, main and secondary turrets, ships crane, main rangefinders and searchlights, in scales ranging from 1:50 to 1:200 plus bow and stern views in 1:350. Conclusion This is another superb book in the series and a great addition to any maritime modeller’s library. This series is a boon to any ship modeller and is turning into a magnificent collection of titles. The detail included is second to none, and the renderings are so clear that they will be a delight for the superdetailers, particularly if building the beautiful Tamiya 1:350 scale kit. Review sample courtesy of
  14. Char Leclerc - Photosniper 19 ISBN : 9788364596353 Kagero via Casemate UK The Char Leclerc is the latest generation Main Battle Tank employed by the French Armed Forces replacing the AMX-30. The French Army has 406 Tanks with a further 388 being sold to the UAE Army. Built by GIAT and now Nexter it was at the time the most expensive MBT produced at 9.3 Million Euros each. The tank employs modular composite armour with a 120mm smooth bore main gun fed by an autoloading mechanisum. This new photosniper book is A4 softcover and 96 pages long. It is illustrated throughout with colour photographs and 5 pages of colour profiles featuring different marking schemes. As well as the main text featuring the development and use of the tank by the French Army, there is a section on variants; and a comprehensive walkaround section to aid the modeller. The printing is first class. Conclusion If you are interested in the modern French Army, or Modern Main Battle Tanks then this book is highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  15. SMS Battleship Posen Kagero Super Drawings in 3D The last ship of the first class of German “Dreadnought” battleships was Ersatz Baden/Posen. The keel for Posen was laid on 11 June 1907 at the Germania Dockyard in Kiel and launching followed on 12 December 1908. The President of the Prussian province of Posen, von Waldow, gave the christening speech and the christening was performed by Fürstin (Princess) Johanna von Radolin. Posen was named after the Prussian Province from 1772 to 1919, and today is known as Poznan province in Poland. On 28 April 1910 Posen was transferred from her construction yard to Kiel Imperial Dockyard and on 31 May was commissioned for the first time. The first pre-trials began on 18 July 1910. The ship sailed during most of the First World War, in the North Sea. The main battle she was in was the Battle of Jutland where she hit another German ship which then sank. The ship served with her three sister ships for the majority of World War I. She saw extensive service in the North Sea, where she took part in several fleet sorties. These culminated in the Battle of Jutland on 31 May – 1 June 1916, where Posen was heavily engaged in night-fighting against British light forces. In the confusion, the ship accidentally rammed the light cruiser SMS Elbing, which suffered serious damage and was scuttled later in the night. The ship also conducted several deployments to the Baltic Sea against the Russian Navy. In the first of these, Posen supported a German naval assault in the Battle of the Gulf of Riga. The ship was sent back to the Baltic in 1918 to support the White Finns in the Finnish Civil War. At the end of the war, Posen remained in Germany while the majority of the fleet was interned in Scapa Flow. In 1919, following the scuttling of the German fleet in Scapa Flow, she was ceded to the British as a replacement for the ships that had been sunk. She was then sent to ship-breakers in the Netherlands and scrapped in 1922. This latest release from Kagero flows the now familiar format, but has to be one of the thickest titles released so far, with quite a long section on the history of the ship, covering fifteen pages, including:- The construction outline General characteristics of the hull Armour Armament Machinery and propulsion Fire control Operational history The next sixty six pages are taken up with the wonderfully rendered 3D drawings that this series has become known for. Although with this release quite a bit of the lower hull is also shown which is a bonus particularly the torpedo tubes, rudder and propellers. The renderings show every part of the ship both in wide angle and close up which show some amazing detail not seen in other publications. With the ship covered there are also numerous drawings of individual bits of equipment, including some fabulous drawings of the main turrets, their mechanisms and ammunition. Other equipment included in this section is the secondary armament, ships aircraft, engines, boats, and rangefinders. The book also includes a single A1 sheet with a side view of the ship in 1:350 below a similar view, but opened up showing the entire interior. On the reverse there are twenty seven cross sections from stern to bow. Conclusion As we’ve come to know what to expect from this series I can’t really say much more, other than if you’re a maritime fan you really should have them all in your reference library. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  16. Topdrawings 44 - Grumman F6F Hellcat ISBN : 9788365437563 Kagero via Casemate UK The Grumman F6F Hellcat was a highly effective fighter, the design of which took advantage of experience gained in aerial combat against the Japanese during the early part of the war. Fitted with a powerful Pratt and Whitney ‘Double Wasp’ engine, the Hellcat was a fast fighter, capable of 380mph. The F6F-3 was the first production version and was armed with six .50 inch Browning machine guns. Later in the production run it gained the ability to carry unguided rockets and bombs as well. The F6F-5 was an improved aircraft with a new integral bulletproof windscreen, new ailerons, stronger tail surfaces, and a new 2200 hp engine with water injection. The Hellcat was a rugged aircraft which featured self-sealing fuel tanks and plenty of Armour. By 1945 it had gained the status of the most effective US naval fighter of World War II, having accounted for no fewer than 5,271 enemy aircraft. This book is not a reference book on the Hellcat per-say, but a collection of plans and colour profiles designed to help the modeller all the plans are in 1.48 with a 1/24th scale rule on the pages as well. In the centre of the book is an A-3 double sided pull out plan in 1/48th scale as well. As an extra there is one set of 1:48 masks, and tow of 1:72 in the book. All text is in English & Polish. Conclusion If you're interested in these aircraft and intend to model a few of an individual aircraft then its worth investing in one of these publications. Recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  17. The Bulgarian Air Force in WWII ISBN : 9788365437556 Kagero via Casemate UK While there has been much written about the Luftwaffe in WWII, not much is out there concerning their other Allies apart from the Italians. The Bulgarians fit into the category of probably the least well known; this book will hopefully redress the balance some what. The early part of the book gives a concise history of the Bulgarian Air Force in WWII. The second chapter the history from its inception through to 1945. The middle part of the book then lists individual histories of the Fighter, Bomber, Attack, Recon, Training, Maritime, and Transport units. The latter part of the books looks at the Insignia of the BAF, their victory scoring system, aces; and their rank structure. The book is A5 softcover format with 107 pages. There are black and white photos throughout and colour plates where needed to show aircraft types, their marking and insignia. Conclusion If you're interested in the lesser known Air Forces, or the WWII Axis, this is an interesting book that should give you some hours of entertainment, and remain on hand as a reference for the modeller or historian. This is now the second of the "Library of Armed Conflicts" books I have reviewed and it is looking to be a good series. Highly Recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  18. Topdrawings 43 - Sd.Kfz.171 Panzer V "Panther" ISBN : 9788365437549 Kagero via Casemate UK This book is not a reference book on the Panther per-say, but a collection of plans and colour profiles designed to help the modeller. All the plans are in 1.48 with a 1/24th scale rule on the pages as well. In the centre of the book is are three A2 double sided pull out plan in 1/16th scale as well,one each for the A, D & G models.. An extra is a set of masks for the German Crosses, they say 1:16 on the masks but look distinctly 1:35. All text in the book is in English & Polish. Conclusion If you're interested in these tanks and intend to model a few then its worth investing in one of these publications. Recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  19. #19/2017 Some hype and non-hype about the new Tamiya G-6. My dad will definitely build one but he still has a bunch of good old Hasegawa kits in the stash which have to roll out. So here´s the first one, painted with Gunze and Tamiya acrylics, EZ Line for aerials, plastic rods and lead wire for brake lines and cockpit fuel line, decals from the kit and the Kagero book "Bf109G/K Vol.II". The model shows an a/c of IV/JG54 on the eastern front in winter 1943/44. DSC_0003 by Reinhard Spreitzhofer, auf Flickr DSC_0004 by Reinhard Spreitzhofer, auf Flickr DSC_0005 by Reinhard Spreitzhofer, auf Flickr DSC_0006 by Reinhard Spreitzhofer, auf Flickr DSC_0007 by Reinhard Spreitzhofer, auf Flickr DSC_0008 by Reinhard Spreitzhofer, auf Flickr DSC_0009 by Reinhard Spreitzhofer, auf Flickr DSC_0010 by Reinhard Spreitzhofer, auf Flickr DSC_0011 by Reinhard Spreitzhofer, auf Flickr DSC_0012 by Reinhard Spreitzhofer, auf Flickr DSC_0013 by Reinhard Spreitzhofer, auf Flickr DSC_0014 by Reinhard Spreitzhofer, auf Flickr DSC_0015 by Reinhard Spreitzhofer, auf Flickr DSC_0016 by Reinhard Spreitzhofer, auf Flickr DSC_0017 by Reinhard Spreitzhofer, auf Flickr DSC_0018 by Reinhard Spreitzhofer, auf Flickr DSC_0002 by Reinhard Spreitzhofer, auf Flickr DSC_0001 by Reinhard Spreitzhofer, auf Flickr
  20. Air Combat During Arab-Israeli Wars ISBN : 9788365437495 Kagero via Casemate UK The state of Israel was forged through conflict and seems to have been in a constant state of conflict with its neighbours ever since. This books looks at these conflicts through the use of Air Power which has no doubt helped considerably since the days of buying old WWII fighters to the new aircraft supplied by their major ally the USA. The book is softbound a little less than A4 size with 104 pages. It is illustrated throughout by many photographs and colour plates of the aircraft involved. Te first half of the book concentrates on on the beginnings of aviation in what was then Palestine and the develops from there including Air Combat in 1948, Development of the Israeli Air Force, Testing of Captured MiGs, and he relationship between Israel and Poland. Before the War LOT was instrumental in providing air services to the then Palestine. In addition Poland supplied aircraft to Israel in 1948. In latter years Polish aircraft have taken part in jont exercises in Israel, and Israeli F-15s have visited Poland where they flew over Auschwitz. It has since emerged that in 1997 the Polish "lent" 3 MiG-29s to the Israeli Air Force Test centre for evaluation due these aircraft being used by counties around Israel. The second part of the book concentrates on air combat since 1956 including; The Suez Crisis The Six Day War The Yom Kippur War Bekaa Valley (1982) Conclusion If you're interested in these conflicts, this is an interesting book on an interesting subject that should give you some hours of entertainment, and remain on hand as a reference for the modeller or historian. Recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  21. My dad´s gonna build a second G-6 besides the Romanian one, using the already initially for the other 109 built up fuselage. According to the Werknummer this one is an Erla built a/c. Selfmade rear cockpit hatch
  22. B-25J Mitchell in Combat over Pacific & CBI ISBN : 9788365437518 Kagero via Casemate UK The B-25 Mitchell medium bomber was one of the staples of the US bomber force during WWII, and was also used by the British in large numbers, with the J model having a rather heavy armament that varied between 14-18 fixed machine guns in the nose and in gondolas to the side of the cockpit, often known as cheek guns. This concentrated field of fire made it ideal as a gunship, and with the extra guns in the Strafer nose, it packed a formidable punch that was used to good effect in all theatres. This new title from Polish publisher Kagero is a pictorial history of the aircraft and units that fought in the Pacific and the Chinese, Burma and India (CBI) theatres, in which there were some fantastic noseart adorning the sides of these flying gun trucks. Spanning 108 pages with a huge number of contemporary photos, a few of which are in colour, it is held in a perfect-bound format with card cover, and includes a set of pre-cut vinyl masks in 1:48 for the "stars and bars" of the US Air Force. It is printed in English/Polish with the English on the left on the main text, and above the Polish for the captions, of which there are many. After a short introduction, the book details each of the squadrons that fought within these oft neglected theatres, which includes: 345th Bomber Group 38th Bomber Group 42nd Bomber Group 41st Bomber Group 17th Reconnaissance Squadron 12th Bomber Group CBI 341st Bomber Group CBI 1st Bomber Group CBI 18th Squadron Of Netherlands East Indies 2nd Squadron RAAF At the end is a section of colour photos, followed by a few words regarding a wreck that is still on Binaya mountain on Ceram Island, which took the author four days to trek to, the crash being the result of a flight of eight aircraft flying almost blind, and the three leaders having no time to pull up when the mountain came into view. Sadly all crew were lost in the incident. The final few pages are devoted to recreations of some of the nose art, and a set of profiles of some notable examples of the aircraft featured in the book. If you are prudish in nature, you'd better steal yourself, as Mitchel crews seem to have had a fixation for scantily clad ladies with large breasts. Conclusion If you're interested in Mitchells, the Pacific and CBI theatres, or just love a good read, this is an interesting book on an interesting subject that should give you some hours of entertainment, and remain on hand as a reference for the modeller or historian. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  23. IJN Heavy Cruiser Chikuma Kagero Super Drawings in 3D Chikuma was completed at Mitsubishi Nagasaki shipyards on 20 May 1939. After several months as a unit of the CruDiv6 (Sentai 6) of the Second Fleet, she was transferred to the CruDiv8 in November 1939. In addition to taking part in regular combat exercises in Japanese home waters, she operated off southern China on three occasions between March 1940 and March 1941. Chikuma was designed for long-range scouting missions and had a large seaplane capacity. She was extensively employed during World War II in conjunction with an aircraft carrier task force, or as part of a cruiser squadron with her sister ship, Tone. The Tone-class cruisers were originally envisaged as the 5th and 6th vessels in the Mogami class. However, by the time construction began, serious weaknesses in the Mogami-class hull design had become clear following the Fourth Fleet Incident in 1935. As Japan no longer was obligated to abide by the limitations of the London Naval Treaty, a new design was created and new means of construction were utilized. Though the external dimensions were close to the Mogami class, the design was quite different, with all the main battery of guns placed forward of the bridge, reserving the entire stern area as a large sea plane hangar. Unlike the United States Navy, the Japanese did not have a dual role attack/scout aircraft. No reconnaissance units were assigned to the Japanese carriers, and little emphasis was placed on this aspect of carrier warfare. Instead the Japanese reserved all of their carrier aircraft for attack roles. Reconnaissance was left up to float planes carried by cruisers. Chikuma was intended to provide the long range scout planes needed for their carrier Air Fleets. She took part in many famous battles during the war, including the Indian Ocean raids, Battle of Midway, Battle of Eastern Solomans, Battle of Santa Cruz, Battle if the Philippine Sea, and lastly the Battle of Leyte Gulf, during which she was sunk by US navy torpedo bombers. This is the latest book from Kagero in their Super Drawings in 3D, and like the previous books it has a brief history and the ships specifications at the beginning. This includes the following:- Technical Description Fire Control Equipment Modernisations In Service The rest of the seventy three pages are filled with beautifully drawn 3D renderings of every part of the ship. It is obvious that a lot of time has been taken to get the drawings this good and accurate, and there is a wealthy of information for the modeller to use during their build. Every area of the upper hull and superstructure is dealt with. I particularly like the renderings of the interior of the torpedo deck and the inclusion of the loading mechanisms and tubes, with the addition of some crew members showing the operation of the equipment. For even more detail, especially for the rigging, Kagero have included a double sided A2 fold out sheet with a five view on one side, in 1:350 and a ¾ bow view on the reverse, with additional drawings of the ships boats and close ups of the most forward pair of turrets. Conclusion This is a great addition to any maritime modeller’s collection and continues this superb series of books. The detail included is second to none, and the renderings are so clear that they will be a delight for the superdetailers, particularly if build the beautiful Tamiya 1:350 scale kit. Review sample courtesy of
  24. AMX-30 Family KAGERO Publishing The AMX-30 served the French Armed forces as its main Battle Tank in the front line from 1966 to 2006, and like many other nations the French used the basic tank chassis to produce other armoured vehicles over the years for the Army. The most recognised of these was the AU-F1 Self Propelled Gun.Other guises included the Bitube 30mm SPAAG, the Roland Alsace SAM System (AMX-30R); and importantly for the French the Pluton (AMX-30P) which was their independent ground based Nuclear weapons system. In common with many armies around the world The AMX-30 spawned a number of Engineer based vehicles, these included; a Bridge Layer (AMX-30H), a combat engineering vehicle (EBG - Enginè Blind du Gènie) with a 142mm demolition gun, dozzer blade and hydraulic arm. The final engineering version was a re-build of the EBG, this had the demolition gun decommissioned and was fitted with a mine clearing carpet system. The book is A4 soft cover with 96 pages, there is a section of detailed photographs at the rear of the book, followed by 6 pages of colour profiles. Conclusion This is an excellent book chronicaling the myriad of vehicles using the AMX-30 chassis. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  25. AMX-30 Char de Bataille 1966-2006 Vol I KAGERO Publishing The AMX-30 served the French Armed forces as its main Battle Tank in the front line from 1966 to 2006, and in other roles it still continues to serve. This book (Volume 1 in the AMX-30 series) concentrates on the design, development and early deployment of the tank. The book is A4 Softcover format with 78 pages. They include information on the design & development of the tank. There are many photographs included as well as technical drawings, orders of battle for the French Arm and plans to sell the tank in Europe, which ultimately did not materialise as it was competing against the German Leopard. There is a section of detailed photographs at the rear and 3 pages of colour profiles. Conclusion This is an excellent book chronicling the early stages of the use of the AMX-30. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
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