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Found 162 results

  1. US Army Vehicle Markings 1944 (9781612007373) Casemate UK There are certain vehicle markings everyone is familiar with, the White US Star for one. However there are may more markings on military vehicles which the casual observer knows nothing about at all, from unit code letters, to tactical markings, through to bridge weight, and even during this time period debarkation codes for the invasion of Europe. Using a combination of historical photographs, and colour diagrams this publication looks at all the markings seen on US vehicles o the period. The book also looks at the camouflage used on these vehicles. The Book is split into the following areas; 1. Arsenal of Democracy - Looking at the US diverse production of all vehicles for the military. 2. The Communications Zone - That area away from the front line in operations, including re-supply and support units. 3. Organization of the US Army - Looking at the specific equipment allocated to units of the US Army. 4. Common Markings - From registrations, to National ID markings and usage markings. 5. Unit Markings - Army regulation AR-850-5 defined the markings for units. Also looks at USAAF vehicles, and tactical markings. 6. Camouflage - This looks at different camouflage patterns suggested. The book is hardback 254mm x 203 mm and 160 pages long. Iti s full of black & white photographs, a few colour ones and may colour diagrams of vehicle markings. The printing is first class. Conclusion This will be an invaluable resource for the modeller of US Army vehicles during this time frame. Very Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  2. TopDrawings 71 Special Edition – Macci MC.202 (9788366148222) Kagero Publishing via Casemate UK Known at the Folgore, which is Italian for Thunderbolt, the MC.202 was the most common Italian fighter aircraft of WWII, and was considered by many to be pretty much the best they had. The MC part of its name stems from its designer Mario Castoldi, who designed it around a licence built DB601 engine that was constructed by Alfa Romeo once it reached series production. It remained fairly much unchanged overall, with a short list of upgrades that centred around pilot protection, improving the aircraft's offensive armament and adding filters to improve longevity in hot, dusty environments. We have kits in most major scales of this elegant aircraft, although we're not spoiled for choice in some scales, sadly. The TopDrawings series majors on scale plans, which is the main thrust, but also includes a little background information, some pertinent profiles, and often a bonus of decals or masks targeted at the subject matter in hand. With this edition, you get a set of masks for the 1:72 Hasegawa kit for the wheels and canopy in pre-cut vinyl. The book is written in English on the left of the page, with Polish on the right, which translates to top and bottom for the captions to the various drawings within. The book itself has 28 pages bound in a card cover, and the rear cover is devoted to additional colour profiles of a Series VII and a Series III in "smoke ring" camouflage. Held loosely within are two loose A2 sheet printed on both sides with plans of the Series VIII, airframes in maintenance situations and on the second sheet, which is printed glossy paper, the major structures of the airframe plus more plans of the Series III and VIII, all in 1:24. The first half of the plans show the initial prototype MC.202 and series I, II and III, followed by the IV, VII, VIII and IX. After this the colour profiles are printed on four pages, augmented by the aforementioned two on the rear cover. After the break there are a host of detail drawings covering weapons, common parts in the wings, tail wheel variations, the two types of engine mounts, instrument panel changes, the two gunsights used, the engines in different scales, prop profiles, and the three canopy designs in chronological order. Then the usual side profiles showing the changed areas between each successive series marked out in grey, which surprisingly for a relatively unchanged aircraft takes four pages. The last few pages covers front, rear, overhead and lower plans in 1:72. Throughout the book, there are numerous smaller diagrams that show differences in wing leading edge shape and the addition of leading edge tanks; weapons pods carried under the wings and a drawing of the cowling from below. Conclusion These books are essential for the modeller that enjoys comparing their models against scale plans, and wants them to be as accurate as possible, with the large scale prints and masks a bonus if you're a modeller in 1:72. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  3. TopDrawings 69 Special Edition Hunt Class Destroyer HMS Badsworth (9788366148147) Kagero Publishing via Casemate UK The Hunt Class destroyers were designed by the Royal Navy in the late 1930s. These were primarily designed as Escort vessel for convoy duty and were smaller and more lightly armed than conventional destroyers, they were also slower. The design was actually based on the Bitten Class Sloop. 86 Hunts were built with 72 being commissioned into the Royal Navy and 14 being transferred to allied Navies. HMS Badsworth (L03) was in the second batch of Hunts to be built. She was launched from Cammell Lairds yard in Birkenhead in March 1941, and was commissioned into the Navy in August 1941. The ship took part in convoys in the North Atlantic, Mediterranean, and Arctic. The ship had a torrid time striking a mine in Malta in 1942, and after repaired, again of Algeria in 1943. The vessel was then selected for transfer to the Free Norwegian Navy and renamed the Arendal. The ship would take the Crown Price of Norway to Oslo on his return to a free Norway, and then returned to the UK to transport the remain of 400 Norwegians who had died in the UK during the war. The ship would later escort more vessels to Norway, and even repatriate German POWs to Bremerhaven. She was relegated to training duties before being stood down in 1961, then to be scrapped in 1965. The book is written in English on the left of the page, with Polish on the right, which translates to top and bottom for the captions to the various drawings within. The book itself is bound in a card cover and has 27 pages, and the rear cover devoted to additional profiles in colour.. There are 2 sets of plans in the book both B2 in size, and both double sided. The first shows full profiles, as shown on the back page; one side is in full colour, the other being black and white line drawings. The second set of plans shows many scrap view of the armament and fittings. Throughout the book, there are numerous smaller diagrams that show various parts of the ship, armament and other fittings. Conclusion These books are essential for the modeller that enjoys comparing their models against scale plans, and wants them to be as accurate as possible, with the profiles quite enjoyable. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  4. A Carrier At Risk Argentinean Carrier Operations 1982 - Latin America @ War No.14 ISBN : 9781911628705 Helion & Company via Casemate UK Convention would have it that the Argentinean Carrier ARA 25 de Mayo remained in port following the sinking of The General Belgrano by HMS Conqueror and did not contribute much to the conflict. However that would not seem to be completely true. It seems the carrier did conduct anti submarine operations in the South Atlantic which have gone largely unnoticed until now. The history of this carrier though goes back a long way before the Falklands campaign and to the other-side at that. The carrier was built by Cammell Laird shipbuilder in Birkenhead during WWII as a Colossus Class Carrier. Named HMS Venerable she only manged 3 years service in the Royal Navy. After this she was sold to the Royal Netherlands Navy and renamed the HNLMS Karel Doorman. Following a fire the Carrier was sold to the Argentine Navy as they already operated the ex ARA Independencia another Colossus Class Carrier the ex HMS Warrior. The ARA 25 de Mayo was commissioned in 1968, through out her life she was refitted many times. Despite fitting new steam catapults and arrestor gear the vessel it was found that these were not enough to operate the Super Etendard and the carrier was limited to A-4 Skyhawks for strike aircraft. S-2 Trackers were also carried for anti-submarine and observation duties. With the Argentinean invasion of the Falkland Islands in May 1982 the carrier supported the initial landings on the Islands. The carrier was then deployed to the North of the Islands. The carrier did attempt to launch an attack on the task force after her trackers found the fleet but light winds prevented the loaded Skyhawks from taking off. HMS Splendid as Swiftsure class Nuclear submarine was to patrol the area North of the Island and tasked with finding the carrier, and to sink her if necessary. The book looks at this time where the British were searching for the carrier, and it in turn was searching for the searchers. Conclusion This book will give the reader an understanding of Argentinean carrier operations in the South Atlantic. With over 100 photos, colour maps and profiles; combined with first hand accounts from both sides the book is highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  5. TopDrawings 72 – Republic P-47 Thunderbolt (9788366148147) Kagero Publishing via Casemate UK The P-47 Thunderbolt, more commonly known as the Thud or Jug because of its large size (up to 8t take-off weight), was one of the USA's main fighters, and was both powerful and fast, a perfect combination for escorting bombers as well as its other role as a highly capable ground attack aircraft. It began with the XP-47A, which was cancelled in favour of the B, which meant that no A saw service. Constant upgrades due to wartime experiences saw it thought to the D model, after which was a jump to G, which was essentially a C made at the Curtiss plant. Toward the end of the D series the bubbletop design was put into service, but this book deals with the razorback, as the earlier models became known. We have kits in just about every scale from 1:144 upwards, with most major and some minor manufacturers getting in on the act, as other people's Jugs don't make money for them (there's probably a smutty joke in there, so go nuts). The TopDrawings series majors on scale plans, which is the main thrust, but also includes a little background information, some pertinent profiles, and often a bonus of decals or masks targeted at the subject matter in hand. With this edition, you get a set of additional plans on A3 paper. The book is written in English on the left of the page, with Czech on the right, which translates to top and bottom for the captions to the various drawings within. The book itself is bound in a card cover and has 28 pages, with the back two pages devoted to an ad for other editions, another thick glossy A3 page to the other books in the Kagero range, and the rear cover devoted to additional profiles of a bare-metal D-23-RA and a loose A3 sheet printed on both sides with plans of the C and D-22 airframes. The first half of the plans show the variants from the B-series prototype with and without the contra-rotating prop that didn't see service, the in-service B, C, C-2, C-5, G-1, D-23, G-16 two-seater, the D and the D-4. After this the colour profiles are printed on four pages in colour, augmented by the aforementioned two on the rear cover. After the break there is another set of plans of the D-5, 6, 10, 15, 22 and 23, with front and rear profiles of the 22. The final five pages show side profiles with the visible changes between them, and the solitary two-seater, the G-16. Throughout the book, there are numerous smaller diagrams that show cross-sections of the fuselage, weapons, prop profiles, canopies, instrument panels, fuel tanks, and engines, with an example of a maintenance ladder and mechanic for a little diorama inspiration. Conclusion These books are essential for the modeller that enjoys comparing their models against scale plans, and wants them to be as accurate as possible, with the profiles quite enjoyable. The bubbletops are dealt with in TopDrawings 50, which you can see here. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  6. Spain in Arms - A military history of the Spanish Civil War 1936-39 ISBN : 9781612006376 Casemate UK The Spanish Civil war was fought between 1936 and 1939. This was fought between the Republican side loyal to the Second Spanish Republic, and the Nationalists. Even though the war ended in 1939 it left a legacy in Spain which is felt even to this day. Much has been written about the war however this book looks at it from eight major conflicts. The author has obtained and studied texts from German, Italian and Russian sources, as well as previously secret British intelligence intercepts about Italian air operations, and in addition British and French Archives. As well as the history of the conflict itself the book aims to place this conflict within the historical context of both WWI and WWII. Of interest is the look at the extent of foreign intervention and how it may have been exaggerated in history. The book is A5 hardcover in format and 212 pages long, It is has 20 maps and 20 black and white photos. Conclusion The history for this bloody conflict is examined through eight major campaigns and it aims to dispel many of the half truths stemming from propaganda which still exist from this conflict. As the culmination of 60 years research the book shows this in its quality and depth. Highly Recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  7. German & Russian Tank Models 1939-45 (9781612007359) Casemate Publishers UK The 2nd World War in Eastern Europe, known as the Great Patriotic War by the Soviets, was total war, with no quarter asked or given, resulting in massive destruction of men, machinery, innocent civilians and the land through which operation Barbarosa was prosecuted. The Russians burned anything that would be of use to the advancing Germans, and the Germans did the same as they were forced back by the then-fully mobilised Soviet war machine. A broad range of equipment was used by both sides, from light tanks to heavy tank destroyers, as well as the ubiquitous T-34 that was produced in huge numbers to counter the complex German tanks that were used to great effect during the initial advances. The Book This is a techniques book that takes a selection of subjects from this campaign and also touches upon North Africa's Afrika Korps (DAK), showing the modeller step-by-step how to achieve realistic and artistic effects that you can try on your next model, whether it's from the Eastern Front or not. Written and modelled by Mario Eens, the book is bound in a hard back cover, which is handy if you're going to be flicking back and forth and leaving it open as reference. Inside are 128 pages plus two blank sheets printed in colour on glossy stock, with an easy to read layout and photographs of the modelling techniques printed at such a size that leave the details easy to see, rather than lots of postage-stamp sized photos that are hard on the eyes (we're none of us getting any younger). There are five subjects within the book, as follows: Panzer I Ausf.A North Africa, 1941 A light tank that was almost obsolete by the time the war was underway, depicted in a worn dark yellow scheme with the original Panzer grey showing through. T-34/76 "chTZ" Russia, Summer 1943 In Russian green with a light coating of dust from the dried out countryside, hay adhering to the stowage from a close encounter with a haystack, and a cheerful crew member grinning at the viewer. Pz.Kpfw.VIII Maus, Germany 1946 An alternate history monster that almost reached service in the final days of WWII, wearing a striking green splinter camo over a dark yellow base. Su-152 Eastern Front, Winter 1943 A 152mm self-propelled howitzer in Russian green with the remnants of a winter white distemper coat clinging to the front and sides. Russian Infantry, Berlin April 1945 A typical member of the army, posing in his padded coat on some steps in front of a discarded cable reel, with a captured Panzerfaust over his shoulder. Each subject has a section of the book devoted to it, and it's not just a slavish out-of-the-box build, but includes plenty of additions and alterations to make the finished result better. This includes some handy hints and tips, as well as suggestions for methods that will improve your own models if you apply them judiciously to your builds. They are broken down further into subsections as if we are watching the build "live", showing various construction and painting phases, with the latter including more tips for effects such as chipping, streaks, and rust effects. It's clear that Mario is a master modeller, and at the top of his game so the end results are all fabulous, and give us all a standard to aim for. Add a couple of his tricks to each subsequent build, and you'll be surprised how soon it will become second nature to you. You will notice that he models each sub-assembly such as exhausts and pioneer tools as a model in and of itself, which helps to further improve the detail, although it takes more time than just lashing a bit of brown paint on the handles of the tools. As well as the gurning tanker that's popping out of the T-34, there is also a little diorama of the Russian solider at the end of the book, which gives the modeller a quick introduction to quality figure painting, often a weak-point of many of us, as well as the construction of the base with its tangle of twisted metal, rubble and the cable reel, which is another area that I personally struggle with. Conclusion A great how-to book that is bound to give you some inspiration as well as technical knowledge that will assist most modellers in achieving better results. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  8. TopDrawings 66 – Focke-Wulf Fw.190 (9788366148161) Kagero Publishing via Casemate UK The Fw.190 was designed as a replacement to the Bf.109, but we all know that the 109 soldiered on manfully to the end of the war, and that the 190 gave the British Spitfires a bit of a shock when it was first encountered. As usual with WWII German aircraft, they tried to make the aircraft all things to all men, and wasted valuable resources adapting it to do other tasks such as Ground Attack (F) with a lower altitude tuned BMW801 engine and bomb racks, Long range light bomber/attack (G) with reduced armament to carry bombs, and the ungainly two-seat trainer (S) which were re-designated A series airframes. We have kits in the all the scales from most manufacturers due to the popularity of the type, from 1:144 to 1:24, with 1:48 having some brand new modernised toolings from Eduard. The TopDrawings series majors on scale plans, which is the main thrust, but also includes a little background information, some pertinent profiles, and often a bonus of decals or masks targeted at the subject matter in hand. With this edition, you get a set of canopy masks for the F & G Eduard kits in 1:48 and 1:72, plus a handsome A4 print of an F-8 flying low over some Russian armour. The book is written in English on the left of the page, with Czech on the right, which translates to top and bottom for the captions to the various drawings within. The book itself is bound in a card cover and has 20 pages, two of which are printed with other titles in the series, with the rear cover devoted to additional profiles of a pair of F-9s. The first half of the plans begins with the S-5 and S-8 trainer variants with their odd angular canopies, then switches to the F-3, F-8, F-8/R1 and U1, and F-9. After this the colour profiles are printed on four pages in colour, augmented by the aforementioned two on the rear cover. Following the break there is another set of plans for the F-8/R1 Mistel, Ru-344 and Hagelkorn glide-bomb carrier, then a single page devoted to the G-2,3,4 & 8. The last page shows the main differences between the single-seat variants from F through G. Throughout the book, there are numerous smaller diagrams that show cross-sections of the fuselage, fuel tanks, missiles, bombs, guns and such. Conclusion These books are essential for the modeller that enjoys comparing their models against scale plans, and wants them to be as accurate as possible, with the masks and print a nice bonus. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  9. TopDrawings 70 – Petlyakov Pe-2 (9788366148208) Kagero Publishing via Casemate UK The Pe-2 was designed by Vladimir Petlyakov while he languished in prison for supposedly delaying another project, and turned out to be a useful light bomber that lent itself well to adaptation for different tasks and structural improvement, so became a mainstay of the Soviet Air Force. It had some advanced features for a pre-war design, with a pair of turbocharged engines and pressurised cockpit amongst other novelties for the time. We have kits in the smaller scales from a few manufacturers due to the relative obscurity of the type outside of the former Soviet Union, but we certainly have more now than we used to from the likes of Zvezda (with Eduard reboxing) in 1:48, Hobby Boss in 1:72 to name two of the more modern toolings. The TopDrawings series majors on scale plans, which is the main thrust, but also includes a little background information, some pertinent profiles, and often a bonus of decals or masks targeted at the subject matter in hand. With this edition, you get a set of canopy masks for both the kits mentioned above. The book is written in English on the left of the page, with Czech on the right, which translates to top and bottom for the captions to the various drawings within. The book itself is bound in a card cover and has 24 pages, with the rear cover devoted to additional profiles of a Series 359 airframe and two loose A3 sheets printed on both sides with plans of the 110th series. The first half of the plans show the variants from the prototype with a full length canopy, Series 110, differing nose glazing types, 83 series, 115th series, 205th series and the 359 series that is shown on the rear cover. After this the example profiles are printed on four pages in colour, augmented by the aforementioned two on the rear cover. After the break there is another set of plans of the Pe-2 with radial engines, the UT trainer variant with two separate cockpits, the upgraded Pe-3 BIS heavy fighter, the Pe-2 fighter, plus more views of the prototype VI-100 and the 110th series. The final three pages show side profiles with the changes between them visible, and the solitary wooden-tailed 115th series picked out with a captioned arrow. Throughout the book, there are numerous smaller diagrams that show cross-sections of the fuselage, landing gear arrangement, prop profiles, canopies, instrument panels, fuel tanks, weapons and engines. Conclusion These books are essential for the modeller that enjoys comparing their models against scale plans, and wants them to be as accurate as possible, with the print a nice bonus that has drama and poignancy at the same time. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  10. TopDrawings 68 – Curtiss P-40B/C/D/E (9788366148185) Kagero Publishing via Casemate UK The P-40 was designed as a low-cost fighter/ground-attack aircraft, which struggled to keep up with the moving goalposts that were set for it in terms of performance. It was eventually accepted into service in 1941 under the name Warhawk, and Tomahawk in British service with the Kittyhawk moniker being coined for the D onwards. It still wasn't the fastest kid on the block, so tended to be used primarily in theatres away from the top-echelon Bf.109s and Fw.190s. Thus it tends to be associated with the Pacific theatre, where despite suffering heavy losses it was useful as close air support as well as a fighter. We have kits in all scales from almost every manufacturer due to the popularity of the type, despite its shortcomings. The TopDrawings series majors on scale plans, which is the main thrust, but also includes a little background information, some pertinent profiles, and often a bonus of decals or masks targeted at the subject matter in hand. With this edition, you get a handsome A4 print of a P-40B battling the Japanese invaders at Pearl Harbour. The book is written in English on the left of the page, with Czech on the right, which translates to top and bottom for the captions to the various drawings within. The book itself is bound in a card cover and has 28 pages, with the rear cover devoted to additional profiles of a couple of Es. The first half of the plans show the variants from the XP-40, Tomahawk Mk.I, P-40B Tomahawk Mk.IIA & B, P-40C and D, after which the colour profiles are printed on four pages in colour, augmented by the two on the rear cover. After this change of pace there is another set of plans on the P-40E and its trainer variant, plus the E-1. The final six pages show side and top profiles with the changes between the variants discussed picked out in grey, and bullet-pointed lists detailing the changes further. Throughout the book, there are numerous smaller diagrams that shows gun packs, bombs, cross-sections of the fuselage, instrument panels, fuel tanks and weaponry. Conclusion These books are essential for the modeller that enjoys comparing their models against scale plans, and wants them to be as accurate as possible, with the print a nice bonus that has drama and poignancy at the same time. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  11. TopDrawings 67 – Bf.109G/K (9788366148130) Kagero Publishing via Casemate UK The 109 was reaching the end of its potential for development as Britain and Germany fought the Battle of Britain, but the designers still managed to squeeze yet more from the ageing airframe, so much so that it lasted until the end of WWII, although in fewer numbers due to the attrition both of pilots and the factories in which the aircraft were made. The Gustav was perhaps the pinnacle of development, refining the design, streamlining the airframe and taking advantage of engine developments despite the limitations of the basic design. The G series can be broken down between early and late, and the short-lived K series, of which the K-4 was the only in-service sub-variant of the attempt to standardise production can be appended to the Gustav's run, as it was effectively concurrent, shared many design aspects, and was the last wartime development of the type. We have kits in all scales from almost every manufacturer due to the popularity of the type (along with the Spitfire and 190). The TopDrawings series majors on scale plans, which is the main thrust, but also includes a little background information, some pertinent profiles, and often a bonus of decals or masks targeted at the subject matter in hand. With this edition, you get a set of Balkenkreuz paint masks for the Bf.109G/K in 1:48 and 1:72, which could probably be used in plenty of other circumstances too. The book is written in English on the left of the page, with Czech on the right, which translates to top and bottom for the captions to the various drawings within. The book itself is bound in a card cover and has 24 pages, with the rear cover devoted to additional profiles of a couple of Ks, but in addition you get a sheet of loose A3 plans printed on both sides in 1:48 with plenty of K drawings. The first half of the bound plans show the variants with several pages devoted to the G-1/G-3 , G-4 and G-2, with weapons fitment diagrams for the G-2, after which the colour profiles are printed on four pages in colour, augmented by the two on the rear cover. After the break there are a comprehensive set of plans on the G-10, plus some of the various field modifications and weapons fits. The final four pages show side profiles with the changes between the discussed picked out in grey, with bullet-pointed lists detailing the changes further. Throughout the book, there are numerous smaller diagrams that shows gun packs, the differences in intakes/exhausts, weapons carriers and so forth. Conclusion These books are essential for the modeller that enjoys comparing their models against scale plans, and wants them to be as accurate as possible, with the masks a useful bonus if you have wanted to try painting your own markings. You might also be interested in TopDrawings 63, which covers the rest of the G series. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  12. TopDrawings 63 – Bf.109G-5/6/8/12/14 (9788366148086) Kagero Publishing via Casemate UK The Bf.109 was reaching the end of its potential for development as Britain and Germany fought the Battle of Britain, but the designers still managed to squeeze yet more from the ageing airframe, so much so that it lasted until the end of WWII, although in fewer numbers due to the attrition both of pilots and the factories in which the aircraft were made. The Gustav was perhaps the pinnacle of development, refining the design, streamlining the airframe and taking advantage of engine developments despite the limitations of the basic design. The G series can be broken down between early and late, and to an extent the K-4, which was the only sub-variant of the attempt to standardise production that reached service and can be lumped into the Gustav's orbit, as it was effectively concurrent, and the last wartime development of the type. We have kits in all scales from almost every manufacturer due to the popularity of the type (along with the Spitfire). The TopDrawings series majors on scale plans, which is the main thrust, but also includes a little background information, some pertinent profiles, and often a bonus of decals or masks targeted at the subject matter in hand. With this edition, you get a set of masks for the Tamiya Bf.109G-6 in 1:48, which is the latest kit of the type. The book is written in English on the left of the page, with Czech on the right, which translates to top and bottom for the captions to the various drawings within. The book itself is bound in a card cover and has 20 pages, with the rear cover devoted to additional profiles including the ungainly two-seater G-12, but in addition you get a sheet of loose A3 plans printed on both sides in 1:48 with the differences between the covered sub-variants picked out in grey. The first half of the bound plans show the variants with several pages devoted to the G-6, and one of the G-5, after which the colour profiles are printed on four pages in colour, augmented by the two on the rear cover. After the break there is another page on the G-5, then the G-14, which is also shown on maintenance stands with the tail held high by two tripods and a cross-bar. After that we skip back to the G-8 and finish with the G-12, which as already mentioned has an additional cockpit behind the standard one for training and VIP transport purposes. Throughout the book, there are numerous smaller diagrams that shows rocket packs, the differences in tail units, props, weapons carriers and so forth. Conclusion These books are essential for the modeller that likes to compare their models against scale plans, and wants them to be as accurate as possible, with the masks a useful bonus if you happen to have succumbed to the new kit from Tamiya. You might also be interested in TopDrawings 67, which covers the rest of the G series and the short-lived K-4. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  13. TopDrawings 64 – Focke Wulf Fw.190A (9788366148093) Kagero Publishing via Casemate UK Introduced in 1941 to combat the ever-improving Spitfire, the Fw.190 was intended to supplant the Bf.109 if it reached a plateau in development, or run alongside it as a stablemate. Its powerful twin-bank radial engine was installed with a close-fitting cowling and was initially equipped with an oversized, ducted prop-spinner to keep the engine cool, which was discarded early in development in favour of a fan that ran on the prop's drive-shaft to push air through the cylinder heads, which also facilitated oil cooling. It was also given a wide-track landing gear, which reduced the likelihood of a nose-over, a problem afflicting both the 109 and Spitfire, due to their narrow track and poor forward visibility. When it first encountered Spitfires, it gave the Allied pilots a shock, as they were expecting 109s, not these agile little aircraft. It caused a frenzy of development at Supermarine, which was just part of the leapfrog game played on both sides throughout the conflict. The initial A-1 production version was equipped with a BMW 801 engine, and by the time it matured, it had two 7.92mm guns in the cowling, and a pair of 20mm MG151 cannons in the wing root, all of which were synchronised with the prop's motion, in turn mated to a more powerful version of the BMW engine. There were a number of equipment fits used to give the Würger (Shrike) additional weapons and capabilities, including a pressurised cockpit, rocket tubes and reconnaissance cameras, and after the D-model the Ta.152 took over as its spiritual successor until the war's end. We have kits in all scales for example from Airfix in 1:72, through the Revell and newer Eduard kits in 1:48, then Hasegawa and Revell kits in 1:32. The TopDrawings series majors on scale plans, which is the main thrust, but also includes a little background information, some pertinent profiles, and often a bonus of decals or masks targeted at the subject matter in hand. With this edition, you get a set of masks for the Tamiya Fw.190A in 1:72 and 1:48, which are always good to have because the Wurger's canopy is a goldfish bowl that would show up scratches well. The book is written in English on the left of the page, with Czech on the right, which translates to top and bottom for the captions to the various drawings within. The book itself is bound in a card cover and has 20 pages, with the rear cover devoted to additional profiles, but in addition you get a sheet of loose A3 plans printed on both sides in 1:48 of the A-3 and A-8/R8 sub-variants. The first half of the bound plans show the variants from the A-1, A-3 with variants on the intakes around the engine cowling, the A-4, A-5 and A-6, plus a number of scrap-diagrams showing individualisms, and even a fuselage that is suspended by its engine mount (minus engine) on a maintenance tower for the diorama minded. The four pages of profiles show an A-3, A-5, A-4/U7, A-5Y, A-6, A-7, A-8/R2, A-9 and two A-8s on the rear cover. After the profiles, more plans of the A-7, A-8 and A-9s are printed, then the final page of the plans shows the evolution of the aircraft through the majority of the A series, with differences marked out in grey and captions discussing the nature of the changes. Throughout the book, there are numerous smaller diagrams that shows gun packs, antennae for the night fighters, weapons carriers and so forth. Conclusion These books are essential for the modeller that likes to compare their models against scale plans, and wants them to be as accurate as possible, with the masks a useful bonus if you happen to model in those scales. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  14. The Military & Police Forces of The Gulf States Volume 1 The Trucial States & United Arab Emirates 1951-1980 Middle East @ War No.16 ISBN : 9781912390618 Helion & Company via Casemate UK The UAE today is one of the safest areas in the region with a modern military and Police force. Previous to this different emirates had their own forces, and some were under British control. As a consequence of British involvement in the region much of the equipment and training was supplied by the UK. Indeed British personnel were often seconded as well. Areas covered by the book include; Trucial Oman Levies/Scouts. The Defence Forces of Abu Dhabi, & Dubai. The Police Forces of Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras Al Khalmah, & Umm Al Quwain. The Ras Al Khalmah mobile Force The Sharjah & Umm Al Quwain National Guards. The Union Defence Force/Federal Armed Force. The UAE Armed Forces. Significant foreign operations 1951-1980. UAE military & police ranks. The book is A4 softcover in format and 64 pages long, It is illustrated throughout with black and white photos. There one page of colour maps, and 7 pages of colour pictures and profiles. This is the first of three volumes to look at this region. Conclusion This book will give the reader an understanding of all aspects of the forces, including equipment, personnel, ranks structures and training. Highly Recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  15. Fury From The North The North Korean Air Force in the Korean War 1950-1953 ISBN : 9781912390335 Helion & Company via Casemate UK When you think of the Korean Air War American Sabres vs Russian MiG-15s immediately springs to mind. However the Air War over Korea was started by the KPAF when Yak-9s attacked Seoul Airport and Kimpo Air Base on the 25th June 1950. Even though virtually wiped out in the following weeks it was rebuilt and again went to war. This new publication from Helion & Company deals with the story of the formation of the KPAF following the Japanese surrender at the end of WII, with its re-equipping with Soviet aircraft through to its involvement in the Korean War. This is one of the first publications to concentrate on the role of the KPAF from its often problematic beginnings through to its role in the war of 1950 to 1953. The publication looks the aircraft deployed by the KPAF, and their camouflage and markings. The book is 96 pages illustrated with black & white photographs throughout. There are 8 pages of colour profiles, 6 pages of colpur photos of preserved aircraft, and 2 pages of colour maps. Areas covered include; Building of the KPAF Initial Offensive Operations The 56th Fighter Regiment in action Rebuilding the KPAF & its return to battle The jet age for the KPAF Winter operations, then the spring challenge The end game Conclusion This publication brings the story of the KPAF at war for really the first time. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  16. Our friends at Casemate UK are having a clearance sale on selected Kagero titles, with 20% off when you enter discount code KAGERO19 at the checkout. With a discount like that there's no excuse not to pick up those titles you've been meaning to grab now. Have at it, as it ends on the 28th February 2019! Click the banner above to go to the leaflet, which shows you all the titles in the sale
  17. Operational History of The Hungarian Armoured Troops in WWII ISBN : 9788366148079 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 the operational history of The Hungarian Armoured Troops in WWII. 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. The book examines each of the Hungarian Army's campaigns and the divisions taking part, with maps to show deployment, and table to how the divisions were made up. The book is A4 softcover in format and 158 pages long, It is illustrated throughout with black and white photos, there are also 12 pages showing the formations of the different Battalions, 6 of colour pictures and 9 pages of colour tank profiles. Conclusion This book will give the reader a good understanding of Hungarian Armoured operations in WWII. Highly Recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  18. Before the Birth of the MBT Western Tank development 1945 - 1959 ISBN : 9788395157585 Kagero via Casemate UK The Main Battle Tank or MBT that we know today is really a product of the 1960s and has come a long way form the tanks we finished WWII with. During WWII the tank and armoured formations came to fore in movement warfare. The allies had many light and medium tanks but few of what we would call heavy tanks, and even super heavy tanks. These were being developed to the end of the war with the British A39 Tortoise and the American T28 which were more guns than tanks due to the lack of a traversing turret. The Americans ended the War with the medium Sherman and the M26. The T28, and follow on T29, 30, 32 & 34 were quickly side-lined as impractical, and the M26 was upgraded to the M46, and the hybrid M47. The M47 being an effective combination of a proven hull and a new better turret. The M48 would follow and while it had initial problems it would turn out to be an excellent combat vehicle. The M48 would be followed by the M60 which would be the US's first MBT. At the same time the last US Heavy tank the M103 was withdrawn from service, though in reality the tanks had failed to meet the Army's standards and most of the production went to the USMC. In the UK we had ended the war with the Many US Shermans, the A34 Comet Cruiser Tank, and even some Churchill tanks. The A41 was designated as Heavy Cruiser tank back as far as 1943 , this was further developed into the Centurion. This would prove to be a very adaptable design and in various marks would go onto serve until it was developed into the Chieftain in the late 1950s. The Chieftain would be Britain's first main Battle Tank, and would see the disbandment of the last British Heavy tanks the Conqueror. The French would again try to go their own way, and the first post war tank the ARL44was not so much a design as a hodge podge of parts using existing technology. It was not a success and disliked by crews. In fact the French used them alongside a regiment of reconditioned Panther tanks! The Americans funded the AMX13 under MAP but would not fund the AMX50 and the French had to accept M47s under MAP. M47s were also issued to the re-formed West German Army though the tanks were disliked by their "experienced" crews. The book is A4 softcover in format and 108 pages long, It is illustrated throughout with black and white photos, there are also 10 pages technical drawings, 10 of colour pictures and six pages of colour tank profiles. Conclusion This book will give the reader an understanding of Tank development post WWII which lead upto the MBTs we see today. Highly Recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  19. South Pacific Air War Vol.2 The Struggle For Moresby Avonmore Publications Written by Michael Claringbould and Peter Inhman and published by Avonmore publications, this book tells the story of the battle for Port Moresby in a day to day, blow by blow account of the air forces of Australia and the US against the Japanese air force and naval air arm. While the first volume, which we never received dealt with the air battles over Rabaul, This second volume, over two hundred and twenty nine pages, chronicles the aerial warfare in the South Pacific for the two crucial months of March and April 1942 when a deadly struggle for Port Moresby played out. It can be read alone or as part of a trilogy that culminates in the Battle of the Coral Sea in May 1942. The period begins with the stunning 10 March US Navy carrier strike against Lae and Salamaua, which caused the Japanese to pause their advance until their own carriers were available. Instead, they tried to grind the Allied forces at Port Moresby into submission through an unrelenting air assault by their Betty bombers and Zero fighters. After a long wait, Allied land-based fighters finally arrived in the form of Royal Australian Air Force No. 75 Squadron Kittyhawks. These were backed up by a growing collection of United States Army Air Force bombers, including A-24 Banshees, B-17 Flying Fortresses, B-25 Mitchells and B-26 Marauders (the latter two types making their worldwide combat debut over the skies of New Guinea). But it’s not just about the aircraft as the crew members and fighter pilots are also described and in some cases photographed next to their aircraft or in more relaxed surroundings that brings the human story to the fore. Together, this motley force took the fight to the Japanese, resulting in a complex aerial campaign that saw units from both sides reach exhaustion. The book is filled with the details of almost every encounter between the two protagonists, the identities of the pilots and even the ships that were involved. At the end of the book there are tables covering each aircraft lost and what happened to them, not only for the Allies but for the Japanese forces too. To accompany the text there are numerous period photographs as well as computer generated renders of combat between the various aircraft. The final thirty one pages are filled with either three views or side views of the aircraft involved, with descriptions of the unit, where they were based and occasionally their sad demise. Conclusion I’ve not come across this series of books before and will certainly be getting hold of the first volume as this one was compelling reading about a battle I knew very little about. While not aimed at the modeller Per Se, it has a wealth of information about aircraft markings, units and where they were based which, along with the side views allows the modeller to build a true replica of the aircraft involved. There are also some great photographs from which a vignette or diorama can be built should you wish. Highly recommended Review sample courtesy of
  20. Showdown in Western Sahara Air warfare over the last African Colony - Africa @ War No.31 ISBN : 9781912390359 Helion & Company via Casemate UK Spanish Sahara and became one of Spain's last African Colonies. What is now Western Sahara was ruled by Spain from 1884 to 1975, becoming The Last African colony as by then all western powers had divested themselves of former African colonies. Following international pressure and more combat than has been reported Spain finally withdrew in 1975. Also at this time in the region complicate things there was the war between the former French colonies of Algeria and Morocco. Conflict was often miss reported as Soviet backed insurgents fighting Western Backed governments, but as is usually the case it was not as cut ad dried as this. Certainly there was an element of this though there continues to be issues in the region to this day with repression of some elements of the native population in Morocco causing large refugee camps in Algeria. Such was the research made (though not all-encompassing that the initial single volume will be split into two. This first one deals mainly with Air Operations from 1945 to 1975 and brings forward some interesting Aircraft. The Spanish Air force until late we still using predominately German designs of the Bf 109, Ju 52 and He 111, with these being the last combat operations for many of these types. Them later being replaced by F-5s and even F-104s. Morocco as well as using ex French types such as the T-28, were using US Supplied F-5As and even Soviet supplied MiG-17s. Algeria were also flying MiG-15, 17s, and MiG-21F-13's. As well as the Air War ground operations are also looked where again equipment ranged fro ex WWII M2 halftrack to more modern French Panhard EBTs and AMX-13s. The book is A4 softcover in format and 64 pages long, It is illustrate throughout with black and white photos. There one page of colour maps, five pages of colour aircraft profiles, and two pages of colour aircraft photos. Conclusion This book will give the reader an understanding of conflict in the area, and the forces which took part in one of the last throws of western colonisation. Highly Recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  21. Mexicans At War Mexican Military Aviation in WWII 1941 - 1945 - Latin America @ War No.9 ISBN : 9781912390069 Helion & Company via Casemate UK It might surprise some people that Mexico was an ally in the Second World War. Using photos, documents and archive material the authors have managed to piece together their contribution. The Mexican Republic first had to defend both of its coasts from attack with mainly a submarine threat. This was accomplished in the start with old obsolete aircraft and even armed T-6 Texans. The US would then supply more, and more modern aircraft under Lend/Lease. A modernisation process which is still felt today. As it secured its boarders more personnel were sent for training in the US and Mexico would then commit these troops to the fight in the Pacific. Mexican fighters would take part in the liberation of the Philippines. These missions are detailed in the text. By the end of WWII Mexican Military Aviation had come further than it had since it was established in 1915. Conclusion This book will give the reader a good look at Mexico's contribution to WWII. The book is A4 softbound and an impressive 216 pages long. There are plenty of black and white photos throughout. In addition there are 6 pages of colour aircraft profiles and two pages of colour pictures of preserved aircraft, five pages of colour photos of units insignia, and 3 pages of colour maps. Highly Recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  22. Nicaragua 1961-1990 Vol.1 The Downfall of the Somoza Dictatorship - Latin America @ War No.10 ISBN : 9781911628217 Helion & Company via Casemate UK Nicaragua is another one of the countries of Latin America which in modern times has been ravaged with internal conflict. Following the US Invasion in 1915 the country became to be a Dictatorship run by the Somoza Family, If they were not in power directly then they were the power Brokers. Anastasio Somoza Garcia would become President in 1937 when he removed the then President. He was nominally succeeded in 1947 however he then lead a coup to retain power. He was then fatally shot by the Poet Rigoberto López Pérez in 1956, only to be replaced by his son! In a growing movement against the Dictators an insurgency began to grow with Marxist groups which were supported by Cuba. The Sandinista Government would be established in 1979, however by this time the country had been ravaged by war, and natural disasters. It was estimated half of the population had fled by this time. This book covers the brutal insurgency which was one of the largest conflicts in the region upto this point. It looks at the forces involved, and their equipment. 5 Conclusion This book will give the reader an understanding of this conflict in Nicaragua. It is A4 softcover and 63 pages long with black & white illustrations throughout. There are also 8 colour pages with equipment profiles and maps. Highly Recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  23. Aerial Operations in Paraguay In the revolutions of 1922 and 1947 - Latin America @ War No.8 ISBN : 9781912390588 Helion & Company via Casemate UK Paraguay like a lot of countries in the region went through long periods of unsettlement with civil wars and foreign war. This publication looks at the use of fledgling air power in the 1922 Civil war, and then more established aircraft in the 1947 civil war. The 1922-23 conflict took place following cancellation of presidential elections in 1922. From the aftermath of the 1904 Revolution there had been a great deal of infighting and instability in the country. The cancellation of elections in 1922 lead to a civil ware breaking out. Both side hired ex WWI combat veterans for their air arms who were in effect mercenaries. Other pilots were Paraguayan nationals who had also fought in WWI. The government air arm used a variety of aircraft but the Revolutionaries used only Italian Ansaldo SVA.5 & SAV.10 aircraft. Following the Chaco war of 1932 to 1935 (covered here in Latin America @ War No.5) there was a coup by the Army. They then set about strengthening their air operations with an order of 60 aircraft from Italy. This $2.2 Million deal was a fortune at the time, even more so for a war ravaged country. Thus after the Government was returned to power by another coup they tried to cancel the order. In the end the Italians persuaded Paraguay to take 20 aircraft. Later on the Government would take deliveries of further Aircraft from the US which were supplied under lease / lend of WWII. All of these aircraft would then be used in the civil war of 1947 which followed the suspension of the constitution and a general strike, and student riots. By the time this civil ware ended in August 1947 a full third of the population had fled the country. Conclusion This book should give the reader and overview of the civil wars in the country and a look at the aircraft used. It looks at the relationship with Italy and the US under lend / lease. The book is a modest 40 pages containing black & white photos throughout. There are 7 pages of colour aircraft profiles and 2 of colour maps. Recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  24. Moscow's Game of Poker Russian Military Intervention in Syria, 2015-2017 ISBN : 9781912390373 Helion & Company via Casemate UK The civil war which has ravaged Syria for the past few years has been particularity brutal, and very confusing. Originally a civil war which spanned from the Arab world protests of 2011 it quickly degenerated into a multi level conflict. This drew in ISIS/ISIL fighters and neighbouring countries. Internally the struggle was split between different Muslim factions, however the inclusion of Kurdish fighters has drawn in the Turkish and Iranian Armies. Iranian involvement has drawn in Hezbollah; which in turn has drawn in the Israeli military. It was assumed by many that the western powers would get involved primarily to fight Islamic militants, and this they did. American special forces have fought with the Kurds and there have been airstrikes from American and British aircraft. Then in 2015 the Russian military embarked to intervene in the conflict. A long term ally of the Syrian Government the Russians claimed though their intervention was to join the fight against ISIS. It is though generally realised this is a cover to help their ally. Though some ground forces have been deployed it is primarily the Russian Air Force that is involved. The Russian involvement and the internal view of the operations has boosted the popularity of the current leadership. The book looks at aspects of the Russian involvement in Syria. As well as familiar aircraft such as the Su-24 & Su-25, the book looks at the deployment of strategic assets such as the Tu-95 and Tu-22M3; and brand new aircraft such as the Su-34 and Su-57 (or T50 PAK-FA). The book also looks at the armaments being used. Although much has been made of new precision weapons being used it has become apparent the Russian Air Force is primarily using standard bombs and rocket a lot of the time on the population. This has further reinforced the view that the Russians are in effect providing Air Support to the Syrian forces. The book has over 130 photographs, maps and 9 colour pages of profiles of the aircraft and helicopters taking part. In a new feature the profiles now include a look at weapons loads for the aircraft. The book considers Moscow's aims, strategy, combat operations including target selection, tactics, day-to-day operations; and the way Moscow co-operates with the local allies. Conclusion This book should provide readers with a good look at the current state of Russian intervention in Syria. This is a complicated intervention to say the least and author Tom Cooper has gone to great lengths to source information to give readers a good look at what is going on. Very Highly Recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  25. German Armour In Normandy ISBN : 9781612006437 Casemate Illustrated - Casemate UK To say the invasion at Normandy was a surprise to the Germans would be an understatement. The Allies achieved what they set out to do when the troops landed on the beaches on the 6th June 1944. The Germans threw all they had into the defence and this was really show at first with Caen. Here the 7th Armoured Division suffered at the hands of German Tiger Tanks. However the following strategies from the Germans failed to capitalise on this with the Allies breaking out in July. This book in the Casemate Illustrated series combines text, pictures, and maps to bring us a look at German Armour operations in Normandy. The book goes into details of the planning, and details of German Armour movements, mainly focusing on the 10 Panzer divisions which took part. There are profiles of the tanks, tank destroyers and assault guns which took part. The book is A5 in format, 128 pages long and contains many contemporary photographs. Conclusion If you're interested in the battle for Normandy, and in particular the role of German Armour in the defence this is a good read. There are plenty of photos and profiles for the modeller. Highly Recommended. Review sample courtesy of
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