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  1. Arado Ar.234 Blitz Volume 2 Kagero via Casemate This delightfully thick tome is the second volume detailing the Arado Ar.234 in its various forms as the world's first operational jet bomber and reconnaissance aircraft. Had it arrived earlier in WWII it could have made some kind of a difference to the conflict along with the Me.262, but happily for us it didn't. From a technological point of view it was very advanced, having a rudimentary ejection seat as well as an incredibly slender front area that helped it cut through the air at high speed higher and faster than most any Allied fighters. That led to its first use as a spy over the D-Day beaches, but eventually it was used to bomb an important bridge, where it proved almost impossible to intercept, even at lower levels. Volume I covers the design and development of the airframe, while this 2nd volume covers the deployment of the B airframes with Kampfgerschwader 76, who at the very late stages of the war received a few of the four-engined C-series, which are my personal favourites. The book is broken down into four main sections, as follows: Detailed description of the aircraft in service from initial testing to the last flight to Stavanger in Norway, where they were captured. Airframe drawings and photographs showing the internal layout of the airframe and its systems. 3D rendered images of the B and C series aircraft in full colour, showing every detail. A set of three plans, one of the C-3 in 1:32, one of the C-3 in 1:48 with general arrangement drawings on the reverse, and another of the B, including cross-sections, engine and munitions details, with more general arrangemnt drawings on the rear. The plans are printed on double folded A2 paper, and are slipped inside the cover for safe-keeping, with a re-sealable cellophane back protecting them from loss. Extending to 120 pages in a perfect-bound softback portrait A4 format, the book is stuffed with contemporary photographs, drawings and diagrams, and would be of interest to anyone with a Blitz in their stash, or a general interest in the aircraft. Combine it with Volume 1 and you will have a huge repository of information on the type. Review sample courtesy of
  2. IJN Carrier Kaga Kagero Kaga was an aircraft carrier of the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN), the third to enter service, named after the former Kaga Province in present-day Ishikawa Prefecture. Originally intended to be one of two Tosa-class battleships, Kaga was converted under the terms of the Washington Naval Treaty to an aircraft carrier as the replacement for the battlecruiser Amagi, which had been damaged during the 1923 Great Kanto earthquake. Kaga was rebuilt in 1933–35, increasing her top speed, improving her exhaust systems, and adapting her flight decks to more modern, heavier aircraft. The ship figured prominently in the development of the IJN's carrier striking force doctrine, which grouped carriers together to give greater mass and concentration to their air power. A revolutionary strategic concept at the time, the employment of the doctrine was crucial in enabling Japan to attain its initial strategic goals during the first six months of the Pacific War. Kaga 's aircraft first supported Japanese troops in China during the Shanghai Incident of 1932 and participated in the Second Sino-Japanese War in the late 1930s. With other carriers, she took part in the Pearl Harbor raid in December 1941 and the invasion of Rabaul in the Southwest Pacific in January 1942. The following month her aircraft participated in a combined carrier airstrike on Darwin, Australia, helping secure the conquest of the Dutch East Indies by Japanese forces. She missed the Indian Ocean raid in April as she had to return to Japan for permanent repairs after hitting a reef in February. Following repairs, Kaga rejoined the 1st Air Fleet for the Battle of Midway in June 1942. After bombarding American forces on Midway Atoll, Kaga and three other IJN carriers were attacked by American aircraft from Midway and the carriers Enterprise, Hornet, and Yorktown. dive bombers from Enterprise severely damaged Kaga; when it became obvious she could not be saved, she was scuttled by Japanese destroyers to prevent her from falling into enemy hands. In 1999, debris from Kaga including a large section of the hull was located on the ocean floor at coordinates 28°38′34″N 176°29′16″W Coordinates: 28°38′34″N 176°29′16″W at a depth in excess of 5,000 meters (16,404 ft); 350 miles (560 km) northwest of Midway Island. The main part of the carrier's wreck has not been found. This one hundred and forty page hardback book is much more comprehensive title than the book on the Soryū and Hiryū as she was a much older ship and there is a great deal more information available, including a larger number of photographs available. Not only is it an accurate history of the ship, but it also makes for very interesting reading, particularly on how the Japanese Navy converted the design of the intended battleship into one of a large fleet carrier. The period photographs accompanying the text show a huge amount of detail of her build, original design and after the large modernisation and refit she had to her complete her final transformation, very useful for the modeller. It is certainly great to see pictures of the ships crew and aircrew, giving them some human interest, rather than just being about the ship, which is nothing without her crew. The restrictions levied on photographers just before the war, and the destruction of a lot of photographs at the wars end doesn’t seem to have affected the Kaga as badly as most of the other ships of the carrier fleet. There atmospheric photographs of the ships flightdeck, aircraft landing and take-offs, and showing the Kaga through the flightdeck supports of the Akagi on the Pearl Harbour raid. Along with the various design changes of the ship there is a lot of information on the aircraft she carried, the weapons they used as well as the operations which took place. Naturally, the operations were pretty much the same as all the carriers in the 1st Air Fleet as they were used together as was the Japanese Naval doctrine of the time. So, there are the usual photographs of the Pearl Harbour raid and the Battle of Midway, although with odd exception which were new views this reviewer had not seen before. For me the Port Darwin raid photographs are the most interesting as, although I knew about the raid, I hadn’t seen decent photographs from the time. At the end of the book the last few pages are dedicated to two sets of coloured plates, giving views from port and starboard sides, top down, plus bow and stern as the ship was in early 1941 and at the time of Pearl Harbour. Throughout the book there are additional line drawings of the ship, from the battleship design, triple deck carrier to her final configuration. There are also line drawings of the ships armament, propulsion systems and various early design concepts. Conclusion This is a superb book, filled with detail and would be a fine addition to the library of the maritime historian and modeller alike. With the recent release of the new 1:350 Fujimi kit this book release is perfectly timed. For those who model in 1:700 there are several versions of the ship available and, again this book will prove invaluable. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  3. IJN Carriers Sōryū and Hiryū Kagero Sōryū meaning "Blue (or Green) Dragon") was an aircraft carrier built for the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) during the mid-1930s. Sōryū 's aircraft were employed in operations during the Second Sino-Japanese War in the late 1930s. Hiryū ("Flying Dragon") was also built for the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) during the late 1930s. The only ship of her class, she was built to a modified Sōryū design. Although ostensibly they were sisters and designed as such, the Hiryū, being built much later, enabled modifications to be initiated during construction, as experience of operating the Sōryū had shown some difficulties and weaknesses, resulting in the Hiryū have a much modified hull form, with the beam increased by just over a metre. Both ships supported the Japanese invasion of French Indochina in mid-1940. During the first months of the Pacific War, they took part in the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Battle of Wake Island, and supported the conquest of the Dutch East Indies. In February 1942, there aircraft bombed Darwin, Australia, and she continued on to assist in the Dutch East Indies campaign. In April, aircraft from the two carriers helped sink two British heavy cruisers and several merchant ships during the Indian Ocean raid. After a brief refits, Sōryū, Hiryū, Kaga and Akagi of the 1st Air Fleet participated in the Battle of Midway in June 1942. After bombarding American forces on the atoll, the carriers were attacked by aircraft from Midway and the carriers USS Enterprise, Hornet, and Yorktown. Dive bombers from Yorktown and Enterprise crippled Hiryū and set her afire. She was scuttled the following day after it became clear that she could not be salvaged. The loss of Hiryū, and the two other carriers at Midway was a crucial strategic defeat for Japan and contributed significantly to the Allies' ultimate victory in the Pacific. Sōryū sank with the loss of 711 officers and enlisted men of the 1,103 aboard. Hiryū was attacked by dive bombers from Yorktown and Enterprise crippled the carrier and set her afire. She was scuttled the following day after it became clear that she could not be salvaged. This hardback book contains one hundred pages of information on the two carriers, their design, construction, and modifications, (particularly the differences between them). It also covers their weaponry, aircraft handling, plus many of their systems and sensors. Due to the restrictions imposed by the Japanese military there aren’t too many period photographs of the two ships, but what there are, have been included. Where systems and weaponry are concerned, most photographs used have been taken on other carriers of the Japanese fleet, since they were pretty standard, this isn’t really a problem. The text is well written and covers both ships as separate entities where appropriate and combined where the operations are concerned as they spent their time sailing together for most of them. The line drawings, mostly showing both the external and internal structures, mainly the layouts of the hangers, are very clear and make for useful references for the model maker. Naturally, since both carriers were used in operations against Pearl Harbour there is extensive information about the target ships assigned to each carriers air wing, along with a detailed account of the raid itself. This is also true of the Battle of Midway in which both carriers were sunk. Most of the photographs used to illustrate both raids have been published before, but there are also some new and very interesting ones included. Some of the information within the text was completely new to this reviewer and as such made for a very interesting read. For those more interested in the aircraft used on the carriers, there is a fair bit of information provided. The colour side views are particularly useful as not only do they show the colour scheme, but the relevant aircraft codes numbers for their parent carriers. The same can be said for the side views of the US aircraft used at Midway. Conclusion Being very interested in the aircraft carriers of the Japanese fleet I was pleased to be asked to review this book, and having several 1:350 scale kits in the stash, I can see me using it as reference for my Hiryū build. Those who build in 1:700 scale will have even more information to work with as both ships are available from the likes of Aoshima. All in all a very nice book, and only hampered by the pre-war restrictions on photographs of the Imperial fleet. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  4. Do.17/Do.215 Monograph Kagero The Dornier 17 and 215 have become quite high profile of late with the discovery of the submerged wreck of a 17 that now resides at Cosford, Airfix's 1:72 kit, and now ICM's lovely and growing new range of kits in 1:48, so this book should find favour with a great many modellers, myself included. It is written by Marek J. Murawski, and extends to 136 pages in a portrait oriented oversize A4 format that is perfect-bound in a card cover. It details the genesis of the aircraft from the drawing board and its humble beginnings as a faux passenger aircraft before WWII, through the upgrades that gave rise to the 215 and through to the end of its life in text, with plenty of pictures and drawings, all of which are well captioned. The sections are broken down as follows, but without an index, which is unusual for Kagero's offerings. Pages 3-10 Introduction Pages 11-15 design & development Pages 16-38 Prototypes & serial production Pages 39-99 Operational service Page 100 Endnotes Plus 2 double A3 pages & 24 pages of A4 3-view drawings 11 pages of colour profiles plus one on the back cover (pictured above) The quality and diversity of photos is good to see, and there are many in the book that I have not seen before, as well as details of the changes that the aircraft went through during its career. The drawings are captive to the book to keep them safe from loss, with the A3 sheets folded to ensure they don't get damaged. Conclusion A great reference book for this type that will turn you into an instant expert if you read it from cover to cover. If you're looking for detail photos for your project you'll find them in droves, so whatever your point of view it's well worth acquiring one for the shelves. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  5. DKM Pocket Battleship Lutzow Kagero Super Drawings in 3D Deutschland was the lead ship of her class of heavy cruisers (often termed a pocket battleship) which served with the Kriegsmarine of Nazi Germany during World War II. Ordered by the Weimar government for the Reichsmarine, she was laid down at the Deutsche Werke shipyard in Kiel in February 1929 and completed by April 1933. Originally classified as an armoured ship, (Panzerschiff), by the Reichsmarine, in February 1940 the Germans reclassified the remaining two ships of this class as heavy cruisers. In 1940, she was renamed Lützow, after the Admiral Hipper-class heavy cruiser Lützow was handed over to the Soviet Union. The ship saw significant action with the Kriegsmarine, including several non-intervention patrols in the Spanish Civil War, during which she was attacked by Republican bombers. At the outbreak of World War II, she was cruising the North Atlantic, prepared to attack Allied merchant traffic. Bad weather hampered her efforts, and she only sank or captured a handful of vessels before returning to Germany. She then participated in Operation Weserübung, the invasion of Norway. Damaged at the Battle of Drøbak Sound, she was recalled to Germany for repairs. While en route, she was torpedoed and seriously damaged by a British submarine. Repairs were completed by March 1941, Lützow returned to Norway to join the forces arrayed against Allied shipping to the Soviet Union. She ran aground during a planned attack on convoy PQ 17, which necessitated another return to Germany for repairs. She next saw action at the Battle of the Barents Sea with the heavy cruiser Admiral Hipper, which ended with a failure to destroy the convoy JW 51B. Engine problems forced a series of repairs culminating in a complete overhaul at the end of 1943, after which the ship remained in the Baltic. Sunk in shallow waters in the Kaiserfahrt in April 1945 by Royal Air Force (RAF) bombers, Lützow was used as a gun battery to support German troops fighting the Soviet Army until 4 May 1945, when she was disabled by her crew. Raised by the Soviet Navy in 1947, she was subsequently sunk as a target in the Baltic. Yet another release from Kagero in their Super Drawings in 3D series of softback books, this one concentrating on the Pocket Battleship Deutschland/Lutzow. Totalling eighty Five pages the first thirteen pages are taken up with the ships history and covers:- The construction outline Early Service and the Spanish Civil War Wartime Operations Combat activity from Norwegian Bases Final demise The next fifty nine 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 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. The last thirteen pages contain more 3D renderings that have been produced in real 3D. Kagero have kindly included a pair of 3D glasses to view these pictures and whilst it is a little gimmicky they do work rather well, the guns and equipment standing out of the page. This title also comes with two A1 fold out double sided sheets. The first has drawings of the ship and certain parts of the superstructure, all in 1:200 scale, which hopefully will be a portent of things to come from, say, Trumpeter. The second has plans of the ship as she was in 1942 and drawn in 1:350 scale, along with numerous detail drawings of armament and equipment ins 1:50 and 1:100 scales, all very useful to the modeller who may like to convert the Academy Graff Spee into the Lutzow. 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
  6. MIRAGE F1 1973-2014 Histoire & Collections - Casemate Publishing Surprisingly enough The Dassault Mirage F1 was not commissioned by The Armée de l'Air, but was a private venture funded by Dassault. Following the Mirage III, and Mirage 5, the successor was to be the Mirage F2. As the F1 was privately funded it was to use the same engine as the Mirage 5, with the same shoulder mounted wing and tail of the Mirage F2, a bait in a scaled down airframe. The F1 would prove to be a better aircraft than its predecessor with 43% more fuel, a shorter take-off run; and better manoeuvrability. The prototype first flew in 1966, with an order flowing in 1967, and production deliveries starting in 1973. The Mirage F1 would serve as the main interceptor of the French Air Force until the Dassault Mirage 2000 entered service. Export orders would see the aircraft serve in Ecuador, Libya, Iraq, Greece, Morocco, South Africa, Gabon (from South Africa), Iran (Defecting Iraqi aircraft), Jordan, Kuwait, Quatar, and Spain. The F1 has actually seen a fair deal of combat. The French would use the F1 in combat in Chad, Afghanistan, Mali and Libya. Ecuador would use their aircraft in limited combat in their brief wars with Peru. Iraqi aircraft would fight in their war with Iran (and then defect there during the Gulf war). Moroccan aircraft would see limited combat in The Western Sahara in the late 1970s. South African aircraft would see combat in Namibia and Angola. Libya would use its aircraft in Chad, they were also used in the Civil war with two aircraft defecting to Malta when they pilots disobeyed order to attack protesters. The title gives away the fact that this book is in French, but don't let that small fact put you off. It is great if you can read French, but if you don't you can still get the gist of things; and the wealth of photographs are worth the asking price alone. The book is medium format 200 x 240mm sitting between A4 and A5, with 128 pages. The book covers the following areas; Origins Prototypes French Air Force Examples F1B, F1C, F1CR & F1CT Operational Deployments to Chad, Afghanistan, Mali and Libya. Overseas Operators. Special Markings Aircraft. There are a wealth of excellent photographs in the book as well as 8 pages of colour profiles featuring French Aircraft, and a further 4 pages of export aircraft. Conclusion It might seem strange to recommend a book I can hardly read (my French is not great!), however the photographs will be of invaluable use the the modeller. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  7. DKM Heavy Cruiser Admiral Hipper Kagero Super Drawings in 3D Admiral Hipper, the first of five ships of her class, was the lead ship of the Admiral Hipper class of heavy cruisers which served with Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine during World War II. The ship was laid down at the Blohm & Voss shipyard in Hamburg in July 1935 and launched February 1937; and entered service shortly before the outbreak of war, in April 1939. The ship was named after Admiral Franz von Hipper, commander of the German battlecruiser squadron during the Battle of Jutland in 1916 and later commander-in-chief of the German High Seas Fleet. Admiral Hipper saw a significant amount of action during the war. She led the assault on Trondheim during Operation Weserübung; while en route to her objective, she sank the British destroyer HMS Gloworm. In December 1940, she broke out into the Atlantic Ocean to operate against Allied merchant shipping, though this operation ended without significant success. In February 1941, Admiral Hipper sortied again, sinking several merchant vessels before eventually returning to Germany via the Denmark Strait. The ship was then transferred to northern Norway to participate in operations against convoys to the Soviet Union, culminating in the Battle of the Barents Sea on 31 December 1942, where she sank the destroyer Achates and the Minesweeper Bramble but was in turn damaged and forced to withdraw by the light cruisers HMS Sheffield and HMS Jamaica. Disappointed by the failure to sink merchant ships in that battle, Adolf Hitler ordered the majority of the surface warships scrapped, though Admiral Karl Dönitz was able to convince Hitler to retain the surface fleet. As a result, Admiral Hipper was returned to Germany and decommissioned for repairs. The ship was never restored to operational status, however, and on 3 May 1945, Royal Air Force bombers severely damaged her while she was in Kiel. Her crew scuttled the ship at her moorings, and in July 1945, she was raised and towed to Heikendorfer Bay. She was ultimately broken up for scrap in 1948–1952; her bell resides in the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich. This softback book, in their Super Drawings in 3D series is another brilliant addition to this ever increasing range. The 3D renderings are as beautiful as ever and show the ship as she was in December 1942. As usual you get a full tour of the ship showing the tiniest detail in a format that can really help the modeller, especially as there are areas or points of view that you just wouldn’t get in photographs. The whole ship above the waterline is covered with just a cursory glance at the propellers. Perhaps the only area they could improve these books is with the inclusion of some of the underwater fittings and fixtures. The first eight pages contain the text which covers her design, development, powerplant, armament, anti-aircraft armament upgrades and her war history. The rest of the seventy seven pages are filled with the 3D renderings. In addition Kagero have also included an A1 double side sheet of plans, with one side contain full side, top down, bow and stern views in 1:350. The other side contains a ¾ view off the bow in what looks like 1:200 scale along with some large scale drawings of the ships foreward turrets Anton and Bruno, along with three styles of ships boats. Conclusion The clarity of each rendering is what makes this series of books a must have for anyone interested in maritime history in general or these ships in particular. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  8. DKM Pocket Battleship Graf Spee Kagero TopDrawings Graf Spee, in full Admiral Graf von Spee, German pocket battleship of 10,000 tons launched in 1936. The Graf Spee was more heavily gunned than any cruiser and had a top speed of 25 knots and an endurance of 12,500 miles (20,000 km). After sinking several merchant ships in the Atlantic, the Graf Spee was sighted on Dec. 13, 1939, off the Río de la Plata estuary by a British search group consisting of the cruisers Exeter, Ajax, and Achilles, commanded by Commodore H. Harwood. At 6:14 am Harwood’s three ships attacked, but in a little more than an hour the Graf Spee had damaged the Exeter and driven off the other two cruisers. The Graf Spee then made off in the direction of Montevideo, Uruguay, where its commander, Captain Hans Langsdorff, obtained permission to stay for four days to repair damage. The British devoted the period to intense diplomatic and intelligence activity in order to keep the Graf Spee in harbour while they brought up heavy reinforcements. On December 17, however, when the Graf Spee put to sea again, only the Cumberland had arrived to reinforce the Ajax and the Achilles. The fight that the British had anticipated never took place: Captain Langsdorff, believing that a superior force awaited him, had his crew scuttle their ship; three days later Langsdorff shot himself. This softback book, in their Topdrawing series is a mine of information for the maritime modeller. Consisting of twenty three 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 in the centre of the book there are four colour plates of the ship viewed from bow, stern, port side, starboard side and top down. Each line drawing is very nicely done, concentrating on each section of the ships hull from Bow to stern via the bridge tower and funnel. Interspersed between eh larger drawings there are numerous smaller diagrams of individual pieces of equipment, such as the turrets, winches, ships boats, radar/rangefinders 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. Included with the book is an A1 sheet with line drawings of the ship of the ship in 1:200 scale, (hopefully Trumpeter or Merit International will oblige us with a kit in this scale soon), and a drawing of the Arado 196A floatplane, drawn in 1:72. Conclusion If you use this book in combination with the 3D drawings title you will have a most comprehensive reference for modelling the Graff Spee, whatever the scale you choose. The drawings in this title are so clear, easy to view and interpret I can recommend this title very highly. Review sample courtesy of
  9. USS North Carolina Kagero Super Drawings in 3D The North Carolina was laid down on 27 October 1937 at the New York Naval Shipyard and launched on 13 June 1940, sponsored by the daughter of Clyde R. Hoey, the Governor of North Carolina. She was commissioned in New York City on 9 April 1941, with Captain Olaf M. Hustvedt in command. The first of the U.S. Navy's fast battleships to be commissioned, she carried a powerful main battery of nine 16 in (410 mm)/45 calibre Mark 6 guns. The ship received so much attention during her completion and sea trials that she won the lasting nickname of "Showboat". The North Carolina was limited to a standard displacement of 35,000 long tons (36,000 t) by both the Washington Naval Treaty and the London Naval Treaty, to a beam of less than 110 ft (34 m) by the width of the locks of the Panama Canal, and to a draft of 38 ft (12 m) so she could use as many anchorages and shipyards as possible. Thus constricted, she proved a challenge to design. As the first American battleship to be built in two decades, the North Carolina was given the latest in shipbuilding technology. To save weight, she was welded rather than riveted together. Her propulsion was divided into four main spaces, each with two boilers and one steam turbine per propeller shaft. This resulted in fewer openings in watertight bulkheads and minimized the area requiring protection by additional armour plate. Her propulsion systems (boilers/turbines/shafts/propellers) suffered numerous teething troubles which were reflected in long post-commissioning defect correction period which lasted April-December 1941. Her sister USS Washington suffered equally, and neither ship was ever able to achieve their designed deep load speed of 28 knots. On the plus side however, she was also one of just 14 ships to receive the early RCA CXAM-1 radar, and a heavy (for the day) light anti-aircraft armament. Aesthetically, her large tower forward, tall uncluttered stacks, and clean superstructure and hull were a sharp break from the elaborate bridgework, heavy tripod masts, and casemated secondary batteries of World War I-era battleships. Combined with her long sweeping flush deck and streamlined structure, she was far more graceful not only than her predecessors but the nearly 50' shorter South Dakota-class battleships that succeeded her. At the time of her commissioning on 9 April 1941, she was considered the world’s greatest sea weapon. Armed with nine 16-inch/45 calibre guns in three turrets and twenty 5-inch/38 calibre guns in ten twin mounts, she proved a formidable weapons platform. Her wartime complement consisted of 144 commissioned officers and 2,195 enlisted men, including about 100 Marines. During World War II, the North Carolina participated in every major naval offensive in the Pacific area of operations and earned 15 battle stars. In the Battle of the Eastern Solomon’s in August of 1942, the Battleship’s anti-aircraft barrage helped save the carrier USS Enterprise, thereby establishing the primary role of the fast battleship as protector of aircraft carriers. One of her Kingfisher pilots performed heroically during the strike on Truk when he rescued ten downed Navy aviators on 30 April 1944. In all, the North Carolina carried out nine shore bombardments, sank an enemy troopship, destroyed at least 24 enemy aircraft, and assisted in shooting down many more. Her anti-aircraft guns helped halt or frustrate scores of attacks on aircraft carriers. She steamed over 300,000 miles. Although Japanese radio announcements claimed six times that she had been sunk, she survived many close calls and near misses with one hit when a Japanese torpedo slammed into the Battleship’s hull on 15 September 1942. A quick response on the part of the crew allowed the mighty ship to keep up with the fleet. By war’s end, the Ship lost only ten men in action and had 67 wounded. After serving as a training vessel for midshipmen, NORTH CAROLINA was decommissioned 27 June 1947 and placed in the Inactive Reserve Fleet in Bayonne, New Jersey, for the next 14 years. In 1958 the announcement of her impending scrapping led to a State wide campaign by citizens of North Carolina to save the ship from being scrapped and bring her back to her home state. The Save Our Ship (SOS) campaign was successful and the Battleship arrived in her current berth on 2 October 1961. She was dedicated on 29 April 1962 as the State's memorial to its World War II veterans and the 10,000 people from the State who died during the war. This book from Kagero is in the form of the now standard 3D format with the first eight pages dedicated to the history of design, construction, and her Service in the Pacific, general characteristics and the Post War Years with her dedication as a memorial to the citizens of the State who gave their lives during WWII. The rest of the book is filled with the highly detailed 3D renderings of every part of the main decks and superstructure. All the drawings are supremely well done with a consistency that has made this series of books an absolute goldmine of information for the modeller. The researcher will be able to find some beautiful overall views of the ship, along with the locations of the many different items of smaller equipment not normally shown in side drawings or plans, with the close-up detail that the most ardent detailer requires for their creations. Included with the book is a pull out double sided sheet, with line drawings of various ships equipment in various scales from 1:50 to 1:200 on one side plus the four view plans of the sides, front and rear views in 1:350 scale on the reverse, which is very helpful, as with the other books it clearly shows the rigging of the ship which can be awkward to see in photos. Conclusion This series of books just keeps on giving. In my opinion I don’t think any other single ship title can give the modeller/researcher so much of the detailed information of location, shapes, style and overall fitting of all the equipment that makes a ship what she is, at least on the surface. Having started my Trumpeter 1:350 scale model of the USS North Carolina, I’m glad I waited for this release before continuing above main deck level. So hopefully in the near future I will be able to complete her with the use of this book. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  10. British Cruiser Tank A13 Mk.1 and Mk.II Armor PhotoHistory The development of the A13 can be traced back to 1930, with the development of the Christie tank and revolutionary suspension in the USA. British officers, however, only really became interested in the concept after seeing a Red Army large-scale exercise and manoeuvres, featuring platoons of BTs. Their sheer speed and the operational opportunities available to them were more than obvious. Later, Morris sent a team in USA to purchase one of Walter Christie's tanks, with a licence. This experimental type, named A13E1 (fall 1936), was too cramped for operations and had to be rebuilt, leading to a second prototype A13E2. The latter had the new Cruiser Mk.I (A9) turret, a revised drive train, with only the rear drive sprocket, better tracks and revised armour design. In trials, speeds in excess of 40 mph (65 km/h) were possible, but in practice, 30 mph (48 km/h) was more commonly used in cruise speed. The third prototype, A13E3, set the pre-production standards for the new A13 series. The Cruiser Mk.I was the first to be built, although in small quantities (only 65), followed by an all-improved version, the A13 Mk.II. The A13 Mk.I was built at Nuffield Mechanization & Aero Limited (a subsidiary of Morris Motors) in 1939. With the threat of war growing, some shortcomings were detected and, by the 30th delivered, the War Office decided to build a new, up-armoured model. The main frontal armour was to be raised to 1 in (30 mm) and the turret was to receive appliqué armour panels covering the sides and rear in a sloped formula, which was also adopted by the next generation of cruisers, the Covenanter and Crusader. This angled turret is the easiest way to distinguish between the A13 Mk.II and the Mk.I. The last Cruiser Mk.III was upgraded to this new standard before delivery. With war approaching, production orders were raised to 225 units, to be delivered before the end of 1940. Nuffield facilities were not sufficient, so English Electric, Leyland and LMS Railway were later called to join the wartime production. The first change affected the Vickers water-cooled 0.303 in (7.7 in) machine-gun, which gave constant troubles. The more reliable and compact Besa, with an anti-vibration mount was chosen instead. This model was derived from a Czech design. All vehicles produced by 1940 were rearmed with this new coaxial machine-gun, later known as the Mk.IVA, the main and only variant of the A13 Mk.II. In all, 665 were built of this variant, until late 1940. This softcover book contains eighty eight pages of information, photographs, diagrams and colour profiles. Not only does this book cover the history of the design and development that went into these tanks, but it is filled with some fabulous period photographs of the vehicles. These photos cover the every theatre that these tanks were used in, including Europe, North Africa, Malta and also on exercises and training within the UK. The descriptive text that accompanies each set of photographs includes, where possible, the vehicles serial number, unit, information on the gun mounting and even the vehicles name. Some of the more interesting photographs are those of the tanks being transported, whether under their own steam, by rail or the more rarely seen American built White 920 tank transporter. The line side views, all in 1:35 scale show each variant from the prototype to the last production version and are very useful in distinguishing the differences not only of the profile, but also the equipment and gun mountings used throughout production. Then there is a section of line diagrams of some of the equipment used in the tanks, ranging from the engine, gearbox and clutch brake assemblies through to the instrument panels and equipment positions in the fighting compartment. Finally, there are seven pages of three and four view colour plates which show clearly the colour schemes used, the various regiments and unit markings and their positioning. Conclusion This is a superb book which is not only very interesting for a historians point of view, but for those modellers who, like me, are interested in these vehicles. It would make a great resource and companion piece to the modeller when building one of the Bronco or Italeri kits that are available. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  11. German Railway Gun Leopold 28cm K5(E) Model Centrum Progres via Casemate This book is part of Model Centrum's Armour PhotoGallery series, and has been reissued due to renewed demand. It suits me just fine, as I have the 1:35 kit from Trumpeter, but there are also kits in 1:72 from Hasegawa and a more modern tooling from Hobby Boss, with Dragon catering for 1:144 and an older tooling in 1:35. The Leopold was one of the most successful rail guns, sporting a massive 28cm barrel, and capable of running on existing rail, unlike its even larger stablemate, the Dora. This made it more useful, and its 11" shell was enough to put the fear of their favourite deity in people. The book is a photo gallery ("really?" I hear you cry) of both the surviving Ausf.C example in the US Ordnance Museum at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds, and the rather less well preserved Ausf.D gun at the Musee du Mur de L'Atlantique near the Pas de Calais. There is also a section devoted to photos of the weapon in service, as well as after capture, with the obligatory man in the breech and a brave soul that has shinned to the end of the barrel, showing just how large muzzle was. The final item is a set of 1:35 and 1:72 plans packaged loosely inside the book's film cover. This is printed on sturdy satin finished paper, and although it is folded small enough to fit within the book's cover, it folds out to A0 at a guess, measuring out to be roughly double the size of my A1 cutting mat. Quite impressive on the whole! Conclusion A great book with literally hundreds of photos and copious captions to enlighten and inform the reader as to the function of the small parts of this behemoth. The depth to which the photos extend is admirable, and each section has its location marked out on the top of the page, which shows a portion of a line drawing of the Leopold marked out in colour. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  12. Panzerjäger 38(t) Hetzer & G-13 - Vol II Kagero Photosniper 3D - Casemate Publishing The German Hetzer (Baiter) was a light tank destroyer of the Second World War based on a modified Czechoslovakian Panzer 38(t) chassis. The project was inspired by the Romanian Maresal tank destroyer. It was intend to be a cost effective tank destroyer using an existing proven chassis and carrying a relatively powerful 75mm gun. It succeeded the Marauder II in service. As a weapon it succeeded in its design brief by being by being cheap to build, reliable and small enough to be easily concealed on the battlefield. The Czech factories which produced the Hetzer for the Germans continued to produce them after the war for training, and for export as the G-13. These were sold to the Swiss, and this is the source of most of the vehicles we see restored today. Initially the book gives the reader 24 pages if history on the vehicle including many black and white photos, they also include a set of 1:35 scale drawings. The centre of the book features a walkaround of a vehicle used by a Polish re-enactment group "Die Freiwillingen". Their machine is painted to resemble a Hetzer of the "Hermann von Salza regiment, used on the outskirts of Berlin in 1945. There follows a comprehensive set of 3D renders from inside, and outside of a Hetzer. The volume then wraps up with a series of colour profiles showing the main different camouflage schemes which were applied. Conclusion This book is certainly a good read. The history section is excellent on its own. The series of 2D and 3D drawings will be of immeasurable value to the modeller, as will be the colour profiles. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  13. DKM Battlecruiser Gneisenau Kagero Super Drawings in 3D Gneisenau was ordered as Ersatz Hessen as a replacement for the old pre-dreadnought Hessen, under the contract name "E." The Deutsche Werke in Kiel was awarded the contract, where the keel was laid on 6 May 1935. The ship was launched on 8 December 1936, after which fitting-out out work was begun. The ship was completed in May 1938 and commissioned for sea trials on the 21st, under the command of Kapitän zur See (KzS) Erich Förste. The trials revealed a dangerous tendency to ship considerable amounts of water in heavy seas. This caused flooding in the bow and damaged electrical systems in the forward gun turret. As a result, she went back to the dockyard for extensive modification of the bow. The original straight stem was replaced with a raised "Atlantic bow." A diagonal cap was fitted to the smoke stack to keep the main mast free of smoke. The modifications were completed by September 1939, by which time the ship was finally fully operational. Gneisenau displaced 32,100 long tons (32,600 t) as built and 38,100 long tons (38,700 t) fully loaded, with a length of 234.9 m (771 ft), a beam of 30 m (98 ft) and a maximum draft of 9.9 m (32 ft). She was powered by three Germania geared steam turbines, which developed a total of 165,930 shaft horsepower (123,730 kW) and yielded a maximum speed of 31.3 knots, (58.0 km/h) on speed trials. Her standard crew numbered 56 officers and 1,613 enlisted men, though during the war this was augmented up to 60 officers and 1,780 men. While serving as a squadron flagship, Gneisenau carried an additional ten officers and 61 enlisted men. She was armed with nine 28 cm (11.1 in) L/54.5 guns arranged in three triple gun turrets: two superfiring turrets forward—Anton and Bruno—and one aft—Caesar. Her secondary armament consisted of twelve 15 cm (5.9 in) L/55 guns, fourteen 10.5 cm (4.1 in) L/65 and sixteen 3.7 cm (1.5 in) L/83, and initially ten 2 cm (0.79 in) anti-aircraft guns. The number of 2 cm guns was eventually increased to thirty-eight. Six 53.3 cm (21.0 in) above-water torpedo tubes, taken from the light cruisers Nürnberg and Leipzig, were installed in 1942. This is the latest book in Kageros series in 3D format with the first ten pages describing the design, construction, armament, and general characteristics, along with the ships operational history and eventual demise. The rest of the book is filled with the highly detailed 3D renderings these books have become renowned for, covering every part of the main decks, superstructure, armament, fixtures and fittings. As usual the drawings are beautifully done with some excellent views for us modellers in showing items you wouldn’t normally notice, or even see. The colour schemes are also noteworthy in that they show the different coloured turret tops depending on which operation she was involved with. Included with the book are two pull out double sided sheets, with line drawings of various ships equipment in 1:100 and 1:350 on one sheet, plus front and rear views in 1:350 scale on the other, with further details in 1:350 on its reverse. This issue also comes with a full colour A3 poster with the ships plan views on one side and the three quarter view on the other along with further detailed drawings of various pieces of equipment. Conclusion This is another great addition to the series. Although this one doesn’t match a particular ship model, as the only kits released are in 1:700 and 1:400, but it could be a very useful reference point for those modellers who wish to convert the Dragon 1:350 Scharnhorst to Gneisenau’s configuration. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  14. Hello all! I have seen that there is a lot of interest in many of the titles that we publish and distribute, so we have set up a discount code for you to use on all your favourite modelling titles! Use the code 'BRITMOD15' at the checkout to get 20% off ALL of the modelling titles in your basket! Enjoy, and happy shopping! - Andy
  15. Fokker Dr.I Kagero Legends of Aviation in 3D - Casemate Publishing Inspired by the Sopwith Triplane which entered frontline service in 1916 which was able to outperform the Albatross, (the Germans most effective fighter at the time); the Fokker Dr-1 Triplane became one of the most famous fighters of WW1, particularly in the hands of pilots such as Manfred Von Richthofen and Werner Voss. This publication from Kagero via Casemate publishing covers all aspects of the Dr-1s inception, design, paint schemes and combat history within the first 36 out of a total of 140 pages. The rest of the book is filled with wonderfully rendered pictures of the aircraft in various states of deconstruction, showing all parts in beautiful detail, excellent for the superdetailer. The depth of detail shown is pretty amazing, right down to the machine gun fixings, wing design and rigging. The final 8 pages of pictures look really odd, looking like they are out of register. Until, that is, you use the provided 3D glasses and all becomes clear as the drawings jump out of the page. Whilst these last 8 pages do not add much to the book, they do not detract from it either. The glasses themselves are not the best, and you have to hold them on your nose, they do add a bit of fun though. Conclusion This book is certainly a good read. The history section is excellent on its own. The series of 2D and 3D drawings will be of immeasurable value to the modeller. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  16. Russian Protected Cruiser Kagero Super Drawings in 3D The Imperial Admiralty contracted William Cramp and Sons of Philadelphia to build the ship, and her keel was laid in October 1898. Launched on 31 October 1899, under Captain Vladimir Behr, she was commissioned into the Imperial Russian Navy on 2 January 1901. During the Battle of Chemulpo Bay at the start of the Russo-Japanese War, Varyag (under the command of Captain of the First Rank Vsevolod Rudnev) accepted a badly unequal battle with the Japanese squadron of Admiral Uriu (one armoured cruiser, five protected cruisers and eight destroyers) in a heroic attempt to break out from Chemulpo (Inchon) harbour 9 February 1904. Chemulpo was in neutral Korean waters. Admiral Uriu gave the Russian ships in harbour a written ultimatum to sail by 12:00 noon or be attacked in the harbour itself. Captain Rudnev sortied, accompanied by the gunboat Koreets; having lost 31 men dead, 191 injured (out of 570) and outgunned, both ships returned to harbour by 1:00 p.m., the crew decided not to surrender, but to sink the ship. The crew was saved by transferring them to the British cruiser Talbot, the French cruiser Pascal, and the Italian cruiser Elba; the captain of the American cruiser Vicksburg declined doing so as a violation of U.S. neutrality. In 1907, Vsevolod Rudnev (by that time dismissed from Russian naval service in the rank of rear admiral) was decorated with the Japanese Order of the Rising Sun for his heroism in that battle; although he accepted the order, he never wore it in public. Varyag was later salvaged by the Japanese and repaired. She served with the Imperial Japanese Navy as light cruiser Soya. During World War I, Russia and Japan were allies and several ships were transferred by the Japanese to the Russians. She was returned to the Imperial Russian Navy at Vladivostok on 5 April 1916 and renamed Varyag. In June, she departed for Murmansk via the Indian Ocean, arriving in November 1916. She was sent to Liverpool in Great Britain for an overhaul by Cammell Laird in February 1917, and was due to re-enter service with the Arctic squadron of the Russian Navy. However, following the Russian October Revolution on 7 November 1917 crewmen who had remained onboard hoisted the red flag and refused to set sail. On 8 December 1917 she was seized by a detachment of British soldiers. Assigned to the Royal Navy in February 1918, she ran aground while under tow off of Ireland, but was refloated and used as a hulk until 1919. She was then sold to a German firm in 1920 for scrap, but ran aground on rocks off the Scottish coast in the Firth of Clyde, while being towed to Germany. She was scrapped in place from 1923-1925. With their series of books in the 3D format Kagero never fails to deliver. This particular publication on the Russian protected cruiser Varyag not onlyprovides a superb history of the ship over the first 15 pages covering the following:- Design Naming of the ship Construction and Commissioning Hull Structure Armament Machinery Additional equipment Beginning of service Battle of Chempulo Bay Further fate of the ship The rest of the thirty nine pages are filled with beautifully rendered 3D drawings 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. Being in full colour also helps with the painting, but they only show the ship as she was when she wore the white and buff uppers and green anti-fouling, whereas at some point in her career she also wore red anti-fouling dark grey upper works; although they do show this scheme in four pictures at the end of the book. Unlike the rest of the series, this book does not come with the large full colour pullouts that complimented the previous releases. Instead you can order them, now rolled rather than folded, can be ordered from the Kagero website. Apparently the folded ones weren’t easy to frame? What you do get though is a nice set of plans on an A3 sheet, with 1:350 scale on one side and 1:700 scale on the other along with 1:100 scale diagrams on the armament and 1:200 scale of the ships boats. There is also an A3 poster with the full colour profiles of the ship in both of its main colour schemes. Conclusion Following the now tried and tested formula that Kagero have made their own this book is superbly produced. If you have a kit of the Varyag in your possession then you really need this book to make the very best of it. The plans and diagrams will be most helpful in the sort of areas the modeller rarely sees. Very highly recommended Review sample courtesy of
  17. Arado Ar-196 Kagero Monograph No 45 Having recently reviewed the new Revell 1:32 Ar-106B kit, it was a pleasant surprise when this book arrived in the post form Casemate UK, although it might have been better had it arrived before I reviewed the kit. That said, the single float Ar-196B prototypes only get a slight mention at the beginning of the book and in a couple of the drawings whereas the rest is taken up with the Ar-196A. The full history of this popular aircraft is told through the text and the masses of period photographs in the seventy seven pages, from the prototypes, assembly lines, construction, uses, both from shore bases and capitol ships in all theatres. The most interesting photographs for me are the ones from the Scharnhorst and the pocket battleships of the Deutschland class. The next twelve pages contain line drawings and diagrams of the aircrafts structure, equipment and the rigging of the floats, including those with single main floats. Following the line drawings there are eight pages of profile plans covering the A and B models with annotations describing the differences, followed by six pages of colour plates along with two on the back cover, including an interesting one in Japanese markings. Conclusion Not only was the Arado Ar-196 one of the most popular floatplanes during the war, but this popularity has endured with like minded modellers and historians alike. The aircraft just look right and apparently it flew as well as it looked. The information contained in this book is superb, being very well researched and with the use of those wonderful period photographs makes for a fascinating read as well as a source of inspiration. It will certainly come in handy when you get one of Revells 1:32 kits on the workbench, particularly if you’re going to add all those details you didn’t know about, but now you do, you will want to add. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  18. We are Casemate UK - a major publisher and distributor of history titles. We distribute many varied titles, hopefully many of which you know and love (many modelling titles from Kagero), and we are also going to sponsor some of your group build competitions and *hopefully* attempt a build of our very own in the coming months! We look forward to hearing from many of you and finding out how fun model building can be! We will keep you all updated on any discounts and special offers that we have going in store or online too, so you can make sure to get the most for your money! - Casemate UK
  19. Junkers Ju-88 Kagero Monographs No 57 3D Edition The Junkers Ju-88 really doesnt need any introduction, used throughout the war on all fronts and a multitude of different roles. This book concentrates with the design and production of the bomber/dive-bomber version up to the point of issuing the aircraft to the Luftwaffe, the other versions will probably be covered in volume two. This volume is really two books in one, with the first half, (well, sixty eight pages), covering the history of Junkers, design of the Ju-88and production of the prototypes and production machines. It is very interesting for the modeller in that there are plenty of period photographs with panels open/removed showing the construction of the fuselage and wings, close ups of the undercarriage, engines and some really good photos of the interior. The text that accompanies the photographs is very in-depth and tells of the story of the Ju-88 from the ground up including all the political intrigue and technical points told through the transcripts of interviews and reports, along with how the aircraft changed over the course of the design and prototype phases. Whilst the photographs are all in monochrome, the text also includes information on what colours were used on and in the aircraft which is very helpful. The next forty nine pages are filled with detailed 3D artwork of much of the equipment fitted to the aircraft. These include the Revi gunsight which was used for dive bombing, the radio sets, individually and as fitted to the rear bulkhead of the cockpit where the rear gunner/Navigator sat. The cockpit and nose framing is quite interesting as there are some fittings and fixtures not normally shown and could quite easily be scratch built, particularly if youre building the big 1:32 Revell kit. The machine gun mountings both in the cockpit and the lower gondola, along with the machine guns themselves are also included. Conclusion The history of the Ju-88s design is particularly well told in this book which, when accompanied by so many useful and interesting pictures makes this a must read. It will make a very useful reference book for the modeller as you get some superb photographs of the interior and structure that it could provide much need inspiration to go that little bit further with eh details of the next build. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  20. WW2 German Field Weapons & Equipment Helion Company Data File 1939 – 1942 Normally when the Wehrmacht is thought of it’s usually the thoughts of the men, and the heavy equipment they used, mainly the tanks and maybe the machine guns and personal weapons. But they were equipped with so much more, and this book shows this in superbly detailed colour digital drawings. Every one of its 144 pages is filled with these drawings, showing equipment as mundane as a telephone wire spool and dynamo powered flashlights to the bigger stuff like the 21cm Morser 18 and 128mm Flak 40 Zwilling. In-between you do have the infamous 88m Flak 18/36 and MG-42, but it’s the smaller, personal weapons, mines, booby traps, demolition equipment, vehicle conversions, remote controlled vehicles, IR lighting systems and even a couple of weird prototypes that make this book so fascinating. I certainly didn’t know about a lot of the equipment and it’s been quite illuminating at how ingenious and cunning the designers of the equipment were. Although if you’ve got a good imagination some of the equipment can be a little disturbing, in that you can imagine the horrors that they can bring to the Allied troops and civilians. Yet as a piece of engineering design they are still very interesting. Conclusion This is a really interesting book, and although some of the annotations are a little short in their descriptions, the majority are very helpful in learning how and why these pieces of equipment were designed and used. The digital drawings are superb and really clear which will make them very useful if modelling one of the subjects or even their use as part of a diorama scene. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  21. Camouflage & Markings, Cassino January - May 1944 Model Centrum Progress The Battle of Monte Cassino was one of the most important battles of World War Two. Monte Cassino effectively blocked the Allies route north to Rome and had to be taken despite the difficulties of doing so from a military point of view. From a religious/cultural viewpoint, there was also the famous monastery at Monte Cassino that would almost certainly be damaged by any attack or destroyed. By the end of the Battle of Monte Cassino, the monastery had been destroyed but the hill had been captured leaving the route open to Rome. This book covers the whole period in which the Allied forces attempted and finally captured Monte Cassino. The comprehensive narrative is accompanied by numerous photographs taken at the time. Along with an introduction which covers the whys are wherefores leading up to the invasion of Italy and the Allied forces eventual arrival at Monte Cassino, the book also covers the First, Second, Third and final push to capture the hilltop Monastery. There is a short section of each of the British, American, French and last, but certainly not least, the Polish sectors. Whilst the photographs are very interesting in a modelling viewpoint there is great poignancy when viewing the photographs of destroyed vehicles, particularly when some of the tank Commanders names are known. It is these photographs that are the most powerful, in that the reader knows that men died in these vehicles and this should give them a reason to pause, reflect, and remember these men and what/who they died for. The book includes comments as to the camouflage of each tank and vehicle plus any personal markings they carried. Sometimes, when you’re only subjected to war films on TV or at the Cinema you’d think that the only tank the Allied forces had was the Sherman. Well, this book shows that this was not the case, as there are photographs of Stuarts, Shermans, (ok they are the most numerous), White Scout Cars, Bren Gun Carriers, Bulldozers, Jeeps, M-10s, Priests, Grants, Churchills and even a Valentine Bridgelayer. The last 7 pages of the book contain full colour plates of some of the vehicles with colour descriptions and this is where it is really useful for the modeller, particularly when used in conjunction with some of the photographs from which could for the basis of a dramatic diorama. Conclusion Where do I start, this book has affected more than anything I’ve reviewed to date. Normally we just write about the vehicles and give scant consideration for those who took these vehicles to war. Well, this book brings that sharply into focus. I may be getting slightly melodramatic, but I think every military vehicle modeller needs this book in their collection to keep it real, it’s not just about the accuracy of the styrene. Very Highly Recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  22. Kawasaki Ki-61 Hien & K-100 Kagero Monographs No 58 The history of these aircraft has been told in the reviews of the kits that we’ve been lucky enough to have reviewed here on BM, The Ki-61 HERE and the Ki-100 HERE so it seems a little churlish to repeat them. What this does show however, is the fact that there are kits readily available of these aircraft. This book will certainly be of great help in the detailing and painting of these kits. Within the covers, one hundred and eight pages not only cover the full history of these aircraft but the text is accompanied by the superb period photographs, which, even thought they are all monochrome that accompanying notes explain where they were taken, the aircraft and unit and an educated guess at the colours of the camouflage. Of particular interest are the photographs of the construction methods, production line, and engine installation. There are also plenty of photographs of captured machines in various states of disrepair which could help produce some interesting dioramas. What is also interesting is the variation of colour schemes used, and there appear to be quite a few, oh, and the way the paint does indeed seem to flake off as can be seen on some beautifully built models here on BM. The final twenty seven pages contain some very well produced line drawings, profiles and colour plates that are full of additional information and detail. Included with the book are two pullout posters with the plans of all three variants in 1:32 scale. These are great and would look good framed, although you’ll lose the Ki-100-II variant as it’s printed on the back of the Ki-100-1. Conclusion The series of monographs from Kagero are just superb. Not only do you get the history of this very interesting type, right the way from prototype to final variant, but there is also information on the combat use, unit markings and camouflage. The plans, drawings and colour profiles are a real boon to the modeller in helping them get the most out their kits. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  23. Crickets against Rats - Regia Aeronautica in the Spanish Civil War 1936/37 vol. I KAGERO - Casemate UK While a lot is known about the German involvement in the Spanish Civil war with the Condor Legion in support of the Nationalists, and the Russians supplying arms to the Republican forces; the involvement of the Italy is less well known. Though reluctant at first, following a direct request from Franco and encouragement from Hitler Mussolini committed his Navy to the seas around Spain, his Army in the form of a Corps of "Volunteer" forces to the ground and the Regia Aeronautica to the air. This new book from Casemate/Kagero looks at the involvement of the Regia Aeronautica. The book arrives as an A4 portrait soft cover 78 page book. The book follows the day to day struggles in the air, and the rapid deployment of the Italian Air Force to Spain. In this first volume the years 1936 & 1937 are covered. Details include to attacks on Madrid, battles at the river Jarama, and battles for Malaga & Guadalajara. The text is illustrated throughout with black & white photos. Following the text there are five colour pages (including the back page) with profiles of Italian Aircraft used in this conflict. Conclusion This is an excellent book covering a less well known part of the Spanish Civil War. Recommended to those with an interest in The Italian Air Force, The Spanish Civil War, or those history buffs who would like to know more about this subject. Review sample courtesy of
  24. Königstiger KAGERO - Casemate UK At very nearly 70 Tons the Königstiger was the heaviest Tank that the Germany Army fielded during WWII. The Tank we commonly refer to as the King Tiger is in fact the Panzerkampfwagen IV Ausführung B, or Tiger II. They were armed with Kampfwagenkanone 43L/71 88m Gun which could destroy any allied tank of the time, at ranges outside of even the best armed adversary. The tank also benefited from sloped armour upto 180mm thick. Thankfully for the Allies the Germans were not able to produce this Tank in large numbers. Another factor which worked in the Allies favour is that these tanks suffered from reliability issues to the drive train and engine seals. This book from Kagero arrives as an A4 portrait soft cover volume with 82 pages. The first 18 pages offer a brief history of the type along with a series of black & white pictures of the tanks in combat, and abandoned/knocked out examples. There are then a series of 1/35 scale drawings of the Tanks and its various parts. A series of excellent walkaround pictures then follow. These pictures feature Turret number 321 exhibited in Munster Panzer Museum (Germany), Turret number 300 at The Bovington Tank Museum (UK), and Turret number 213 at the December 44 Museum in La Gleize (Belgium). There are also pictures of the the tanks Maybach engine, and the 88mm gun. There follows a few pages concerning the Crew and Camouflages used by the Tank. The last few pages contain colour profiles of various operational tanks. Conclusion This is a great book for the WWII history buff, those interested in Tanks, or indeed German Tanks. The detail photographs and line drawings will make it a great reference source for modellers as well. Overall this is a well produced book and highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  25. Befehlpanzer, German command, control and observation AFVs RN Publishing Unlike the static warfare of World War 1 the fast moving actions brought about by the development of the tank meant that communications between the hierarchy and the individual tank commanders needed to be massively improved. All the major European military thinkers had a clear view of what was required, but it was the famous German theorist, Colonel Heinz Guderian, who, during the years 1927 and 1933 developed his idea of Blitzkrieg or Lightning war, which had to be made possible by the concentrated use of armoured formations, supported by an assault aviation and co-ordinated by a complex network of radio communications. Since the advent of these ideas, the Wehrmacht, began designing, or modifying tanks to act as communications, command and control vehicles which this eighty eight page softback book deals with. Beginning with the Pz.Kpfw.1, (Panzer 1), the book provides information on each chassis type used to produce these Befehlspanzers right up to the Pz.Kpfw.VI, (King Tiger). Each vehicle is given a chapter on the modifications, equipment and usage along with several side views showing the different camouflage used on them. The book is well written and obviously well researched with plenty of period photographs to accompany the text. The colour side views are fully annotated with information relating to where and with whom the tank operated as well as the colour callouts for the camouflage and the tanks ID’s. Conclusion I’ve not heard of RN Publications before but if this book is anything to go by I doubt it will be the last that ends up in my growing library. The amount of information contained in the book is tremendous and a real boon to those AFV modellers who would like to produce something a little out of the ordinary when it comes to WW2 German tanks. With this being only Part 1 I’m looking forward to Part 2 which will concentrate on modified captured vehicles. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
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