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  1. Douglas A-4 Skyhawk Warpaint No.121 Guideline Publications The Douglas A-4 Skyhawk was a carrier capable ground attack aircraft developed for the US Navy and US Marine Corps. It is a delta winged single engine aircraft. It was developed by the Douglas Aircraft Company originally under the A4D designation, latter changed to A-4. The A-4 was designed by Ed Heinemann to a 1952 US Navy specification for a carrier based attack aircraft capable of carrying heavy loads. For this an aircraft was to have a maximum weight of 30,000Lbs, and be capable of speeds up to 495 mph. Initially the Douglas design with a specified weight of only 20000 Lbs greeted with scepticism. Ed Heinemann had in fact designed a very small aircraft. This was to be roughly half the weight of its contemporaries. In fact the wings were so short they did not need to fold for stowage below decks. Having a non-folding wing eliminated the heavy wing folds seen in other aircraft, one reason for a low overall weight. The prototype also exceed the maximum speed the US Navy had specified. In fact not long after the aircraft would set a new world record of 695 mph for circuit flying, bettering the specification by 200 mph. The A-4A was the initial production aircraft with 166 being built. The A-4B was ordered with additional improvements over the initial design. These were to be; Stronger rudder construction, a pressure fuelling system incorporating a probe for in-flight refuelling, external fuel tanks, stronger landing gear, additional navigation equipment, an improved ordnance delivery system, and an external buddy refuelling package. A total of 542 A-4Bs were to be made with fleet deliveries beginning in 1957 only a year after the first A-4B flight was made. US Navy A-4Bs were later supplied to Argentina using the A-4Q designation for aircraft destined for the Navy; and A-4P for those destined for the Air Force. The USN would follow with the upgraded A-4C, then the A-4E with its distinctive avionics hump, and new engine. This was refined to the A-4F where it would be famously used by the Blue Angels. Other notable versions would be the A-4G for the Royal Australian Navy, the A-4H for the Israeli Air Force, the A-4K for the Royal New Zealand Air Force, and the A-4M for the USMC. In total over 3000 A-4s were produced by Douglas later becoming McDonnell Douglas. The A-4 went on to fight with the US Navy in the Vietnam war, with the Israeli Air Force in the Yom Kippur War, with the Argentinean Air Force in the Falkland’s War, and the Kuwaiti Air Force in the Gulf War. Skyhawks were used by, Argentina, Brazil, Israel, Malaysia, and Singapore. Last use by the US Navy was in the aggressor role made famous by the Top Gun Film. Some are still in service today with some of the private contractors who have sprung up in recent years to supply services to various countries. This new publication the Warpaint series is the largest one to date with 144 pages. The history of the aircraft and its many users has warranted a larger publication in order to produce a comprehensive publication. To make this review transparent I know the author and can attest to the amount of research he put into the book, contacting Air Arms, serving and retired pilots of the aircraft and current users where possible to gain information and to check facts. In fact some members of Britmodeller were able to supply information and photos regarding some of the current civilian users for the aircraft. Contained in the 144 pages are a wealth of Black & White photos, as well as colour ones. There is the usual walkaround pages plus 10 full pages of excellent colour aircraft profiles from Richard Caruana. Conclusion The Warpaint series always gets a thumbs-up due to their inability to produce a dud! They are always well written and informative with a wealth of pictures and profiles, this edition also having 1/72 scale plans at the centre and a small section of detailed photos at the end. The longer book in this case is certainly welcome as it gives a truer picture of this famous aircraft. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  2. Grumman F9F Panther Warpaint No.119 Guideline Publications The Panther was one of the US Navy's first successful Jet powered carrier fighters, it was also Grumman's first foray into jet aircraft. Development for the aircraft began during WWII and so was not able to benefit from the swept wing technology. As such it was a conventional straight winged aircraft. Grumman had been working on a jet fighter the G-75 which lost out to the Douglas Skyknight, however they had been working on the G-79 as well and through some bureaucratic manoeuvring the wording of the G-75 contract was changed to include the three G-79 prototypes as well. The first prototype flew in 1947. The Navy had decided the aircraft would be armed with the heavier 20mm cannon and 4 were installed. The Panther would become the USN & USMCs primary fighter and ground attack aircraft for the Korean War flying over 78000 sorties. A notable pilot of the Panther in Korea was Neil Armstrong, as well as John Glenn. Despite the slower speed and straight wing the Panther did manage some air-2-air victories even over the MiG-15 with Lt R Williams of VF-781 downing 4 in a single engagement, however its limitations were obvious by this time. Panthers would be withdrawn by 1959 with only the US Navy Blue Angels flying them by this point. The design would though live on with the F9F Cougar which was basically a swept wing version of the same air frame. The only overseas user of the Panther was the Argentinian Navy which purchased 28 ex USN Aircraft in 1957. They would serve until 1969. Conclusion The Warpaint series always gets a thumbs-up due to their inability to produce a dud! They are always well written and informative with a wealth of pictures and profiles, this edition also having 1/72 scale plans at the centre and a small section of detailed photos at the end. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  3. Warpaint Special No.4 Cessna Bird Dog Guideline Publications The Cessna Bird Dog was a military version of the Cessna 170, called the Model 305A by them. It was developed to a US Army requirement for a two seat observation and liaison aircraft. The design featured a single engine high wing monoplane with a tail wheel configuration. This was the first all metal fixed wing aircraft ordered by the US Army after aviation was split on the formation of the Air Force in 1947. As well as the US Army the aircraft would be operated by the US Marine Corps and the US Air Force famously in the Forward Air Control role in Vietnam. US Forces would lose 469 aircraft in the conflict in total. The aircraft would also serve in many other militaries around the world including Australia, Canada, Japan, Spain, and South Vietnam to name a few. Over 3000 were built and there are still some 300 on the US civil register today. The book looks at the development and use of the aircraft . The 63 pages include a lot of useful pictures with informative captions, as well as details of the nations that operated the Bird Dog with colour profiles of some, and a centre section with technical drawings. The is a walkaround section featuring an aircraft restored to US Army O-1E status. and representing an aircraft operated in South Vietnam between 1963-64. Conclusion The Warpaint series always gets a thumbs-up due to their inability to produce a dud! They are always well written and informative with a wealth of picture and profiles. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  4. Douglas A3D Skywarrior Warpaint Series No.112 This latest volume in the Warpaint series by Guideline covers the Douglas A3D Skywarrior and its variants. The book is produced in Guideline's standard Warpaints layout with this volume being compiled and presented by Charles Stafrace. Full colour profile illustrations are provided by Richard J. Caruana who has also included two large profile and plan diagrams to 1:72 scale. There are 90 pages of historical content which is nicely interspersed with good quality photographs of the relevant aircraft being discussed with most of the images being in colour. For those who are not interested in 'boring grey' machines, there are quite a few hi-vis liveries included as shown on the page below. One interesting aspect, of use to the historians and modellers alike, is the inclusion of six pages that detail the deployments of the aircraft to Carrier Air Wings and their parent carrier. The list includes CVW designations, dates joined and left, plus Theatre of Operation (i.e.Vietnam etc.) and airframe type. The photos that intersperse the narrative are clear and of good quality and show some unusual modifications and markings. This should please those modellers who wish to enhance their builds with something a little different from the norm. The book finishes off with a few pages of close-up views, showing detailed views of the aircraft. There is also a page depicting the kits, decals and accessories and these details include producer, part-reference number, scale and aircraft version. Some of the items listed are possibly not currently available but it is still a good reference for the modeller. Two large sets of diagrams have been drawn by Richard J. Caruana to 1:72 scale. Both sheets are printed on a single pull-out sheet, measuring 59cm x 40cm, and provide details of the A3D-2 (early); A-3B; A-3D; EA-3B; ERA-3B and KA-3B airframes. The view below shows a section of one of the sheets. Conclusion This a very interesting book and I have enjoyed reading the narratives and seeing liveries and markings that I didn't realise were in use during the A-3's timeline. There should certainly be plenty to interest any post-war, US Navy, large jet aircraft enthusiasts with the content contained in which, in my view, is an excellent publication and highly recommended to adorn anyone's aviation/naval shelves. Review sample courtesy of
  5. Vought OS2U Kingfisher Warpaint Series No.111 When the US Navy arrived at Scapa Flow in 1917 they were surprised that Royal Navy ships of all sizes carried down to Cruisers carried a aircraft for spotting duties. This was soon remedied, however most were biplanes which had to then be replaced by newer monoplane aircraft. The 1930s saw a flurry of designs put forward for a replacement. The Kingfisher was one such design from Vought. The aircraft would feature innovations such as spot welding which was designed in conjunction with the USN to create less drag; in addition the aircraft would feature spoilers and drooping ailerons which increased the wing camber to create additional lift. The aircraft was armed with a forward firing .30 calibre machine gun, while for defence the rear gunner had a pair of .30 calibre guns on a scarff mount. The aircraft could also carry two 100lb bombs or 325lb depth charges. The first aircraft were delivered in 1940 and some were at Pearl Harbour when it was attacked. The aircraft served in its float plane guise which most of us know but also served with a wheeled undercarriage as well. Aircraft served in all areas of the war conducting training, scouting, Search & Rescue, escort duties and shore bombardment. As well as with the USN the aircraft would serve with the Royal Navy, Royal Australian Air Force, Russian Navy, Cuban Naval Aviation, Chilean Navy, and the Uruguayan Navy all under lend lease. Post war aircraft also served in Mexico, and The Dominican Republic. This volume of Warpaint is the standard A4 book with 45 pages. It features substantial pages of colour profiles featuring all the users. The book is illustrated with many photographs including period colour ones where they could be found. A small section at the rear of the book shows detailed pictures of the air frame, and there is a listing of available kits, decals and other aftermarket parts. Conclusion This series of books is now well over the hundred mark and still going strong. This is another great book and is Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  6. Westland Scout and Wasp Warpaint Series No.110 The helicopter twins produced by Westland, as the Scout and Wasp, originated as far back as 1956 when Saunders-Roe Ltd. Began its design of a private ventur for a replacement for the Skeeter light helicopter in service with the Army Air Corps but with developed improvements. The Skeeter had a piston engine but the advent of suitable gas turbine engines in France resulted in the development of the highly successful Alouette, by Sud-Aviation, raised the possibility of similar development in Britain. Due to their very losw installed weight plus good vibration characteristics, it was becoming obvious that turbine powerplants would be advantageous for installing in helicopters. During this period, the Blackburn Engine Company arranged licencing agreements with the French to build Turbomecca engines. This made the way clear for a turbo-powered successor to the Skeeter. This latest edition from Guideline Publications covers two similar airframes and will likely be a welcome addition for enthusiasts of Army and Navy helicopters. Written by Adrian Balch, with profile illustrations producedby the well-known artist Richard J. Caruana, the book is full of black & white and colour photos of the Scout and Wasps timeline through their development and operational roles. There are fifty-two pages, including the covers, set on high quality paper and laid out in A4 portrait format. The book covers the full history of the aircraft, from its conception with Saunders-Roe to the final years with the Army and Royal Navy; including aircraft exported to and used by other nations. Adrian provides clear and comprehensive historical information which is both interesting and useful for research and is profusely illustrated with good quality photographs, mostly in colour, showing many variants and colour schemes. There is a single page set of line drawings that have been produced to 1:48 scale which help to identify the differences between the Scout and the Wasp. The photos that intersperse the narrative are clear and of good quality and show some unusual modifications and markings. This should please those modellers who wish to enhance their builds with something a little different from the norm. The book finishes off with a few pages of close-up views, showing detailed views of the aircraft. Conclusion From a personal perspective, I have been waiting for something like this to be produced for a long time and am very pleased with it. If there is to be any downside, on such a lovely edition, it would be the lack of detailed plans of the area under and above the fuselage. Review sample courtesy of
  7. Douglas C-54/R5D Skymaster & DC-4 Warpaint Series No.109 Guideline Publications The Douglas C-54/DC-4 was a four engined transport aircraft and airliner developed by Douglas in the 1940s. A robust simple aircraft it proved to be popular with many airlines and military organisations. Over 1200 aircraft were built, including the Canadair North Star. The book is the latest in the Warpaint series, and is supplied in a soft card binding with 92 pages in between, all of which is printed on glossy stock with colour on almost every page. In between the informative text regarding the development and use of the aircraft are a host of interesting photos of it in its various guises, a great many of which are in colour due to the increasing use of colour film during its service. Most of the book does concentrate on the military C-54 with a section on the DC-4 including the Canadair built aircraft. There are many profiles throughout the book but these are all of military aircraft. Conclusion The Warpaint series have always been a good read, and this one is no exception. It has a great many pictures that are good quality, as well as a set of plans in 1.72 that will be very helpful if you are planning on building a model. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  8. Martin Mariner & Marlin Warpaint 108 - Guideline Publishing The Mariner was a large two-engined flying boat, designed from the outset for maritime reconnaissance and light attack, and first flew in early 1939 and entered service soon after. In the US it was known as the PBM Mariner, but the 27 airframes that were sent to Britain for evaluation dropped the PBM, although it wasn't well known as the Mariner, as they didn't see active service because the powers-that-be felt the Sunderland was still superior. The Mariner lasted long after WWII, but was superseded by the Marlin, which eschewed the H-tail for a more conventional unit and a redesigned hull that gave better water handling characteristics, especially during take-off where porpoising had been a problem. The Marlin stayed in service until the end of the 60s with fewer than 90 produced compared the Mariner's almost 1,400. The book is the latest in the long and illustrious line of Warpaint series books, and is bound in a flexible card cover with 48 pages plus printed covers, and a set of 1:72 plans on a folded sheet of A2 glossy paper, stapled into the centre of the volume. Written by Kev Darling, it details the design, entry into service, improvements and variants of the aircraft, plus much about its service and some notable sorties. All of this is interleaved with a raft of contemporary photos, many of which are in black and white due to the era, with a number of candid action shots that would be great inspiration for a diorama. Conclusion With the recent Minicraft kit of the PBM-5 and Red Roo's British GR.1 conversion, plus two other conversion sets here, it's a good book to have. Even if you're just interested in the type, there will be plenty to read and some great photos to feast your eyes on. Review sample courtesy of
  9. Ilyushin Il-2 Sturmovik Warpaint by Guideline Publications The Il-2 Sturmovik was possibly one of the best ground-attack aircraft of WWII, and even if you don't subscribe to that idea, it still put the wind up a LOT of German ground troops and tankers and gained a fearsome reputation. This book is the latest in the Warpaint series, and is numbered 107 with no sign of any end. It is bound in a card jacket "magazine-style", and has the by now familiar blue top to the cover, which is also printed on the inner side. Inside are 52 pages on glossy white stock, with a set of plans in 1:72 in the centre, showing all the major variants, of which there were many in the 36,000 production run, even a radial engined one! The contemporary photos are in black and white as you'd expect, but there are a fair number of profiles spread over ten pages, including the inner covers. There are also a number of drawings, and quite a selection of the results of the Sturmovik's handiwork, from tanks to aircraft, that while they might not enthuse the aviation purist, they give a very good impression of the punishment that it could dish out. In between the photos and drawings is a pretty concise history of the type from its beginnings in 1937 to its abrupt halt in production at the end of the war when its rough construction and agricultural nature led to its rapid falling out of favour in the cold light of day. At the rear of the book is a two page walk around of the restored example at the museum in Monino, followed by a two page list of what's currently available in terms of kits, aftermarket and decals from the various manufacturers in the usual scales. Conclusion Another worthy addition to the Warpaint series, with plenty to interest both the modeller and aviation enthusiast alike. If you really want to know everything there is to know about the type, you might want a more weighty tome, but for the most part this book should give you a good understanding. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  10. Can anyone tell me how accurate the Warpaint Wellington drawings are? I'm a glutton for punishment and recently acquired a Maquette Wimpy 1c for £5, the fuselage looks quite accurate but the wings are longer than the Warpaint drawing, as for the nacels, well....start again. Oh and the transparent bits are not transparent at all but I already have Falcon set to replace them. Should be fun when I get around to it, Thanks, Neil
  11. Sikorsky S-55/H-19 Chicksaw/Westland Whirlwind Warpaint Series No.106 Guideline Publications Sikorsky were the pioneers of helicopters or rotary-winged aircraft in the Western world, and licensed their products extensively to British company Westland, where they became well-loved and almost household names. The Chicksaw was the first practical helicopter from Sikorsky, capable of carrying a substantial load due to the Pratt & Whitney Wasp engine that was initially fitted. Later replaced by a turbojet engine by Westland, this gave the aircraft a longer nose, better serviceability, and greater range that broadened its appeal and made for a long career both in the military as well as the private sector. The book is the latest in the Warpaint series, and is supplied in a soft card binding with sixty pages in between, all of which is printed on glossy stock with colour on almost every page. In between the informative text regarding the development and use of the aircraft are a host of interesting photos of it in its various guises, a great many of which are in colour due to the increasing use of colour film during its service. Roughly the first half of the book is devoted to the Sikorsky built variants, and there were a substantial number of those. There are a great many interesting schemes shown in profile, including the highly colourful and more than a little creepy clown faces of the Square Dance Team, which also wore "skirts" of material around their landing gear to carry on the theme for the displays they put on. The rest of the book details the development and use of the license build Whirlwind, an aircraft that saw extensive service with the British military, explainingis why it still has a special place in many people's hearts along with the Wessex, which was another license built Sikorsky product. Westland's licensing still carries on today with the much improved Westland Apache that has substantially more powerful engines than the original design. Again there are a large number of profiles to whet your appetite, and both the Westland and Sikorsky productions have scale drawings aplenty for their respective variants all in 1:72 scale as befits the main scale that you'll be able to find a kit in. Speaking of kits, the text often mentions the modeller, and there is even a kit, aftermarket and decal listing toward the end that shows just how badly a new Whirlwind is needed in 1:48, as most of it is in 1:72. As a 1:48 builder, than makes me sad, as there is only an ancient Revell tooling that dates from the same era as the Chicksaw itself. At the very back of the book are a number of reference photos of parts of the airframe that aren't usually seen from by the casual observer, which will be of assistance to anyone looking to detail their model inside or out. Conclusion A good read, plenty of pictures that are of excellent quality, as well as a large number of plans that will be very helpful if you are planning on building an accurate model. Now, who is going to provide us with a new tooling of the Whirlwind/Chicksaw in 1:48? Review sample courtesy of
  12. Consolidated B-24 Liberator Warpaint Series No.96 In 1934 the United States Army Air Corps (US AAC) issued a directive, known as 'Project A', for a design to be produced for a long-range heavy bomber, which would have a range of 5,000 miles (8,045km); at a speed of 200-250mph (320-400kph); with the ability to carry a bomb-load of 2,000lb (907Kg). This defined range was judged to be sufficient for the defence of the United States, including Alaska, Hawaii and Panama. The directive was issued to Boeing, Douglas and Martin aircraft companies for them to submit appropriate designs for selection. Boeing produced a winning design in their Model 299, of which a prototype was built and flown in 1935 and designated YB-17. Boeing was awarded a contract to produce the aircraft, by then designated the B-17 and full production started in 1939 and had the claim to be the fastest and highest climbing bomber in the world at that time. In 1938 the US AAC approached Consolidated Aircraft Company with the aim of getting this company to produce more of Boeing's B-17's under licence, thereby enhancing the production rate of these aircraft; however Consolidated had their own design for a very long range bomber using a new aerofoil type of wing, which had been previously patented for a seaplane, the Model 29. Consolidated was awarded the contract to design and build a test frame similar to the B-17 but after many design changes and adaptations the final prototype looked totally different and was designated the XB-24. Final acceptance, in the form of the YB-24 in 1939 led to the start of production of the B-24 version in 1941 and was supplied to both the US AAC and Britain from the outset and went on to become the world's most produced bomber - The Liberator. The Book Number 96 in Warpaint Books' series of aircraft titles, the Consolidated B-24 Liberator is considerably larger in content than most previous volumes; being 120 pages compared to the average 50 - 80 pages. The design continues with the longstanding and successful layout; which was originated by the late Alan W. Hall, of descriptive narratives detailing the history, advancements and variants that evolved, interspersed with good quality colour and black/white photographs, and illustrated with fine colour profile drawings professionally produced by Richard J. Caruana. The book, which has been excellently compiled by Ian White, starts with a typical introduction and explanation of the design history of the B-24 Liberator and this is complemented with black and white photographs of early design and production variants. Throughout the book there are tabulated information sheets, detailing aircraft serials and types; allocated formations and bases and also includes listings of aircraft allocated to British units with their serial numbers. There are other tables that include details of axis submarines sunk by AAC and USN Liberators and also some which were operated by Air Transport Command's civilian airlines. Another nice addition is the inclusion of colour maps, each showing operational areas with their base names and allocated units. Not only are the bomber units described, such as those of the US Eighth & Fifteenth Air Forces; RAF 100 Group and RAF Middle East etc., but also the B-24 variants which were used by RAF and Commonwealth maritime squadrons. The colour profile illustrations enhance the narrative and the illustrator is to be congratulated on deciphering the colours and markings which, for many, must have been interpreted from black and white wartime images. It is not just the B-24 that is fully described and illustrated in this fine volume but also its near sister the PB4Y-2 Privateer; the central vertical tail version operated by the US Navy & Coast Guard and which also saw service in the RAF as the Commando. The B-24 Liberator and PB4Y-2 Privateer also had a successful post-war life, both in military and civilian service; including BOAC and QANTAS. There are some nice photos of aircraft in civilian guise, both in black & white and colour, which are accompanied by small discriptives of their operating airlines; such as Scottish Airline Ltd; Hellenic Airlines; Ste de Transports Aeriens Alpes Provence and Flight Refuelling Ltd as examples. The penultimate section contains various in-detail photos including a walkaround of the Liberator at the RAF Museum at Cosford and show Liberator B.VI, serial KN751. The final section consists of three pages of tables with listings of B-24 model kits; by scale, producer and version - plus decals and aftermarket products to enhance these kits. It is not clear whether these listings are of all kits, decals and aftermarket items that are currently available or a complete breakdown of what is and has been available but possibly now out of production. At the end of the book there is a set of general arrangement plans to 1:72 scale. Obviously at this scale the plans need to be large and these are produced on a glossy, landscape format, double sided A2 sheet which is bound within the last page and the end cover. The image below shows part of a plan on one side produced on an A4 size sheet. As you can see this only shows a quarter of the whole plan and there are two of these. The only criticism here, which is a minor one, is of the binding of the plans into the book. This obviously prevents the plan from becoming detached from the book and lost, however - being so large and folded to fit, it is not possible to open up the plans without having to cut them from the book. Conclusion This is another excellent book from the Warpaint publishers and is profusely covered throughout its 120 pages of historical data, photographs and profiles. The size of the book is to be applauded, with over 160 b/w & 27 colour photos; 26 datasheets; 37 full colour side-profiles on 6 pages; 6 maps and a large A2 size, two-sided set of plans on glossy heavy paper. All together this book should become an essential and major reference work on the B-24 Liberator and be kept near the modelling bench. Review sample courtesy of .
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