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Found 13 results

  1. I noticed that in the November issue of Scale Aircraft Modelling, a new issue of the Airfile books is being advertised. Hopefully this good series of books is being reissued again. I know they did have some excellent titles in preperation before they ceased.
  2. FAIREY SWORDFISH in British, Canadian & Netherlands Service in World War Two by AIRfile The Fairey Swordfish; a canvas covered, open cockpit, biplane which was already obsolete at the start of World War 2 and yet achieved everlasting fame in those early years of the war. The Swordfish was the first aircraft to achieve a successful torpedo attack on an enemy fleet when, in November 1940, twenty one aircraft took off from HMS Illustrious and attacked the Italian fleet anchored in Taranto Harbour. Six months later, in May 1941, a torpedo attack on Germany's super battleship KM Bismark disabled the rudder, making the ship unmanoeuvrable and caused it to turn in an arc that brought it within range of the British fleet which was persuing her and subsequently sunk by them. This new book from AIRfile is a departure from their previous titles in that it is dedicated to a specific aircraft type, rather than 'theatre specific' subjects they are normally well known for. The layout is still arranged to the earlier formats, containing historical context interspersed with full colour profile illustrations, photographs and a selection of full 4-view illustrations of a particular aircraft. The book is separated into chapters describing the timeline of this iconic and famous aircraft; with sections on the pre-war period, the early war years, Taranto, the Bismark chase, the Channel Dash and finally the latter years of WW2. The textual content within these chapters, nicely complemented with appropriate black & white images, provide the historic perspective of the work and role of the Fairey Swordfish. They provide information on the nations, squadrons, ships and shore establishments that these aircraft were allocated to plus the time periods in which they were in operation. Set out within the card covers of this 72 page, A4 portrait format book, compiled by Neil Robertson, are no less than 123 full colour profile drawings of various Swordfish Aircraft; each beautifully illustrated by Peter Scott. The profile illustration shows a specific aircraft depicted at a certain time-frame within its career. Alongside the drawing is a short but detailed heading and supporting narrative of that aircraft. The heading provides details of the: type, mark, serial and unit lettering, Squadron, parent ship or station, date referred to and the pilot & crew details. The narrative gives additional historical data relating to the production and colour details of this aircraft during the period the illustration refers to. There are also 19 pages of 4-view colour illustrations with an individual aircraft shown on each page. Again the drawings are supplemented with narrative particular to that airframe and time period. These drawings can be of particular benefit for the modeller wishing to ascertain correct colour demarcations all around the aircraft. Throughout the book there are over 45 black and white images, each showing various views of the Swordfish. There is also information on changes of codes and the use of camouflage patterns, with their respective admiralty colour coding etc. With reference to the colour profile illustrations, Neil Robinson has delved into more research on variations of the camouflage schemes used, not just the 'standard' sea-going colours, coming up with some unusual colour schemes,which Peter Scott has produced as interesting illustrations. Some of these must surely tempt the modeller to build something out of the ordinary; perhaps this all black version with D-Day markings for June 1944? Conclusion This publication is a nice departure from AIRlife's normal 'theatre specific' themes, although I hope they don't stop doing them, and I believe the Fairey Swordfish is a good first choice here. Don't expect this to be the definitive on the Swordfish, there is only so much one can achieve within 72 pages, however Neil and Peter have managed to cover over 145 aircraft which is at least 5% of the 2,392 aircraft built by Fairey and Blackburn. As a modeller, I find the illustrations to be particularly useful; especially when checking with factual content within, before deciding which variant and period to build a kit to represent. The layout is just right, with large colourful illustrations and just enough historical data to enlighten and interest the masses without getting unduly bogged down reams of tabulated data etc. Hopefully there will be more of these 'type specific' subjects forthcoming from Neil and the team! Review sample courtesy of Kindly mention Britmodeller.com to the supplier when making enquiries or orders
  3. Hawker Hunter Decals 1:72 & 1:48 Fantasy Printshop Following on from AIRfile's two recent publications on single type aircraft, namely the Fairey Swordfish and the Hawker Hunter; AIRfile has announced a new venture with Fantasy Printshop to produce decals which match aircraft drawings from their books. This is an exciting association and brings together the artistic prowess of Jon Freeman's fine illustrations from AIRfile and the stunning decals from Raymond Horwell of Fantasy Printshop. Separate decal sheets are available for either the Hunter single seat version FPAF-001, or the Hunter twin seat version FPAF-002. These sheets are produced in two scales (purchased separately) to 1:72 and also 1:48 and provide markings for up to 32 single seat types or 27 twin seat types. The set for the single seat set in 1:72 scale, as shown below, is produced on two A5 sized sheets of decal paper. The sheets are screen printed for waterslide transfers, with Litho 4 colour process for some of the nose art. The detail is extremely crisp and bright, the low-resolution images above and below do not give them justice as, for example, the squadron badges are actually produced in metallic gold! The set for the Hunter twin seat is equally impressive and again the individual insignia, crests and nose art are beautifully reproduced as can be seen on the example below. Again, this view below does not show the brightness of the metallic gold on the emblem #35 etc. To accompany these lovely decals, Fantasy Printshop has included a number of profile and plan views (up to 10 A4 pages in fact); each view is annotated with information as to the placing of the decals for each model aircraft. The plan views are especially helpful for top and underside markings positions on the models. Conclusion The Hawker Hunter is well known for being a beautiful aircraft and any model should also be finished accordingly. Fantasy Printshop has allowed us to go that one step further in our aspirations of finishing our models to perfection with these exceptional decals. The availability of these decals in both 1:72 and 1:48 scale is a good thing as builders of both scales are being catered for here. I would recommend both the single seat and the twin seat versions of these decals as they just look so good. Problem will be which aircraft to build from so many wonderful choices? Review sample courtesy of Kindly mention Britmodeller.com to the supplier when making enquiries or orders
  4. HAWKER HUNTER in RAF Service by AIRfile Hot on the heels of AIRfile's first 'single type' aircraft publication, the Fairey Swordfish, comes this book on the Hawker Hunter. This sleek and beautiful single engined jet has to be one of my all time favourite aircraft, ever since I first saw them in Borneo whilst on operations out there in the 1960's. The book is produced by Neil Robinson to his practical and visually impressive style of layout; starting with the a full colour photo on the A4 card cover, depicting a Hunter FGA.9 of 54 Sqn RAF. Within the book's 88 pages are chapters on the early Marks; the F.6 version, ground attack & fighter reconnaissance versions; and a final chapter all about the Hunter twin-seaters. As with all AIRfile publications, the book is profusely illustrated throughout to an extremely high quality with no less than 120 full colour side profile drawings. Each illustration, nicely produced by Jon Freeman, depicts a Hunter at a specific time and date within its airframe life. Information provided includes the version, serial & code, squadron, location plus any pertinent data such as operational theatre or tactical situation. The chapter on the F.6 fighter version covers fourteen pages and provides information on airframe serials plus the squadrons they were allocated; again being backed up with a whole load of colourful profile drawings. Another visually impressive chapter is that on the twin-seat version of the Hunter. Many of the illustrations are in full 4-view format which provides colour details on all aspects of the aircraft. This detail can be especially beneficial to anyone wishing to identify the colour demarcations when building a model kit of the Hunter. In additon to all the lovely colour illustrations, there are over 38 colour and 15 black & white photos of the Hunter in various theatres and locations. These provide additional visual clarity on colours and markings for the enthusiast. Conclusion Another fine book from the AIRfile stables, of a very fine and good looking aircraft in its time. The illustrations are really good and covers a whole multitude of colours and markings which can benefit anyone contemplating building a model of the Hunter. I have only had time to have a high level look through the 88 pages of impressive drawings and detail but have already found two or three 'must build' versions and I wish to thank Neil Robinson and Jon Freeman this choice of subject here. The layout is just right, with large colourful illustrations and just enough historical data to enlighten and interest the masses without getting unduly bogged down with reams of tabulated data etc. Review sample courtesy of Kindly mention Britmodeller.com to the supplier when making enquiries or orders
  5. Pearl Harbor to Coral Sea Book by AIRfile The surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, on the island of O’ahu, Hawaii, by Japanese naval aircraft on the morning of December 7 1941 brought the United States into the war which, until then mainly involved the forces of Britain against Germany and Italy. Immediately following this attack, Japanese forces attacked Thailand, Malaya, the Philippines, Guam, Wake Island and Midway. These attacks brought Britain and the United States to declare war on Japan and became known as the Pacific War. Over the following weeks Japan extended its operations, invading Singapore, Sumatra, Hong Kong, Burma and New Guinea. They also mount attacks on Port Moresby which was only approximately 500 miles (800 Km) north of Australia. The Book This book describes the events of the first six months of the Pacific War; the Far Eastern element of World War Two, and the initial chapter covers the lead-up to and including the attack on Pearl Harbor. When the Pacific War is mentioned, the general theme points to the United States versus Japan, however many countries were involved in the fighting in that area. Within these pages the reader will find the colour schemes and markings of the aircraft of all the main combatants that were involved in the first six months of the Pacific War; from the pre-emptive strike against Pearl Harbor at the beginning of December 1941 to the Battle of the Coral Sea in May 1942. There are explanatory texts, included with colour illustrations, describing the events; development of the colour schemes and markings of the aircraft of all main combatants that were involved in the first six months of the Pacific War from Dec 7 1941 to the Battle of the Coral Sea in May 1942. These include British; US; Japanese; French Indo-Chinese; Thai; Dutch; Chinese and Australian air forces. Neil Robinson has set the layout in order to present the aircraft details by theatre of conflict; with encompassing sections on: Pearl Harbor; French-Indo China; Hong Kong, Malaya and Singapore; the Battle for the Philippines; Guam and Wake Island; the Dutch East Indies and New Guinea; China, Burma and the American Volunteer Group (AVG); and Australia – the Darwin Raids. The book finishes with the aircraft involved in the 5 day Battle of the Coral Sea. There is also a colour profile of a civilian Douglas DC-3, of Hawaiian Airlines, which was strafed at Honolulu Airport during the Pearl Harbor attacks. An additional chapter is incorporated within the sections above and describes the aircraft of the Doolittle Raid. This section includes a narrative, describing the reasoning and build up of the raid, plus the fates of the aircrew and aircraft. Five of the sixteen US Army’s B.25 Mitchell twin-engined bombers are shown in profile depicting their colours and markings. Conclusion This is a very well presented book and is designed with the modeller in mind. The subject aircraft, which are nicely illustrated by Peter Scott, are laid out in full colour profile, plus some have full 4-drawing profile and plan, and each incorporates a short history of the unit and squadron. There is also a breakdown of the colour scheme and markings included, many of them illustrated here for the first time. There are approximately 240 colour illustrations, consisting 77 Japanese; 75 United States; 43 British (inc Australian); 10 AVG; plus various Thai; French Indo-Chinese; Philippine aircraft and also one civilian airliner. The reference information, within the chapters and alongside the many illustrations, appears to be well researched and includes details from dozens of reference books; magazines and from private sources. There are plenty of different types of aircraft depicted here and should be a real asset for the modeller of WW2 aircraft, especially those of the Far Eastern campaign. It is informative and colourful and I thoroughly recommend it to be held in the modeller's reference library. Review sample courtesy of Kindly mention Britmodeller.com to the supplier when making enquiries or orders .
  6. Adler Gegen England (Eagle against England) The Luftwaffe's Air Campaign against the British Isles 1941-1945 Book by AirFile Adler Gegen England (Eagles against England) is the story of the Luftwaffe's attempts to subdue England; following their unsuccessful attempts to control the skies by destroying the RAF Fighter Command during the Battle of Britain. The story highlights how the Luftwaffe changed their tactics; to a concerted effort to bomb the industries, import and distribution networks, including the domestic infrastructure of Britain. Considered to be a major factor in the failure of this strategy was the choice of twin-engine tactical bombers for the Luftwaffe's sorties; as opposed to the allied forces heavy four-engine strategic bombing campaign. The strategy was further exacerbated by the constant changing of target types without following through on any advantages gained before the switches. The Book This book is laid out in AirFile's typical standard of soft cover A4 portrait style. Contained with the 72 pages is a compendium of historical text which is nicely interspersed with full colour profile and plan drawings of Luftwaffe aircraft camouflage and markings, plus the occasional archive photograph from the war period. The sequencing of the German air force's strategic air plans are broken down into chronological chapters within the book and cover the major phases over the Luftwaffe's four year bombing campaign as follows: The Blitz - September 1940 to December 1941 The Baedeker Blitz - 23 April to 3 May and 31 May to 6 June 1942 High and Low Raiders - Ju86 high flyers and Fw190 "tip and run" raiders 1942-1943 Intruders and night fighters - 1941 to 1944 The air attacks in 1943 and 1944 - including "Unternehmen Steinbock" Anti-shipping and maritime operations - 1941-1944 Air-launched V1 missiles, jet bombers over the UK and the Nachtjagd's last fling 1944-1945 The book starts with a comprehensive narrative about how Germany planned to take the offensive to Britain; how medium bombers were favoured over heavy bombers and how it was proposed that the Luftwaffe should support Germany's U-boat offensive. The section on the Blitz, probably the most well known period of Germany's strategic forays, covers the period up to December 1941 and within this section are colour profile drawings of Dornier Do.172 and Do.217's, Heinkel He.111 medium bombers. There are over ninety-five full colour drawings in single side-profile colour arrangement throughout the book. Each drawing depicts a specific aircraft as it was on a certain date/period.some have the aircraft's nose art drawn alongside in greater relief which is a real boon for the modelling enthusiast. Another eleven pages have 4-view profile and plan colour images, each depicting a single aircraft and includes a full narrative of historical relevance. In addition there are thirty eight black and white archive images which provide photographic evidence of the types of aircraft deployed and their markings. Also described is Germany's anti shipping and maritime operations and depicts such aircraft as the Arado and He.115 floatplanes, Fw200 Condors; including their operations with guided bombs/missiles against allied shipping. Conclusion This is another nicely compiled book by Neil Robinson and the illustrations from Peter Scott's library really do enhance the narrative with beautifully visualised images of the aircraft concerned throughout Germany's attempts to subdue Britain into defeat and surrender. Some of the enclosed photographs had not been seen by me before and I found them extremely interesting; it just goes to show what can be achieved through in-depth researching of a subject. For me, this was a pleasure to read as I had not seen so much about Germany's strategic air campaign detailed so well in one, easy to read, book before. I would happily recommend this book to anyone planning to make models of German bombers; or anyone wanting to see what types of aircraft were used and their markings. Review sample courtesy of Kindly mention Britmodeller.com to the supplier when making enquiries or orders
  7. RAF Trainers - Vol 1: 1918-1945 Book by AIRfile The Author Neil Robinson, AIRfile's editor, is no stranger to the modelling publications world; formerly being editor of esteemed entities such as IPMS (UK); Scale Aircraft Modelling and Model Aircraft Monthly. Neil is also well know for his editing and commissioning of the "Camouflage & Markings" and "Combat Colours" ranges of books. Neil is now applying his considerable knowledge and expertise to the AIRfile range, working closely with some of the top illustrators in the industry. The Book This book is the first of a two volume series covering the aircraft types and their markings which were used by the RAF for training new pilots and also for conversion and continuation training on other aircraft. This first volume encompasses the period from the end of World War One up until the end of World War Two (1918 to 1945) and, as such, shows the development of British training aircraft requirements; from the formative years of the Royal Air Force up to the period of probably their greatest need - the demands for qualified pilots during WW2. The book produced in A4 softback format with 74 pages and is profusely illustrated with no less than 148 views of aircraft in full colour, some just side profiles whilst others are of a 4-view full page layout. Each aircraft illustrated has a simple heading which provides details for the aircraft, type, unit and location plus the period that the colour scheme refers to. There is also a historical narrative about the relevant aircraft type and its requirements and roles as a trainer aircraft What is immediately apparent is that not all trainer aircraft were yellow! Aircraft of the inter-wars period appeared to have quite garish schemes; however operational requirements, especially those for conversion units and continuation training would have differing emphases on their colour demarkations; especially during the wartime period. A caveat in the book is that some of the source images are from black and white photographs, with all the associated problems that come with trying to interpret colours from them. In order to provide the best information for the reader, the team has cross-referenced these details with other well-recognised publications, such as Windsock Datafiles (Albatros); RAF Flying Training & Support Units since 1912 (Air Britain); The History of Britain's Military Training Aircraft (Haynes) to name just a few. There are many interesting subjects illustrated within this book and one nice example is the captured Heinkel III which was not only used as an evaluation aircraft but also for training aircrew and anti-aircraft crews in aircraft recognition. I'm sure that this scheme will find itself on someone's planned build soon! Conclusion AIRfile continue to produce informative and colourful publications for the modeller and this, their fifth production, looks to be just as good as their previous editions. The full colour images have been produced with expertise from those excellent illustrators: Peter Freeman and Tim Walsh. The illustrations should be of great help and importance for the modeller who may be looking to enhance their builds; plus the narrative which is supplied with each illustration helps to understand the historical reasoning behind the aircraft and its markings at that period of time. This book is literally packed with illustrations of trainer aircraft, in various colour schemes and markings and I am sure it will become an essential reference for aircraft modellers of all scales. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of Buy it Now Kindly mention Britmodeller.com to the supplier when making enquiries or orders .
  8. RAF Trainers - Volume 2 : 1945 - 2012 Book by AIRfile AIRfile AIRfile produces a very nice range of illustrated guides which are, in their own words "covering camouflage and markings, full of well-researched, clear and unambiguous full colour illustrations, with detailed informative captions, produced by a cooperative of well-known aviation enthusiasts, authors and illustrators, designed to provide comprehensive camouflage scheme and markings coverage culled from a variety of areas including previously published material, official and private documents and photo collections, and primary sources". The author and illustrator, Peter Freeman, along with co-author Tim Walsh have obviously worked hard to get as much detail and information together for this, the second volume on the subject of trainer aircraft used by the Royal Air Force, and that effort shows in the range, diversity and colours of aircraft types covered in this volume. Additional expert help has been provided by such esteemed contributors as Mike Starmer, Paul Lister and Peter's son Jon Freeman. The Book This is the second volume in a two-volume set in which Volume 1 covered RAF Trainers of the period 1918 to 1945. As before, this new book covers the aircraft types used by the RAF for the purposes of all types of training; including basic, conversion, continuation, advanced and cross-training for their pilots and aircrews; plus operational evaluation of new aircraft types. A fairly general consensus is that trainer aircraft are viewed as typically yellow or red/white coloured aircraft however this book shows just how diversified the colour schemes are for the various training elements within the Royal Air Force, including some of the civilian subsidiaries involved with this training. This 84 page book, including card covers, is produced in A4 softback format and starts with a one page introduction/preamble on the history of training aircraft requirements, the constraints under post-war austerity and the issues concerned with the advancements of fast and ever changing technology. The rest of the book is wonderfully illustrated with 77 actual pages of aircraft views and includes 169 views of different aircraft in full colour. Of these, 123 illustrations are of side profiles, usually showing four aircraft to a page, however some of those are supplemented with plan views to highlight markings/colours on or under the wings as necessary to assist the modeller with details. The remaining 46 views, which are virtually every second page, show full page 4-aspect views of each aircraft (top and bottom plans plus left and right profiles) and these full page views take up over half of the book's contents. Each illustrated aircraft has a narrative; as shown in the above image, comprising of a title depicting aircraft builder and type; version; serial and marking; Squadron and location; and date when these markings were in use/applied to the relevant airframe. The narrative itself gives historical information as to where and when the aircraft was built, plus a chronological listing of stations and squadrons this aircraft was attached during its service life etc. The descriptions go on to give examples and details about the colour schemes used; any interesting or unique uses of the aircraft codes and also lists the ultimate fate of the depicted airframe. The narrative also provides a source reference on where the data for this illustration and narrative has been derived. The 4-view illustrations can be really useful to the modeller in that all four sides of the aircraft are shown, as in the above Lightning T4 of 226 OCU in 1963. The colours are sharp and even show tone changes where the fuselage shape changes etc. There is no evidence of colour-bleed or alignment issues to be seen throughout the book. Some of the pages are in the four aircraft to a page format and the range of aircraft covers rotary wing as well as fixed wing, plus there is even a remote UAV illustrated on one of the pages in the form of the MQ-9 Reaper. While these side profile views only show one aspect of the aircraft described, there are occasions when the specific placement of special markings or colours on or under the wings need to be shown for effect. These views are included as additional inserts alongside the relevant aircraft image as in the views of the Meteor, Gnat and Canberra above. Further elaborations on the markings are the squadron badges and motifs, many of which are also included as small inserts alongside the particular aircraft. Not all trainer aircraft are bright and colourful, some of the tactical training units and squadrons adorn the current camouflage pattern in use at that time, although they look to be enhanced with squadron motifs and, in the case of the Typhoon above, has a Wing Commander's rank emblem shown in detail. The aircraft covered are not just the standard British aircraft but also some foreign types as well, as depicted above by the SAAB Gripen, on loan to the Empire Test Pilot School in 2008, which was used to train pilots on 4th generation jets. Other aircraft types to be seen in this book are gliders as seen by the example above belonging to the Air Cadets. There are also shared military/civilian contract aircraft described within these excellent pages as can be seen by the Squirrel, of Defence Helicopter Flying School, above as depicted in 2009. There is also the Harrier T4, belonging to QinetiQ, illustrated as it looked in 2008. Incidently it is one of these aircraft which achieved the first unmanned approach and landing aboard an aircraft carrier while underway. Conclusion AIRfile continues to produce informative and colourful publications for the modeller and this looks to be no exception. The full colour images have been researched and produced in a well laid out format and includes a short, but fully informative, narrative with each aircraft illustration. They have been excellently illustrated by Peter Freeman and Tim Walsh, both well known in the field of aviation research. The illustrations contained in this book should be of great value for the modeller who may be looking for inspiration on the subject of RAF trainer aircraft or to enhance their model builds with specific colours, markings and details. Add to this the very informative narratives which accompany each illustration and again we have a winning publication. This is one book which I will keep handy as a guide to modern trainer aircraft colours and markings and I am sure it will become an essential reference for aircraft modellers of all scales. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of Buy it Now Kindly mention Britmodeller.com to the supplier when making enquiries or placing orders
  9. Hawker Siddeley/British Aerospace First Generation Harrier In Worldwide Service Volume 1: 1960-2000 Book by AIRfile AIRfile AIRfile produces a very nice range of illustrated guides which should be very useful for anyone seeking detailed information and colour references, whether for a model build or for general aviation research, on specific aircraft types or theatres of operation. This book is the eighth in AIRfile's current series of colourful and beautifully illustrated aircraft and is primarily geared for the aircraft model builder. The combination of well researched written detail, accompanied with full colour profile and plan illustrations, with contributions by experts from a broad sphere in all subjects of aviation, make these guides an essential aspect in any modellers toolkit. The Book This is the first of a two volume set about the HS/BAe Harrier and details the history of the first generation version of the Harrier; from the Hawker P.1127 and Kestrel; progressing with the fist production aircraft in the form of the Harrier GR.1 and continues to the last of the type in the Harriers GR.3 and FRS.2. There are additional chapters on the two seat trainer versions plus export aircraft including the U.S. Harrier AV-8 series as well as Spanish, Indian and Thai air force aircraft. Volume two is in the planning stage and will detail the second generation Harriers when published. The author, Glenn Ashley, has provided a concise history, within the 72 pages of this book, of the first generation Harrier; and details the camouflage and markings carried on Harries of the various air arms which operated this iconic aircraft. Encompassing and complementing the Glenn's writing are the colourful and explicitly detailed illustrations, which are professionally produced by Jon Freeman. A second volume is in preparation which will cover the second generation aircraft of the Harrier family.. The format of the book is of A4 portrait layout with card covers front and back. Within the book there are no less than 166 images; covering 124 Harriers ( I didn't even realise so many first generation aircraft had been built.) of which 99 are profile views and a further 25 are full 4-view illustrations which show the top, underneath, left and right aspects of the aircraft depicted in full colour. These illustrations are interspersed with knowledgeable and well researched data and backed up with over 40 black/white and colour photographs of the respective aircraft. This book, along with it's future sister companion volume, will be a welcome addition for the Harrier enthusiast and should help modelling enthusiasts in their quest to build or improve their Harrier models. This volume starts with a short history of the design and development of the prototype, and includes some nice black and white photographs of the P.1127 and the subsequently named Kestrel as shown in the above image, The narrative itself gives historical information as to where and when these aircraft were built, including their progression requiring onward transfer to Dunsfold for final assembly and flight testing etc. The fully coloured illustrations are laid out either as a single profile image of a particular aircraft, formatted as four separate aircraft to a page as above; or as a 4-view profile and plan of a single aircraft as shown in the illustration below. Each illustration has a short heading beside it, providing additional detailed information relevant to the aircraft at a specific time in that aircraft's life. Details include type; serial; code; Squadron; location and date. This is followed by a narrative highlighting some interesting data which would be of interest to the modeller and aviation historian alike. Photographs are included at various sections of the book and help to confirm camouflage and markings as shown in the illustrations. The book is divided into sections, covering prototypes; operational Royal Air Force aircraft; Operational Fleet Air Arm aircraft; Trainer/Two seat versions and Export aircraft. An example of a Sea Harrier (SHAR) FRS.1 is shown below. Some particulars to note, as in the page highlighted below, that alongside the aircraft illustrations and narrative there are also additional images, in higher resolution, showing particular markings and aspects of the aircraft being illustrated The book moves on to provide details and examples of the two-seat, trainer, version; again the views can be either four to a page profiles or a single page giving a 4-view plan and profile set of illustrations and details. Glen and Jon have not just been researching and writing about the fairly commonplace camouflaged versions of these aircraft but also some of the more unusual, and interesting, colour schemes to be found on these aircraft. This 4-view depiction of a Harrier T.2A of No.1 Squadron, RAF Wittering would make quite an eye-catching model if built and displayed a model shows around the country. Following on from the UK built and operated aircraft sections, the book then moves on to cover export aircraft. As with the previous sections, there are some fine, unusual and very interesting colours and markings to be seen on these aircraft as can be seen in these U.S. Marine Corps types below. The accompanying photographs could also inspire some ideas for diorama layouts! Additional information, as with the aircraft motif's detailed below, has been included in a larger format allowing a more detailed and is presented alongside the specific aircraft that adorns it. Each narrative is accompanied, at the end, with reference data and shows where that particular piece of data has been sourced from. Conclusion This latest publication from AIRfile should be a real treasure for Harrier enthusiasts. The vast amount of information and colour markings of so many aircraft should mean that loads of different Harrier models can be built. This is yet another fine compilation from Neil Robinson and the team at AIRfile for the benefit of modellers and Harrier enthusiasts alike. This is yet another book which should become a handy guide for identifying specific colours and markings of particular aircraft for the modeller. I have already found some great ideas for future builds after reading this well detailed book on the first generation Harrier aircraft and I am already keenly looking forward to seeing volume 2 being produced for the second generation aircraft. I personally rate this book and highly recommend it for all builders of Harrier model kits. Review sample courtesy of Kindly mention Britmodeller.com to the supplier when making enquiries or placing orders
  10. OPERATION 'OVERLORD' Volume 2 - USAAF 8th and 9th Air Forces Book by AIRfile D-Day 6th June 1944, the start of the greatest amphibious operation in living memory; to retake Europe and regain control from the Axis powers. Operation Overlord in many ways pertains to the massive amphibious operations, involving warships, AFV's and the ground forces involved in the D-Day invasion of Europe; however, the air forces of these countries were also heavily involved and the United States Army Air Force provided a massive contribution of those air assets. June 2014 will be the 70th anniversary of this great operation and there are bound to be various group builds; themes, and individual interests to build aircraft represented during that period. This volume, along with Volume 1, should be a very useful companion to aid the research of the markings and colours, and the planning, to build a model of an American aircraft at D-Day or the weeks following. The Book This is volume 2, of a two part set (Volume 1 being the RAF & Commonwealth air forces) covering the aircraft types and their markings which were used by the United States Army Air Force (USAAF) based in Britain for D-Day, and subsequently in Europe, in the summer of 1944. The book softbound, A4 format, with 70 pages and is profusely illustrated with colour images, in profile and plan, of the U.S.aircraft taking part up to, during and beyond D-Day. There are 143 images, including 25 full four-view images of specific aircraft. The book starts with a comprehensive narrative about the assembling and deployment of the USAAF's Eight (Strategic) and Ninth (Tactical) air forces for D-Day and the weeks following. The main layout of the book is a series of pages displaying up to four aircraft in side profile; with each image having a description detailing the aircraft, type, Squadron, base and date this colour scheme was used. Additional notes are set below the description and provide information to identify certain differences from the standard marking scheme etc. Some pages are dedicated to a single aircraft. These show a four-sided view of the aircraft, along with the description and historical notes. These layouts can be especially useful for the modeller as they depict an all round view of the colours and markings for that particular aircraft. The book covers all aspects of the US Army Air Forces assets, including fighters, recce, PR and bombers. In some cases, the nose art of a particular aircraft is also included alongside the aircraft profile. The USAAF could, and sometimes did, deploy up to 2,000 four-engine bombers on a single mission, to multiple targets. The various aircraft squadrons and bomber groups could be identified by the colourful tail markings which adorned these aircraft. An illustration of the 8th Air Force Bombardment Group is shown below as an example. The wonderful illustrations throughout this book are interspersed with facts and listings, as shown in the example below. The list shows the breakdown of the VIIIth fighter command of the Eighth Air Force. The identification of a fighter escort group became very important during long range escort operations; as such, bright colours were used to mark the various group aircraft. Conclusion This is a superb follow up to the first volume AIRfile continue to produce informative and colourful publications for the modeller. The illustrations in this book are expertly produced by Peter Scott and should be of great help and importance for the modeller who may be looking to research the markings and colours of USAAF aircraft at the time of D-Day and the weeks following. This book is literally packed with illustrations of the United States Army Air Force aircraft, in their various and often colourful schemes and markings. I am sure it will become an essential reference for aircraft modellers wishing to build a kit of an aircraft during the period surrounding D-Day. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of Buy it Now Kindly mention Britmodeller.com to the supplier when making enquiries or orders
  11. OPERATION 'TORCH' The Anglo-American Invasion of Vichy French North Africa Book by AIRfile Following the invasion by German forces into France in 1940, the armed forces of that country became split as to their alliances. To the north and west the French capitulated to the Germans under the overwhelming power that the axis forces projected. The case was different in the Vichy area of south-east France, along with other French controlled areas bounding the Mediterranean; namely Morocco, Algiers and Tunisia. These areas became known as the Vichy French controlled areas The Vichy French aligned themselves with Germany, as part of an agreement not to divide France up to the axis nations at the end of the war. This meant that access to the Mediterranean was threatened, not only from German and Italian forces but now also Vichy French forces. This situation was exacerbated by the French anger at Britain's attacks on the French naval bases in 1940, to prevent the French warships being taken over by the axis forces. In Britain, plans were drawn up to invade the Vichy French controlled areas of North Africa and the invasion began in November 1942. Three operational sectors were allocated to the Allied invasion force: Morocco in the west was fully US controlled, with the US landing force being supported by P-40F Warhawks flying off from 4 US carriers. Oran, in Algieria was the central sector and this consisted of US landing forces transported by Royal Navy carriers. The eastern sector was Algiers and consisted of an Anglo-American landing force, also carried and supported by British carriers and warships. The Book This book is produced in the now familiar, A4 portrait layout and softback cover, similar to previous AIRfile publications. It is compiled by, well respected and renown in the modelling world, Neil Robinson and it is profusely illustrated by equally respected Peter Scott. The first thing one notices when initially flicking through these pages, is the array of colour that adorns the aircraft during this campaign. The Second World War usually portrays an impression of aircraft in subdued camouflage patterns, especially for British aircraft, of browns or greys and greens etc., however the Vichy French aircraft contrast immensely with that concept and the first few pages of the book appear to be a profusion of brightly coloured aircraft. This will surely generate an interest in building and painting something just that little bit different from that war period. Some pages are dedicated to a single aircraft. These show a four-sided view of the aircraft, along with the description and historical notes. These layouts can be especially useful for the modeller as they depict an all round view of the colours and markings for that particular aircraft. Other pages show up to four profile views of aircraft, with a narrative depicting the history, colours and markings for that specific airframe. The next section in the book covers the British aircraft taking part in this operation and is further divided between aircraft of the Fleet Air Arm and Royal Air Force . It is interesting to note that all the current, operational, front-line Fleet Air Arm aircraft types were involved, from the newly introduced Seafire, to Sea Hurricanes, Fulmars, Martlets, Albacores and Swordfish; from the carriers, plus the ubiquitous Walrus which was launched from the battleships and cruisers taking part. It is noted in the book that Fleet Air Arm fighters commitment was 130 fighters and 30 Albacore and Swordfish torpedo bombers. From a Royal Air Force perspective, the aircraft covered include the Spitfire, Hurricane, Blenheim, Hudson and Beaufighter. These aircraft show the 'American style' white star markings, in place of the standard British roundels, the reason for this being two-fold. Firstly, it was to avoid confusion of identifying allied and axis aircraft as the Vichy French had similar shaped roundels on their aircraft and, secondly, to give the impression that this was an all US operation; mainly due to the French feelings about the British shelling their ships at Mers-el-Kebir and other French controlled ports. The image below is an enlarged view from a page and shows the narrative which accompanies each excellently illustrated aircraft. The next section of the book depicts aircraft from the US Navy and US Army Air Force which took part in this operation. The identification markings, of white star over dark blue circle background was accentuated by a thick yellow ring surrounding the standard symbols. Some of the illustrations which adorn these pages are of full four sided views of a single aircraft, along with the narrative which is placed in a convenient area between the drawings. These 4-view illustrations should be of particular help in a model build as they show the demarcations of the camouflage, as well as the separation lines between upper and lower fuselage colouring. Another salient feature is that the placement of markings, such as the US Flag, in the illustrations which are another helpful aid for the modeller. Approximately two-thirds is taken up with details of the aircraft of the allied invasion forces, with the remainder of this fine book is being dedicated to aircraft of the axis forces which were deployed in defence of the invasion. The section on Luftwaffe aircraft comes first and, like the previous sections, is profusely illustrated with well researched colour drawings of German aircraft. This starts with fighters and is followed by the various bombers in use at the time. It is interesting to note within these illustrations how the aircraft camouflage patterns differ across the region; such as the dark European theatre type camouflage of the Ju-87's above which were based in Tunisia; to the sand/desert type such as these Ju-88's below based at Sicily. The final part of this book describes the aircraft of the Italian air force in that area at the time. These drawings include some nice representations of the nose-arts that were painted on the aircraft. Most illustrations are in portrait format however, due to their size, some of the illustrations of bombers; as with the Savoia-Marchetti SM.79 & 84 below, have been displayed in landscape format. This is not just a book of excellently researched and illustrated pictures of aircraft; it also contains pages of interesting information. An example which is illustrated below depicts the structure and breakdown of the RAF colour schemes and details of the RAF Wings/Squadrons at Gibraltar during this operation Similarly, within the Axis forces sections, there is informative data on the Luftwaffe and Italian air forces and their aircraft. Conclusion This is a very well documented book concerning the aircraft involved, on both sides, during Operation Torch - the invasion of Vichy French controlled territory in North Africa. Within its pages are details of 152 different aircraft. The breakdown of illustrations is: Vichy French 36; US Navy 18; USAAF 25; Fleet Air Arm 26; Royal Air Force 15; Luftwaffe 36 and Regia Aeronautica 7. There is so much choice here and this should be of great benefit for the modeller wishing to research and build an aircraft of this period and theatre of combat. AIRfile continue to produce informative and colourful publications for the modeller and this is no exception. Neil Robinson has compiled yet another really useful book which is not only informative but should also be a very an essential reference tool, especially with the many full colour illustrations produced by Peter Scott. The data supplied in the narrative of each aircraft, details the colours and specific markings which will help the modeller to super detail their particular model. The illustrations, which I have scanned and produced here, have been reduced in size and quality to fit in the with the review layout and do not do the book enough justice. If you are intending to build a model aircraft depicting this period and theatre of operation then this book would be a very useful research tool. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of Buy it Now Kindly mention Britmodeller.com to the supplier when making enquiries or orders
  12. OPERATION 'OVERLORD' Volume 1 - RAF & Commonwealth Air Forces Book by AIRfile D-Day 6th June 1944, the start of the greatest amphibious operation in living memory to retake Europe from the Axis powers. When we think of D-Day our focus usually leans towards warships, armoured fighting vehicles and the soldiers and sailors, of Britain, the Commonwealth and the United States which took part in this massive undertaking; however, the air forces of these countries were also heavily involved and were just as much in the thick of it. This time next year will be the 70th anniversary of this great event and there are bound to be various group builds; themes, and individual interests to build models of aircraft of that period. This volume, and a subsequent one covering the United States air forces, should be a very useful companion in the researching of markings and colours and the planning to build a model of an aircraft at D-Day or the weeks following. The Book This book is the first of a two volume set, covering the aircraft types and their markings which were used by the RAF and Commonwealth air forces of the period from June to September 1944. Volume 2 covers aircraft of the USAAF's 8th & 9th Air Forces. The book is of A4 format, softbound with 70 pages, and is profusely illustrated with colour images, in profile and plan, of the allied aircraft taking part. There are no less than 153 images, including 25 full four-view images of specific aircraft. Many of the pages depict a series of up to four aircraft in side profile; with each image having a description detailing the aircraft, type, Squadron, base and date this colour scheme was used. Below each description is a précis of historical interest or information to identify certain differences from the standard marking scheme etc. One of the many interesting profiles to be found in the book (not illustrated here) is that of a Spitfire Mk.V which was allocated to the US Navy; based at Lee on Solent and attached to VCS-7 USN. Some pages are dedicated to a single aircraft. These show a four-sided view of the aircraft, along with the description and historical notes. These layouts can be especially useful for the modeller as they depict an all round view of the colours and markings for that particular aircraft. The book covers all aspects of the British and Commonwealth aircraft utilised, including fighters, recce, PR and bombers. In some cases, the nose art of a particular aircraft is included alongside the aircraft profile. Aircraft in Commonwealth colours and markings are also depicted, including Canadian, Australian and New Zealand. Additional examples are of aircraft from squadrons made up of aircrew from the occupied territories such as Norway, Holland, Czechoslovakia, Poland and the Free French. The book is not only full of aircraft profiles though, it also has pages of reference data. An example is the list below of the RAF squadrons available on D-Day. The list depicts those squadrons by their TAF and Wing and includes which aircraft types the squadrons were operating at that time. It is not just the combat aircraft which are illustrated in this fine book but reference is also made to the glider units; as well as some Fleet Air Arm units such as Swordfish and Sea Hurricanes. A useful inclusion in this volume is a supplement, depicting Luftwaffe aircraft deployed in Europe during this period. Continuing in the same format as the allied forces layouts, these page show profiles of German aircraft, and are described with type, serial, Jager and, where known, the pilot. Conclusion AIRfile continue to produce informative and colourful publications for the modeller and this, their fifth production compiled by Neil Robinson, looks to be just as good as their previous editions. The full colour images have been produced with expertise from John Freeman. The illustrations should be of great help and importance for the modeller who may be looking to enhance their builds; plus the narrative which is supplied with each illustration helps to understand the historical reasoning behind the aircraft and its markings at that period of time. This book is literally packed with illustrations of allied aircraft, in various colour schemes and markings and I am sure it will become an essential reference for aircraft modellers, of all scales, wishing to build a kit of an aircraft during the D-Day and following weeks period. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of Buy it Now Kindly mention Britmodeller.com to the supplier when making enquiries or orders
  13. Air War Over The Falkands Book by AIRfile I was particularly pleased to receive this book for review as I served as a member of the Falklands Task Force in 1982 and saw a few of these aircraft types 'on the ground' so to speak. Firstly, one cannot help but notice the mis-spelled title "Falkands"; an error during typesetting and openly admitted by the printers. This has subsequently been corrected in their reprint. Having now read the book I would like to use an age-old phrase "Don't judge the book by its cover" The book's format is A4 portrait, softback, and consists of 73 actual pages of data and full colour illustrations. The work has been compiled by Neil Robertson and illustrations are by Peter Scott. The information contained within have been extensively researched by a number of contributors including: Ricardo Caballero; Jan Forsgren; Nick Greenall; Tony O'Toole; Diego Rojas; Glen Sands and David L. Veres. Content There is a short preamble, with contents, followed by a two page introduction; giving a basic run down of the events which led to the fighting. This is followed by two main sections, each deals with the two countries aircraft and provides colours and markings at specific periods of the conflict. British Aircraft This section contains 38 pages of illustrations coupled with data of 92 British aircraft, including: Fixed Wing - Harrier; Vulcan; Victor; Nimrod; Hercules and Phantom. Rotary Wing - Chinook; Wessex; Wasp; Scout; Lynx; Sea King and Gazelle. The illustrations are well presented in either of two formats: 4 different aircraft profile views per page, or 4 views of a specific aircraft to 1 page (except with larger aircraft such as Vulcans etc.). Each illustration has a few lines of text detailing the aircraft, its squadron and pilot and the particular time period in which the illustrated colour and details were referred to. This can be quite useful if wishing to build a kit during a specific period during the conflict; it is interesting to read how some aircraft had different colour schemes throughout the period from the start of the war until their return home. Argentinian Aircraft Just like the British section of this book, the Argentinian element covers 92 specific aircraft represented over 37 pages. Aircraft types illustrated include: Fixed Wing: Mirage; Dagger; Skyhawk; Pucara; Canberra; Hercules; Friendship; Super Etendard; Turbo Mentor; Aeromacchi MB-339; Tracker; Lear Jet; Neptune; F-86 Sabre; Skyvan and even a Boeing 707. Rotary Wing: Puma; Agusta A-109; Iroquois; Chinook; Sea King and Lynx. There are so many different types of aircraft, serving Army; Navy and Air Forces, covered in this book and the colour demarcations shown mean that more than one of the same aircraft type could be built with different markings, camouflage or weapon loads etc. Conclusion This is a very nicely illustrated book, with sufficient textual information to help the modeller choose and paint some specific aircraft from the conflict. I believe the 4-view colour plans/profiles will be especially useful when deciding aircraft, squadron, markings and even weapon loads when building a kit. Having colour illustrations of 184 aircraft in one publication will, I suspect, make this a source document for modellers of aircraft during the Falklands/Malvinas conflict. This book really does tick the boxes for me, from a modeller's view, however if there is one extra element that I would like to have seen, it would be identifying the FS or BS colour numbers for the various camouflage colours but I'm sure I will be able to get that from other sources. This is the fourth in a series of well presented and visually pleasing books aimed, I believe, more for the modeller rather than historian. As such this is a fine publication which should become a valuable modelling source for a long time to come. I very much recommend this to anyone interested in building models of either British or Argentinian aircraft during the Falklands/Malvinas war. Review sample courtesy of Buy it Now Kindly mention Britmodeller.com to the supplier when making enquiries or orders .
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