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Found 153 results

  1. The Russian Guided Missile Cruiser Varyag Kagero Top Drawings No. 81 via Casemate UK ISBN : 9788366148505 The Russian Guided Missile Cruiser Varyag was the third ship built in the Slava Class of guided missile cruisers for the then Soviet Navy. These are 186m long, with a beam of 20.8m and a draft of 8.4m. Overall displacement is 11490 tons with a top speed of 32 knots. She was launched in 1983 and commissioned in 1989. The vessel is heavily armed with 16 SS-N-12 Sandbox supersonic cruise missiles and one forward turret with a pair of 130mm guns. An impressive defensive suite comprises of 8x8 SA-6 Grumble, 2 x 20 SA-4 Geko, and 6 30mm Close in Weapons systems. Défense for submarines is provided by 2 Smerch 2 mortars and 10 533mm torpedo tubes, Usually 1 Ka25 or Ka27 helicopter is carried. She is the shape of a classic cold War Russian Naval vessel with the missile tubes arranged along the side of the vessel. This is the latest book from Kagero in their Top Drawing series, and like the previous books it has a brief history and the ships specifications at the beginning. The rest of the 20 pages are filled with beautifully drawn diagrams of almost every piece of equipment on the ship. Unusually for this series there aren’t any drawings of the hull, the largest section being covered is the superstructure. The main reson for the book are the the two double sided A2 foldout sheets, the first of which has a three view line drawing of the complete ship in 2018 on one side, the other side containing similar views, but in full colour. The second sheet also contains side profiles of the vessel as she was in 1997. The other side line drawings of the hull and view listing all the major equipment. Conclusion This is another good book in the series. The pullout sheets are also wonderful to see. This is certainly a very useful book for all modellers. Recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  2. The Russian Skoryi Class Destroyer Kagero Top Drawings No. 82 via Casemate UK ISBN : 9788366148512 The Skoryi Class destroyers look like classic destroyers, they are sleek with high bows, twin turrets fore and aft with torpedo tubes amidships. They were the first post war destroyers built for the Soviet Navy, with an impressive 70 being built from 1949 to 1953. Twin enclosed turrets fore and aft contained twin 130mm guns. AA armament was one twin 85mm gun and 7 single 37mm guns. 2 banks of 5 533mm torpedo tubes were carried. The class were modernised in the late 50s with new AA guns, radars and sonars. One bank of torpedo tubes was also removed to provide extra accommodation. This is the latest book from Kagero in their Top Drawing series, and like the previous books it has a brief history and the ships specifications at the beginning. The rest of the 20 pages are filled with beautifully drawn diagrams of almost every piece of equipment on the ship. Unusually for this series there aren’t any drawings of the hull, the largest section being covered is the superstructure. The main reason for the book are the the two double sided A2 foldout sheets, the first of which has a three view line drawing of the complete ship on one side, the other side containing smaller scrap views. . The second sheet contains 3 colour side views of three of the class, The opposite side of sheet 2 contains 3d perspective views as well as additional detail views. Conclusion This is another good book in the series. The pullout sheets are also wonderful to see. This is certainly a very useful book for all modellers. Recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  3. Air Wars Between Ecuador & Peru Vol 1 The July 1941 War Latin America @ War No.12 ISBN : 9781911628675 Helion & Company via Casemate UK There have been wars / border conflicts between Ecuador and Peru for a long time around whether Ecuador's territory extended beyond the Andes mountain range to the Amazon river, including the Amazonian basin. As early as 1829 Peru was fighting over this. There had been numerous conflicts in the late 1800s not helped by a civil war in Ecuador. Despite treaties tensions simmered between the two countries into the 20th Century with another treaty in 1936. This did not last long with tensions and skirmishes in 1938 followed by a Coup in Ecuador the same year. In January 1941, alleging that the Ecuadorians had been staging incursions and even occupations of the Peruvian territory, the Peruvian president, ordered the formation of the North Grouping, a military unit in charge of the Northern Operational Theatre. This would then lead to war in July of 1941 with both sides claiming the other had started it. This would be the first of three wars between the protagonists. The book is A4 Soft cover and 88 pages long. It is illustrated throughout by maps and many black and white photos many of which have not been published before. There are 8 pages of colour equipment profiles and maps at the centre. Due to the nature of the ground in the region a lot of the often bitter combat took place in the air, or with air support. The author has done extensive research into both countries archives and has produced a detailed work without any normal bias. As well as the combat it looks into the equipment & training of the forces and the back ground to the conflict. Conclusion This book will give the reader a good understanding of the History of this conflict between two seemingly similar neighbours. Again the @ War series brings us an an incisive look at a conflict often ignored by the west after all we were a bit busy with WWII at the time. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  4. At The Forward Edge of Battle A history of the Pakistan Armoured Corps 1938-2016 Vol 1 Asia @ War No.9 ISBN : 9781911628071 Helion & Company via Casemate UK The Pakistan Armoured Corps grew out of the Indian Army after the partition of the country following WWII. The book looks at their history from the mechanisation of the Corps in 1938 from the Indian Cavalry, through their often overlooked service in WWII, through partition to the service of today. This volume looks at the Early history and WWII, the pre-independence officer Corps, Partition, equipment upto 1965, and the expansion which took place until 1971. The books author Major General Syed Ali Hamid brings his 50 years of Service with the Pakistani Army to the table along with links to the past through his father Maj Gen Syed Shahid Hamid, who was commissioned from Sandhurst into the cavalry of British India in 1933. He was one of the pioneers of the Pakistan Army. The book is A4 Soft cover and 88 pages long. It is illustrated throughout by maps and many black and white photos many of which have not been published before. There are 8 pages of colour equipment profiles and unit markings as well Conclusion This book will give the reader a good understanding of the History of Pakistani Armoured Corps and there role in the conflicts they have fought in. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  5. TopDrawings No.80 Kawasaki Ki-61 Hien (9788366148499) Kagero Publishing via Casemate UK The Ki-61 was the only mass produced Japanese fighter to use a liquid cooled inline V engine of WWII. Initially Allied pilots reported it as a Bf 109, or Macchi C202. Kawasaki developed the fighter for the Japanese Army around its licence built Daimler Benz DB 601a engine. Armament was 2 20mm cannon and 2 12.7mm machine guns. We have new and old kits for the Ki-61 with the new Tamiya ones being very good. The TopDrawings series majors on scale plans, which is the main thrust, but also includes a little background information, some pertinent profiles, The book is written in English on the left of the page, with Polish on the right, which translates to top and bottom for the captions to the various drawings within. The book itself is bound in a card cover and has 20 pages, and the rear cover devoted to additional profiles of two G-2s and a loose A3 sheet printed on both sides with overhead plans mentioned above. The first half of the plans show the aircraft, then there are a series of colour profiles. Conclusion These books are essential for the modeller that enjoys comparing their models against scale plans, and wants them to be as accurate as possible, Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  6. Imperial Japanese Navy Type B1 Submarine I-15 (1939) & I-37 (1943) Kagero Super Drawings in 3D No.73 via Casemate uK The Type B1 Submarine were the first of the Type B Cruiser submarines built for the Imperial Japanese Navy. They were intended to be long range boats with a range of 14000 nautical miles. They had 6 forward 533mm torpedo tubes with 17 torpedoes being carried. They had a 14cm Deck gun, and unusually would carry a float plane for scouting. The hanger was faired into the conning tower and the aircraft would be catapulted from the forward deck. 20 submarines of the class were built. Later on in WWII some of the boats would have the hanger and catapult removed to replace it with a second deck gun. Submarines I-36 & I-37 had their hangers removed in order that they could carry Kaiten manned suicide torpedoes. Neither I-15 or I-37 survived the war. I-15 was sunk by the US Destroyer USS McCalla of San Cristobol in 1942, and I-37 was sunks by US Destroyers USS Conklin & USS McCoy Reynolds of Leyte in 1944. This is the latest book in Kagero Publishing’s superb series of Super Drawings in 3D. As with the previous books it has a brief history and the ships specifications at the beginning. The rest of the 65 pages are filled with the now well known style of beautifully drawn 3D renderings of every part of the ship. It is obvious that a lot of time has been taken to get the drawings this good and accurate, and there is a wealthy of information for the modeller to use during their build. Every area of the upper hull and superstructure is dealt with plus the lower hull including the propellers and rudder. There are a lot of close up renders of most of the equipment fitted, and the Seaplane carried by I-15. As is the norm with this series, Kagero have included B2 fold out sheets. The first features line drawings of both submarines, the second features deck guns, torpedoes and the seaplane. Conclusion If you love Japanese submarines and like to model them as accurately as possible then this book is most definitely for you. Highly recommended, Review sample courtesy of
  7. War of Intervention in Angola Volume 2: Angolan & Cuban Forces at War 1976-83 ISBN : 9781911628651 Helion & Company via Casemate UK It would seem depressing that throughout the 1970s and beyond that there was some kind of war in Angola. In 1975 the decades long war seemed was still short of any conclusion This was not helped by the fact there were three rebel movements fighting for supremacy with South Africa, America, Zaire, Cuba, and the Soviet Union being involved as well. The South African intervention in Angola, and the Cuban involvement are perhaps the most well known, however the CIA were actively trying to destabilise the country, in part to recoup some prestige following the events in Vietnam. Volume 1 which we reviewed here concentrated on the lesser known period of the final stages of withdrawal by the Portuguese Colonial forces, the build up of the three insurgent forces; and the initial intervention by Cuban forces in the region. Now in volume 2 we look at how the civil war looked decided. The MPLA had established itself in power supported by a large number of Cuban forces, with its opposition split and in disarray; however the war continued to drag on. The MPLA did not defeat UNITA in Southern Angola and then they faced an internal Coup which resulted in a blood letting. Many members were tortured or killed, while others defected to the opposition. The Soviets took advantage of this to increase their presence, and led the South African Forces to resume supporting UNITA and launch further attacks. The book looks at the forces on both sides of the conflict, some history of the region and how the main battles were fought. This volume is A4 soft back in format and 80 pages. There are over 100 rare black and white photographs throughout with 6 main colour maps, and 18 colour profiles. Conclusion This book should provide readers with a more complete understanding of the of the later conflict in Angola. Recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  8. Iraqi Mirages The Dassault Mirage Family in service with Iraq 1981-1988 Middle East @ War No.17 ISBN : 9781912866342 Helion & Company via Casemate UK The Dassault Mirage F.1 has been a successful point defence fighter and attack aircraft for over thirty years. It was developed initially as a private venture by Dassault as a replacement to their ageing Mirage III fighters. It is a single-engined, single-seat fighter aircraft with a high-mounted delta wing and capability of reaching mach 2.2 in short order. Power was provided by a single SNECMA Atar turbojet providing about 7 tonnes-force (69 kN; 15,000 lbf) of thrust. Dassault soon found an eager customer in the shape of the French Armée de l'air, who bought various versions over the years starting on 1974. The French retired the Mirage F.1 in 2014. The EQ was the version for Iraq, these were modified for longer range. Some aircraft for Iraq were reconfigured from general aircraft to dedicated attack aircraft with increased payloads and additional ECM gear. The Iraqi aircraft were capable of carrying the potent Exocet missile. This book looks at all aspects of the use of the F.1 by Iraq. The aircraft itself, training, weapons and tactics used by the Iraqi military. The war with Iran and the use of the aircraft is looked at in detail as this was the major conflict the aircraft took part in. Also considered in the book are the 5 Super-Etendards leased to Iraq due to delays in F.1 deliveries. Also mentioned is the use of a modified Dassault Falcon 50 Business jet for reconnaissance and later anti shipping duties. The radar and ire control system from an F.1 was fitted to the Falcon, a complete F.1 cockpit was fitted in the left hand side of the air-frame and hard points added for Exocet missiles. This aircraft was then responsible for the mistaken attack on the USS Snark in 1987. The book is A4 softback and 88 pages long. It is illustrated throughout with black and white photos, and maps. There are 6 pages of colour aircraft profiles, and a further 2 colour pages of pictures and maps. Conclusion This book will give the reader a good understanding of the use of the F.1 buy the Iraqi Air Force during this time. Highly Recommended for fans of the F.1, or Middle eastern conflicts, Review sample courtesy of
  9. The Falaise Pocket - Normandy August 1944 ISBN : 9781612007274 Casemate Illustrated - Casemate UK There is no doubt the Battle for Normandy was worse in some cases than the allies expected, though by August 1944 while the Germany Army was still managing to hold back the Allies there was some turmoil in its ranks, and the cost of the defence was great in resources that they just could not replace., it was not helped by the fact that the allies had all but gained air superiority over the battlefield. German Army Group B was unable to contain the allies with the Americans advancing South & East, while at the same time the Canadians & British were advancing South. Field Marshal von Kluge was refused permission to withdraw by Hitler, instead he was ordered to counter attack. This only made the situation for the Germans worse, in fact they became enveloped by the Allied advance. Montgommery saw what was happening and ordered the allied armies to converge on Falaise, which they did surrounding 50,000 German troops. While many of these troops would escape, many would not and the losses of equipment was a massive blow to the Germans as they just could not replace it. This book in the Casemate Illustrated series combines text, pictures, and maps to bring us the Allied Assault, and the Germans defence. The book goes into details of the planning, and execution from different commanders on both sides. There are profiles of the tanks, vehicles and aircraft which took part. The book is A5 in format, 120 pages long and contains many contemporary photographs. Conclusion If you're interested in the war in the last hurrah of the Germany Army on the western front and how/where the Germans counteroffensive failed this is a good read. There are plenty of photos and profiles for the modeller. Highly Recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  10. The Trieste Crisis 1953 The first cold war confrontation in Europe ISBN : 9781912866342 Helion & Company via Casemate UK The City of Trieste and the area surrounding it stands on the border between what was Yugoslavia and Italy. Like other areas in the region lines drawn on maps were felt not to recognise the ethnic divisions of the area. Tito's forces raced to occupy the area at the end of WWII, as did the allies with the two forces meeting in the city on May 2nd 1945. Tito tired or order the Allies to withdraw, however under political pressure they did not. An agreement was signed in Belgrade to divide the territory around Trieste up. This was followed by the setting up of the Free Territory Of Trieste in 1947 following talks in Paris. The Yugoslavs accepted this but did not want to give up their "rights" to the area. The area was seen as the dividing line between the democratic West and the Communist East. Things were though to go downhill. The West was seen to take a less pro Italian stance for a more neutral one, at a time of less than stable Italian Politics. This lead in 1953 to the Crisis where by increasing deployments of troop and equipment from both sides were deployed to the area. The provides a detailed account of the forces from the allied, and Yugoslav armies deployed at this time which looked like an actual war would happen. Much of this has been under reported with the source material only becoming available recently. Conclusion This book will give the reader an understanding of this first real flashpoint of the cold war in Europe. It is A4 softcover and 72 pages long with black & white photographs throughout. There are also 8 colour pages with equipment profiles, and maps. The Europe @ War series looks to be an exciting new series from Helion and Company if this first title is anything to go by. Highly Recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  11. Hispano Aviación Ha-1112 Buchón - Monographs #67 (9788366148338) Kagero Publishing via Casemate UK The Messerschmitt Bf.109 saw extensive service in Spain during their civil war during the 30s, and served the Reich throughout WWII with continuous upgrades improving it as time went by. Toward the end of the war, Spanish engineers worked on creating a variant of the airframe that could be made using available materials and taking advantage of improvements made since its original debut. Hispano Aviación developed the airframe with an indigenous engine replacing the DB605 from the Bf.109G-2 that resulted in various changes to its nose profile, which was changed again when the Ha-1112 was developed with an improved engine and 12.7mm machine guns as armament. In the early 50s the Spanish authorities negotiated a deal with Rolls Royce to use Merlins, which again changed the nose but brought its well-known advantages to the aircraft. It soldiered on for 20 years after WWII, with a number of the later models famously used in the film The Battle of Britain, doubling for Bf.109s and even Hurricanes in the background. The Book This is number 67 in the Monographs series from Kagero, with English used exclusively throughout. It is perfect-bound in a card cover and 80 pages in colour and black & white. It is written by Eduardo Manuel Gil Martínez. The first 58 pages are text interspersed with many pictures and their accompanying captions, with the remainder a pictorial section, mostly in colour, some of which is contemporary other current. The last 5 pages plus the rear cover are devoted to some handsome side profiles of various airframes. The chapters break down as follows: Introduction Spanish Aviation after the Spanish Civil War Spain during World War 2 Spanish fighter force post WW2 Looking for engines Ha 1109 manufacturing continues The Buchón is born Sidi Ifni and Sahara Return to the action of the Wing 7 Buchones A star has (sic) born: The actor Buchón The Buchón today Spanish made Bf.109G-2 derivatives technical info Bf.109G-2 technical info Bf.109J (HA-1109 J1L) technical info HA-1112K1L or C.4J technical info HA-1112M1L or C.4K technical info HA-1110K1L or C.4J technical info HA-1112M4L or C.4K technical info Buchón's camouflage and markings Annexes Hispano Aviación Spanish made Bf.109G-2 derivatives production Spanish Air Force ranks and equivalences Bibliography Photo library Colour profiles (5 pages plus rear cover) There is a substantial amount of text in the first part of the book which gives a lot of detail on the development, entry into service with its subsequent sub-variants. The photographs are of great interest to anyone with a historical bent, and coupled with the captions there will be plenty of reading time after which you'll be a bit of an instant expert on the type, and ready for the pictorial section to the rear that gives some real world shots including the 2-seat oddity that is the M.4L Conclusion A lot of folks are fond of the Buchón because of its part in the Battle of Britain movie along with the Spanish built CASA 2.111 doing a very good impression of Heinkel He.111s. It is a good one-stop-shop if you would like to get to know your crush better, and broaden your knowledge a little bit in the process. Review sample courtesy of
  12. The Japanese Battleship Hyuga Kagero Super Drawings in 3D No.71 The Hyuga was the second and last Ise-class battleship built for the Imperial Japanese Navy. This class of vessel was an improvement of the previous Fuso class. The hull was extended by 3m and the armour of the magazines and central command areas was changed. The layout of the turrets was changed to allow the boilers to be placed closer to the bow and the funnels to be moved closer to each other. Even though ordered in 1912 the ship was not completed until 1918 so she took no part in WWI. She did support Japanese forces during the Siberian Intervention in the Russian Civil war. Then in the late 1920s and again in the 1930 she was partially modernised with improvements being made in the armour and armour and propulsion before playing a small art in the Second Sino Japaneses War. By the start of WWII the ship was considered obsolete, however following the loss of the IJN's aircraft carriers during the battle of Midway she was partially converted to a sea plane carrier by removing the aft turrets and installing a flight deck. She continued to serve in WWII until being sunk by American airstrikes in July 1945. Post war the wreck was raised and scrapped. This is the latest book in Kagero Publishing’s superb series of Super Drawings in 3D. As with the previous books it has a brief history and the ships specifications at the beginning. This includes the following:- Overview Design / Structure Propulsion Armament Armour Service Conclusion The rest of the 79 pages are filled with the now well known style of beautifully drawn 3D renderings of every part of the ship. It is obvious that a lot of time has been taken to get the drawings this good and accurate, and there is a wealthy of information for the modeller to use during their build. Every area of the upper hull and superstructure is dealt with plus the lower hull including the propellers and rudder. There are a lot of close up renders of most of the equipment fitted, such as the turrets, ships boats, funnels, Kawasaki 37K2 seaplanes, and main turrets; as well as the longer view, showing how this design differed from all other battleships. As is the norm with this series, Kagero have included a double sided B2 fold out sheet with a three view on one side, unusually in 1:350, with additional drawings of the ships fixtures, such as casemates, main directors, torpedo tubes, ships boats and radar, in either 1:50, 1:100, 1:150 or 1:350 scales. It would be a nice extra if these books had a pull out profile of the whole vessel in colour, however this one does have a 3 fold A-4 colour pull out as well at the centre. Conclusion If you love Japaneses battleships and like to model them as accurately as possible then this book is most definitely for you. Highly recommended, Review sample courtesy of
  13. COMBAT - South Africa At War along the Angolan Frontier ISBN : 9781911628736 Helion & Company via Casemate UK It would seem depressing that throughout the 1970s and beyond that there was some kind of war in Angola. In 1975 the decades long war seemed was still short of any conclusion This was not helped by the fact there were three rebel movements fighting for supremacy with South Africa, America, Zaire, Cuba, and the Soviet Union being involved as well. The South African intervention in Angola, and the Cuban involvement are perhaps the most well known, however the CIA were actively trying to destabilise the country, in part to recoup some prestige following the event in Vietnam. This book from renowned author AJ Venter looks at South Africa's 23 year border war on the Angolan Frontier. With regard to combat operations it considers how well the South Africans with relatively light armoured vehicles were able to engage and defeat Soviet tanks; and South Africa's development of the Centurion MBT into the Olifant. The book also looks at the extensive air war with the use of such diverse aircraft as the Dakotas in the gunship role to the Blackburn ir Buccaneer for attacks. The extensive helicopter operations in support of ground troops also features heavily. A new look is taken at all the enemies ranged against the South Africans at this point in their history. As well as these areas with the help of other authors and specialists the book considers the then secret South African Nuclear programme, and the co-operation with Israel to acquire Medium range ICBMs. Other areas also looked at by the others contributors include the cover communications war which stretched across the continent into the Indian Ocean. Other chapters range from looking at specific operations, to a look at the main weapons used at the time from the RPG-7 to the Hind Helicopter. The book is A5 in size with 344 pages. Contained inside are 232 black & white photos, 4 pages of maps, and 39 colour photos. Conclusion This book should provide readers with a more complete understanding of the South African units in the war with Angola, and their campaign there. Highly Recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  14. Nicaragua 1961-1990 Vol.2 Contra War - Latin America @ War No.15 ISBN : 9781911628217 Helion & Company via Casemate UK Nicaragua is another one of the countries of Latin America which in modern times has been ravaged with internal conflict. Following the US Invasion in 1915 the country became to be a Dictatorship run by the Somoza Family, If they were not in power directly then they were the power Brokers. Anastasio Somoza Garcia would become President in 1937 when he removed the then President. He was nominally succeeded in 1947 however he then lead a coup to retain power. He was then fatally shot by the Poet Rigoberto López Pérez in 1956, only to be replaced by his son! Following a Marxist led insurgency the Sandinista Government would be established in 1979, however by this time the country had been ravaged by war, and natural disasters. This book now looks at the period following 1979. Given the state of the country and its economy at this point the new government introduced a number o wide ranging reforms and what amounted to a cultural revolution. However in the background the US were worried about another seemingly Cuban backed government in the region and thus began to support the creation of a new counterrevolutionary force which would become known as the "Contras". This new in effect civil war in which both sides would be supported by outside groups would rage through the country until the late 1980s. The Sandinistas would start to gain the upper hand, then in 1984 the US Congress would cease aid to the Contras. The same year fresh elections would also boost the Sandinista side. The US would try repeatedly to support the Contras but to no avail with the whole Arms to Iran and funding for the Contras coming under great scrutiny. The period 1988 to 1990 would lead to peace talks, while the government was successful on the battlefield the economy was in ruin compounded by a major Hurricane hitting in 1988 with a drought the year later. Following peace talks there were elections in 1989 and a difficult demobilisation of forces. The period of time following this has not been easy for the country with large scale demonstrations as late as 2018, however the country has remained free of conflict. Conclusion This book will give the reader an understanding of this conflict in Nicaragua. It is A4 softcover and 71 pages long with black & white illustrations throughout. There are also 8 colour pages with equipment profiles and maps. Highly Recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  15. TopDrawings 75 Panzerkampfwagen VI (9788366148406) Kagero Publishing via Casemate UK Hitler's obsession with "bigger is better" is well documented, and that coupled with his constant interference in things he knew little about hampered their attempts to take over Europe. The Tiger tank was part of that size battle, and even before the design was completed the original drive-train was under too much strain that would result in many abandoned or scuttled Tigers on the battlefield due to mechanical breakdowns. When it worked however it was a terrible foe for the Allies with almost impregnable frontal armour and a powerful 88mm cannon that could out-range almost every tank on the field. It played havoc with the poor Shermans until the British 17 pounder was fitted to make the Firefly variant, but the Sherman's thin armour was still no match for it so they were still difficult to kill. Thanks to a complex production that was never fully streamlined they weren't able to put Tigers in the field in sufficient numbers to reverse the tide of defeat, with a small number of the beasts usually embedded in a squadron of Panzer IVs to take on the harder targets. Overall the Panther was a more successful design when every aspect was taken into account, but the Tiger was the most feared on the battlefield despite its shortcomings. Most major and some minor manufacturers have kits of this iron beast in all the prevalent AFV scales, as other people's Tigers don't make money for them, and it's still an amazingly popular subject today. The TopDrawings series majors on scale plans, which is the main thrust, but also includes a little background information, some pertinent profiles, and often a bonus of decals or masks targeted at the subject matter in hand. With this edition, you get a handsome A4 print of a damaged Tiger with a thrown track in light woodland, looking as if it has recently been abandoned by the surviving crew after taking a round to the mantlet. There is also a double-sided A4 set of plans in 1:48 showing the tank from the side in various configurations. The book is written in English on the left of the page, with Polish on the right, which translates to top and bottom for the captions to the various drawings within. The book itself is bound in a card cover and has 20 pages, and the rear cover devoted to additional profiles of two tanks that fought in the desert of North Africa, including the famous 131 that was captured and now resides at Bovington in full running condition. The first half of the plans begin with the prototypes, a number of which were devoid of turrets during testing of the running gear. Also included at the beginning are two plans of the unsuccessful Porsche candidate that famously caught fire as it was being shown to Hitler on his birthday. Other turreted prototypes are included, then the early serial production units before streamlining and simplification was attempted. The last profiles show a desertised design with angled exhaust covers and narrow fenders that was unknown to me until today, which is interesting. After this the colour profiles with eight vehicles in differing schemes, plus smaller scrap paintings of noteworthy detail that can't be seen from the side. After the break there is another set of plans beginning with a view from the underside showing which wheels were removed for rail transport because un-modified the Tiger was too wide to travel through some rail tunnels due to the huge number of wheels needed to reduce ground-pressure to an acceptable level. 1:35 scale is used throughout the book, and there are numerous front and rear views as well as some overhead and the aforementioned view from below to give a better look at the Tiger's form. Conclusion These books are essential for the modeller that enjoys comparing their models against scale plans, and wants them to be as accurate as possible, and the bonus print an excellent addition to any wall, or in my case cabinet door in the workshop. Review sample courtesy of
  16. TopDrawings 76 Bf.109F (9788366148413) Kagero Publishing via Casemate UK The Messerschmitt BF 109 was certainly the most numerous, and probably the best known of all the aircraft used by the Luftwaffe during the Second World War. Almost 34,000 examples were produced between 1937 and 1945, and the type saw active service in every theatre in which German armed forces were engaged. Powered initially by the relatively low powered Junkers Jumo engine and later by various iterations of the more powerful Daimler Benz DB600 series of inverted V-12 engines, the later variants of the BF 109 could achieve speeds of up to 400 mph. In comparison with the E, or ‘Emil’, the F or 'Friedrich' featured a more powerful version of the DB601 engine, as well as a host of aerodynamic improvements such as a more rounded cowling, enlarged spinner, smaller, lightweight propeller and redesigned supercharger intake. The F2 was armed with 1 × 15mm MG 151 cannon and 2 × 7.92mm MG 17 machine guns, with the F-4 and F-6 carrying on the improvement until the Gustavs took over. We have kits in almost every scale, some old, some new such as the superb Eduard kits in 1:48 with most major and some minor manufacturers getting in on the act, as other people's 109s don't make money for them, and it's a super popular subject. The TopDrawings series majors on scale plans, which is the main thrust, but also includes a little background information, some pertinent profiles, and often a bonus of decals or masks targeted at the subject matter in hand. With this edition, you get a handsome A4 print of a yellow-nosed (ahem) bad-lad passing a Spitfire going in the opposite direction. The book is written in English on the left of the page, with Polish on the right, which translates to top and bottom for the captions to the various drawings within. The book itself is bound in a card cover and has 28 pages, and the rear cover is devoted to additional profiles of two F-4 tropicals in suitable camo. The first half of the plans begin with the variant's prototype, the vanilla F-1, the F-2 and its sub-variants, then the F-4 with the last page dealing with the fuselage profiles. After this the colour profile with four view profiles of an F-2 at the centre, book-ended with another F-2 and three F-4s, plus the previously mentioned F-4 Trops on the rear cover. After the break there is another set of plans continuing the wide variety of F-4 sub-variants, with some head/tail-on and fuselage scrap diagrams into the bargain. Throughout the book, there are numerous smaller diagrams that show the cannons underwing gondola-mounted and internal, plus the various munitions with their pylons and even the instrument panel. Conclusion These books are essential for the modeller that enjoys comparing their models against scale plans, and wants them to be as accurate as possible, and the bonus print an excellent addition to any wall. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  17. TopDrawings 78 Junkers Ju.88C (9788366148444) Kagero Publishing via Casemate UK The Ju-88 was designed as a schnellbomber in the mid-30s, and at the time it was faster than current fighter designs, so it was predicted that it could infiltrate, bomb and escape without being intercepted. That was the theory anyway. By the time WWII began in the west, fighters had caught up with the previously untouchable speed of the 88, and it needed escorting to protect it from its Merlin equipped opponents. It turned out to be a jack of all trades however, and was as competent as a night fighter, dive bomber or doing reconnaissance as it was bombing Britain. They even popped a big gun on the nose and sent it against tanks and bombers, with variable success. The C series aircraft were supposed to be primarily heavily armed fighters or ground attack, fitted with a collection of extra guns in a metal nose. Once Allied bombers started appearing over Germany however, they were quickly retasked with night fighter duties, in which they found their ultimate role. The specification retained the gondola under the nose, but this was often removed in the field to reduce weight and increase top speed, all of which gave them an edge over an unmodified airframe. After design was completed, the C-4 was the first to enter production, with 120 made, split between new builds and conversions of the A-5 on which they were based. With the addition of radar the C-6 took over from the C-4, and with a solid nose and radar "whiskers" it was found to be a capable night fighter. The C-6b was fitted with either FuG 202 Lichtenstein BC or later a FuG 212 Lichtenstein C-1 radar, and was replaced later by the 6C that also sported the deadly Schräge-muzik upward firing 20mm cannons. We have kits in almost every scale from 1:144 upwards, some old, some new such as the ICM kits in 1:48 with most major and some minor manufacturers getting in on the act, as other people's Ju.88s don't make money for them, and it's a popular subject (especially with me). The TopDrawings series majors on scale plans, which is the main thrust, but also includes a little background information, some pertinent profiles, and often a bonus of decals or masks targeted at the subject matter in hand. With this edition, you get a sheet of folded A3 plans printed on both sides with overhead views of various airframes including partials of the gondola area in 1:72, plus a larger A2 sheet also printed on both sides with side and overhead drawings and cross-sections in 1:48 along the length of the fuselage and wings. The book is written in English on the left of the page, with Polish on the right, which translates to top and bottom for the captions to the various drawings within. The book itself is bound in a card cover and has 24 pages, and the rear cover devoted to additional profiles of a C-2 and C-6. The first half of the plans show the variants from the C-1 to C-6 including the gondola-free C-5 that has a much sleeker look, especially from the front. After this the colour profile with four views are book-ended with contemporary photographs and a C-6 profile, plus the additional C-6 profile and a C-2 on the rear cover. After the break there is another set of plans continuing the C-6 sub-variants such as the night fighters, with some head/tail-on and fuselage scrap diagrams into the bargain. The final five pages show side profiles with the changes between the variants visible, showing the subtle changes and a thimble-nose fitted to a C-6. Throughout the book, there are numerous smaller diagrams that show the nose section without the wing and engine nacelles blocking the view, just the wing root stub visible. Conclusion These books are essential for the modeller that enjoys comparing their models against scale plans, and wants them to be as accurate as possible, with the separate large scale plans quite useful, especially if you model in 1:48 or have a large blemish on a wall that could be beautified by posting the plans over it to enjoy every time you pass. Review sample courtesy of
  18. HMS Prince of Wales Kagero Super Drawings in 3D No.69 HMS Prince of Wales was a King George V-class battleship of the Royal Navy, built at the Cammell Laird shipyard in Birkenhead, England. She was involved in several key actions of the Second World War, including the May 1941 Battle of the Denmark Strait against the German battleship Bismarck, operations escorting convoys in the Mediterranean, and her final action and sinking in the Pacific in December 1941. Prince of Wales had an extensive battle history, first seeing action in August 1940 while still being outfitted in her dry-dock, being attacked and damaged by German aircraft. Her brief but storied career ended 10 December 1941, when Prince of Wales and battlecruiser HMS Repulse became the first capital ships to be sunk solely by air power on the open sea, a harbinger of the diminishing role this class of ships was subsequently to play in naval warfare. The wreck lies upside down in 223 feet (68 m) of water, near Kuantan, in the South China Sea. This is the latest book in Kagero Publishing’s superb series of Super Drawings in 3D, although this one is definitely thicker than the previous releases. As with the previous books it has a brief history and the ships specifications at the beginning. This includes the following:- Overview Design Propulsion Armaments and fire control Armour Service Conclusion The rest of the ninety three pages are filled with the now well known style of beautifully drawn 3D renderings of every part of the ship. It is obvious that a lot of time has been taken to get the drawings this good and accurate, and there is a wealthy of information for the modeller to use during their build. Every area of the upper hull and superstructure is dealt with plus the lower hull including the propellers and rudder. There are a lot of close up renders of most of the equipment fitted, such as the PomPom mounts, 5.25” turrets, ships boats, funnels, Walrus seaplane and main turrets, as well as the longer view, showing how clean the design was even though she had so much equipment onboard. As is the norm with this series, Kagero have included a double sided A2 fold out sheet with a three view on one side, unusually in 1:350, with additional drawings of the ships fixtures, such as turrets, main directors, torpedo tubes, AA turrets, ships boats and radar, in either 1:50, 1:100, 1:150 or 1:350 scales. Conclusion I wish I had owned this book when I built the old Tamiya 1:350 kit, it would have enabled me to give the sort of detail it deserved, maybe will be able to do it justice in the future build now. If you love British battleships and like to model them as accurately as possible then this book is most definitely for you. Review sample courtesy of
  19. TopDrawings 77 Junkers Ju.87D, G (9788366148420) Kagero Publishing via Casemate UK The distinctive Gull Wing design of the Stuka, its screaming "Jericho Trumpets" dive siren and its fixed spatted landing gear made the Ju.87 a terrifying sight for the Allies and the civilian population of the countries they invaded. It also saw service in the period in and around the Battle of Britain, where its relatively slow combat speed first became an issue and required escorts on future missions to reduce the horrific attrition rates that unescorted sorties suffered. In the role it was designed for it excelled however, with an efficient almost vertical dive profile and semi-automatic pull-out system that catered for blacked-out pilots. The sirens instilled fear and confusion in their ground targets, a sound that has become a cinematic trope for almost every crashing aircraft on film (deftly parodied by the film Airplane), much to the amusement of anyone that knows about it about the subject. Production of new airframes ceased in 1944 after the main factory was obliterated, but the aircraft soldiered on to the end of WWII with various upgrades and role changes before cancellation allowing it to continue to be used, taking on the role as a tank buster with a 37mm cannon with armour-piercing rounds slung in a gondola under each wing, and known as the Kanonenvogel. In the hands of a skilled pilot they were lethal to armour, attacking from the side or from above where their armour was weakest. We have kits in just about every scale from 1:350 upwards (for the Trumpeter Graf Zeppelin), with most major and some minor manufacturers getting in on the act, as other people's Stukas don't make money for them, and it's a popular subject. The TopDrawings series majors on scale plans, which is the main thrust, but also includes a little background information, some pertinent profiles, and often a bonus of decals or masks targeted at the subject matter in hand. With this edition, you get a handsome A4 glossy print of a diving Stuka releasing his bomb from the swinging H-frame on some poor unfortunates, and a folded A3 sheet of plans printed on both sides with overhead views of D-2 and D-5 airframes. The book is written in English on the left of the page, with Polish on the right, which translates to top and bottom for the captions to the various drawings within. The book itself is bound in a card cover and has 20 pages, and the rear cover devoted to additional profiles of two G-2s and a loose A3 sheet printed on both sides with overhead plans mentioned above. The first half of the plans show the variants from the D-1 to D-5 including the outrageously peculiar glider towing D-1 that can only be described as a Stuka-and-sidecar. It genuinely has to be seen to be believed. After this the colour profiles of two D-1s, a D-3 with four view profiles, and two D-5s that are printed on four pages in colour, augmented by the aforementioned two on the rear cover. After the break there is another set of plans continuing the D-5, D-7, D-8, the odd canopy of the H-1, the G-1 and G-2, with some head/tail-on plans into the bargain. The final three pages show side profiles with the changes between the variants visible, describing the subtle changes, cannon pods and a torpedo fitted under a D-4. Throughout the book, there are numerous smaller diagrams that show the some of the weapons and bombs that the Stuka typically carried, plus prop profiles. Conclusion These books are essential for the modeller that enjoys comparing their models against scale plans, and wants them to be as accurate as possible, with the print a nice bonus that has drama and shows the lethal abilities of the Stuka well. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  20. Desert Storm Volume 1: The Iraqi Invasion of Kuwait & Operation Desert Shield 1990-91 ISBN : 9781911628224 Helion & Company via Casemate UK On the 2nd of August 1990 the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait began when their Air Force bombed Kuwait City, this was closely followed by the Republican Guard following on the ground. Although the Kuwaiti military did their best they were quickly overwhelmed and Iraqi occupied Kuwait in a matter of days. All of this was played out to some part in the worlds media as this would be the first full on conflict to be "live on CNN". The Iraqi president could not know at the time what reaction he would provoke from the western world. Perhaps if he had not gone as far as to threaten Saudi Arabia who knows what the outcome would have been? As it was a coalition was formed primarily between the USA, the UK and France; with the inclusion of the Gulf allies to protect Kuwait; this would be known as "Desert Shield". The book looks at the forces on both sides of the conflict, some history of the region including the UK's intervention in 1961. and how the build of forces for Desert Shield took place. This volume is A4 soft back in format and 112 pages. There are over 125 photographs throughout with 5 pages of maps, and 20 colour profiles. Conclusion This book should provide readers with a more upto date look at the early stages of the Gulf War Recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  21. Flashpoint Russia - Russia Air Power Capabilities & Structure ISBN : 9780997309270 Harpia Publishing via Casemate UK In recent time the state of the Russian Air Force has undergone something of a revival. From the darker days following the collapse of Communism. Due mainly to the price of oil and Russia's exports in the field since 2009 they have invested in modern military equipment, and modernisation of existing assets. Today's VKS (Russian Aerospace Forces) were created as a result of the absorption of the Air Defence Troops (VPVO) by the Air Force (VVS) in 1998, and then a merger of the Air Force with the Aerospace Defence Troops (VVKO) in 2015. This book which is the froth in Harpia's series on Russia examines the capabilities and structure which are now present in the VKS. The book is 143 pages long, soft back and colour throughout. The VKS is broken down into the different regional commands, as well as those of a central nature. The book is illustrated throughout by colour maps, tables and many colour photos of current VKS Assets. Conclusion Despite being the forth title in the series on Russia this book does work as a stand alone reference on the current order of battle of the Aerospace Forces (VKS) and other operators of military aircraft in Russia. Recommended for fans of modern Russian Aviation. Review sample courtesy of
  22. Forgotten Heroes Aces Of The Royal Hungarian Air Force in WWII ISBN : 9781911512684 Helion & Company via Casemate UK Hungary was caught at the end of WWI on the wrong side and was treated harshly by the Allies. Under the 1920 treaty of Trianon they lost nearly half their population and more than 60% of their territory to hostile boarding nations. Which is the reason the joined the Axis forces in WWII, however it would seem they chose the wrong side again! During WWII The Hungarian Air Force would fight both the Soviets and the Western Allies, mainly the Americans. The book looks at the 38 Hungarian Air Aces of WWII. These men fought gallantly against heavy odds, then after WWII the new Communist regime would then turn against them. The book is 448 pages long with over 300 black and white photos many of which are rare and previously unpublished. There are 14 pages of period colour photos, and 50 tables of information as well. The Author has worked from mostly unpublished primary source material from archives in Hungary, Russia, and the USA. The author also had access to private documents from the families of the Aces. The book also covers important related aspects of the air war including how victories were confirmed, tactics, and awards obtained by these men. In his 23 year of research and writing the author has produced what can only be seen as the most complete work on this subject we are ever likely to see. Conclusion This book should provide readers with a more complete understanding of the largely forgotten Aces of the Royal Hungarian Air Force, and in part this countries air war in WWII. Highly Recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  23. Monograph #66: The P.24 A-G (9788366148055) Kagero Publishing via Casemate UK The PZL P.24 was the last of a series of small single-engined monoplanes with high-set gull-wings that were designed in the 1930s by Polish engineer Zygmunt Puławski. It was initially to be powered by a license built Bristol engine, but due to restrictions on the licensing deal this was soon changed to a Gnome-Rhone unit and production began with airframes began entering service in 1936. In the run-up to WWII there were numerous orders for the fighter, and with each upgrade the letter designation increased from A through to G, with an H and J model proposed but not reaching service. When the war started it was soon realised that the fighter was out-dated compared to the more modern fighters fielded by the Nazis in their invasion of Eastern Europe, so it was pulled from the front and used in the training role. Greece however flew the aircraft against the Italians until they ran out of spares, and then were replaced by the Gloster Gladiator that fared little better. The Romanians also flew the type built under license, and some of the P.24's DNA found its way into their own IAR.80 in the aft fuselage, although the overall look of the aircraft was completely different to the casual observer. The Book This is number 66 in the Monographs 3D edition from Kagero, with Polish on the left half of the page and English on the right. It is perfect-bound in a card cover and 172 pages in colour and black & white. It is written by Andrzej Glass and Tassos Katsika. The first 90 pages are text interspersed with many pictures and their accompanying captions, and incidentally the English text is usually found under the Polish for these. The chapters break down as follows: Puławski's concept fighter Puławski's imitators around the world Puławski's fighter planes with in-line engines Puławski's fighter planes with radial engines The PZL P.24 fighter plane The PZL P.24A and P.24C in Turkey The PZL P.24B in Bulgaria The PZL P.24E in Romania The PZL P.24F, P.24G and P.24H in Greece The PZL P.24J and the export program Production of the PZL P.24 An evaluation of the PZL P.24 A technical description of the PZL P.24 The wing The fuselage Control surfaces Undercarriage Armament Engine Painting Plans & differences between marks (17 sheets in 1:48 plus loose A3 sheet in 1:32 printed on both sides ) Photographs of the aircraft in service Visualisations by Tassos Katsika (76 pages) Colour profiles (6 pages) There is a substantial amount of text in the first part of the book which gives a lot of detail on the development, entry into service with its various operators and the subsequent action that it saw during WWII in their service. The photographs are of great interest to anyone with a historical bent, and coupled with the captions there will be plenty of reading time after which you'll be an instant expert on the type, and ready to dig into the 3D computer renderings that take you deep into the heart of the machine, peeling it away like layers of an onion. The detail shown here is extremely impressive and would be an absolute boon for the modeller with an eye for it that perhaps wants to strip away some of the skin to reveal what's underneath. Conclusion This little aircraft isn't all that well-known outside of where it served, so it's good to see it getting a little prominence with this release. It is a good one-stop-shop if you would like to get to know it a little better, and broaden your knowledge a little bit in the process. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  24. Gloster Gladiator Monograph 3D Edition (9788365437860) Kagero via Casemate UK The Gladiator was Gloster's (late) winning entry for the competition to find the next frontline fighter that Supermarine submitted the 224 that later became the Spitfire after a ground-up redesign. The War Department went to the safer option and commissioned production of the aircraft that was to become the Gladiator, the RAF's last biplane fighter that although outclassed even at the start of WWII it still saw extensive service in areas where its lack of speed and manoeuvrability wasn't so fatal. Its designer Henry Folland was a firm believer in evolution over revolution and the Glad was an update of the Gauntlet that was already underway at the Gloster design works. It was still a biplane but efforts had been made to streamline the design by removing some of the interplane struts and other streamlining efforts. The Hurricane and Spitfire were in development at the time so the Gladiator's future was almost immediately a shorter one as there is a huge leap in performance when you dispense with one set of wings, especially if you pair the airframe with a Rolls-Royce Merlin. The Book This is #65 in the Monographs in 3D line, and it of course covers the Gloster Gladiators Mk.I, Mk.II and the Sea Gladiator. It is perfect bound in a card cover extending to 215 pages, so it's a weighty tome. It was written by Adam Cotton and 3D artwork by Marek Ryś. Introduction Evolving the last of the line The Gladiator enters the arena The Mk.I anatomy in detail Gladiator Mk.II The Sea Gladiator The last days of peace The Sea Gladiator joins the fleet The phoney war Norway – The token sacrifice The Sea Gladiator in Norway The Battle of France and Battle of Britain Malta, the legend of Faith, Hope & Charity, and the wider Mediterranean North Africa Onward to Greece East Africa and Aden Foreign users RAF camouflage and markings End Notes Visualisations by Marek Ryś (87 pages) Isometric camouflage schemes and profiles (28 pages) There is a substantial amount of text in the first part of the book which gives a lot of detail on the development, entry into service and the subsequent action that it saw during WWII in RAF, FAA and foreign service. The photographs are of great interest to anyone with a historical bent although some are a little saddening as they depict ruined airframes, one of which is the last of the famous three Faith, Hope and Charity looking a bit sorry for itself in a quarry. Coupled with the captions there will be plenty of reading time after which you'll be a bit of an instant expert on the type, and ready to dig into the 3D computer renderings that take you deep into the heart of the machine, peeling it away like layers of an onion. The detail shown here is extremely impressive and would be an absolute boon for the modeller with an eye for it that perhaps wants to strip away some of the skin of their model to reveal what's underneath. This will be especially of interest once the 1:32 kit from ICM arrives with your favourite model shop. Conclusion The Glad is a well-loved aircraft amongst the residents of Britmodeller, perhaps because of its origins, or maybe because we love an underdog. There are a few kits in each of the major scales from the diminutive Mark.I kit in 1:144 through the Airfix kits in 1:72, and the Roden kit in 1:48. There have been a few limited run kits in 1:32, but ICM are going to fix that this year, as mentioned above. Can't wait! Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  25. Challenger 2 PhotoSniper #30 (9788365437853) Kagero Publishing via Casemate UK Following WWII and the success of the Centurion, the Chieftain was eventually brought in as its replacement, and while it had some excellent features it was ageing technology that held it back and it took a long time to reach maturity. As it grew older the MOD began looking for a replacement and after the failure of a large sale of a new design to Iran, the Shir design was repurposed into the Challenger with some changes of course and advanced elements incorporated from another Vickers design. It was always a stop-gap and pretty soon a replacement was being considered with substantial improvements in the firing control system that was much needed. The first Challenger 2 was put out for evaluation in 1991 and found to be a bit of a dog, having many problems that took a long time to remedy, leaving the higher-ranking officers that remembered the same issues with the Chieftain with a bitter taste in their mouths. Eventually though, the issues were cleared and the Chally grew up to be a fine vehicle and is arguably one of the best Main Battle Tanks (MBT) in the world today. The Chieftains and Challenger 1s are now long gone and the Chally 2 is destined to be in service for a long time to come, with upgrades happening to the basic chassis as the need arises. They have proved to be a robust and capable platform that has served the British Army and Oman well and has an enviable combat reputation. The Book This is the latest PhotoSniper book from Kagero, #30 of the series. It is perfect bound in a card cover with 82 pages of text and almost 200 photographs, written by Dick Taylor who clearly has a lot of love for the subject matter. It is printed on satin finished paper with most of the photographs in colour and captions that inform and entertain in equal measure. Some of the photos are of a candid nature showing tankers going about their daily chores such as maintenance and repair and many appear to have come from private collections. The text is broken down into chapters as follows: Chapter 1 Design & development Chapter 2 Challenger 2 described Chapter 3 The Armoured Regiment & Squadron Chapter 4 Operational Use & Variants Although the title implies that it is a photograph-centred book, there is still plenty to read in between the pictures and their captions and that should keep the reader engaged for longer than a simple book of photos. The pictures are impressive on their own however with lots of modelling-friendly detail pics as well as a great deal of inspiration for dioramas and vignettes. There are also a good few pictures of the bridge-layer variant the Titan, and the engineering Trojan, plus the Driver Training Tank (DTT) which has the turret removed and is replaced by a cowling that bears a passing resemblance to the superstructure of an old pleasure cruiser boat. On the very back page (which I haven't counted in the total) is a discount code for a 30% discount on the similarly themed PhotoSniper #27 "Before the birth of the MBT", also by Kagero. Conclusion This book is for anyone interested in the Challenger 2, and as one of those people it makes for an interesting and informative read. The pictures are great too and it makes me want to retrieve my Tamiya kit from the loft, wherever it might be. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
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