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Found 173 results

  1. TopDrawings 89 British Fighter Aircraft S.E.5a ISBN: 9788366148765 Kagero Publishing via Casemate UK The S.E.5 stood for Scout Experimental 5, and was developed at around the same time as the Sopwith Camel, with similar performance, but some minor issues with the Hispano Suiza engine that put a crimp in production initially, with less than a hundred made before the improvements made resulted in the S.E.5a. It was a fast aircraft, and although it couldn’t turn quite as quickly as some, its stability made it a good platform from which to fire with accurate results from a skilled operator. It quickly gained favour with pilots and officials alike, and over 5,000 were made once the engine problem was resolved, with many powered by the Wolseley Viper and plenty of Aces achieving their tallies in S.E.5a airframes. A few US squadrons were also equipped with them by the end of the war, at which point the type was quickly retired from service with only one example of the more streamlined S.E.5b having been made. We have kits in almost every scale from 1:144 upwards, some old, some new with many major and some minor manufacturers getting in on the act, showing that it's still a popular subject over 100 years later. The TopDrawings series majors on scale plans, which is the main thrust, but also includes a little background information, some pertinent profiles, and separate A4 sheets printed on both sides with drawings of various aspects of the aircraft. 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 S.E.5as in radically different schemes. After the introduction, the first half of the plans show the S.E.5 then S.E.5a aircraft from every angle in 1:48 with smaller detail drawings in 1:24. After this are the colour profiles with four pages of profiles wearing some interesting camo schemes, including one captured by the post-Czarist Bolsheiviks in 1920. After the break are more plans, including a number of minor variants with twin trainer cockpit openings and one with a single seat and a partial canopy over the front of the area. At the end are profile drawings of civilian variants, then two pages of detail pictures of the real thing. Throughout the book, there are numerous smaller diagrams that show cross-sections, equipment layout such as the cockpit, armament, engine and prop. The loose sheets contain three more profiles of various airframes on one side, with the remaining three sides full of drawings that show the internal wooden structure of the wings, fuselage and tail, plus detail of 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, with the loose pages handy if you wanted to strip away some of the fabric of your model to show the inner workings and wooden structure. Review sample courtesy of
  2. TopDrawings #93 Panzer III (9788366148857) Kagero Publishing via Casemate UK The Panzer III at the time it was developed was envisaged as the main medium tank for the German forces. At the time most other tanks were light and mainly thought of as infantry support vehicles. Initially they tank was to mount a 50mm gun, but the 37mm Pak 36 was chose to standardise with the infantry. This was to prove inadequate and so they were upgraded to a 50mm gun. Again this proved to be lacking and the 7.5cm gun was added in later versions. The Panzer III was used in just about every major campaign by the German forces. Unlike some of its more famous heavier brothers the tank was reliable and durable. However by 1945 they had largely been relegated away from the front line, an in a lot of cases the chassis converted to StuG III Assault guns. 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,. Throughout the book, there are numerous smaller diagrams that show equipment layout; as well as the sometime small differences between Marks. There are two A3 double-sided sheets of plans showing profiles and top views. 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 scale plans quite useful. Currently (at time of writing) on offer at a discounted price from Casemate UK Review sample courtesy of
  3. Ikarus IK-2 Monographs Special Edition in 3D ISBN: 9788366148628 Kagero via Casemate UK The IK-2, which I didn’t know a thing about until I had read the book, was the first native Yugoslavian designed and built aircraft, made by two dedicated engineers that weren’t being appreciated by their employers, so they decided to go it alone after work hours and created their own company, as well as the design that resulted in the IK-2. Initially they focused on a design called the IK-L1, which evolved substantially into the IK-02, which first flew in 1935. It became a high-wing monoplane with a Hispano-Suiza engine generating a little over 800hp and a 20mm cannon running straight through the centreline and exiting through the prop. By the time it reached limited production it was outclassed, and by the time the Nazis invaded they fought bravely but briefly, with some of the undamaged airframes being sold to Croatia's then puppet state as trainers or communications aircraft until they eventually went to the scrapyard. This goes a long way to explain why there are no extant airframes, and little in the way of documentation or photographs of the type available today. The Book This is #13 in the Monographs Special Edition in 3D series, and it of course covers the Ikarus IK-2 in great detail, providing information that hasn’t been seen before, and correcting many errors in the accepted understanding of this rare type. It is hard bound and extends to 198 pages plus a blank sheet at the start and end, so it's a weighty tome. It was written by Aleksandar M Ognjević and Branislav J Mirkov, the latter also being responsible for the lavish 3D artwork. In addition to the plans in the book, there are two loose sheets of double-sided A2 sheets of plans in 1:32, devoted to the first prototype and the production series. Introduction About Ikarus AD Ikarus IK-2 The First Prototype IK-1L The Second Prototype IK-02 The IK-2 Series Production Service before the 1941 war The 1941 April war In Croatian service Conclusion Camouflage, Markings and Inscriptions IK-2 Technical Information Cockpit Engine Fuel System Ignition System Lubrication System Coolant System Hydraulic System Compressed Air System Fuselage Wings Ailerons Flaps Horizontal Stabiliser Vertical Stabiliser Rudder Landing Gear Oxygen System Electrical System Lighting System Light Monitoring Instruments Radio Weapons Appendices i Weapons technical data ii Abbreviations iii Air Force rank comparison iv VVKJ unit structure v VG structure on 6 April 1941 vi Ikarus IK-2 individual airplane history as known so far vii Ikarus IK-2 technical Data viii Technical data comparison of the Ikarus IK-2 against two most modern Royal Yugoslavian Army Air Force fighters ix Geographical locations with coordinates Bibliography Acknowledgements The first 56 pages are a mixture of text and pictures, detailing the beginning of the company, its design goals and how it went about achieving them, as well as the history of the aircraft as you’d imagine. After that comes 25 sides of plans in 1:48 and 1:72, which have been religiously researched from all available sources and should represent the most accurate plans out there due to the fastidious nature of their interest, using fresh research as their baseline rather than trusting the common “understanding” that has been passed down through the years. Following on are 117 pages of 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. This will be especially of interest to anyone with the few kits that are available in 1:72 and 1:48 from Azur Ffrom, CMK and Aeropoxy. Conclusion The IK-2 is an unusual aircraft, and perhaps not well known because of its relatively short service and the fact that only 12 production aircraft were ever built. Well worth a read for the history of it, even if you never expect to be able to lay your hands on a kit. At time of writing, this title is on substantial discount at UK Distributors, Casemate UK Review sample courtesy of
  4. TopDrawings #92 Medium Tank M3 Lee / Grant (9788366148796) Kagero Publishing via Casemate UK In the years before WWII America realised that they were lagging behind in respect of armour, a fact that became especially clear when Germany came out from under the Versailles treaty to show off and then use their new tanks and Blitzkrieg tactics. The M3 Lee was conceived in 1940 as a medium tank carrying a powerful 75mm gun, partly for manning by their own crews, but also because Britain had requested a large number of tanks to make good their losses from Dunkirk. The Lee was a decent tank but suffered from a high silhouette and limited traverse of the sponson-mounted 75mm gun, but was still widely used. In British service it was known as the Lee if it was fitted with the original American turret, or the Grant when using the lower-profiled British specification turrets. The Grant eschewed the mini-turret on the commander's cupola that resulted in a reduction in height and a minor simplification of construction and maintenance for very little loss in flexibility, due to the coaxially mounted Browning machine gun in the turret. It was used primarily in Africa and the Pacific theatres where the 2nd line equipment seemed to be fielded (for the most part) by the enemy, and against the Japanese who were far behind with their tank designs and tactics. The book ideals with the the M3A1, M3A2, M3A4 and M3A5. It 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,. Throughout the book, there are numerous smaller diagrams that show equipment layout; as well as the sometime small differences between Marks, here is also one A3 double sided sheet of profiles and top views. 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 scale plans quite useful. Currently (at time of writing) on offer at a discounted price from Casemate UK Review sample courtesy of
  5. TopDrawings #91 Jagdpanther (9788366148772) Kagero Publishing via Casemate UK The Jadgpanther (Hunting Panther) was developed mid war as the third attempt at mounting the very successful Pak 43 88 mm gun into a self propelled chassis for anti tank purposes as opposed to being a tank. The panther chassis was extended up to bring about a turretless vehicle that had 60mm armour on the sides and 80 to100m at the front. The gun was mounted centrally and able to traverse 20 degrees to each side, Due to the design the vehicle actually had a better power to weight ratio than the panther and suffered less from mechanical breakdowns. A total of 415 were built over two variants. In service they served with heavy antitank units mainly on the eastern front though some were seen on the western front. Post war after the British captured the factory they produced nine vehicles which were then shipped back to the UK for evaluation. One of these is currently on display at the Bovington Tank Museum. 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 34 pages,. Throughout the book, there are numerous smaller diagrams that show equipment layout; as well as the sometime small differences between Marks. There is one double sided A2 pull out plan. 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. Currently (at time of writing) on offer at a discounted price from Casemate UK Review sample courtesy of
  6. TopDrawings #94 Gloster Gladiator (9788366148864) Kagero Publishing via Casemate UK The Gladiator was the last biplane fighter used by the RAF due to the introduction of more modern monoplanes. The Gladiator was designed in response to an Air Ministry requirements for an aircraft capable of 250mph armed with at least four machines guns. Gloster decided that rather than developing a brand new fighter they could capitalise on their Gauntlet design. This modified design would dispense with a pair of interplane struts to reduce drag and follow a wing design developed by Hawkers. The "new" aircraft would use the 700 hp Bristol Mercury engine. The prototype flew in 1934, with the first production aircraft being delivered in 1937. The Gladiator was probably the pinnacle of biplane design with its streamlining, closed cockpit and heavier armament. The Mk II would be powered by a Bristol Mercury VIIIA engine. The Sea Gladiator was developed for the Fleet Air Arm, it featured the 3 blade propeller, arrestor hook, and onboard dingy stowage. They operated from HMS Glorious, Furious, and Eagle; as well as airfields including at Malta, While the RAF ordered 180 aircraft the biplane design was really at the end of its life with more modern types being introduced. The type saw service in France in 1940, and on the home front in the Orkneys. Overseas they were used in Norway and most famously in the defence of Malta. Here these aircraft managed to defend the Island against superior Italian forces. Gladiators also saw service in North and East Africa as well as in Greece and the Middle East. Gladiators would also see combat service in Belgium, China and lastly Finland. By 1941 the aircraft had been retired from front line service, though continued to serve in communications and weather research roles. We have great kits of the Gladiator available in all scales with the new 1/32 Kits from ICM being very welcome. The TopDrawings series majors on scale plans, which is the main thrust, but also includes a little background information, some pertinent profiles, and separate A2 sheets printed on both sides with drawings of various versions of the aircraft. This new publication covers the Mark I, I Tropical, II, II Meteo, Sea Gladiator and J-8. 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 is devoted to additional profiles of an RAF Machine. Throughout the book, there are numerous smaller diagrams that show equipment layout such as the cockpit, landing gear, engines and props; as well as the sometime small differences between Marks/ 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. Currently (at time of writing) on offer at a discounted price from Casemate UK Review sample courtesy of
  7. Grumman F-14 Tomcat - Kit Build #1 ISBN: 9788366148567 Kagero Publishing via Casemate UK There are a lot of modellers that have a soft spot for the F-14 Tomcat, and with a raft of new tooling having been released over the last few years, we’re spoiled for choice. Anyone that has watched Top Gun (it’s best not to listen to the dialogue) will also have a soft spot for them, and probably Goose too. In case it had escaped you, the Tomcat was a fleet carrier fighter of immense proportions, with all the Cold War trimmings including twin engines and fins, variable geometry wings, and lots of hard-points to store weapons on. It first deployed at the beginning of the 70s, stopping briefly to become a movie star in the 80s, and flying on until retirement in 2006, much to the disgust of many a Tomcat fan, who couldn’t quite come to terms with the loss. The US aircraft that weren’t earmarked for museums were destroyed along with their spares to ensure that those nasty Iranian F-14s wouldn’t get hold of them to keep their ageing Tomcats flying, which they still seem to be anyway. The Book This is the first edition of a new series from Kagero, the descriptive Kit Build series, which doesn’t need much more explanation unless you don’t speak or read English. In which case, how did you get this far? It is printed in full colour in a card cover, which are often referred to as a “bookazine” these days. It has 66 matt-finished pages within, and is bursting with colour on every one, ignoring the fact that the Tomcat was a grey jet. There are two builds within the book, one of the 1:48 Tamiya F-14D by Adrian Wolnicki, the other in 1:72 of the Fine Molds F-14A by Robert Skałbania, the latter not being a grey jet at all. The 1:48 Tamiya Tomcat is built as a care-worn airframe of VF-101 Grim Reapers, who were at NAS Oceana in 2004 when it wore this scheme with red-tipped black fins with their eponymous emblem in white holding his scythe above his hooded head. Over 23 pages of step-by-step instructions, the various techniques employed to give the surface of the aircraft the appearance of wear, plus a few trips through the anti-corrosion “barn” are explained in words and pictures, showing just how to achieve very realistic effects. The 1:72 Fine Molds kit is depicted as an earlier F-14A in service at NSAWC (Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center(sic)) at Fallon Nevada, wearing a rather unusual three-tone sand/green/brown camouflage over a grey underside, with matching loviz markings in opposing colours used in the scheme. Both models are built to a very high standard with small amounts of aftermarket and scratch-building used to further improve the detail of the models. If you’re one of those weirdos that counts pages in reviews and can’t get them to add up in this review, the majority of the missing pages are used to show off the finished models in high definition, demonstrating the finish you can achieve with some hard work and at least 30ml of talent. The final 6 pages are devoted to side profiles of various airframes over the years, as well as two pages devoted to the aircraft that can be built using the decals supplied with the book(azine). Markings Markings in a book? It’s a decal sheet included with the book that allows you to portray an F-14A BuNo. 160678, No.207, VF-111 Sundowners, USS Carl Vinson, November 1982. The sheet is printed in 1:72 and 1:48 scale, and the printers are Cartograf, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion As long as you order a 30ml bottle of “talent” to go with your Tomcat, this book should give any modeller with a little experience a raft of techniques to try or adapt to their way of doing things. At time of writing this title is on discount from casemate, with a healthy £5 off the usual price. Review sample courtesy of
  8. TopColors #41 Beutepanzer (9788366148550) Kagero Publishing via Casemate UK While many nations captured equipment in WWII the German Army were well know for re-using the large amount for equipment they captured in WWII from all of those they fought. Beutepanzer is the German for a captured armoured vehicle. Many of these served in combat roles often with foreign armour being used by German reconnaissance units. Equipment which could not be reused was kept in order to provide spare for those returned to use. 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 18 pages, and the rear cover is devoted to an additional profile of an Su-85. An addition to the book is a decal sheet featuring the captured markings; these are in 1/72, 1/48 and 1/35. There is no printer mentioned for the deals but they look to be good quality, with minmal carrier film, with solid whites, and no problems. Conclusion This is an interesting look at captured vehicles used by the Germany Army, the decl sheet is a good touch for those wanting to model one of these. Recommended. Currently (at time of writing) on offer at a discounted price from Casemate UK Review sample courtesy of
  9. Hawker Siddeley (BAe), McDonnell-Douglas/Boeing Harrier AV-8S/TAV-8S & AV-8B/B+/TAV-8B - Monographs #70 (9788366148833) In the Spanish Navy Kagero Publishing via Casemate UK The Harrier began life in the 50s as the Hawker Siddeley Kestrel, which was the proof of concept that led to the Harrier with the collaboration of McDonnel Douglas, working together to create the first GR.1 and AV-8 that was put into service with the RAF and the US Marines respectively, with subsequent upgrades eventually leading to the Harrier II and AV-8B with composite materials, an improved Pegasus engine and avionics, although it is renowned for having one of the highest pilot workloads in aviation, especially during hover. From the 1980s the Spanish Navy began taking on AV-8Bs from McDonnell Douglas’ factories in the US, with a total of 12 forming the day attack squadron and another tranche of the AV-8B+ with the night attack capability, plus a two-seat trainer aircraft that made them self-sufficient in the training of new pilots alongside simulators. The Book This is number 70 in the Monographs 3D edition from Kagero, with English used throughout. It is perfect-bound in a card cover and 138 pages in colour and black & white, and is written by Salvador Mafé Huertas. The book is packed with text interspersed with many pictures and their accompanying captions, mostly in colour, most of which is contemporary and some current. The last 7 pages plus the rear cover are devoted to some general arrangement drawings and a page of handsome side profiles of various airframes, with more on the rear colour. The chapters break down as follows: Acknowledgements The Origins First Generation Harriers in the Spanish Navy Landing at Gibraltar Royal Thai Navy AV-8S and TAV-8S Harriers Novena Escuadrilla, second generation Harriers Upgrading the Legacy Harriers Rover Constant Updates Upgrading the USMC Harriers The Two-Seat TAV-8B Air-to-Air combat with the “Radar” (AV-8B Plus) Air-Air Gunnery Exercise Carrier Pilot Training in Spain Third Plan Green Deck Night Vision Goggles Vertical Landing on Aircraft Carriers Anonymous Professionals: Maintenance of the Harrier Preventative Maintenance Phases Private Industry Commissions and Deployment Spanish Harriers in the Royal International Air Tattoo 2019 The best show in the world General Arrangement Drawings (6 pages) Side Profiles (1 page plus back cover) There is a substantial amount of text in the book which gives a lot of detail on the development, entry into service with its various 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 in Spanish service, and ready to build some lesser seen Harriers. There are even a few pages devoted to the performance of the Spanish Harriers at RIAT in 2019, which will have been an absolute treat for the British contingent in the audience, who have been starved of Harrier displays for a long time now. Conclusion There has been a lot written on the subject of the Harrier, but perhaps not that much on the aircraft’s Spanish service, which this book does much to rectify. It is full to the brim of excellent photos, informative captions and text that will provide hours of entertainment for the reader, then serve as reference material for your builds. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  10. TopDrawings #95 Fairey Swordfish (9788366148871) Kagero Publishing via Casemate UK The Swordfish began life in the early 30s as a speculative development by Fairey that was later re-designed to fit a 1933 specification that added the torpedo bomber role to its previous remit of spotter ‘plane. After many changes and tests that resulted in the loss of at least one airframe, an order was given for around 70 airframes, with production transferring to Blackburn as war become inevitable. The airframe was essentially outdated by outbreak of war, but improvements gave it longer legs, more power in what became known as the Swordfish I. The II added radar and hardpoints under the wings for rockets, the III adding a more capable radar, and the IV with an enclosed cockpit used as a trainer by the Canadians. the Stringbag outlived the Albacore that was intended to replace it with over 2,000 made, and was instead supplanted by the Barracuda, which kept it within the Fairey family. It saw substantial action in the torpedo bomber role, some more famously than others, and often suffered heavy losses due to in part to the task it was assigned, as well as its relatively slow speed, but it invariably got the job done and is credited with delivering the torpedo to the Bismark that disabled its rudder and allowed the British fleet to catch and subsequently destroyed it. It was well-loved then and is still a welcome performer at airshows, especially when the still-airborne crew stand and salute in tribute to its brave pilots and crew during the war. We have kits in almost every scale from 1:144 upwards, some old, some new with some major and minor manufacturers having releases in their arsneal, showing that it's a popular niche subject. The TopDrawings series majors on scale plans, which is the main thrust, but also includes a little background information, some pertinent profiles, and separate A2 sheets printed on both sides with drawings of various versions of the aircraft. 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 is devoted to additional profiles of two Swordfish Is. After the introduction the first half of the plans show the Mark I from every angle with wings folded and deployed ready for flight. After this are the colour profiles with four pages of profiles of Mark Is and IIs wearing some interesting camo schemes, including one of the Bismark attackers. After the break there is another set of plans for the II and III, including many scrap diagrams of equipment, warloads, as well as fuselage cross-sectional shapes. The lesser known Seaplane version and Mark.IV with its bubble canopy are shown toward the end, and cross-sections of the wing ribs are given on the last page. Throughout the book, there are numerous smaller diagrams that show equipment layout such as the cockpit, landing gear, engine and prop 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 stain on the wall that could be beautified by posting the plans over it to enjoy. Currently (at time of writing) on offer at a discounted price from Casemate UK Review sample courtesy of
  11. Sherman Firefly – Armor PhotoHistory ISBN: 9788360672327 Model Centrum Progres The Sherman was one of the most widely used Allied tanks during WWII, named after an American Civil War general when it entered service in the early part of the war. It was the mainstay of Allied armour, and was a reliable and rugged vehicle, but initially suffered from weak points that led to the Germans christening it the "Tommy cooker" because of the thin side armour that allowed a carefully placed shot to penetrate it and set the tank afire. Once identified, appliqué armour was added to the vulnerable spots to improve survivability. It became one of the most produced tanks of WWII, with over 50,000 made, 17,000+ of which were destined for British service. Originally fitted with a 75mm gun, the arrival of the Panther and Tiger tanks in the European Theatre led to tests for improving firepower to penetrate the thicker armour of these new foes. The American tests weren't as successful as the British forays into heavy armament, and it was the installation of the Ordnance QF 17-pounder gun in a standard turret that resulted in the Firefly. It was capable of knocking out a Panther and Tiger at combat ranges from then on, but the US Generals preferred to carry on with their M36 Tank Destroyer as the end results were broadly similar, although the M36 had to have a new turret installed. Although the Firefly concept was initially rejected, it proceeded anyway and the improved Shermans started reaching the front just in time for the work-up before D-Day where it gave a good account of itself. To hide the extra firepower the length of the barrel was sometimes disguised by adding a wavy camouflage to the underside in the hope the enemy would mistake it for the weaker 75mm gun and be less cautious to their peril. By war's end around 2,000 Fireflies had been produced, and had been used effectively as part of the larger Sherman force, evolving new tactics to protect the valuable Fireflies while making good use of their heavy hitting power. The Book This is a new publication from the Armor PhotoHistory series by Model Centrum Progres, distributed in the UK by Casemate UK. It’s a soft-backed perfect-bound book with a genuine 88 pages in portfolio format, printed on glossy paper with a black background for the photo portion of the book. It is broken down into sections that provide tons of photos, plans, drawings and profiles of the up-gunned Sherman that made taking on the dreaded Tigers and Panthers that were fielded by the Nazis. The book is laid out as follows: History Pages 1-17 A detailed telling of the story that resulted in the more powerful gun and expanded turret. Photogallery Pages 18-63 Tons of photos with informative captions of the tank in action in Europe after D-Day. Drawings Pages 64-79 Scale plans and detailed drawings of the Firefly and some of the important components of the vehicle. Colour Plates Pages 80-88 Eight pages of profiles and scrap drawings of the tank in various regiments. The inner covers are opportunistically printed with adverts for their other products and some of Gecko Models products. The prime focus of the book is of course the photographs, and those are first rate. Add the captions and the other sections and you have a very useful reference book that gives you tons of information and a bucket-load of diorama inspiration from the candid and even the posed photos. The drawings at the rear of the book will be invaluable to the detailer as well as those with interior kits to build, especially the smaller parts and the wiring that is found inside your average tank. Conclusion If you’re the proud owner of a Firefly kit or just an armour buff, this book will be of great interest and will also provide you with quite a bit of interesting reading along the way. The photos are all B&W because they were taken in the 1940s, and plans are also line drawings, so the first hint of colour is in the colour plates near the back – if you ignore the cover of course! Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  12. Focke Wulf Fw.190A/S/F/G - Monographs Special Edition #12 ISBN: 9788366148727 Kagero Publishing via Casemate UK Focke-Wulf’s Fw.190 was initially designed as a replacement for the ageing Bf.109, which was thought to be approaching the end of its development potential. They managed to squeeze yet more performance for the old 109 though, and they often fought side-by-side in the defence of the Reich until the very end. The British were shocked by its first appearance, as at that time the Spitfire had the edge over the 109, so when they were outclassed by the new, diminutive fighter it spurred the Spitfire’s evolution in that endless game of leapfrog that war begets. The 190 went through many alterations and improvements too, until its airframe diverged so far from the original that it was renamed after its designed Kurt Tank, as the Ta.152. The Book This is number 12 in the Monographs Special Editions from Kagero, with English used throughout. It is hardcover bound and contains 264 pages in colour and black & white, plus two sheets purposely blank. It is written by Krzysztof Janowicz, with many of the photos sourced from private collections that are noted in brackets in the captions. The first 210 pages are text interspersed with many pictures and their accompanying captions, followed by a few pages of statistics in tables. The remainder is filled with drawings with a substantial number of 1:48 scale plans, and the last 8 pages plus another 8 near the centre are devoted to some handsome side profiles of various airframes. The chapters break down as follows: Introduction FW.190A-1 Fw.190A-2 Fw.190A-3 Fw.190A-4 Fw.190A-5 Fw.190A-6 Fw.190A-7 Fw.190A-8 Fw.190A-9 Fw.190F Fw.190F-1 & F-2 Fw.190F-3 Fw.190F-8 Fw.190F-9 Fw.190G Fw.190G-1 Fw.190G-2 Fw.190G-3 Fw.190G-8 Fw.190S Painting & Markings Operations in Western Europe Operations in Africa, the South & North of Europe Ostfront Profiles The Fighter of Many Faces Africa & Sicily All Straks’s Men “Fire Brigade” on the Eastern Front Re-organisation Jack of all Trades Hills, Mountains & Monte Cassino To Stop the Red Bear From Normandy to the Rhine Defeat in the East The Hungarian Ally Hunting by Night Over the Atlantic Mistel Evaluation of the Fw.190 Endnotes Bibliography Plans Profiles There is a substantial amount of text throughout the book which gives a lot of detail on the development, entry into service, combat experience and its various 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 plans, which are in 1:48. In addition, there are three loose sheets, one A3 sheet in 1:48 showing an A3 with an A-8/R8 over the page. The other two sheets are on A2 in 1:32 showing an A-5 and A-5tp on one page, and an A-8 on the other. They’re all printed on both sides for maximum information of course. Conclusion The diminutive and combative Butcher Bird is a firm favourite amongst us aircraft enthusiasts, and this book has an absolute wealth of information within its hard cover, that can’t help but broaden your knowledge in the process. Review sample courtesy of
  13. RM Littorio Kagero Super Drawings in 3D Littorio was the lead ship of her class of battleship; she served in the Italian Regia Marina (Royal Navy) during World War II. She was named after the Lictor ("Littorio" in Italian), in ancient times the bearer of the Roman fasces, which was adopted as the symbol of Italian Fascism. Littorio and her sister Vittorio Veneto were built in response to the French battleships Dunkerque and Strasbourg. They were Italy's first modern battleships, and the first 35,000-ton capital ships of any nation to be laid down under the terms of the Washington Naval Treaty. Littorio was laid down in October 1934, launched in August 1937, and completed in May 1940. Shortly after her commissioning, Littorio was badly damaged during the British air raid on Taranto on 11 November 1940, which put her out of action until the following March. Littorio thereafter took part in several sorties to catch the British Mediterranean Fleet, most of which failed to result in any action, the notable exception being the Second Battle of Sirte in March 1942, where she damaged several British warships. Littorio was renamed Italia in July 1943 after the fall of the Fascist government. On 9 September 1943, the Italian fleet was attacked by German bombers while it was on its way to internment. During this action, which saw the destruction of her sister Roma, Italia herself was hit by a Fritz X radio-controlled bomb, causing significant damage to her bow. As part of the armistice agreement, Italia was interned at Malta, Alexandria, and finally in the Great Bitter Lake in the Suez Canal, where she remained until 1947. Italia was awarded to the United States as a war prize and scrapped at La Spezia in 1952–54. With their ever increasing series of books in the 3D format, Kagero never fails to deliver. This particular publication on the Italian battleship not only provides a superb history of the ship, another one which I knew only a little, if anything about before reviewing this book. The first ten pages cover the history of the battleship in specific sections. The sections are:- Overview Design Armour Propulsion Security systems Underwater protection Armament Conning tower Service Conclusion The rest of the eighty three pages are filled with the beautifully rendered 3D drawings we have got know so well in this series, covering every part of the ships structure, weapons, boats and sundry equipment. The drawings are really clear and perfect for the maritime modeller to see all the useful details that could help make that masterpiece that we all strive for. This release does include drawings for below the waterline, unlike a lot of other books in the series, so perfect for those of us who build full hull. An A2 folded sheet of line drawings is also included and this contains 3 views of the ship overall, in 1:350 scale, while on the reverse there are bow and stern drawings in 1:350, plus numerous detail drawings of equipment in various scales between 1:50 and 1:200, giving more detail to the information hungry modeller. Conclusion Following the now tried and tested formula that Kagero have made their own, this book is superbly produced and with the subject matter being one of the most good looking battleships, it will become a must have for any maritime modellers. With the future release of the Littorio in 1:350, by Trumpeter, this book couldn’t have been released at a better time for the modeller to start collecting their references. Review sample courtesy of
  14. TopDrawings 73 – Chance Vought F4U Corsair A, C, D, P Mk.I-IV (9788366148215) Kagero Publishing via Casemate UK The distinctive Gull Wing design of the Corsair made it one of the stand-out fighters of the Pacific theatre, helped greatly by the fact that it was also an excellent aircraft. With its Twin Wasp engine and massive propeller, which required the gull-wing design so that it was less likely to strike the deck on take-off and landing, it was fast, manoeuvrable and carried sufficient armour and armament to give a good account of itself against the Japanese Zero, a goal in which it was aided by the dwindling pool of experienced pilots available to Japan toward the end of WWII. Initially fitted with a "bird cage" canopy with limited visibility, it was later given a better blown hood, which coupled with an 18cm increase in the height of the pilot's seat and a 15cm lengthening of the tail wheel strut, gave the pilot better visibility both in the air and on the deck, which when taxiing around with a 13'4" prop was pretty important to the deck crews. We have kits in just about every scale from 1:350 upwards, with most major manufacturers getting in on the act, as other people's Corsairs don't make money for them, and it's a popular subject. The TopDrawings series majors on scale plans, which is the primary 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 pair of US Navy Corsairs carrying out a rocket attack on some poor unfortunates, which was last seen on the cover of their Monographs #56. 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 F4U-1Ds and a loose A3 sheet printed on both sides with overhead plans of the -1C and -1D airframes on one side and the British Mk.I and Mk.IV on the other. The first half of the plans show the variants from the -1C, -1D and the British Mk.I. After this the colour profiles of a -1D, Mk.II and a -4 are printed on four pages in colour, augmented by the aforementioned two on the rear cover. After the break there is another set of plans of the Mk.II, Mk.III and Mk.IV, with some head/tail-on plans into the bargain. The final three pages show side profiles with the changes between the variants visible, showing just how ungainly the bird cage canopy really was. Throughout the book, there are a number of smaller diagrams that show the two types of rocket the Corsair typically carried and 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 poignancy at the same time - I've already put it up in my workshop as it happens. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  15. TopDrawings #88 – M16 Half-Track (ISBN: 9788366148758) Kagero Publishing via Casemate UK The M16 Half Track Multiple Gun Motor Carriage was usually known by the easier and shorter name M16 Half-Track, derived from the M3 Half-track and fitted with a quartet of heavy-barreled M2 Browning .50cal machine guns, the same type that were fitted to Allied fighters and bombers of the day. The quad mount was nicknamed the meat-chopper for obvious reasons later in its career as it became used as ground support rather than Anti-Aircraft when the German Luftwaffe ran out of aircraft, then after when the speed of jet-powered aircraft made accurate targeting a very chancy business. They served in WWII in substantial numbers as mobile air-defence units with over 3,000 new build and conversions seeing the battlefield, and after WWII they soldiered on to the early days of Vietnam as ground support. We have kits in scales from 1:72 through 1:35 from Tamiya and Dragon, all the way up to the 1:16 giant from Trumpeter, which explains the different scales used in the plans throughout the book. 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 two double-sided A2 sheets of large folded loose-leaf plans in 1:16 and 1:35, plus another double-sided A3 sheet of drawings of the major parts. The book is written in English on the left of the page, with Czech on the right, which translates to top and bottom for the captions to the various drawings within. The book itself is bound in a card cover and has 24 pages, with the rear cover devoted to profiles of an M16 in Olive Drab, although it seems a little light, verging on yellow. The first page gives a written introduction, then launches straight into the plans that show the vehicle from each corner from the outside, with drawings of equipment and small parts taking up any white space. After this the interior compartments are drawn from various angles with the quad gun mount missing. The quad mount is then detailed over three pages along with the .50cals and the ammo boxes. Then the bodywork is stripped away and many aspects of the chassis, the White power pack, axles, track unit and gearbox are laid bare for us to see. The last four pages show many views of the vehicle with and without bodywork in 1:72 and 1:48 from all angles. Throughout the book, there are numerous smaller diagrams that show pioneer tools, stowage, equipment, wheels, driver controls, and the White 160AX 6-cylinder engine. 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 additional large sheets perfect for poring over on the dining room table or hanging on the wall. Highly recommended. At time of writing this book is available at a discounted price, making an even more tempting target! Review sample courtesy of
  16. TopDrawings 87 – Sukhoi Su-24 (9788366148741) Kagero Publishing via Casemate UK What became the Su-24 Fencer began as a fixed-wing attempt at creating a short-takeoff all-weather bomber, similar to the tasks that were originally envisaged for the American F-111, but without the variable-geometry wings that were expected to bring potentially insurmountable issues and complexity. This resulted in a rather angular “artists impression” of the aircraft that eventually saw service, but with the entry of the F-111 into US use, they realised that swing-wings weren’t as problematic as they had thought, so it was back to the drawing board for the engineers at Sukhoi. The second prototype flew with the new wings, and despite some fairly costly crashes, they developed the airframe into the Su-24M, which was comparable in performance to its US competitor. It benefitted from one of the first digital war-fighting systems, as well as a capable terrain avoidance system that allowed them to fly at low and very low altitudes to evade radar of their enemies, which required fitting of the K-36D zero-zero ejection seat for emergency egress. Later variants made improvements to the airframe as well as to its weapon-carrying capabilities, and a glass cockpit with modern avionics was fitted to the reminder of their on-strength airframes that are still flying (not literally right this second) at time of writing. We have kits even in the smaller scales from a few manufacturers due to the appealing look of this monster even outside of the former Soviet Union, with modern toolings from Trumpeter in 1:72 and 1:48, with perhaps 1:32 lagging behind a little. The TopDrawings series majors on scale plans, which is the main thrust, but also includes a little background information, some pertinent profiles, and often a bonus of decals or masks targeted at the subject matter in hand. With this edition, you get a set of loose 1:48 plans for the M and M2 variants. The book is written in English on the left of the page, with Czech on the right, which translates to top and bottom for the captions to the various drawings within. The book itself is bound in a card cover and has 20 pages, with the rear cover devoted to additional profiles of an MR and M airframe. The first half of the plans show the variants from the origin of the mature airframe, the M, and the later M2 (Fencer D). After this the colour profiles are printed on four pages in colour, augmented by the aforementioned two on the rear cover. After the break there is another set of plans of the MR (Fencer E), The MP and finally the MK (Fencer F). The final three pages show black and white detail photos of an airframe that will be very useful to modellers. Throughout the book, there are numerous smaller diagrams that show cross-sections of the infrared threat detector dome on the spine, nose cone and pitot probe changes, landing gear arrangement, sensor and pylon placement, and examples of it loaded with weapons. 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 pull-out plans tempting to put on the walls. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  17. 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
  18. The Biafran Army 1967 - 70 Build up and downfall of the secessionist military Africa @ War No.47 ISBN : 9781911628637 Helion & Company via Casemate UK The Biafran War, or more rightly the Nigerian Civil war was a civil war between the secessionist state of Biafra and the Nigerian Government. It is most remembered as the cause of the famine which became the first such disaster of its type to be televised. This was another conflict Bourne out of the decolonisation of Africa by the Western Powers, in Nigeria it was the British who were the former rulers. The southern state of Biafra felt they could not be ruled by the Northern Dominated Government, throw into this mix a coup, counter coup, and persecution of minorities and a civil war was bound to come. The fighting lasted until 1970 with the UK, and strangely USSR supporting Nigeria, and France & Israel mainly supporting Biafra. In the end the direct fighting led to over 100,000 causalities, but the blockade by Nigerian Forces lead to the starvation of over 2 million civilians. Much has been said about Air Operations in the region but the Army has been overlooked. This book as well as looking at the air power looks at the Army & Naval forces. The book is A4 Soft cover and 80 pages long. It is illustrated throughout by maps and many rare black and white photos many of which have not been published before. There are 5 pages of colour profiles, and 2 pages of colour photos in the centre of the book. This book is the first to really consider the build up, training, composition, equipment and combat operations of the Biafran armed forces during this time. Conclusion This book will give the reader a good understanding of the History of this bloody civil war and all it entailed. Review sample courtesy of
  19. At The Forward Edge of Battle A history of the Pakistan Armoured Corps 1938-2016 Vol 2 ISBN : 9781912866335 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. Volume one which we reviewed here looked at the early years of the Corps. This volume concentrates on the War of 1965, and the re-equipment afterwards. This leads onto the war of 1971 and the Corps expansion after that. Also in this volume are overseas deployments, how the Corps is administered, trained; and a look at their people and culture. 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 Pakistan Armoured Corps uses a unique mix of Eastern and Western bloc equipment, and there are some excellent picture of this in the book. The book is A4 Soft cover and 136 pages long. It is illustrated throughout by maps and many black and white photos many of which have not been published before. There are 15 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
  20. The German Heavy Cruiser Prinz Eugen Kagero TopDrawings No. 86 via Casemate UK ISBN : 9788366148734 The Prinz Eugen was the third ship of the Admiral Hipper Class of German WWII Heavy Cruisers. While allegedly designed to meet the terms of the Anglo-German Naval Agreement at 10000 tons she was in fact over 16000 tons. With a length of 207m, a beam of 21.7 and a draught of 7.2m she was a formidable cruiser armed with eight 20.3cm guns in four turrets. In addition to these there were 12 x 10.5cm, 12 x 37mm guns, and 8 x 20mm guns. A pair of 533mm torpedo tubes were fitted. Three Ar 196 aircraft were also carried, Laid down in 1936, she was launched in 1938 and commissioned in August 1940 after a slight delay due to damage suffered in an RAF raid. In May of 1941 along with the Bismarck they transited through the Denmark Straights shadowed by Royal Navy Vessels HMS Suffolk & Norfolk. The RN had sent HMS Hood and HMS Price of Wales out to intercept the ships and they met on the 24th May. At 0600 HMS Hood was hit by a Salvo from Bismarck and exploded. Bismarck would then be sunk on 27th May and Prinz Eugen made for Brest for repairs, She would then take part in the "Channel Dash" before going on to serve in the Baltic. She was one of a few large German vessels to survive the war, and was awarded to the US as a war prize., while the US did not really want her, the alternative was the USSR which they did not want even more. As the USS Prinz Eugen it was found increasingly difficult to keep her operational once the German crew were repatriated. She was towed to the Pacific and used in Atomic Bob testing where she survived two explosions. After being decommissioned in 1946 she capsized and sank at Kwajalein Atoll. In 2018 the USN removed all the fuel oil from the wreck as it was starting to leak. The USN Museum still holds the ships bell while one propeller was salvaged and is in place at the Laboe Naval Memorial in Germany, 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 27 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 is the double sided A2 foldout sheet, with line drawings scrap view of the ship on the other side. Conclusion This is another good book in the series. The pullout sheet is also wonderful to see. This is certainly a very useful book for all modellers. Recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  21. BMW R75 Escaping from the Falaise Pocket ISBN: 9780993564666 AFV Modeller via Casemate UK This book is an education for us mere mortal modellers as to what can be achieved with massive amounts of skill and ingenuity. The theme is to recreate a picture from the closing days of WWII that depicted four German soldiers riding a heavily laden BMW R75 motorcycle and sidecar in an attempt to escape through the gap left by the enclosing Allied forces that were to create the Falaise Pocket, encircling a large number of Axis forces after the Allies broke out from the Normandy beachhead and moved through France toward Germany and ultimately victory. The author, Robert Doepp is an award-winning modeller, and this is evident on every page of the book, so be prepared to spend most of your time with your jaw dropped wide open, drooling gently in awe of the skills demonstrated here. I know some modellers are discouraged by exceptional modelling, but if you treat this book as a level of skill to aspire to by making little improvements to every successive model you make, you’ll soon be making progress. It is a comprehensive book that runs to 111 genuine pages with a blank one at the end for obvious reasons, and is perfect bound in a matt-finished card cover. It is broken down into chapters as follows: Introduction Construction Painting Figures Figure Painting Base Wartime Restored Gallery It begins with some history of the author, and covers some of the events that both inspired and led up to the germination of this project in Robert’s motorcycle-loving mind. There are some gorgeous photographs of previous projects, plus a few shots of the finished model R75 against the photo that it is based upon. It also discusses the base kit for the bike, which is a rather old 1:9 kit from ESCI/Revell that brought many additional tasks along with it in order to make the model more accurate. The work on display is truly staggering, from the genuine spoked wheels to the individually cut and laminated cooling vanes on the engine, it offers everyone a masterclass on how to improve their own models, and at the very least lodge some ideas in the deepest recesses of your mind that will help you one day when you have a scratch building or repair issue with one of your models. The painting of the bike is almost as amazing as the construction, showing how much thought has been put into it, and how the model was broken down into subassemblies during the build to enable painting and weathering to proceed smoothly. The figures are all built up using armatures that are custom made by the author, and at 1:9 scale they’re fairly large. The basic shapes are determined then fleshed out with tubular shapes and extremities. How to sculpt faces is just one of the useful techniques discussed. Robert is clearly highly skilled as a sculptor, which is evidenced by the sheer volume of detail down to the stitching of the material sculpted into each figure. They are each individually dressed to match their photo, and custom parts are made up from scratch, even down to the small differences between the standard stahlhelm and the Fallschirmjäger pudding basin, with one of the crew wearing a hybrid that must have been specifically tooled to meet the requirements of its wearer for unknown reasons. The figures are painted in great detail both in the book and for the project, with attention paid to achieving a realistic camouflage pattern by using references of the real thing to guide you. Face painting is also studied, and with that the sub-assembled figures are put into position. An interlude shows the construction of the base, which has a muddy road bordered by a double line of cobbles as textural relief. The completed model is placed on the base, after a section devoted to some very interesting pictures of various bikes during WWII, a gallery of the finished model is shown to round things off. Conclusion Robert Doepp is most definitely one of the few genius modellers that excel beyond all imagination, and is an inspiration to us all. The book is full of lavish photography and detailed explanations of the techniques used, so even if we can absorb a fraction of what’s there, we should benefit immensely. Highly recommended. At time of writing, this volume is on offer at Casemate, and you can visit by clicking below Review sample courtesy of
  22. The Bulgarian Air Force in the Second World War ISBN : 9781912390649 Helion & Company via Casemate UK While there has been much written about the Luftwaffe in WWII, not much is out there concerning their other Allies apart from the Italians. The Bulgarians fit into the category of probably the least well known; this book will hopefully redress the balance some what. The book looks at initially at operations at home, and then in the Balkans. The later part of the book looks at the period when war came to Bulgaria both from the Allied bombing campaign and the advancing Russians. The book then looks at what happened when Bulgaria changed sides , withdrew from Yugoslavia, and began operations against the Luftwaffe. Following this Bulgaria would fall under the Soviet sphere and would reform and reequip along Soviet lines. Conclusion This book will give the reader an understanding of the Bulgarian Air Force in WWII and the period at the end. It is illustrated throughout with many previously unseen black & white photographs. There are eight pages of specially commissioned colour aircraft profiles at the centre of the book. In all is it 135 pages long and A4 softcover in format. Highly Recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  23. David Parker’s Crew School (9780993564673) AFV Modeller via Casemate UK Building and painting AFVs is a subject often covered in books on modelling, but figures and their integration with a model or diorama isn’t all that frequent. This book is one such tome, and covers the process of painting existing figures of many scales to adapting them to better suit your model, and then taking it a step further to build your own figures using just resin heads that are available and an armature - plus some sculpting medium of course. It is a comprehensive book that runs to 112 genuine pages and is perfect bound in a matt-finished card cover. It is broken down into chapters as follows: Introduction Basic Face Facts Uniform Approach Strike a Pose Switching for Effect Creating Creases Factory Fresh Armed and Dangerous Holt, Who Goes There? One Step Beyond Working with Mannequins Communication Breakdown Panther Personnel Charm Offensive Shell Slinger Ardennes Advance Appendix It begins with some painting techniques to give your models additional depth and quality by improving your skills in “lighting” your figures by painting them with highlights and shadows, including how best to depict camouflaged clothing and adding translucent shadows without obliterating the shape of the camouflage swatches. The basics of painting faces is explored too, showing how to create realistic shading and how depict eyes without using whites and making them look like escapees from a Marty Feldman film – we’ve all done it. It also shows additional techniques that can be useful for larger scale figures and busts. After describing the importance of posing your figures on and around your model, there is a section on simple changes you can make to better fit your figures to the task in hand, switching parts and re-building changes with armatures and putty. This of course requires a basic understanding of how fabrics move with the human body, which is the next step in the discussion, showing how creases form in various poses using pictures to illustrate the effects further. It further shows the kind of tools that you will need in order to consider sculpting your own fabrics, figure parts and so forth. More radical alteration of figures is shown through the next chapters, including repurposing figures from a different genre or country by adding details to correctly tie them into the desired theme. When you’re comfortable with altering figures, it’s the logical next step to create your own, and here a very clever approach to ease your progress is brought into play. Mannequins. David has had 3D mannequins printed to use as a basis for his figure sculpts, and having now seen them, they’re a rather impressive way to get consistent anatomical proportions for your figures, and they would probably sell well if they aren’t available already somewhere (which they don't seem to be). Some awesome sculpting follows, with many tips and tricks of the figure sculptor exposed to assist us novices, taking us from the basic pose using an armature and resin head, through fleshing out (pun!), clothing, buttons, badges and insignia, as well as describing which types of modelling materials are useful for certain tasks. More tricks and techniques follow along with plenty of painting hints, culminating in an impressive figure build for a 1:16 Schwimmwagen crew, taking inspiration from an actual picture taken during the war. The appendix at the rear of the book lists the tools and materials that are suitable for figure work, and which ones work best in certain circumstances, reinforcing the general theme of the book. The very last page shows a few shots of the projects just to round off the tome. Conclusion I’m a little terrified of figures, even though I used to paint Warhammer 40K in my 20s. This book really assists with the various techniques and would be a help to most figure builders/makers, save for those few genius modellers that excel beyond all imagination. Highly recommended. At time of writing, this volume is on offer at Casemate, and you can visit by clicking below Review sample courtesy of
  24. Kursk, 1943 Last German Offensive in the East ISBN : 9781612007076 Casemate Illustrated - Casemate UK There is no doubt the Battle for Kursk was the largest Tank Battle of WWII, and to this date the largest tank battle in the world. With 6000 tanks, 2 million men and 4000 aircraft it was truly monumental. The Germans launched operation Citadel in the Sumner of 1943 in the hope of trapping the Soviet Army in the Kursk Salient to end their Summer offensive that year. Depleted in terms of man power and equipment the Germans hoped to reply in their panzer forces to enable this. However the Russians were aware of the operation partly through the help of British Intelligence and built formidable defences in the area. This was the first time a German offensive was stopped before it could break through and the battle quickly degenerated into a battle of attrition. The Germans would loose a large quantity of Men & Materials at Kursk which they were never ale to recover from, never again did the German Army go on the offensive in the East. This book in the Casemate Illustrated series tells the story of this dramatic battle using rare and unpublished photographs, maps, and highly detailed artwork profiles of the tanks and vehicles involved 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
  25. 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
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